08/08/2006 at 08:15 AM EDT
Janet Jackson doesn't have a problem with dating younger men: In fact, she prefers it, the singer says in a new interview.
"I came to realize that younger men had less of a problem with who I am than older men," Jackson, 40, whose boyfriend is 33-year-old music producer Jermaine Dupri, tells Vibe
"With the younger guys, there was less ego. Things were less competitive. They weren't threatened by who made more and who made less."
Dupri, she says, gives her self-esteem "a little boost." "When I look at Jermaine, I see myself," Jackson tells the magazine in its September issue, on newsstands Aug. 15. "I feel as if I'm looking in the mirror. The connection I feel with him I have never felt with anybody else."
The couple, who have been together for five years, recently made headlines
by hinting that they're planning to get married – possibly on Sept. 26, the date Jackson's new album, 20 Years Old,
On the rumored wedding, Jackson told a British radio DJ, "Everyone's been asking me about it. And if it's meant to happen, it'll happen."
One thing she tells Vibe
will happen: motherhood. Asked if she wants to have kids, Jackson says, "I do and I will. I didn't before, but with Jermaine I do."
Whether she becomes Mrs. Dupri or not, Jackson doesn't plan to change her risqué image. The singer, who recently dropped more than 60 lbs., appears on the Vibe
cover wearing nothing but bikini bottoms and a large shell necklace.
Will she ever stop posing for sexy pictures? "Of course," Jackson says. "When I'm 80. That's when I'll call it quits."
As for her famous Super Bowl performance, during which her nipple was exposed during the game's live halftime show with Justin Timberlake, Jackson has put the incident behind her.
"It's just over and done with. It's old. It's the past. It's history. I'm onto something new," she says. "Everybody got their licks in – those who wanted to – and it's done."