Cougars, a new name for the “Mature Woman”

A Cougar is an older woman that is strong, knows her territory, and goes after what she wants relying on her experience to guide her. This is the name young men have given older women who date younger men, and supposedly what younger men are looking for today. I’m not so sure I really care to be called a Cougar, because I don’t see my dates as “prey,” but it is something new going around and you can decide whether you want to be called one or not.

Joan Collins, is considered the ultimate Cougar. Males of all ages and sizes are seeking to spend time with them, and will go where they think Cougars may be. I guess being called a Cougar is supposed to be a complement.

Back in the 70s when it was discovered that Burt Reynolds, a major sex symbol, had been carrying on a four year romance with TV-show host and singer Dinah Shore who was 20 years older, started tongues to wag and eyebrows to be raised. John Travolta was only 22 when he claimed his love for Diana Hyland, who was 40 years old at the time. What surprised most people was the fact that both of these men were gorgeous and they could have any woman they wanted, and they chose to date women much older than them.

Today, the May-December romances between younger men and older women barely turn heads anymore. Women like Demi Moore and Cameron Diaz are now making it fashionable to have a younger mans arm to hang on. Younger men with older women are a trend that is gaining momentum. A recent U.S. Census Bureau figures show that in the year 2000, 12% of all marriages were between older women and younger men. Online dating services are also seeing a change according to Match.com and their recent poll showing a majority of male clients were willing to date older women.

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Jane Greer, Ph.D., a marriage and sex therapist says that “in some cases, a younger man represents the chance for a woman to make better choices than she did earlier on. Most women in their 30s or 40s have usually been with the so-called Mr. Right, only to find out that he wasn’t ultimately right for them. These women go on to have a much clearer sense of what they are looking for in a partner, and they don’t get discouraged if they find those qualities in a man who’s younger.” Studies are seeing more of what are called ‘peer marriages,’ in which partners are marrying for companionship rather than for the traditional reproductive or economic reasons, especially when it’s the “second time around for older women.”

Filicia Brings and Susan Winter, authors of the book Older Women, Younger Men, feel that a lot of these preferences are simply out of necessity, the statistical realities for baby boomer, there are just more women baby boomers than men. Valerie Gibson, author of her “guide book,” Cougar, believes the fact that older woman’s sexual peak is more aligned with that of a younger man. Her philosophy on the matter is that the older woman has “been there done that” attitude in terms of marriage, kids, and commitment so now she’s looking for something “light and flashy,” the younger man finds all this free and easy sex very attractive.

However, Gibson warns her cougars not to expect or demand a long-term relationship, calling this the “golden ‘short-term’ rule.” Her claim is “as long as you obey this rule, you will be okay. Brings and Winter do not agree with Gibson’s claim and in their book Older Woman, Younger Men, they show repeatedly, that most of these relationships last more than ten years. Pointing out the relationship between their capstone couple, Karolina and Paolo, who met when she was 55 and he was 39. Twenty five years later, at 80 and 64, the two are still together.

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Winter and Brings believe what attracts young men to older women is the fact that older women don’t play mind games, they know who they are and what they want. They are confident and interesting, and are more comfortable in their own skin. Gibson puts her two cents in and tells her cougars they have nothing to worry about from “pumas” aka, younger women. She follows this advice with a section in her book called “Surviving a Puma Attack.” Gibson’s point is that for whatever reason, younger men want older women, their not just “settling.”

Frank, a younger man, who recently voiced his preference for older women or cougars, on a vegsource.com blog, say’s he has been intensely attracted to older women since he was in his early teens before it was “fashionable.” At the age of 20, Frank says, “I was interested in women well into their late 40s, and it continues today.” He continues, “for me, I always felt I was much more mature than other guys, and thru high school, college, and post-college, I thought that a women my age were too immature, with values that were too shallow, (what car do you drive, what kind of dancer are you, what clubs do you go to, etc.)

Things that weren’t important to me at all. Older women seemed to me to be more together, more experienced, intelligent, to-the-point, honest, witty, and open. They were mysterious and worldly, and I liked that a lot!” Frank claims to be very attracted to older women sexually also. “They are just the sexiest women in the world to me! While other guys were into Carmen Electra, I was into Raquel Welch.

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Joan Collins doing Playboy was a revelation; I just love the physical nuances that come with age…grey hair, wrinkles, softer curvier body. I fantasised constantly about wonderful evenings out with intelligent conversation followed by incredible, steamy sex. (Where the hell is this guy, and where can I met him?) Frank has plenty of company.

More and older women are finding that guys like him are exciting too. They may be feeling their power after managing a successful career; they may want to indulge in some play after doing for others for many years—whatever the case, the older women, younger men option is now up for consideration. Those who are a little leery might find either Gibson’s book or Brings/Winter’s book worth a read.

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