The art of the Cougar
There are three groups of readers who will not be happy with this article. The first is the group of people who believe that the term “Cougar” applies only to women in their 40s with a taste for men in their 20s. The second is a feminist-based group who abhor the whole trend of women of a certain age having a cat name attached to them based on their sexual tastes, and the third is a group who simply can’t stomach a woman of a certain age having a sexual appetite for young men.
The good news is, this is iPinion, as in myPinion, and I am pleased to consider myself a Cougar.
Urban Dictionary defines a Cougar as “a female, usually between 30 and 50 years old, who enjoys the sexual company of younger men.” For those who adhere to the generally accepted terminology of the lifestyle, what type of cat name you bear is based upon your age. In her 20s, a woman with a taste for younger men is a Kitten, in her 30s she’s a Puma, in her 40s she’s a Cougar, and in her 50s she’s a Jaguar. My personal favorite was at a friend’s wedding when her mother declared “I’m not a Cougar, I’m a Mountain Lion!” Well said, my friend, well said. I, too, claim to be my own breed of cat.
Hi. My name is Sivan, and I am a Cougar. If you buy into the above age-based classification system, you could say that this past weekend I graduated from being a Kitten to being a Puma. For me, I don’t like my status to be based on my age as much as on my preference for men of an age younger than me. To me, a woman who is sexually attracted to younger men is a Cougar, and from this point forward I use the term Cougar in that sense.
I’m not exactly sure when it started or where it came from. I remember once in my early twenties commenting that Harry Potter was hot. I believe he was sixteen at the time, and my girlfriend pointed out that I was disgusting. When I was in my teens and early 20s I always dated men who were a few years older than me. But as I time went on I stayed attracted to the same men. As David Wooderson said in Dazed and Confused, “That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age. ”
I have always liked baby faces and pretty boys; youthful looking men. As my girlfriends grew to like their men bigger, hairier and manlier, my tastes never matured. I like my men tall and thin, like they just had their pubescent growth spurt. A man who spends his time at the gym making himself bulky loses appeal to me with each workout. A man, however, with baby blue eyes who is easily mistaken for being a few years younger than he actually is will always turn my head.
As I grew from a young lady to a young woman I learned (and learned to love and accept) more and more about myself. As I noticed and accepted my taste for young-looking pretty boys, so I came to accept that “age aint nothin’ but a numba.” And so I developed a no-qualms-attitude about taking younger lovers.
Of course, I am a respectable gal, and when it has the potential to harm others I am not one for breaking the law. So my cut-off is 18. A young man has to be legal for me to act on my attraction. It’s just good sense ladies.
I walk a fine line here, because I am admitting that I find younger men attractive. There is a bit of a double standard inherent in the world of the Cougar. When a 30-year-old man comments that a high schooler is attractive we as a society are disgusted. On the other hand, the other day I heard Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon give an interview on NPR wherein he stated that when he was 15 years old he had sex with one of his mother’s friends. When his mother found out she asked her son if her friend had taken advantage of him. He replied that she had not. What 15-year-old boy doesn’t want, with every raging hormone in his body, to sleep with a MILF?
Thoughts, emotions and desire are one thing, and action is another. When it comes to action it is best to let the law guide your way. As the older person in the equation, you will be steering the ship, and you have no idea how your actions will affect your prey on a deeper level. An adult is deemed responsible for their actions, and so the world of the Cougar is an adults-only arena. Then, let the games begin!
I use the word “prey” because the age difference really does shift the parties into a predator-and-prey dynamic. Personally, part of what I enjoy about being a Cougar is the control element. I have experience, I know where my power comes from. I know what I want and I know what I’m doing. If I’m with a younger man, they are, based solely on their age, likely to be far less experienced than I am. I also have the benefit of my years to tell me that most men want to sleep with most women. Most men find a woman coming onto them, a woman saying “come into my bed” to be a very attractive proposition. And of course I am aware that if they are not receptive they are willing and able to decline and will do so. So I have nothing to lose. I control the situation and do so with the benefit of years of experience to let me know my actions are for the good of all involved.
Nature also lends a natural hand to the older-woman-younger-man pairing. Men’s sex drives and stamina are at their peak when men are in their late teens and 20s. Women’s libidos increase with age, often becoming stronger when women are in their 30, 40s, and beyond. So an older woman and a younger man are likely to be at similar places in the levels of their sex drives.
Women also make naturally good teachers and caretakers. An older woman can teach a younger man a thing or 20, both in and out of the bedroom. A woman can train a man, and the earlier she gets her hands on him the more easy he is to train. Alright, I suppose there is a fourth group I may rub the wrong way with this article – men who disagree with my philosophy. Oh well, cest la vie.
Like a predator chasing their prey, I enjoy the challenge and win of taking a younger lover. It is a rare but growing phenomenon for a younger man to go after an older woman. Nine times out of ten these exchanges occur because the woman, empowered and with the benefit of her years of experience, goes after her younger prey. The truth is, it is plain old fun. It is fun to flirt with a young man, to seduce him ala Mrs. Robinson, and to be victorious as you get what you were after.
These days Cougaring is a phenomenon. It may have started with Mrs. Robinson, but it didn’t end there. There are Demi and Ashton, Cameron and Justin, and Courtney Cox and David Arquette, to name a few. A modern TV schedule can include the shows Cougartown and Age of Love. American Pie brought us the concept of a MILF (Mom I’d Like to F%@*). It is a part of modern American culture, accepted if not revered.
Sometimes the Cougar-prey relationship is a sexual one only, sometimes it leads to long term relationships and even successful marriages. Each member of the pair brings something unique to the experience, and whether it ends with a one night stand or a story to tell the grand kids, it can be a beautiful thing.
It is a new opportunity for older women to be looked at in a positive way — sexually attractive at any age. We are turning the tables on the commonly held belief expressed by Marilyn Monroe when she sang “men grow cold as girls grow old, and we all lose our charms in the end.” Sean Connery and George Clooney have been growing more handsome for years. Times are changing and women now share the opportunity to grow more attractive with age.
I, for one, celebrate my Cougar-ness. I am proud of the power it brings out in me, of the art of the conquest, and of the pretty young thing on my arm. I enjoy how the dynamic turns the tables on what is expected and accepted in the sexual dynamic of the modern man and woman. I look up to the Cougars before me — to Samantha Jones and Blanche Devereaux — and I hope to inspire the Cougars that will follow in my wake. Go get ’em girls!