Confessions of a Cougar

cougarConfident and in control, thirty-something women are on the prowl for younger lovers.  Unafraid to say “don‘t call me, I’ll call you,”  you won’t often find them asking questions such as “Where is this going?” or “Do you love me?” that younger women tend to ask. Men find this irresistible.

Mrs. Robinson was the classic middle-aged seductress: sexy, experienced and seeking younger men. Commonly known as “cougars,” these older women are on the prowl for younger men and are no longer hiding those preferences. Today, there are older female celebrities, such as Demi Moore, flaunting their younger arm candy in public and new sitcoms such as “Cougar Town” flooding television programming. Even on a local level, the Del Mar Racetracks have celebrated the prevalence of cougar women by holding a Miss Cougar Del Mar contest this year. While cougars are becoming less of a taboo subject in mainstream society, many onlookers are still curious to what is behind the attraction between both parties.

“Older women are extremely attractive,” Valerie Gibson, author of “Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men,” said. “They own their own businesses, cars, condos and have their own life.” Gibson is a self-proclaimed cougar who said she “introduced the whole trend of cougars,” and has openly discussed why she thinks younger men love to date older women.

The world of cougars is very interesting; they are confident, in control, and unafraid to say “Don‘t call me, I’ll call you.” Also, you won’t often find them asking questions such as “Where is this going?” or “Do you love me?” that younger women tend to ask. Men find this irresistible, Gibson said. And of course, cougars are stereotyped as being a younger man’s fantasy because of their sexuality.

According to criminal justice junior Pat Gormley, who is currently dating an older woman, the appeal older women have is that they have more life experience. However, most guys he knows are attracted to them because they are more experienced sexually.

And Gibson was not opposed to the stereotype of being highly sexual. “Sexuality is something that is very strong with cougars,” Gibson said.

When asked if she had ever been under the impression that younger men had used her for sex or money she said they would never date older women for their money, but rather, for their sex.

“Of course they are using them for sex; that’s what they are there for,” Gibson said. She said that there is nothing wrong with being older and still wanting a sexual relationship. “It’s new they (older women) are blatantly saying they like sex. To say that you shouldn’t have sexuality after 40 is absolute rubbish … sexuality does not just jump off a cliff.”

But there is also another side to cougar relationships that can move beyond physical lust. Gibson was in a 15-year relationship with a man who was 14 years younger than her, and she said her relationship was like “any other relationship,” just with a larger age gap.

“The world of cougars is very interesting. They have life experience and good conversation they can share with a younger man and mature younger men love that,” Gibson said. “The cougar does not date every bozo … they like more sophisticated younger men; not all men can date an older woman,” Gibson said.

“Why guys go after older women is because they want to have a mature relationship with a mature woman,” Gormley said. “Guys also like to say they are dating an older woman … they seem older if they are dating a more mature woman.” He also said that his friends have a fantasy of being with a cougar but have never followed through with actually dating one.

Gibson also said that younger men are now chasing after the older women, not the other way around.

“In the past seven years, the trend is now driven by younger men; now the younger men adore you … go to a bar with a girlfriend, and they will swarm you,” Gibson said.

There are numerous Web sites gauged toward younger males who are attracted to older women that dish cougar dating advice, “cougar hunting” tips and even sell cougar apparel. While different people may have opposing perspectives on the age gap, it’s apparent that cougars are available and wanted by some younger men.

“Younger men fall madly in love with older women; it seems they are addicted and never want to go back,” Gibson said.