*EditorвЂ™s note: Names of a number of the interviewees have now been changed for privacy.
Annette Wheeler* didnвЂ™t remember the precise minute she first heard the word вЂњcougar,вЂќ but she did keep in mind dashing to her computer to check it. To her surprise and bemusement, there clearly was a term that is new explain exactly exactly just what she was in fact doing almost all of her life вЂ” dating younger males.
For several females, more youthful men вЂ” lots of them 15 years or maybe more their juniors вЂ” certainly are a normal fit.
Wheeler, a fiery redhead whom lives outside Baltimore, leaned straight back in her own seat and sighed. вЂњi enjoy younger men,вЂќ the 60-year-old purred. вЂњI liked more youthful dudes even if I happened to be in senior school вЂ” like a couple of years more youthful. I became a cougar before there have been cougars.вЂќ
Certainly, WheelerвЂ™s pre-marriage and post-divorce dating history reads like a steamy screenplay. She listed a sequence of teenage boys with who she had different relationships, sometimes punching figures right into a calculator to ascertain age differences she had never ever considered within the place that is first. She never ever analyzed her attraction to more youthful males (or their attraction to her), however with вЂњcougarвЂќ a ever more popular term utilized to explain older women dating much younger men, her longtime preference is unexpectedly within the limelight.
For Wheeler along with other ladies like her, more youthful men вЂ” lots of them 15 years or even more their juniors вЂ” are an all natural fit. Boomer women can be searching more youthful and feeling much better than ever. Widowed, separated, or divorced, a number that is growing teenagers for dating and companionship. And since guys have already been dating more youthful ladies for a long time, exactly why are many of us surprised вЂ” shocked, even вЂ” that females would follow suit?
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Confessions of the Cougar
Valerie Gibson, writer of Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating young guys, is all too knowledgeable about this dual standard. The self-proclaimed cougar had written her first book regarding the topic вЂ” Younger guys: where to find Them, Date Them, Mate Them, and Marry Them вЂ” 14 years back, вЂњand let me make it clear something,вЂќ she said in a whisper. вЂњIt caused a stir that is awful rather than a beneficial one. Individuals were horrified. These were positively horrified that older ladies must be sex that is having more youthful males.вЂќ
Whenever most of us think вЂњcougar,вЂќ we visualize the greatest cougar regarding the silver screen:
The GraduateвЂ™s famous, martini-sipping Mrs. Robinson. These times, real-life cougars are stars like Demi Moore (whom, inside her 40s, hitched then-twenty-something heartthrob Ashton Kutcher), the coiffed reality-show cast of this genuine Housewives of Orange County, and, yes, everyday women вЂ” suburbanites and city-slickers alike.
While thereвЂ™s no denying that cougars are slinking to the main-stream, thereвЂ™s ebonyflirt what is still a component of taboo surrounding these relationships that are age-spanning.
вЂњItвЂ™s definitely considered creepier for females to venture out with more youthful men,вЂќ admitted Junie Smith*, a 52-year-old cougar whom lives on ManhattanвЂ™s Lower East Side. вЂњFor a 70-year-old man to venture out having a 40-year-old girl, in place of a 70-year-old girl heading out having a guy that is 40-year-old?
a woman that is 70-year-old away with a 40-year-old man is known as creepy.вЂќ
Why the double standard? Smith figured it comes down down to science: вЂњIt most likely has one thing related to the concentration for the types on procreation,вЂќ she quipped.