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Cougars and Their Cubs: Older Ladies Dating Notably Young Guys

by Jessica Leshnoff | Comments: 0

*Editor’s note: Names of a few of the interviewees have already been changed for privacy.

Annette Wheeler* didn’t remember the moment that is exact first heard the word “cougar,” but she did keep in mind dashing to her computer to appear it. To her surprise and bemusement, there was clearly a new term to explain exactly what she was indeed doing almost all of her life — dating younger guys.

For all females, younger men — lots of them fifteen years or higher their juniors — are a natural fit.

Wheeler, a redhead that is fiery lives outside Baltimore, leaned right back in her own seat and sighed. “i enjoy younger men,” the 60-year-old purred. “I liked more youthful dudes even if I happened to be in senior high school — like a or two younger year. I became a cougar before there have been cougars.”

Certainly, Wheeler’s pre-marriage and post-divorce dating history reads like a screenplay that is steamy. She listed a sequence of teenage boys with who she had different relationships, periodically punching figures into a calculator to ascertain age distinctions she had never ever considered into the first place. She never ever analyzed her attraction to more youthful men (or their attraction to her), however with “cougar” an increasingly popular term utilized to explain older women dating much younger men, her longtime preference is unexpectedly when you look at the limelight.

For Wheeler along with other females like her, more youthful men — lots of them fifteen years or maybe more their juniors — are an all natural fit. Boomer ladies are searching more youthful and feeling much better than ever. Widowed, separated, or divorced, a growing number look for teenagers for dating and companionship. And since males have already been dating more youthful females for a long time, exactly why are numerous of us surprised — shocked, even — that females would follow suit?

Love and Sex

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Confessions of a Cougar

Valerie Gibson, composer of Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating young guys, is all too knowledgeable about this standard that is double. The cougar that is self-proclaimed her first guide regarding the topic — Younger guys: where to find Them, Date Them, Mate Them, and Marry Them — 14 years back, “and let me make it clear something,” she said in a whisper. “It caused an awful stir — and never a great one. Everyone was horrified. These people were definitely horrified that older females must certanly be sex that is having younger guys.”

Whenever a lot of us think “cougar,” we visualize the greatest cougar associated with silver screen: The Graduate’s renowned, 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 for the genuine Housewives of Orange County, and, yes, everyday women — suburbanites and city-slickers alike.

While there’s no denying that cougars are slinking to the main-stream, there’s still a component of taboo surrounding these age-spanning relationships.

“It’s definitely considered creepier for ladies to venture out with more youthful men,” admitted Junie Smith*, a cougar that is 52-year-old lives on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. “For a 70-year-old man to venture out with a 40-year-old girl, in place of a 70-year-old girl venturing out with a 40-year-old man? A woman that is 70-year-old away with a 40-year-old man is regarded as creepy.”

Why the standard that is double? Smith figured it comes down right down to science: “It most likely has something related to the concentration regarding the types on procreation,” she quipped.

All notions that are scientific, older females go for more youthful males for similar reasons that older men choose younger women.

“The mindset of experiencing a youthful person on your supply whom enables you to feel great, whom allows you to feel ageless, enables you to feel desired and desirable,” Gibson said.

An astonishing 34 per cent of females over 40 are dating more youthful males, relating to a 2003 study. The poll that is same which surveyed 3,500 solitary individuals (both males and females) aged 40 to 69 years old, unearthed that 56 % are currently divided or divorced from a spouse, 31 per cent have not been hitched, and seven in 10 (74 percent) of previously hitched singles inside their 50s have already been solitary for 5 years or even more.