Cougars and Their Cubs: Older Ladies Dating Considerably Younger Guys. For most females, younger men — lots of them fifteen years or maybe more their juniors — certainly are a fit that is natural.

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

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Annette Wheeler* didn’t remember the precise minute she first heard the word “cougar,” but she did keep in mind dashing to her computer to appear it. To her surprise and bemusement, there is a brand new term to explain exactly exactly exactly what she have been doing the majority of her life — dating younger guys.

For several ladies, more youthful men — lots of them 15 years or maybe more their juniors — certainly are a fit that is natural.

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

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

For Wheeler as well as other females them 15 years or more their juniors — are a natural fit like her, younger men — many of. Boomer women can be searching more youthful and feeling a lot better than ever. Widowed, separated, or divorced, a number that is growing teenagers for dating and companionship. And since males have already been dating more youthful ladies for a long time, exactly why are numerous of us surprised — shocked, even — that females would follow suit?

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Confessions of the Cougar

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Valerie Gibson, composer of Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger guys, is all too knowledgeable about this dual standard. The cougar that is self-proclaimed her first guide in the topic — Younger guys: how to locate 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 a stir that is awful and never an excellent one. Individuals were horrified. These were definitely horrified that older ladies must be sex with more youthful guys.”

Whenever most of us think “cougar,” we visualize the best cougar associated with giant screen: The Graduate’s famous, martini-sipping Mrs. Robinson. These times, real-life cougars are stars like Demi Moore (whom, in her 40s, hitched then-twenty-something heartthrob Ashton Kutcher), the coiffed reality-show cast associated with 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 relationships that are age-spanning.

“It’s definitely considered creepier for females 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 having a 40-year-old girl, rather than a 70-year-old girl heading out by having a 40-year-old guy? a woman that is 70-year-old away by having a 40-year-old man is recognized as creepy.”

Why the double standard? Smith figured it comes down down to science: “It most likely has one thing related to the concentration for the types on procreation,” she quipped.

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

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

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

The research claimed that the breakup price now, whenever compared with when cougars had been hitched some 25 years back, has added towards the level of solitary, 50+ females, reported to be “on the prowl” in today’s dating pool.

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