Sunday, January 18, 2009

To Cougar or Not to Cougar

Recently, when I was at the salon getting a haircut, I had an interesting conversation with my stylist, Paulette. Paulette is a few years younger than me at 33, and one assumes that she was one of those itty-bitty and full of cute and coolness kind of girls we all knew or knew of when we were in high school. Now that Paulette has had a couple of kids, a 15-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl, she has a more womanly shape and she has grown from being itty-bitty and cute to shapely and beautiful. Don’t you just want to hate her, but can’t because she is so very cool, and she’s a really nice woman, and she’s spectacular at her craft…this woman really knows how to cut some great hair. Anyway, while cutting my hair. Paulette, who is happily married, and I were talking about the pros and cons of dating once a woman reaches a certain age. That certain age is hard to define because it is different for each woman. Paulette thoughts were that at, 33 she is so happy to be married and to not have to deal with the dating pool of men available to women of a certain age in the DC Metro area.

Our topic of conversation was due to an experience Paulette had when she attended a friend’s girls only, 40th birthday drinks and dinner party at Mei N Yu. Mei N Yu is a popular and upscale restaurant of exotic ambiance in Georgetown, where women of a younger age go to see and be seen, and apparently it is also hunting grounds for young up and coming professional men who hunt for older women who have already made it to the top, and thus no longer worry about being seen, but venture out just to have a good time with their very best girlfriends. As I said, Paulette, a married and successful woman, was out with five of her very best girlfriends ranging in age from 33 to 41 to celebrate the 40th birthday of one of those best girlfriends. As she and her friends indulged their senses with cuisines of the Middle East, North Africa, and the Mediterranean, and as Paulette drank her Blushing Madame Martini, a well dressed, and we will assume well educated, much younger looking Clooney type of man approached Paulette and asked…..Do you cougar? Yes, as in verb, do you Cougar, not as in, noun, are you a Cougar, but verb, do you Cougar?

The question asked of Paulette by the very attractive, well educated, and much younger up and coming professional got me and Paulette to ponder the thought that unbeknown st to us, there are two types of Cougars; one who IS and one who DOES. We decided that the Cougar who IS, is a woman of at least 40 years of age who just happens to be in a relationship with a man who is at least eight years her junior, and the Cougar who DOES, is a woman who is of at least 40 years of age and who actively sports for younger men to just have fun with, thus they Cougar, they are not Cougars. We wondered why women fall into one of the two categories of Cougars; those who ARE and those who DO. What we discovered is there really is no set answer. The reason why one woman IS and one woman DOES, is as different as the women who fall under the two categories of “Cougar”.

Paulette and I found this new concept of two types of Cougars to be perplexing as we both wondered why women would choose to Cougar. It’s one thing to be a Cougar, one who just happens to be in a relationship with a younger man, and quite another to actively sport younger men. In general, women of a certain age are mentally strong, independent, financially secure, confidant, in control, and sexy in their own right, so why would such a woman seek out a less, mature, less successful, and less experienced younger man? Why do some women Cougar and others don’t?

A Cougar Hunter may argue that successful and in control women “Cougar” because of the female to male ratio. Here in the DC metro area that ratio is said to be 4-to-1. This approach is kind of cocky to me as it implies a lack of choice for women. It implies that women of a certain age must Cougar if they want to date because there are more men than there are women.

Those who “Cougar” on the other hand, may argue that the trend of “Cougaring” is due to an increased self-sufficiency of the fairer sex, and thus women no longer need to evaluate whether or not a man can provide and take care of them. This approach offers a much bigger pool of men that women can now choose from, and thus is more to my liking, as it offers choice to women. I think today’s woman of a certain age who ‘Cougars” does so by choice because she wants to “Cougar”, and not because she has to.

Male or female, one who "Cougars", or one who "Cougar Hunts" I would love to read your comments.


  1. Ok, here's your comment you wanted! I am a Cougar as you know, through no fault of my own. I never set out to find someone so much younger, but I have to admit something in me has always been drawn to men younger than myself. Perhaps it's because I'm just so very youthful looking myself ;) For women who DO Cougar, I think part of it is an ego boost--pretty awesome to have a much younger guy still think you're hot, when often times as you age, you wonder if you've still got it. Those are my two cents on the subject.

  2. Things that make you go hmmmmm.......I'm interested to read the thoughts on this too. I like the "self-sufficiency of the fairer sex" theory myself. I do think it just boils down to whatever floats your boat. Either way, actively cougaring or just a cougar, MORE POWER TO YA!


  3. PS. Why are women given such a predatory name such as "cougar" while our male counterparts are labeled "sugar daddy"?

  4. What a great idea for a blog topic...I am going to have to give this one some thought!

  5. Go ahead and "COUGAR" We as women often put ourselves in a box.The "BOX" being I like Taller, Wealthier,Thin,Athetic etc..Sometimes
    looking outside the box we find just what we never thought we would.If you don't try it you'll never know if it works for you or not.So go agead and "COUGAR" You still have half your life to live.Think outside the Box.