The definition of a cougar from therealcougarwoman.com states:
“She is style, she is grace, she is smart, she is a leader. She has worked hard, learned a lot and excelled at whatever she chose to do. She doesn’t ever have to apologize for being successful – she has earned her stripes.”
Then there is the definition that everything2.com gives us:
“…a woman over the age of 35 who is single or divorced (the more times, the better) who seeks out younger males for sex. Cougars can be tacky women with big hair and loud mouths or they can be graceful and eloquent. Either way, their attraction to younger men is always apparent in their social habits and body language.”
Hmmm. Let’s work with that last one, shall we?
Last week, my husband and I decided to go out and have a couple of drinks at a local bar/restaurant that we are fond of. We decided to go out early and get home before the weekend Happy Hour craziness began. After a microbrew beer for him and an appletini for me, a shared plate of killer chicken wings, and some humorous conversation, we headed back out for home. On our way to the car, we passed a couple on their way to the entrance. The guy seemed to be in his late 20’s, decent shape, nicely dressed. The woman looked in her mid 40’s, good body with tight clothes outdated hairstyle and a little too much makeup. After we got in our vehicle, my husband turned to me and said, “Check her out, she’s a cougar just like you.” WTF?
I do not hide the fact that I’m older than my husband. It’s just a little over five years. When we met, I was 30 and he was just about to turn 25. He acted older, I acted my age, so it all balanced out. Of course when we talk about our school days he gets his kicks by joking that when I was picking up my diploma, he was picking up his Scooby Doo lunchbox. Ha ha, real funny. Fast forward to now with me being in my early 40’s and him being in his mid 30’s. That’s like no big whoop at this stage in our life. Now I act younger, he still acts older. I think I’ve even managed to take care of myself so I can pull off looking younger than him too. I’m not sure if that thrills him completely, but hey… it works for me. I often thought that because I was a mom who looked good and younger than she actually was, I would be thought of more as a “MILF” than a cougar. After being skeeved out when my nephew—eight years younger than me—said one of his friends referred to me as a MILF, I processed it a bit and then took it as a compliment. Especially as I made my way through my 30’s. Then somewhere along the way, this cougar thing came to life.
I’m sure there were many others, but the most famous cougar portrayed on screen was in the infamous movie, The Graduate. “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?” Oh yes she was, and oh yes she did. The way cougars are portrayed on TV is not flattering, especially when I think the most well-known cougar of my day was Blanche from “The Golden Girls”. When I think of a woman who is a cougar, I get a vision of some lady who looks like my late Aunt Gail, a bleached blonde, 50 year-old alcoholic who, when I was younger, would get frisky on gin and tonics and grab young waiters’ butts when we went out to dinner with her and my parents. Now I know why we didn’t go out with Aunt Gail much. The thought of me reaching the age where I was in the same category as Blanche and Aunt Gail made me a little queasy. Maybe it was the backlash of the wings I had ate, but I doubt it.
Hollywood’s selection of cougars ranges from tolerable to terrible. Let’s take the well-known gossip source TMZ for example. A few of their featured cougars include: Sophia Loren (age 73); Kim Cattrall (age 52); Demi Moore (age 45); Christy Brinkley (age 54); and Bo Derek (age 51). Most of those names are of stars that I grew up watching—clothed and naked. I remember when Bo Derek came out in the movie “10”. I was young and she was old THEN. Now, according to the cougar fad AND my husband, I’m in the same category as her? Being on the same level as Demi or Teri Hatcher is something I can almost handle. Being on the same level as Sophia Loren or Cher is wrong on so many levels.
I guess it’s an age thing. Twenty- to thirty-year olds can be MILFS. And a MILF can be married or single. They dress in chic, stylin’ clothes and drive a super-shiny SUV known as “the MILF-mobile”. The cougar is someone older and single, with their ages generally beginning around the mid- to late forties. They drive cars like a Lexus and dress in slinky outfits. From what I’m reading, she also seems to be really horny too. Maybe she is looking for someone with energy and stamina because she’s tired of guys her age acting like lumpy couch potatoes. As long as I can remember, older women would often joke about how they needed a “boy toy” during their mid-life crisis. In case you don’t know, a “boy toy” is a younger guy who would stroke a woman’s ego and was fun the play with when they got bored. The newest star to the cougar club, Hulk Hogan’s ex-wife Linda, is 49 and her boy toy is 19. He’s not even old enough to drink! He is old enough, however, to not be considered a felony.
This epidemic has created all sorts of cougar-friendly websites. There are those for the self-proclaimed cougar looking a Viagra-free hunk to inject some fun and excitement in her life. Then there are the cougar hunters that either want to experience the older-woman fantasy or flat-out want a sugar mama to finance their cell phone and Xbox habits. There are no lessons involved for the cougars when it comes to finding a younger man. Why? Because they obviously have had A LOT of experience picking up men in general and do not need any “How To” tips. Young studs on the other hand have to do a little research because there is a big difference between how a cougar wants to be stimulated—physically and mentally—and what a girl his age wants. This is a whole new dating arena. Cougar-seekers need to be taught the difference between a “true” cougar and a hot older chick that has a jealous husband waiting to kick his ass. Where to find a cougar doesn’t change though. Bars and on-line dating services are still the most popular. Blind dates, however, happen almost never. Not many twenty-something girls offer to set their mom up with their boyfriend’s younger brother. Eww, that’s just gross. A possible porno scenario, but still gross.
After I did my research on cougars, I informed my husband unless we became divorced and/or I became desperate, I will not allow myself to be considered as a member of this growing prowler population. I will hold my ground as the neighborhood MILF for as long as possible. I will continue to wear my fun form-fitting jeans, stylish tops, cool boots, and sparkly-yet-tasteful makeup. I will borrow my teenage-daughter’s clothing whenever possible. I will refuse to look my age and lie about it to anyone who might believe me. I will nominate any supermarket cashier for “Employee Of The Month” if they ask for my I.D. when I buy beer. But to be considered a cougar? Nope, not me. The closest thing I’ll get to being a cougar is wearing a light brown, faux-fur jacket with the purse to match.