Older Women on the Prowl: Are 'Cougars' Just an Urban Legend?

Sasha Brown-Worsham
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She is on the TV, in movies, in celebrity rags, and part of our cultural lexicon. She is the "cougar."

And she is hot, indeed.

For those not in the know, a cougar is an older woman, usually in her 40s, who consciously goes on a "hunt" for a younger man. And, according to Michael Dunn, psychology researcher at the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff, she simply does not exist.

Dunn has just released a study claiming that the cougar craze -- something we see on TV with the show Cougar Town -- is a "myth."

After examining the age preferences expressed in 22,400 singles ads on popular dating websites in North America, Europe, Australia, and Japan, he found no sizable cohort of women seeking younger men.

Although many women are up in arms about the study, I, for one, can see his point. Because why would any woman actually want a younger man?

I'm not impugning the sexual prowess of older women. More power to them if they feel sexy and attractive and can attract any man. No doubt I'm more and more sexual as I age.

I have just always liked an older man.

My first serious boyfriend was eight years older than me and I once dated a man who was about 30 years older than me. In fact, I can understand why a younger man might like an older woman -- she is smart, confident, wise, and together in ways we younger women are often not.

I also like to feel protected and older men are more mature and appreciative. Younger men always seemed clueless about social niceties and fashion and basically everything that matters. When I started dating my husband (who is my age), I was slightly horrified by the hot pockets he microwaved every night for dinner and his dirty sheets. We were 22 then, but I'm fairly certain that if he dated a woman now, a decade later, he would have clean sheets and eat semi-presentable dinners.

He has learned much in the 10 years we have been together.

I also find him more attractive now. Sure, his body isn't quite the same as it was at 23 (and neither is mine), but he's a little more weathered now, which is a look I like. I dig the laugh lines and the stubble. He also has learned a few things as he's aged, things like:

  • Brooks Brothers is a can't-fail place to shop.
  • Paying more for a haircut often means a better haircut

If I were ever on the dating market again, there is no way I would consider going for men in their 20s. Men in their 30s and 40s are just way too hot.

What do you think? Would you date a younger guy?


Image via KRO-Media/Flickr

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