I call myself an Accidental Cougar, because it’s exactly what it feels like. I didn’t seek this out. I never thought I would become a 40-year-old woman trolling for younger men. Although I think the term “Cougar” is inaccurate as in my case, I’m hardly predatory. In fact, the young ones usually come to me. I have been a wimp when it comes to dating since as long as I can remember. Any time I’ve gone outside my comfort zone and tried to be aggressive with men, the results have been disastrous. I’m just not good at it. So I guess I’m younger man bait, but not exactly a cougar.
Many younger men seek out a liaison or even a relationship with an older woman. Most 22-year-old women might demand more time with their partners. Whereas a more mature gal might actually desire significant personal space. Most women past 40 would also not rush into a major commitment right off the bat, or could prefer a more casual relationship. A cougar would probably be more mellow, calm and less likely to flip out over something that might upset a younger cub. Of course there are exceptions as there are plenty of immature women in their mid-forties and up and even-keeled emotionally grounded 23 -year-olds. There really are no rules here, as people don’t necessarily grow emotionally as they age. But the perception by many young men is: older women know what they want and are less of a hassle. That’s at least what I’ve heard from any number of them.
Some younger men have issues with their mother, and openly seek a more maternal relationship with a partner. While others view a more emotionally complex middle-aged woman as a greater conquest. And of course, for some the appeal is the sexual experience of a woman who has been having sex, longer than they have been alive.
I view the dating game as a totally different beast than I did when I was younger. At 25, if an obvious player type hit me up, he would be instantly cast aside as a lecherous pig. Now, I size him up – he might be a lecherous pig, but is he attractive? Will I get bragging rights? Can I show him off to my friends? As I’ve often said many times on this blog, I would rather have an honest devil than a lying phony saint. So I’ll take the admitted man whore for a few spins around the block, as long as I know everything’s above-board. Afterward I will be sharing my exploits at the next girl’s brunch, or BBQ with my married friends. Once you hit a certain age, it’s difficult to tell who’s the hunter, and who’s the prey.
It’s not to say that all younger men are nefarious lotharios, or good for nothing but sex. A close friend of mine has had a long-term committed relationship with a man 16 years her junior now for nearly three years. Another has been happily married to a man 14 years younger than her, for over a decade. Age and maturity are relative. At this point in my life, I feel like I almost don’t have an option anymore. Most men in the 35-45 age range are one of four things: married, in a serious committed relationship, crushed from a breakup/divorce or confirmed bachelors. It’s just so rare when I have an age-appropriate man even approach me.
Yesterday for my article about online dating profiles I had to re-start my defunct OKCupid account. I wanted to search through as many names as possible to get the best sample. I knew when I did this that OKCupid would treat my account as if it was brand new, and promote it heavily. My inbox overflowed, I got over 87 emails in a 24 hour period.
Here is how the ages broke down.
- (Ages 20-25) 17 or 19% of the Total
- (Ages 26-30) 34 or 39% of the Total
- (Ages 31-35) 14 or 16% of the Total
- (Ages 36-40) 4 or 4.5% of the Total (10 minus 6 who didn’t live in NYC or were not single)
- (Ages 41-45) 5 or 5.7% of the Total (12 minus 7 who didn’t live in NYC or were not single)
- (Ages 45-62) 6 or 6.9% of the Total (10 minus 4 who didn’t live in NYC or were not single)
The largest group of me to send me emails were 10-14 years younger than me, the second largest group was 15 years or younger than me. The two groups totaled 51 men or 58% of the total amount of emails . When I subtracted the men who didn’t live in NYC from the 36-45 age group I was left with only 11 men. I removed the men who didn’t live in NYC from the older categories as they didn’t even live in NY state. Some lived as far away as Italy, the UK and Spain. I also omitted men who openly admitted to being married, or in a committed relationship. There were some non-single men like this in the younger groups but their numbers weren’t significant to count.
I indicated on my profile that I’m seeking men ages 30-45, but that didn’t seem to stop 51 men from making a go for me. So am I a predatory cougar? It looks instead like a lot of younger men couldn’t care less about my age and are just as predatory and aggressive with me as they would be with women their own age.
The creepiest email of the day ironically came from a 36 year man who simply said.
“I would love to come over and videotape you”
He didn’t indicate what he wanted to video tape me doing. Maybe I should have offered to clean my bathroom, or my cat’s litterbox – but then someone probably has a fetish for exactly that activity and the next thing I know I would be on a kitty litter cleaning porn site.
Admittedly, I look very young for my age. Everyone in my family including both of my parents seem to have some magical youth gene. Most people think I’m in my late twenties. My youthful appearance might have skewed my results somewhat, but my age is very clearly indicated on my profile. It seems most men don’t give a f*ck, at least not on a dating website. If they are looking to have children or a long-term committed relationship the age difference might mean much more to them, but if they are trolling for ass online, age seems to matter very little.
The 35-45 age group of single men is still as elusive to me as a well-paying steady job with health insurance. In theory such a thing exists, but I have no idea how to get it.
- Why Is She a Cougar, and He Is a Pervert? (rydethewave.com)
- Beware of Cougars on the Prowl (abcnews.go.com)
- Dating Online: What’s in a Name? (julietjeskeblog.com)
- John Blumenthal: ‘Why Are Guys Labeled Dirty Old Men And Women Cougars?’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Top 10 Reasons to Date a Cougar (sixtyandsingleagain.wordpress.com)
- Why is it so Difficult to Date in Your Late Thirties? (julietjeskeblog.com)
- Dating Online Nice Guys of OKCupid: Why It’s Horrible (julietjeskeblog.com)
- Dating Online: Some of the Worst Profiles Yet (julietjeskeblog.com)
- Dating Online: The Super Negative Profile (julietjeskeblog.com)
- Dating After Divorce: Bad Boys & Psycho Bitches (julietjeskeblog.com)
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