December 9, 2001 7:59 PM   Subscribe

Cougars: women in their thirties, forties, fifties, maybe even sixties, going after men a decade or three younger. This article says they're a new phenomenon, and a Canadian (in fact, Torontonian) one at that. Surely not?
posted by Badmichelle (20 comments total)
I know people don't like links from Salon, but I'm not sure whether or not Nerve is out of bounds.
posted by Badmichelle at 8:00 PM on December 9, 2001

Make no mistake: leopard skin suits actually happen in these places. Many of them. Often accompanied by rhinestones.
posted by Succa at 8:26 PM on December 9, 2001

The whole cougar thing is definitely happening in Vancouver too, though I have no idea where it started.
posted by pascal at 8:50 PM on December 9, 2001

Whether or not it's an accurate descriptor, "Cougar" is a really stupid name. Especially when it's repeated 50 times.
posted by ookamaka at 9:12 PM on December 9, 2001

I know of a bar (Old Chicago's) in London, Ontario that has a "cougar" reputation. The single guys in my office (25-35 years of age) know well enough to stay away, unless they are just desperate for some "mature loving".
The term "cougar" seems pretty new to me. I don't remember being warned of "cougars" when I was 25 (and single), but 5 years later I'm hearing all my single friends tell stories of "being hunted by cougars".
posted by Grum at 9:12 PM on December 9, 2001

My mother has been living for twenty years with a man two years older than I am.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 9:44 PM on December 9, 2001

How to survive a cougar attack.

I'm from Vancouver, and "cougar" is a common slang term. It's funny -- I always assumed, like most other slang terms, that it started somewhere outside of Canada (ie the states). Does anyone know the origins of this term?

posted by kaefer at 10:22 PM on December 9, 2001

Does age really matter? That's my question.
posted by trioperative at 10:58 PM on December 9, 2001

They are full-figured and dolled up in open blouses, push up bras, bustiers — outfits whose singular intention seems to be to say, "I have boobs." Acid-washed jeans are also de rigueur, and almost no one has denied herself the possibilities of hair bleach, teasing and spray. It's cougar night, all right, and they're out — many even wearing leopard skin.

And they are getting lucky? With younger men? Edith Prickley?
posted by pracowity at 11:26 PM on December 9, 2001

All cats are grey in the dark.
posted by allaboutgeorge at 12:16 AM on December 10, 2001

> My mother has been living for twenty years with a man
> two years older than I am.

Your slacker brother doesn't count, Steven. This is about sex. (I'll explain it offline if you're interested.)
posted by pracowity at 12:44 AM on December 10, 2001

I think it's passed from regional slang to fad, especially with the publication of a (Canadian-market only, so far) Cougar dating guide ...

As for origins, I swear a number of years ago there was a senior-citizens lobbying group, perhaps just local, called COUGARS.

In any case, some quick googling seems to turn up little but Canuck sources.
posted by dhartung at 1:04 AM on December 10, 2001

While "fifties, even sixties" is unusual, how is "thirties" or even [early] "forties" an age for cougardom? Although I'm pretty much only attracted women in my age range of late-20's, when I was 24 I dated a 34-year-old co-worker who was pretty dang hot to me even then. I know 35-40 year old men who lurk around trying to pick up college chicks who are looking for a man more mature and well-off financially than college boys, which I find to be super- creepy (way too "Lolita" for me). While I'd find a woman in her late 40's or 50's likely way too old and unattractive, I just don't get how 30's got lumped into the cougar range- it just seems way to young to call a "cougar".

And to all of this, we shouldn't be too grossed out- how many fuckin' movies have we had to suffer through with Clint Eastwood or Jack Nicholson having some perky blond woman half his geriatric age as a love interest?
posted by hincandenza at 1:18 AM on December 10, 2001

So when a 55 year old CEO dumps his first wife and picks up his trophy wife, that's okay, but if a 55 year old woman goes out to meet a younger man, suddenly it is all about her looking old and being described as kind of pathetic and desperate? I am confused.
posted by kristin at 6:55 AM on December 10, 2001

He looks pathetic and desperate, too, especially if he's also buying that first convertible and so on.

But leopard skin? The only people, male or female, who can get away with wearing that sort of thing are people who look so good that you look through their clothes, or try to. There aren't many of them, and most of them are about 18 to 25 years old.
posted by pracowity at 8:13 AM on December 10, 2001

women in their thirties, forties, fifties, maybe even sixties, going after men a decade or three younger.

Let's just hope that no women in their thirties are going after men three decades younger.

I've never heard this term "Cougar" applied to cradle-robbin' women, but, then again, here in Washington State the term "Cougar" is used almost exclusively to mean (a) a person from Washington State University, or (b) an actual honest-to-god cougars, of which we have plenty.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 9:42 AM on December 10, 2001

Where I grew up, there was a bar about a half-mile from my house. When we drove by, sometimes my parents would say things like "Menopause-heaven is hopping tonight". It wasn't until I was older that I realized how funny that was... so it's not exactly a new practice.
posted by tj at 9:58 AM on December 10, 2001

Younger Men, Older Women: "What do Madonna, Raquel Welch, Terry McMillan, Mary Tyler Moore, Susan Sarandon, Goldie Hawn and Cher all have in common? Besides power and/or beauty and fame, they're all romantically involved with men who are much younger than they are."
posted by Carol Anne at 10:59 AM on December 10, 2001

Who cares? Men have been doing this since the dawn of time. Of course our sexist society says that if men do it, it's just fine and dandy. If women do it, it's deviant behavior.

Yes folks, women actually like to get laid too.
posted by zeb vance at 11:15 AM on December 10, 2001

Hey - my wife is ten years older than I am. I never really thought about it being much of an issue. And I went after her - she didn't have any interest in dating a younger man at the time.
posted by rich at 11:24 AM on December 10, 2001

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