Why Young Men Love Cougars (and vice versa)

15 Feb

Dear Blunt Monkey,

I’m 20 years old and I’m dating a girl who’s 33. At first it was really cool…she loves to do things for me, she’s really chill, and she never cared if we were “officially” boyfriend/girlfriend. But now she wants to make our relationship more official and my friends think I should find someone my own age. Is this all normal? What should I do? – Dave, Los Angeles

Since the beginning of time—or at least since the theatrical release of Harold and Maude—young men have all too often found themselves in the razor sharp clutches of older women, whom pop culture affectionately refers to as “cougars.” Now technically, Dave is dating a ‘puma,’ because she is under 40. But let’s not split cat hairs. Aside from a few extra wrinkles and maybe a divorce, they’re basically the same thing…cougars are defined less by their own age and more by the age of their younger male cohorts. So I’m just going to refer to all single women dating guys 7+ years younger as cougars from here on out.

In the past decade, cougar culture has become rather en vogue. Ashton Kutcher hasn’t contributed much to the world in the way of quality acting, but he did contribute something important to the world of dating: He and his she-cat Demi Moore made cougar relations cool again. But is it for everyone? And why does it happen?

First, let’s explore briefly why men and women get together at all. Historically, the main reason is to reproduce. But that can be accomplished in a matter of hours, or if you’re me, minutes.

Why we continue to hang out beyond that brief act of reproduction is the nature of every relationship. Our female ancestors of 100,000 years ago were prone to getting knocked up, what with the lack of birth control pills and condoms. I mean, they hadn’t even invented ‘pulling out’ yet. Thus women needed the help of men in ancient times to assist them with the burdens of the pregnancy that followed intercourse—they needed help to get food; to protect them from animal predators as well as other men; and to tell them “No, I don’t think you look fat in that maternity bear skin.” Men, conversely, needed to help women do all these things to ensure their offspring survived birth and beyond. It’s a win-win situation that works all through nature.

But as with all creatures, these relationships aren’t random. The highest quality women chose the highest quality men. That leaves mediocre looking chicks to take their pick of mediocre guys, and ugly chicks to rummage through the scraps for whatever they can find. (Or “last call,” as we barflies refer to it).

Which brings me to the cougar/cub dynamic. Times have changed; modern women don’t always need or want guys to take care of them, and guys often want nothing to do with baby-making. But some things never change, and the things we found attractive as cave men and women still resonate in our hearts today. The best chicks still get with the best guys. For women, that’s the most beautiful girl who is of child bearing age, but young enough to ensure she’s still got a lot of childbearing years ahead of her. In other words, a really hot 18-year old. For the guy, it should be a male at his peak ability to provide and protect, whether he’s hunting mammoths or managing hedge funds. In either case, we’re basically talking about a rich 35-year old. Yes, yes, of course, there are lots of exceptions. That’s not to say that a woman can’t be hot past age 18, or that a man can’t be attractive if he’s not rich, or that other things like sense of humor, intelligence, and good abs don’t come into play. But generally, this is how it works. In fact, when women say “Girls mature faster than boys,” what they really mean is “You ain’t getting this poon till you’re older and rich!” Sorry everyone: nature’s rules, not mine.

Well, as you might expect, the older guys pilfering the younger ranks of the hottest women leaves something of a quandary for the young men of the world. Girls their own age are dating older men; and they can’t date younger girls without breaking the law. So by process of elimination they sometimes match up with older women, women who missed their shot to grab a husband in their 20s, or who did, and then got divorced, and now find themselves thrust back into the jungle. Enter the Cougar.

She’s hot. Years of being single have forced her to stay on her toes when it comes to looking good. In addition, the lack of a male provider has required her to stay actively employed well into her 30s, so she’s probably attained a level of career success that has afforded her above average confidence, experience, and money. And you can understand how this attractive older woman, with class and smarts and money, simply can’t understand why she has been unable to land a good man (and there are so many reasons! But that’s another subject).

So, in a fit of desperation, she decides to give up and just have fun. They all say that. Older men and younger girls, eh? Well now it’s time for some revenge. As the song Conquest says: “The hunted became the huntress; the hunter became the prey.” Convinced that “love is not for her” and that “if men can do it, why can’t women?” she embarks on an era of romantic and sexual liberation.

She sees her prey across the bar…young, handsome, and naïve. She glares at him with those lustful eyes that are creepy in a man but intoxicating in a woman. She chats him up. Twenty-one year old guys haven’t been in that many bars in their life; thirty-five year old women have been in far too many. The advantage is hers. She pulls him away from his young friends, who offer him shocked hi-fives as he’s whisked into her Lexus SUV.

At first, everything is simple. The sex is fun, the terms are loose, and nobody minds a drunken text message a week later to get together and do it again. This can go on for weeks, months even. The girl gets all that uninhibited lovemaking she passed on in her twenties with a cute young hunk…just as she reaches her sexual peak, as it turns out. And the guy gets to sew some wild oats, with a partner happy to nurture him in a variety of ways, not only sexually. Remember, cougars have a lot of pent up energy that was meant to be devoted to husbands and children. Thus the cougar is happy to spend money, cook meals, buy alcohol…in her young lover, she has found a way to fill the holes (ahem) created by not having a family of her own.

But good things are not always meant to last. The most common lie a man will tell a woman is that he wants a relationship. The most common lie told by a woman is that she doesn’t. And that’s what’s going on here. Eventually, inevitably, Ms. Cougar starts to develop feelings for her young companion. Was she wrong? Maybe everyone does find love! Oh sure, people will talk about his age…but who cares! I can make this work! It’s not too late!

Then begins the chaffing on our young cub’s part. The casual sex and fancy home-cooked dinners were nice…at her place. Can’t exactly bring this girl home to mom. She basically is a mom. Plus those evolutionary instincts kick in for both parties…does this chick even have enough eggs left to fulfill my reproductive needs? Men want to bang everything that moves, populating the countryside with their offspring. Cougars want to adopt a baby girl from China. And is this guy going to be able to provide you with everything you need as a woman? You didn’t wait thirty-five years for marriage to hook up with a college drop-out who wants to smoke weed and play Call of Duty all day.

In the end, Cougar/Cub relationships are like bowling leagues: a fun idea at first, then sorta boring, and if you make a long-term commitment to it, just plain embarrassing. Both sexes outgrow the phase: young men come into their own by 30 or so, feel like settling down, and pair back up with more youthful partners. Older women discover it’s not too late to play by nature’s rules…they realize that spending the rest of their lives single isn’t going to be fun, and that by adjusting their expectations they can still find love. In other words, in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, women go from wanting Prince Charming to Freddie Prinze Jr. and finally just Freddie the Accountant Next Door.

So Dave, I give you and your older lover each the same piece of advice: If it’s fun, keep doing it, until it isn’t. Nature will sort out the rest. In the end, everybody winds up with somebody. Except Jennifer Aniston.

Have a question? Email it to askbluntmonkey@gmail.com

32 Responses to “Why Young Men Love Cougars (and vice versa)”

  1. robyne July 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    very interesting observations, blunt. for some coupgars, tho, there is hope. i married my husband when he was 21 and i was 30. we passed our 25th anniversary last december.

    • robyne July 19, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

      i mean cougars. dang these old fingers!

    • afarasati July 19, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

      wow! congrats. you’re a cougar role model!

      • robyne September 8, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

        lol, just saw this! *thumbs up*

    • Louise Crowder Moyeda December 10, 2012 at 11:21 am #

      wow that’s great..u give me hope for a relationship I’m about to start..I’m a little scared..but if I pass it up..I might miss something wonderful..thanks again for sharing this 🙂

      • sarin November 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

        hi mam! how r u doing

    • meCHEL August 4, 2013 at 12:17 am #

      CONGRATS! That’s lovely news…well, I’ve always thought someone of my age or younger shouldn’t be for me. Then I met my first sweetheart 16 months ago, my precious 5 years’ younger darling continues doing sweet things like cooking for me while i only help with the dish-washing…

      • Anonymous August 4, 2013 at 1:40 am #

        Muahhhh! :*

  2. TAM April 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm #


    • afarasati April 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

      Congrats! You are the exception to the rule. Keep on truckin’!

  3. Rebecca July 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    Hi there. I enjoyed your article even though I disagree with parts of it. I don’t think women are lying when they say they don’t want relationships. I especially do not want one and often send my cubs packing because they approach the subject when I’m not ready to make the move. On the other hand, most of the younger men I’ve been involved with have wanted and pushed for a relationship with me. I’ve found a good comprise in a 26 year old who respects my need for a lot of space, comes around on regular intervals but not too regular of intervals, and only contacts me by phone when absolutely necessary, unlike the other younger men I’ve dated who will blow up my phone on the hour because “they wanted to hear my voice.” I’m happy this way and it seems to work for both of us.

    • afarasati August 2, 2012 at 2:08 am #

      You have clearly cast a strong cougar spell on your younger lovers. Glad you’ve found a happy middle ground. 26 is the new 21! Have fun!

  4. christienah August 19, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    Where I come from the very young men are adament for marriage. The young girls their age have no class and refuse to settle down, so the young men seek out those who are ready. It is no laughing matter here. It is not about sex like this article implies although no doubt there are those cases. What I am highlighting is the fact that true love is also on the plate here so to speak. Young women are losing their husbands or maybe perhaps they really prefer the older men.

    Whatever, I am 36 woman married to a 24 year old man. He loves me and I love him. We act like a typical couple. Still learning about each other but totally in synch. Some could say I have bragging rights because I have landed such a man, but I believe that a woman should always want to brag about the man she loves no matter the point. I love him.

    I love him because he makes me laugh. I love hiim for the first kiss we ever had. I love him for the first kiss we had as a married couple and I will always love him. My security is that he will think I am more and more beautiful as I age as opposed to the men my age who would leave me in a heartbeat for a 20 year old less charming version of myself. I have in my life the true essence of what love is truly about. Don’t let the taboo’s cheapen what can be a very real experience.

    • afarasati August 20, 2012 at 12:24 am #

      Wow, where do you live? It sounds like a cougar paradise! Are you a guard at a prison or something? 🙂

      Very happy for you and your beau…thanks for stopping by!

      • christienah August 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

        I’m from the deep south.

        • Anonymous February 9, 2015 at 3:48 am #

          Hey I’m Brandon text me art 19316291610 and_ I’m not scared of an older women

  5. Pete October 3, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    Keep it up, am a guy of 28 n i need a cougar to love me. If u re interested email me at osiobe_peter@yahoo.com

  6. sadony November 29, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    congrat.. to all those who have enough courage to cast aside the taboos and enjoy or delight in love, most of all 4 love

  7. Anonymous April 22, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    I gotta say I disagree a bit with that article. I’m a young 28 year old cub in a relationship with a 55 year old cougar. We’ve been together for 6+ years and just like any other couple, we have our ups and downs. However we’re both very happy with each other and I love her so much. She means the world to me and I know she loves me. We’re planning on moving in together soon. I can’t wait! Anyways yeah her name is Yvonne and even though people make a big deal over our age difference, we just ignore it or tell them off. I love my sexy cougar!

    • afarasati April 22, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

      well if it works for you, more power to you man. Enjoy all the sweet prunetang!

      • Anonymous April 22, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

        Yeah for sure I’m always enjoying it! She really knows how to treat a man

  8. Anonymous July 5, 2013 at 7:31 am #

    Gee you clearly have no idea of a cougar and cub relationship. It can last and some guys just like older women period

  9. esme July 21, 2013 at 3:06 am #

    Clearly you have no idea what you’re writing about as a cougar, cougar and cub relationships can work for the long term. If you can accept older men dating younger women why can t you accept the other way round as you can see from the replies it works. And there are just guys out there that likes older women. A lot of the guys i went out with said they only ever dated older women – just accept cougar and cub relations are here to stay. Once I got divorced i realised whitemen over 40 are either bald, fat, white haired or wrinkled so naturally i turned to younger men. You will be surprised how many guys approached me – 2000. This phenomenon is here to stay not a quirk of nature and we are the first decade of women to experience it, and proud to call ourselves cougars

    • afarasati July 21, 2013 at 8:27 am #

      2000 guys approached you?! At once?! Did they all have to take a number, like at a deli counter?

  10. Claudia September 7, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    Can someone please get the memo to JLo?

    • sarin November 30, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

      Mam Sarin here male 27 want to be your submissive cub

  11. Bibiana September 15, 2013 at 5:44 am #

    An interesting article! My opinion is that if everyone is an adult and they are not hurting anybody age doesn’t matter. As for myself, I have generally dated younger men, bit I do not see myself as a cougar. I was never predatory or desperate. Also, these men were at best 10 years younger. Hardly young cubs. My sweetheart is 49 and I am 57. We are comfortable together, and both of us can rely on one another for anything. He is a kind, affectionate, funny, and intelligent man who I not only love but deeply respect.

  12. Bibiana September 15, 2013 at 5:49 am #

    Besides, younger doesn’t necessarily equal YOUNG. And besides, I don’t want a young man. Let the cougars be happy, but I love men 40+! And I have one.

  13. Ashley December 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    I like your post. Younger men who date older women or a cougar is popular today. Not all men are the same. Some of them prefer to date a matured lady while some like their money. So, most of these young guys are not supportive but depend on their women. So, power and materials are two things that most young men and old women relationships happen. Older women are seeking younger men because they guys can make them feel younger. That’s what I think.

  14. Osiobe Peter December 31, 2013 at 4:52 am #

    Where am from its almost an abomination to marry or date a cougar but i ve always fancied dating n eventually marrying a cougar. i don’t know if i will ever find one.

  15. Melissa November 17, 2014 at 7:36 am #

    This whole article is slanted like women have no choice or say in the matter, as if they should consider themselves lucky to have a younger man because they are older.A cub/cougar dynamic is chosen by both parties.
    Immature article as well as author , who further shows his lack of understanding in his little boyish replies to others comments.

  16. Myname November 19, 2014 at 5:52 am #

    Omg this article is a riot. Absolutely brilliant and too true.

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