Why be a cougar?

This post by Ozymandias made me want to clarify – from the point of view of a cougar – why a much younger partner can sometimes be appealing and why old/young pairings aren’t (necessarily) creepy.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been into younger guys.  When I was 22 I was dating 18 year olds – an age gap that seemed embarrassingly huge back then.  It’s fucking hilarious to remember how vast that 4-year gap felt now that I’ve experienced a 14 year gap, but anyway.

A large part of my younger-guy thing sprang from my own insecurity.  My emotionally abusive first boyfriend claimed to be more sexually experienced than I (it was only much later that I realized his stories about ex girlfriends didn’t add up); he frequently rejected my sexual overtures and had bouts of impotence that he blamed on me.  I really don’t think it’s a coincidence that after we broke up I developed a fetish for inexperience: I wanted someone completely the opposite of my boyfriend.  I wanted a boy who was grateful, reverent; a boy who got hard just thinking about me.  I wanted a virgin.  You don’t have to be young to be a virgin but it does increase the likelihood, so I tended to target young’uns.

Now I’m a grown-up, and fairly secure in my sexual prowess, and yet I still prefer younger guys.  I’ve pretty much pinned down all the reasons, because I’m insanely analytical like that:

-Physically, there’s a certain dorky fresh-faced thing that I find irresistible and only young guys have it.  This is probably a bit of residue left over from my virgin fetish.

-I’m super-attracted to very skinny guys, and young guys are often skinny without even trying.  Guys my age almost always have a bit of a gut, even if they’re fairly active.

-I’m dominant and younger guys have an eagerness to please that totally works with that.

-I like crossdressers, and I like them to be comfortable with their crossdressing.  Otherwise they dump me for being the dirty, dirty girl who enables their terrible secret.  Younger guys are often pretty open about their kinks because kinky stuff isn’t as taboo as it used to be.  My other option would be to date guys who were closeted for years but finally decided “fuck it, I don’t care what other people think, I want to be happy” – but those guys are invariably in their 50s so I’d really rather not (see points 1 and 2).

-Younger guys tend to be more optimistic about relationships; you can go on a date with one and he’ll treat you like you’re new, not  the latest in a string of women who all turned out to be shrews because ALL WOMEN TURN INTO SHREWS EVENTUALLY.  Younger guys also seem more willing to just hang out and see where it goes; I feel like guys my own age tend to get their sights set on a goal (usually marriage), “audition” women for the role, and any woman who doesn’t fit – even if she’s super-fun to hang out with – is a waste of his time.  I hate that attitude.

-Younger guys tend to be more optimistic about life.  Guys my age are all “well I used to love drawing but obviously nobody could ever make a living doing that. So I buried my sketch pad in a box somewhere and became an accountant.”  Conversely, guys in my preferred age range have mostly just graduated college and feel like they can be anything – even an artist.  They haven’t yet bought into the whole “growing up means throwing out everything that makes you happy” thing that society lays on everyone.  Since I myself am hoping to quit my stodgy day job and make a living from art, you can guess which attitude I want to surround myself with.

-Maybe I’m horribly immature or something, but I just plain get along well with younger guys.  Back when I was on OKCupid I would often look through people’s profiles without even taking note of their age – and every damn time a profile really caught my fancy, it would turn out the guy was 22.

Minx, just for the record, feels like my emotional and intellectual equal; if he didn’t, he never would have surpassed the “friend with benefits” role he had to start with.  I do get amused/exasperated when he doesn’t know one of my pop culture references (which is practically every day) but aside from that I don’t especially notice or think about the age difference.  I’m not sitting next to him every night masturbating and saying “Tell me again how you were born in 1984!!!!” in a creepy Gollum voice or anything.

So the question now becomes: is my cougarness creepy?  I think it might be, but only a little bit…like five percent.  Mostly I feel like it’s just a preference, like wanting a boy with blonde hair or crooked teeth.

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Why be a cougar?

  1. Whee, yay, I get a shoutout.

    It’s interesting that you wanted to date virgins, because I’ve decided to only date the sexually experienced for the exact same reason: I want someone grateful. That is, I want someone who has had really shitty sex, and therefore appreciates communicative, multiorgasmic and sexually fluid and doesn’t take for granted that I’m bisexual and awesome at dirty talking. (Particularly the orgasm thing. All three of the guys I’ve fucked have been all “ooh, look, she comes multiple times every time we have sex, I’m such a STUD” when in reality it’s just that, y’know, I come really easily.)

    • That is, I want someone who has had really shitty sex, and therefore appreciates communicative, multiorgasmic and sexually fluid

      Yeah, a surprising number of the inexperienced guys I pursued back in the day turned out to be jerks, and a lot of the guys I’ve dated over the past few years had at least some experience and it helped them to appreciate what I have to offer. So I’m pretty much over the virgin thing now.

      I’m bisexual and awesome at dirty talking…I come really easily…

      Between these revelations and your description of your personal style (on Pervocracy) and your insanely articulate writing, I am developing a bit of an e-crush on you. I’m just sayin’.

  2. These all sound like excellent and non-creepy motivations.

    Except with some of them I kind of wonder how many guys your age you’ve dated. -I’m dominant and younger guys have an eagerness to please that totally works with that. I find it seriously hard to believe this is an advantage to the younger guys, based on me now and then and my male friends now and then. Is this really the same younger guys who say things like “No offense, but you’re not very good at that”?

    If you combine this with Younger guys also seem more willing to just hang out and see where it goes; I feel like guys my own age tend to get their sights set on a goal, there’s a hint of preferring guys who don’t really know what they want yet and can be persuaded. I think that may supply the 5% creepiness you mentioned. 95% not creepy.

    BTW I was totally into older women when I was young. I still like them actually, even though now that means retired.

  3. there’s a hint of preferring guys who don’t really know what they want yet and can be persuaded.

    Well, yeah, if you interpret the “just hanging out” thing in a deliberately creepy way. What I actually meant is that I like to hang out and see where things go with a new person; that I refuse to try to shoehorn someone into a type of relationship they’re unsuitable for and I never consider a fun date to be a “waste” just because the person isn’t quite what I was looking for. Even when I was dying to fall in love and be in a long-term relationship, guys I met who were awesome but not relationship material were welcomed into my life as friends (sometimes with benefits). I think people should let the people they meet settle into a niche naturally instead of trying to force it.

    And as such, having lunch with a 41 year old who interrogated me with unsubtle “are-you-marriage-material” questions on our first date was…awkward for me. Dude, I don’t even know if I like you yet and you’ve already started asking me if I can handle the fact that you have biweekly custody of two kids.

    So I’m not looking for boys who are flexible so I can railroad them into doing what I want, I’m looking for boys who are flexible because I’m flexible.

    (Actually, if I had old-person tunnel vision I wouldn’t have ended up with Minx; I’d been looking for someone long-term and initially I wrote him off in that capacity, assuming someone so young could never be my emotional equal. But he was hot and fun, so we started seeing each other on a casual basis…and then he grew on me.)

    Is this really the same younger guys who say things like “No offense, but you’re not very good at that”?

    Well, yeah. *cough*. And…that scenario actually happened with one other guy aside from The Ingenue (and it played out the exact same way). The Young’Uns are stupid and thoughtless sometimes, that’s for sure; I can’t really imagine a guy my own age ever saying something like that. But if one did, I also can’t imagine him apologizing afterwards in that abject, almost panicky way. It’s like the kids are kind of…unvarnished. They lack finesse; they don’t know how to put their guard up or act aloof. I like this quality, even though it obviously has a downside.

    I kind of wonder how many guys your age you’ve dated.

    Since being divorced? Fine, I’ll admit it, almost none. I had a 6-month “rebound” relationship with a guy my own age, saw a guy in his early 40s for about two months, and had a handful of dates each with two 41 year olds and two 33 year olds (not in that order). I think all my other experiences in those five years were with dudes 28 and under. FYI I don’t think of 28 as particularly young (but I’m not sure that I could lump them in as “guys my age” either); my talk about cougarbait mostly refers to guys in the 19-22 year old range.

    • And as such, having lunch with a 41 year old who interrogated me with unsubtle “are-you-marriage-material” questions on our first date was…awkward for me.

      I think that would be awkward for anyone that doesn’t have the same tunnel-vision attitude. The way you describe it I think it would turn me off and I have the same goal. I’m really glad you did describe it because I think I could have made the same mistake they do. I hope not though. I like people who are totally not marriage material for me; I think we can have fun together even if it’s not a step toward an LTR and there will be no sex. Chatting with an interesting stranger, perhaps over interesting food, is a worthwhile way to spend time in itself.

  4. Pingback: ‘Forced’ Feminization at Not Just Bitchy

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