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Wise Guys: What Do Men Think of Cougars?

Tue, Aug 18, 2009

Advice, Wise Guys

cougarphoto by Harlequeen

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week a straight woman asks, “What do men in general think about cougars?”

Gay Single Guy (Jay Dyckman):

“I am Cougar, hear me roar,
In years too big to ignore…”

If it isn’t already, this should be the anthem for the beloved cougar.  Prowl on, ladies! Honestly, what’s the big deal?  OK, so maybe it is a sexual desire fueled largely out of a denial that one is rapidly aging off this mortal coil. We’re all headed there anyway, aren’t we?  Why not grab a little nubile ass on the way out? What the cougar phenomenon tells us is that (1) we like coming up with weird monikers for sexually-active women (see MILF); and (2) this country still has a problem with casual sex as it relates to women.

Straight Single Guy (Tyler Barnett): The cougar is a bit of an anomaly to me. On the one hand, cougars have experience, confidence and generally pleasing physical attributes, all of which are very attractive characteristics. On the flip side, they can be difficult to please and tend to try too hard. Personally, I find confidence attractive, but a truly attractive woman doesn’t have to try so hard to be sexy. So cougars aren’t generally my thing. But every now and again I’ll run into that mature woman who looks me in the eyes like she’s ready to pounce…and I hope she does. I think the trick to the sexy cougar is subtlety. If you can pull off a look 20 years below your age without appearing like it took you 20 years in the mirror to accomplish, you have  mastered cougar purrfection. Grrr baby, very grrr.

Straight Married Guy (Jim): It seems like a largely positive stereotype and I’m all for it.  However, the importance of not dressing like you just chalked your first ID can not be overstated.  That makes me sad.

Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Straight Married Guy is Jim from New York, our Gay Guy is Jay Dyckman, an LA copywriter, and our Single Straight Guy is Tyler Barnett, owner of the LA PR firm Barnett Ellman. To ask the guys your own question, click here.

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24 Responses to “Wise Guys: What Do Men Think of Cougars?”

  1. james Says:

    I think calling women cougars is derrogatory and childish. I never heard any special terminology for older men interested in women.
    It is all relative to age, and we are all “older than”.
    If you are 17, anything after 18 is old. If you are an 18 year old guy, a 30 y/o woman would be a cougar to you. If you are a 35 y/o guy, a 35 y/o woman is anything but a cougar.
    All those 20smtg year olds that have fun naming and calling others names, enjoy your 5 minutes of fame, because in just a couple years you will be 30!!! darn!!!
    In about 15 years ( which will fly away before you now it ) you will be in your 40s.
    Asian and latin cultures have something american culture has not, “overview” and respect for elders. Even europeans enjoy this quality seemed lost when some of them moved onto what is now USA. You cqan go to any british pub and you will see people of all ages having fun, talking to each other. US has become a manipulative comsumption trashy culture that glorifies youth, as if americans were never to age.
    Enjoy life, and do not base your life on your youth, if you do, you will fall off the cliff of dispear very soon.

  2. PK Says:

    First off, I agree with James re the term. Hate it. Secondly, nothing wrong with like minded people hooking up. Third, the line, “Hey I’m just trying to have a little fun before I die.” is not a turn on. At least it wasn’t to me, especially when slurred through a booze and cigarette tainted exhale by someone trying to turn a merengue into the lambada. Shudder.

  3. Helixbill Says:

    From a biological standpoint it makes sense. Men are at the peak of their sexuality at about 18 and women peak around 36 (at least that is what Gail Sheehy wrote in “Passages”).

    The other part is women statistically live longer than men. Being with a woman a few years older makes it likely that neither party will be left alone for too many years at the end.

    Personally, I used to date women who were a few years older than me (5 to 8 years).

    OTOH, I pity the 50 year old man that takes up with a 25 year old girl. When I was about 35 I took a girl out (1 time) who was 21. Talk about nothing in common!

    I think that ultimately it is up to the 2 people involved and nobody else’s business. If the attraction is there then go for it.

  4. TS Says:

    A male friend told me I’m a Cougar and I didn’t know whether to be offended or flattered.

  5. Colin Says:

    My thoughts? Yes please! My number is….

  6. suave Says:

    The idea is intriguing but the practicality of the relationship being something long term I find hard to see. Age differences can be acommodated in the bar when alcohol is flowing but when the bare bones of day to day life come out in the sunlight I think the infatuation of the moment would wear off. The two different life time zones (let’s say guy is early 30s lady is 50s) present a completely different outlook on things and experiences that they both draw from. Finding common ground that wasn’t the expanse of sheets or impulsive carnality would be challenging if not ultimately frustrating. Reflecting back to a time when I was younger (early 20s) I had an encounter with an older dame but our communication was difficult at best largely due to our age differences. Sure there was sexual tension there but anything beyond that curiosity didn’t work out.
    AFA calling a gal a cougar- I think it’s an endearment to your older gal pals and maybe a condescending remark to trashy gals at bars. I’ve heard my sisters remark, ” that club’s full of cougars in too tight clothing and fake n bake tans”.

  7. Kendra Says:

    No one has names for all these old men dating and hoking up with young women. It’s obvious this is a man’s world. Complete with all their nonsense and women hating, women blaming issues.

  8. Elizabeth Says:

    Um… I have heard a name for much older men who hook up with much younger women … Creepy. I realize it’s not always so and all of that jazz, but, honestly I find it a little creepy when men older than my father hit on me.

    But – on the other hand – I really don’t think there is anything wrong with cougars. Like someone said – a woman’s sexual peak is in her 30′s. So I say go out and live it up. :)

  9. Johnny Says:

    Cradle-robber, if the girls being chased by the older guys are quite young. Come on. You’ve heard that one.

  10. Elizabeth Says:

    Oh, true that one… But I have heard cradle robber in reference to either gender…

  11. E. Says:

    My mom is, I guess, a cougar; she met my dad when she was 28, and he was 18. So…they do work out in the long term, as long as they’re compatible.

  12. momma cougar Says:

    you children really are making me laugh!…a woman peaks in her 30′s?! …please!….i’m 55, very attractive with a hot bod and loads of sexual energy and believe me, babies, i know how to please, i leave my men ridden hard and pulled up wet begging for more….additionally, i love the cougar tag; they are beautiful, powerful, predatory animals, nothing wrong w/that!…i do agree w/2 statements: we older gals do not/should not try to dress as though we’re still in our 20′s and a man w/a woman half is age is just….what’s the word?….yucky! and the name for them is pathetic….

  13. james Says:


    Cougar at 28???? This shows that all thiese tags like “cougar” are childs game. You have to be an early 20something or a teen ager to talk name games like this.

    We all are human beings having a good time. But life is the best school, those enjoying calling women “cougars” will soon… ( in only a couple years. From being 20 something to becoming “old” 30 something there are only 3 or 4 years, from 28 to 32! LOL . And from 30 something to becoming 40 something!!!LOL only 8 more years!!! LMAO!!!) … learn their lesson…life is very short, and all those things you do on one side of the block, will come to haunt you once you turn that corner…like walking around the block, once you get to the end, you can see the begining.

    Start calling yourself a “cougar” 20 something, sooner than later you will have that stamp on your forehead for a long time.

  14. Kym Says:

    James… Ilove you. I am a 35 year old woman and the term Cougar gets under my skin like you wouldn’t believe. Nobody seems to understand/or agree with me either. I think woman should reject the term, instead of embracing it. Or, make up some absurb name for the likesof harrison Ford, or Bruce Willis, like… “Bald Eagles”

  15. judy Says:

    I hate the “cougar” label. I think it’s demeaning to women. I have been on an online dating website, and I get these emails from guys 15 years or more younger than I am, sometimes. I know they are thinking that I am a cougar. To me the term cougar means, to a lot of younger guys, that you are easy and ready at all times to have sex with them. I am older, but I still care about myself and want to be with someone that I have both an emotional and physical connection with. It seems like the idea of a cougar congers up an image of a semi- prostitute who gets paid with the pleasure of any attention from any much younger male who makes her feel young and desirable, because without that validation she’s just an old lady who is going to die very soon. That’s how I feel about it.

  16. Barb Says:


  17. Frank Says:

    for Society to refer to older woman a cougar and an older man a perve or creepy is just another example of Anti Male fascism know as feminism.
    I dont believe anything about sexual peaks…its all a bunch of bullshit to justify someones particular point of view regarding sexuality, its hyprocy at the worst.
    You want the name Cougar to be respected? Then demand the equal respect for the Older Men who have strong desires as well…ITS ALL ABOUT EQUALITY!

  18. Johnny Says:

    @ Judy: Younger guys, sexually attracted to you? How DARE they, right? Trying to give you pleasure as “payment,” and making a “prostitute” of you. Screw that! Gross! Some women have the self-respect to grow old alone and free from the yoke of sexual attraction. And they’re the ones who are RIGHT.

    In case you can’t tell I’m being sarcastic.

    @ Frank: It all evens out Frank. “Perv” is what we call SEXUALLY UNSUCCESSFUL older guys – guys who go around creeping younger women out. We have names for sexually unsuccessful people of all ages and genders. A sexually unsuccessful yet forward woman gets called “desperate” and accused of “not respecting herself” (by other women like Judy!), a label that’s not much better.

    As for sexually successful older guys who get called pervs – well, chalk that up to playa hatred, an experience shared by sexually successful men of all ages.

    Frank and Judy should date. Flip sides of the same coin.

  19. Johnny Says:

    Oh! Genius, if ironic, suggestion from Kym! Sexually successful older men should be called bald eagles.


    Cougars, bald eagles… these are POWER animals. Why did anyone decide that these terms are denigrating? Particularly when your alternatives are “desperate old lady” and “perv”. Come on! Lighten up!

  20. Madamoiselle L Says:

    I don’t particularly like the term “Cougar.” I’m a little older than some of the posters here, but My Man is older than I am, so I am not Cougar material. But, I have NO problem with a mature woman dating a younger man, if they are both interested in each other. I also have no problem with an older man dating a younger women, if they are both interested in each other.

    Saying someone who gets “paid in pleasure” from sex is a “prostitute” is silly. Judy, YOU don’t get pleasure from sex? Most people do. That doesn’t make someone a “prostitute” for wanting pleasure. Maybe you don’t get pleasure from it, I don’t know. But, please don’t call women who have sex for pleasure “prostitutes.” Sex feels good for a reason. It’s supposed to feel good. That is “payment” for men or women. Prostitutes have sex for money, drugs, etc. EVERYBODY has sex for pleasure, unless you are the “lie back and think of England” type.

    As for Frank’s idea: “I dont believe anything about sexual peaks…its all a bunch of bullshit to justify someones particular point of view regarding sexuality, its hyprocy at the worst.” (sic)

    No, it’s true. Men have their highest testosterone levels, thus highest sex drive in late teens to early 20s. When women go into the early stages before menopause, estrogen and progesterone decline and testosterone INCREASES. This increases the sex drives of MANY women in their late 30s and beyond. It is not only medically proven, I KNOW it’s true. I’ve felt it. Some women also often gain the ability to have multiple orgasms only after they are a bit older, again usually late 30s and beyond, although some younger women are capable of this, also.

    That isn’t saying NO men still have high sex drives in their 40s and beyond, many do. But, some would say their “peak” ability to have repeated usable erections, and be sexually aroused non-stop was probably in their late teen, early 20s years. But, there are certainly a LOT of men much older who have very healthy sex drives. (And many older men do have the advantage of more experience.) No one said they didn’t.

    Sexual peaks, due to age are very real.

    Please, this is a Sex Positive Blog. Try not to call people “Prostitutes” or other names which have nothing to do with their personal sex lives. (Unless that is what they do for a living, then it is fine.)

  21. SS Says:


    Copy and paste, you know the drill…

    Worthwhile YouTube documentary on the issue of “cougars…” ;)

  22. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Hilarious, ss. I didn’t get all the references, like the stores and locations, (I’m not from NZ) but the “documentary” was really funny.

  23. SS Says:

    Yeah, I love the sweating, nervous males at the “watering hole”…!

  24. CL Says:

    As long as they pray on single younger men I guess its alright, although I still find it creepy…just like I find men praying on much younger women creepy.

    I just don’t understand how a woman can be attracted to a boy who can practically be her son…or a man dating a woman who can be her daughter.

    I think one of the possible main reasons is to be in control. Being more experienced gives them the edge to run things…and they feed their egos with that power and their lust with younger meat. It’s easy.

    I love being with someone close to my age group and sharing the same everyday struggles like going through school and gaining capital…love experimenting with each other sexually and in that way learning more about our desires together.

    Who knows how I’ll think in the future ones I hit my peak. Ideas change.

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