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Boomer women are looking younger and feeling better than ever.
Widowed, separated, or divorced, a growing number seek young men for dating and companionship.
And since men have been dating younger women for ages, why are so many of us surprised — shocked, even — that women would follow suit?
Valerie Gibson, author of Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men, is all too familiar with this double standard. They were absolutely horrified that older women should be having sex with younger men.”When many of us think “cougar,” we picture the ultimate cougar of the big screen: The Graduate’s legendary, martini-sipping Mrs. These days, real-life cougars are stars like Demi Moore (who, in her 40s, married then-twenty-something heartthrob Ashton Kutcher), the coiffed reality-show cast of The Real Housewives of Orange County, and, yes, everyday women — suburbanites and city-slickers alike.
“It’s definitely considered creepier for women to go out with younger men,” admitted Junie Smith*, a 52-year-old cougar who lives on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.On the contrary, they’ll even boast about them, wearing them, in the words of Mercer, “as a badge of honor.” According to Gibson, young men are driving the trend, sometimes even calling themselves “cougar hunters” when they’re out on the town looking for sexy older women.“Younger men have no problem whatsoever in approaching an older woman who’s single or obviously not wearing a wedding ring anyway,” she said.“They’re looking for companionship, sexual contact, and someone good to talk to and spend time with.So be it if the relationship goes further.” 'A Badge of Honor' While women aren’t exactly shouting their cougar status from the rooftops (“Women never want to be called a “cougar,” because it implies they’re older,” Mercer explained nonchalantly), men aren’t shy about their relationships with older women.
“This isn’t about dating,” said Kevin Mercer* candidly. A.’s entertainment industry and isn’t shy discussing his city’s cougar phenomenon.