Recently a female friend of mine who is nearly 26 has started seeing a 20 year old boy. And by 20 years old, I mean he was still 19 halfway through March. They are worlds apart, him having graduated high school two years after she was done with college, her having an established career while he works on campus and is in a fraternity. They can’t go to bars together since he is under age and he has to come to her place because he lives in the dorms and despite how much fun they have, she can’t help but feel that it’s a little weird or maybe even wrong. There is nothing illegal about it but the way our friends talk to her and joke about the relationship makes it seem as though there is something wrong. She stands behind her decision to hang out with him and swears he’s mature for his age, but where will this possibly go?
While eating brunch with a friend this weekend I told him about my female friend’s cougar ways. Next week she is spending the night at his house while his parents are away and he is on Easter break from school. My friend was hysterically laughing saying how ridiculous that sounds. Then he added, “you can say stuff like that as a chick but if I said that I was going to girl’s house because her parents were out of town and she was on Easter break, I would be the biggest creep.” And he’s right. Had he told me a story about a guy friend of his in this scenario I would make a disgusted face, rolled my eyes, and thought his friend was a total creep who should date closer to his age.
There are so many double standards where men can get away with things women can’t but cougarism is one where the female has the upper hand. Men who date young girls are creeps while women who date young guys are cougars. I’m not sure being called a cougar is all that flattering and the boys they prey on are called cubs…also not too flattering. Yet, this is all commical while when guys do the same exact thing it is deemed inappropriate, being an agist, and almost morally reprehensible. Patti Stranger of Millionaire Matchmaker talks about agists all the time and hates guys that do not date within their age range. Yet, where does she stand on women who date much younger than them? Is it wrong or is age really just a number?
This friend of mine really enjoys spending time with him and while it currently is just casual, she is open to actually dating him. But how will this work? He can’t go to bars, they are in dissimilar life places and their friend groups probably would not mesh. Yet, conversely, in a few years the age difference won’t matter at all. In fact, in a year it won’t matter much because he will be 21 and once he graduates school the disparity won’t even be noticeable. The real issue with cougar/cub relationships when the predator is under 30 is that the male is so young he might be incapable of committing to or maintaining a serious relationship. For this reason, young women tend to date older, making the 26 year old cougar a rare species. In fact, this even begs the question ‘is she technically a cougar?’ Is there a term for young women who date even younger guys?
I decided to scour the internet to gain a better understanding of what a cougar really is and if my friend even qualifies. I was both amused and appalled at what I found.
- An older woman who frequents clubs in order to score with a much younger man. The cougar can be anyone from an overly surgically altered wind tunnel victim, to an absolute sad and bloated old horn-meister, to a real hottie or milf. Cougars are gaining in popularity — particularly the true hotties — as young men find not only a sexual high, but many times a chick with her shit together.
- (see also hunt, prowl, corner, pounce). Noun. A 35+ year old female who is on the “hunt” for a much younger, energetic, willing-to-do-anything male. The cougar can frequently be seen in a padded bra, cleavage exposed, propped up against a swanky bar in San Francisco (or other cities)waiting, watching, calculating; gearing up to sink her claws into an innocent young and strapping buck who happens to cross her path. “Man is cougar’s number one prey”
- An attractive woman in her 30’s or 40’s who is on the hunt once again. She may be found in the usual hunting grounds: nightclubs, bars, beaches, etc. She will not play the usual B.S. games that women in their early twenties participate in. End state, she will be going for the kill, just like you. Associated with milfs.
- A woman in her sexual prime who prefers to hunt rather than be hunted. A cougar’s victims are usually under 25, as cougars prefer to mate with men who still have hair. Cougars generally feed and then continue hunting, as they enjoy role reversal.
- A Cougar is a female, usually between thirty and fifty years-old, who enjoys the sexual company of younger men.Cougars are only usually interested in men under the age of twenty-five. Also, Cougars are non-committal, choosing to move from mate to mate without ever settling down. It is not uncommon for the same Cougar to attack (sleep with) many different men in the same group of friends. Furthermore, Cougars are older and more practiced in the ways of snaring a mate so they will rarely broadcast their intentions to sleep with you until you are already in her Jetta, headed for the condo she just bought. It is this elusive behavior that earns her the name “Cougar.”
So it seems as though according to some definitions she is a cougar while in other definitions she does not qualify. In my research I came across another interesting term all together…the rhino, which is essentially a male cougar. Here is Urban Dictionary’s definition:
- An older man on the prowl for a younger woman and by definition, the gender opposite of the cougar. The rhino derives his name from his appearance because the specimen is more often than not both horny AND ugly. The rhino is usually found in warmer locales and can be spotted wearing either a flowered or pastel shirt (with 3 buttons opened to expose a mature mane of chest hair) tucked into khaki shorts and sporting boat shoes. Also look for horrendous dance moves, a white man’s overbite, male pattern baldness and a penchant for picking up the bar tab.
I’m not so sure that a male cougar needs a moniker since most men tend to date younger women and very few are interested in someone much older except in the rare instance of the cub or a guy eying a MILF. Since most women prefer to date older this dating pattern tends to work out and I would say that the typical male is a rhino and the atypical male is a cub. I am curious as to what my reader think of this scenario as well as cougars, cubs, and rhinos in general. Does anyone have any stories they would like to share? I would love to hear opinions on this so don’t be shy!