At around the same time, Cameron, Jennifer and other notable old blondes began to amass a cargo of fresh meat. Madonna, Reese Witherspooon et al visited the great cub crèche. But undisputed Queen of the Cougars was to be smoky eighties film star, Demi Moore.
Despite her decades-long failure to make a movie that did not smell entirely of arse, Demi was lauded for the feat of moving in with a bloke still too young for Botox. Press banged on about Ashton Kutcher, 20 years Moore’s junior, and the relic he had married. This, media told us, was proof of an Important New Trend.
Was it, though? We couldn’t be certain. But, we did know that if a lady had a dollar for every idiotic headline, a la “40 is the new 20” or “Cougars on the Prowl”, she could afford to buy her very own Ashton Kutcher. Or, at least, drugs sufficient to convince her and a den of cubs that she still had 20-year-old tits.
Of course, Demi, a well-maintained museum piece, probably does have 20-year-old tits. She is gifted of impossibly good bone structure and the very best lubricant gynaecology can buy. Moore, still stunning, is super-human; not at all like most women of the cougar age-range. But, this didn’t stop a hundred awful chicks’ magazines from publishing all this celebrity-led cougar romance crap.
Oddly, it just didn’t stop at all. After reaching their public peak, cougars did not fall backwards off their heels and into sensible shoes. You’d think after such a debut, the cougar would be wiped from the pop culture. But, she’s not even on the endangered list.
In fact, she’s doing respectable box office.
This year sawthe release of Cougars Inc. It starredf Charlie Sheen’s ex Denise Richards. In other words, it was made for ten dollars and did not set the Hollywood Foreign Press on fire. But, when we consider its release in the same year as blockbuster Bad Teacher, a film where 39-year-old Cameron Diaz reprises her fondness for just-turned-30 Justin Timberlake, and the sustained moderate success of a dreadful show called Cougar Town, perhaps an Important New Trend has begun.
The trend’s just not as wholesome and loving as the Moore-Kutcher model would have us believe. It’s not about romance; it’s about recreational sex. It is for this reason she refuses to leave the pop culture.
The numbers on cougar-cub couplings are, really, barely there. So, it’s tricky to work out if this thing exists outside shitty television programs starring Courteney Cox. My nation’s largest national sex survey,the Australian Study of Health and Relationships, doesn’t offer us a Mrs Robinson data-set. But, the only reason we don’t know how many older gals are doing younger guys is because nobody thought to ask.
If the internet provides a map of the human libido, we are headed for Cougar Town. It is in the online growth of businesses like CougarLife or DateACougar that the trend is keenly seen. Here, women in their late thirties and early forties play to a younger audience in large numbers. But – and this is where the feminine press have it terribly wrong – these women are often looking for a single trade; they don’t want after-sales service.
I do not have these no-strings statistics. Nobody does. But what I do have is (a) a suspicion that many women of my age strongly favor sex over commitment and (b) the occasionally dialed prepaid number of a 29-year-old chap who thinks similarly.
It is not that he prefers older women. It is not that I prefer younger men. (Although, of course, younger men do tend to work better than their dads.) The cougar-cub attraction is not biological; it has just become very convenient.
At risk of ruining Mrs. Robinson’s dark appeal, I propose the very obvious. That is: there is no way on god’s earth that older women could be broadly considered more attractive than their younger sisters. Jocasta can bang Oedipus all she wants, you can’t tell me there’s any substitute for the shine of glossy young flesh.
There’s got to be another spark for the cub and cougar flame.
It is certainly not the look of older women that particularly appeals to younger men. And it is not the promise of being “broken in”; although this is sometimes part of the older mare’s appeal. It is, rather, that she rarely expects anything from her steed but a good, hard ride.
As Mr Prepaid tells it, older women tend to issue fewer demands, pout less often and ask more seldom, “do you think I’m pretty?”. More to the point, he says, older women tend to enjoy, rather than endure, sex.
Cub selection criteria are strikingly similar to those of cougars. Younger men are not emotional sinkholes. They do not, for the most part, need a nurse-with-a-purse. You are attractive to us because you are looking for sex; not an agonizing confidence boost like so many of the men with whom we were raised.
Sure, I might have to end up buying you dinner but this is a trifling sum when set against the cost of listening to some old codger crap on about Not Being Understood.
Young men don’t need to be “understood”. The only affirmation they need to hear from a woman is climax; a sound many of us older ladies will easily emit.
The SS Cougar will sail again this December from Miami. Between the pitch of the waves and the slosh of vanishing hormones, I can’t imagine anything more sickening. But, these cruises and television shows and websites and movies do provide us with proof of a larger, much more private trend: Gen X women and Gen Y men have found there is no aphrodisiac like eagerness.
This was written for the chaps at FHM.