Pumas And Cougars, Oh My!

I am the kind of woman who could to some extent be labeled a cougar, but I cringe at the negative connotations which this slang term has accumulated. Shows like Cougar Town certainly don’t help with the sexual overtones which this term suggest either. Here is the definition of COUGAR from Wikipedia:

Cougar is a slang term that refers to a woman who seeks sexual relations with considerably younger men. It typically refers to women aged 30–40 years old.[1][2] ABC News states that these women pursue sexual relations with people more than eight years younger than they are,[1] while The New York Times states that the women are over the age of 40 and aggressively pursue sexual relations with men in their twenties or thirties.[2] However, the term can also refer to any female who has a male partner much younger than herself, regardless of age or age difference.[3][4]

I have a major issue with societal conventions which expect the man to be older than the woman. With only a couple of exceptions, I have always dated men who were younger than me, yet never sought them out. It always boiled down to common interests and mutual attraction, and the age of a man never concerned me. My first younger man was eight months my junior, and we met while we were in our teens. Some of you may think I had some strange influence which pushed me to have an attraction to younger men, but that was never the case. I believe a major factor, though, is the fact that I look, feel, and act much younger than my chronological age would suggest. Besides, the concept of an older woman with a younger man is not a new one, as films such as The Graduate prove. Before you start thinking that this particular film may have colored my view, it was released in movie theaters when I was a year old.

In the United States, women who are in their 30’s who like younger men are referred to as pumas. In stark contrast, Linda Lowen states that the term puma is used quite differently in the UK:

http://womensissues.about.com/od/cougarwomen/f/What-Is-A-Puma-Definition-Of-Puma-Woman.htm
020-cougar

I began to dig deeper, and found this scale:

Age 0-12: Housecat
Age 13-17: Bobcat
Age 18-21: Wildcat
Age 22-29: Lynx
Age 30-39: Puma
Age 40-49: Cougar
Age 50-59: Jaguar
Age 60-68: Panther
Age 69: Pussycat
Age 70-79: Cheetah
Age 80-89: Leopard
Age 90-99: Tiger
Age 100+: Lion

(from urbandictionary.com)

I find this hilarious. Hopefully you will too. Who knows? Maybe I will make it to lion. πŸ™‚

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