The cougar dating craze is in full force and like anything that gets a lot of press, there’s a lot of misunderstanding around the topic. The result? A bunch of cougar dating myths floating around demanding to be cleared up.
But cougar dating myths aren’t just a recent thing – they have their roots in history.
A young stud by the name of Ben Franklin once said that while most men should marry, if they don’t they ought to choose older women to be lovers over younger girls. It sounds like something a young, brass Hollywood movie star might say – but if you use the lad’s full name: Benjamin Franklin, the “First Great American” – it might scandalize you.
In fact, much of 18th century America was scandalized by Benjamin Franklin’s rather gaudy and shameful sex life, which was in stark contrast to George and Martha Washington’s sex life, who of course, never told a lie…and never role-played.
Then again some historians describe Franklin as merely a flawed hero and perhaps a progressive lover way ahead of his time and his monogamous contemporaries. When he was older, Benjamin Franklin actually wrote a tongue in cheek essay entitled “Advice on the Choice of a Mistress”, in which he proceeded to tell many young men eight significant advantages to dating older women…all of which are sadly dated.
While the feisty young man at heart was progressive for his time, many of his reasons are actually still modern misconceptions about cougar dating.
It’s not necessarily that they’re offensive (and far be it from us to shame virile young men who want a Mrs. Robinson to call their own) but if a young man is pursuing a cougar for all the wrong reasons, both partners in the relationship might find themselves disappointed.
The media’s sensationalistic focus on dating older women, while much improved since the 1980s and 1990s, still ignore the most important reasons to appreciate “cougars” while obsessing over the myths and exaggerations that are not always true.
Here are 6 myths about cougar dating that we find particularly vexing.
Sorry to break it to you, hopeful cubs, but the truth is that this stereotype isn’t a given. As it stands, “cougars” represent both a diverse population of older women who are attracted to younger men as well as those who are merely open-minded to the idea of dating a younger man.
And to think that all these women are in it just for the sex is wishful thinking at best.
Benjamin Franklin once said that older women are “worldly wise”, and in like manner, today too many people focus on the sinister reasons why a mature women might want to date a younger man – as in what’s wrong with her?
Does she just want a loveless relationship built on sex? Is she having a midlife crisis?
Why is it so hard to believe that sometimes a woman just likes a man for reasons other than all the clichés about sex, or being “worldly wise” or having something to prove?
One article at EcoSalon, suggested that our society has simply replaced the sexist “Madonna-Whore” complex of men with the “Madonna-Cougar” analogy (That’s Freud’s Madonna…not the ironic singer you’ve probably seen naked). We all demand that these May-December relationships must be about sex because WE as a society are too obsessed with the idea of abnormal sex.
If you want to be polite about it, just ask your cougar friend why she’s attracted to her new beau, rather than concluding this might be a cry for help.
Benjamin Franklin once said that mature women “study to be good”, as in they learn to be good housewives. This is a far cry from reality, as is the notion that cougars are above playing mind games with young men and are somehow perfect emotional partners.
Some sensitive men may make the mistake of assuming because they had a younger ex-girlfriend who mistreated them, they can “heal” those wounds with the company of a cougar, who will treat them right and be altruistic and motherly in nature.
Wrong…in fact, most cougars don’t have a mommy complex, unless you’re talking about kinky Dominatrix fantasies. Confident women usually don’t want a surrogate son to control or a screwed up guy they need to “fix”.
And yes, naturally it’s true that some cougars are simply just as cold as younger women. Some do play mind games, some are trophy-hunting, and some are flaky. It’s called being human.
Cougars all come from different backgrounds and have vastly different stories to tell. These past experiences are what shape her personality, and it’s not reasonable to believe that all these diverse women have come to the same conclusions.
The notion that cougars are less inclined to want children is generally true with a few exceptions. After all, some cougars are M.I.L.F.s and have already had children, and so they’re relieved to be done with taking care of babies.
However, one common misconception is that cougar-cub relationships are ultimately doomed because the man will eventually grow up and want children. This is not true for many younger studs, who may not hear the tick of his manly biological clock.
This may actually be insulting to the cougar as well as the man, since believe it or not, not all men are just dying to play daddy. Some men have a greater calling than just mass-reproducing like Eddie Murphy.
One could even argue that a man may pursue mature women, knowing full well that they don’t want children, since he himself doesn’t want the responsibility either.
Simply put, there are many couples who are not interested in procreating and yet they have found contentment in deeper relationships that are about more than sex.
The idea of a manipulative woman scheming for a young man’s heart is the nightmare of every anxious parent. After all, no boy goes after an older woman…she seduces him, right? The young man is shy and the older woman warms his heart by being kind to him and tolerating his bumbling personality.
Far from it! Older women are not particularly easy and in most cases, it’s safe to say the younger men are the ones who first express an attraction.
Survey information compiled by YourTango and EliteSingles stated that twenty-year-old men admitted to being more attracted to women above their own age; while women expressed attraction to younger men as they aged.
You have to figure that a woman in her forties is actually far more accustomed to being hit on by handsome suitors, given her years of experience over her younger counterparts. Cougars are not easy to impress and most cougars don’t HAVE to chase men…the men are chasing them!
Self-confidence is what is sexy to these younger guys and cougars are beaming with it. There’s certainly no sin in loving who you are.
Benjamin Franklin said a lot of rude things, no doubt, although who knows, maybe his crudity was the result of some cougar breaking his heart way back when. However, it’s still laughable that our society still believes that cougars ought to be grateful for a young man’s attention, as if this is all the tush they can get at their age.
Get real! Not only are baby boomers statistically more sexually active than we give them credit for, but statistically speaking they are so horny there is an influx of senior STDs to report. Cougars get as much sex as they want, regardless of who’s coming up to bat, and frankly, regardless of their age.
Some controversial studies, such as one conducted by psychology researcher Michael Dunn, quoted by Time magazine, claimed that after examining over 22,000 singles ads, he found no huge population of cougars or “cubs” in comparison to people who dated around their own age. This research led him to conclude that cougars “do not exist”.
Of course, we have the personal sexual anecdotes to prove him wrong, don’t we?
Cougars definitely “exist” but this research only proves the misconception wrong – that no, most cougars aren’t “grateful” for any romantic attention because in fact, it is the MEN who are truly grateful for the experience to love and learn.
If only that were true! Sadly, the views of society can be hurtful and according to studies, stereotypes and mean-spirited joshing can be harmful to otherwise happy relationships.
Cougars, particularly those who get married, can suffer from anxiety that comes from the judgments of their peers, friends and family.
Unfortunately, some stress about it so much it affects their health.
So by all means people, don’t judge! Instead, be supportive of these progressive women who are bravely following their hearts and proving that age is just a number.