Friday, February 8, 2008

Feline Fantasy

I want to be a cougar. Not the four-legged animal, silly. I want to be one of those glamorous confident older women who go on the prowl for younger men. Cougars are the “it” girls of choice right now. Fueled by TV shows like Sex in the City and Desperate Housewives, women over forty are now seen as hot stuff. And well-known Hollywood couples like Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher have made the older woman/younger man pairing not only acceptable, but downright steamy.

I’m forty-four, the perfect age to be a cougar. I’ve got the right feisty attitude. In the dim light of a smoky bar, I can look darn sultry. The only thing stopping me from going out on the hunt for a young stud of my own is the brawny Irishman I’ve been married to for the last 16 years. Oh, and my two kids. But a girl can dream, can’t she?

If I wanted to kick it into Cougar-drive, I’d have lots of resources to help me out. Dating websites like help older women and younger men find one another. The definitive book on the subject was written by Canadian author Valerie Gibson, “Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men”. This guide tells you how to find and identify the different types of “prey,” prepare the perfect seduction, deal with body image problems during sex, and survive the inevitable break up. What more do you need to know?

Women prefer younger guys because they are more relaxed, have more energy, and are just more fun than older men (not to mention their smokin’ hot bods). Many receptive young men, referred to as “cougees,” welcome the attention of more mature women. They admire the gals’ confidence and experience. As one young cougee puts it, “Older women are sassy, bold, cerebral, know what they like, are good conversationalists and are incredibly delicious lovers. These things are a turn on.” Grrrrrreat!

The website provides guys with tips too, like “tracking a cougar in her natural habitat.” Apparently, one of the most fertile hunting grounds is the supermarket. It’s true; I do spend a lot of time there. Hmm, just yesterday, a young guy was very chatty with me in the Costco meat department. Was I being stalked? A real cougar would have identified the signs and stalked him right back.

A man is considered officially younger if he is at least eight years your junior. But how young is too young? Dating men younger than your children is definitely a no-no. One rule of thumb allows you to date any man who is at least half your age plus seven years. At forty-four, that means anyone over 29 years old would be fair game for me. How exciting! Who could I date?

I eagerly logged onto my iMac to search for some potential targets. Josh Hartnett is 29, so he’s up for grabs. I could hook up with singers James Blunt and John Mayer (both 30) or actors Colin Ferrell (31) and Joaquin Phoenix (33.) Jude Law (35) gets my whiskers quivering, though he’s kinda getting up there. But while these guys are prime specimens, they aren’t exactly baggage free. They’ve got ripped abs and full heads of hair, but they have pasts checkered with messy relationships, legal troubles and children to support.

Just for comparison, I looked up some men my own age. Brad Pitt, John Stamos, Benjamin Bratt, Seal – these hotties were all born in 1963, and meow, they compare quite favorably to the younger set. And come to think of it, so does my forty-four year old Irishman. Okay. It’s fun to fantasize about catting around with younger guys, but I guess I’ll stick with the middle-aged dude snoozing on the couch next to me. He’s kind of cute when his mouth hangs open like that.

But you know I’m wearing lipstick and kitten heels the next time I head to Costco.

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