C is for Cougar

CBoys beware, there’s a cougar out there.

Cougars are as old as time. The story at school when I was a teen was that women reached their peak around 40, and guys around 19. This seemed very unfair to the guys, especially when most of us had almost zero opportunity to leverage that peak performance. But equally, it made the attraction of the ‘older woman’ highly evident to an impressionable youth.

One of the most famous cougars, even before the word was in common use, would be Anne Bancroft’s Mrs Robinson. She locked on and targeted young Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) in The Graduate (1967). Of course, she also turned bunny-boiler in this film when young Benny got the hots for Mrs R’s daughter, Elaine. No wild cat likes to see a competitor trying to make a meal of their hunt, especially if that competitor is younger, stronger, fresher. We relish the Autumn colours, but they are caused by the gradual decline in summer, the loss of the hottest days. And they come at a price of a frigid winter to follow. Spring’s freshness promises a seemingly endless bounty of fun and frollicks in the sunshine, a picnic spread delectably on a gingham blanket.

It seems clear why an older woman might be attracted to a younger man. Many 40+ women are very fine figures of femininity, and their menfolk of like age are generally, shall we say, built for comfort, not speed (I speak as one of said menfolk). The chance to snag a hot young thing, some nice arm candy, must give the ego a boost like a can of Red Bull. And that youthful stamina should hopefully overcome the tendency for an initial quick draw on the part of the underexperienced stud. So is the satisfaction for the woman that she is attractive enough to grab herself a toyboy – a six pack instead of the party keg of the older man?

And is this just a fling, or for keeps? Finger food to satisfy a late night craving, as opposed to the pleasures in a gourmet meal? Can there be true inter-generational love and a lasting relationship? Definitely yes – I know of several such couples. But despite our avowed openness, our society still frowns on any relationship which defies convention. Just look at how gay marriage is a polarising debate in many countries – and the re-criminalising of homosexuality in some countries.

But I’m an optimist. I think our society is changing for the better.  The fast food burger has grown up and is a gourmet option on many menus, if that’s your taste.

 cougar

 Image from http://true-wildlife.blogspot.ca

Posted for the 2014 Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

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