What is a Cougar Anyway?
More and more women are embracing the cougar within, finding in the label both the humor and a sense of empowerment. Just as many others find the term demeaning and reject it as sexist or, at best, another unfortunate example of society's sexual double standard.
The question is, however, what exactly are these women embracing or rejecting? What exactly does it mean to be a cougar woman?
For the past five years, we here at urbancougar.com have made a life out of trying to understand the nature of what it means to be a cougar. We've learned that it's far too convenient to make generalizations. That a cougar must be over a certain age. That she only dates younger men. That she observes the Half-Your-Age-Plus-Seven Rule. While each of these "rules" has its place in helping define what a cougar is, each of them is either too broad or too narrow. And that's because being a cougar is ultimately about attitude. It's about the way she carries herself and owns her sexuality.
While each cougar is unique (that's what makes them great!), in our experience, there are a few common characteristics that help us understand the cougar woman.
She's in Control
First and foremost, the cougar woman is in total control - of her life, her sexuality and her identity. She's her own woman, independent, strong and sexy, confident in her self and unconcerned by what is expected of her by society. It's that fearless attitude that makes a cougar.
As Ilana Eberson, CEO of Real Live People Party, remarks in the video from SheZoom.com (below), "Everyone wants to equate the predatory nature of the cougar animal with the cougar woman, and she doesn't have to be predatory. She can be nice. She can be, you know, a vixen. She can be sassy. She can be, you know, virginal. She can be whatever she wants to be."
That gets to the heart of what it means to be a cougar woman. She's found her path and proudly (and unapologetically) follows it. Because it often takes time for women (and men, also) to "discover" themselves, cougars are typically more mature women in their latter thirties and beyond.
A cougar is not just independent-minded, she's personally independent as well. She is likely a career women who has reached a comfortable level of financial freedom. She's worked hard and fought for her success. She's found that while men her age and older are often intimidated by her ambition and success, young men are drawn to it and hopeful to learn from it.
Her independence extends to relationships where she has no time for petty drama. She's comfortable letting a relationship develop naturally rather than trying to force it. She knows a relationship takes work but also understands that one can't be made into something it isn't.
Let's face it: the cougar is experienced. She's more sophisticated and worldly than her younger counterparts. She's worked hard, played hard and really lived. Her experience has resulted in one simple truth: she knows what she wants.
Her experience is particularly profound in the bedroom. To a young man she’s a living, breathing Kama Sutra, versed in the ways of pleasure. To be with her is an orientation into an unexplored world of contortionist positions, hidden erogenous zones, and foreign animal noises. She knows what she likes, how she likes it done and where, and instructs her cub on how best to give it. A night with her and he will uncover the secrets of making a woman beg for more. All men want those secrets and they know no amount of fumbling about with inexperienced girls will ever provide them.
She's Undeniably Sexy
There's just something about a cougar. Whether she's the type that rocks a business suit or tight top and jeans, she just exudes sexual power. It's not something you can quantify or categorize. You can only feel it.
A cougar knows that age is increasingly irrelevant. 40 is the new 30. 50, the new 40. Healthier lifestyles, a greater commitment to fitness and an emphasis on style, have all contributed to something young men have picked up on. Older women are smokin’. The popularity of yoga, pilates, unique diets and other health and fitness fads have cougars looking hotter and more attractive longer. In fact, the older she gets, the more delicious she becomes. Her toned body and and smooth skin coalesce with an earned stately grace to create a sort of sexual super woman.
She Likes the Attention
A cougar is quick to admit that when a young man expresses interest in her it makes her feel great, whether she's into the guy or not. And why not? It validates all of the hard work she's put in to looking hot and staying young. It proves that she's still got it.
She also revels in the fact that other women are often jealous of her, particularly younger women. The cattiness of the young woman is just further validation that she, the cougar, is what men want. They want a piece of her sass, her experience
She's Down with the Program
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, a cougar is proud to be a cougar. She wears the label as a badge of honor. She recognizes that it is tongue-in-cheek, but also finds it empowering. It's both fun and sexy. And maybe she even likes the feistyness it suggests.
To her, "cougar" says, "I'm hot and I'm tired of men having all the fun." She realizes that few people have been more neglected by society than the mature, sophisticated woman. Society expects her to dress conservatively, drive a station wagon and cart her kids to soccer practice. She's watched Hollywood basically cast women like her aside, giving them nothing to play but ignored housewives, teachers with about as much to say as Charlie Brown’s, and useless mothers to obnoxious, ridiculously erudite kids. It’s bullshit and she knows it. It’s also bullshit that her male peers continue to be perceived as more respectable, more refined and more attractive the older they get, even when they’ve got some blonde bimbo with big fake tits on their arms.These women are taking back their sexuality. And they’re doing it under the moniker of cougar. God bless them.
So that's it. That's what it means to be a cougar in the Urbancougar world. What do you think? What do you think it means to be a cougar?
The women's community website SheZoom.com has been running a series of videos concerning the cougar lifestyle called "Cougar Craze." Below is a great "woman on the street" take on the term "cougar."
Cougar Craze: What's in a Name?
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