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Here she comes, Miss … Cougar?

Posted on Monday, July 19, 2010 in Aging, Relationships, Self image, Sex/sexuality, Singles, Women

“Look,” Sara said, flipping through the pages of the paper. “Marin’s going to have it’s first Ms. Cougar Contest!”

“Oh, gross.”

“Why, aren’t you for older women shagging young dudes?”

“Of course I am! As often as possible.”


“It’s just so stupid to make it a “thing,” give it a name and go on display.”

“It’s no different than Miss America or Miss Universe, is it?”

Yeah, it is, actually. I’m no fan of beauty pageants, but at least they get a scholarship out of it and maybe even a sex tape or a spread in Playboy.

What do you get for being Miss Cougar USA, or Miss Cougar America or, now, Miss Cougar Marin? A free berth on a cougar cruise and
really, really embarrassing pictures in your
local newspaper. 

Not to mention all the snide remarks.

And while Miss Americas may go around
doing charity work, Miss Cougars are probably performing ever so slightly different charity work.

Gloria Navarro, 42, the first Miss Cougar America, wasn’t off the mark when she said:
“I believe every woman has a cougar in them, someone who doesn’t need a man for
anything other than companionship.”

But, is that what a cougar is about?

And, does a woman who feels like that have
to have a name, other than, well, woman?

I really don’t want to obsess about the word “cougar” (although I’m a woman and we obsess about way too many things). But it bothers me.

I’m not quite sure why, beyond the fact that labels in general are silly.

Do I believe in the older women-younger guy thing? Sure.

Do I believe that women should have NSA sex? If that’s what they want, sure.

Do I believe that women should have a life of their own, independent of men? Yes!

Do I believe women should “know what they want, and know how to get it?” Uh, doh.

But, do we have to have a label to do that, and have stupid conventions and cruises and contests to live whatever life we choose?

I sure hope not. Do guys do that? (well, I think there are PUA conventions, actually, but it’s not like the guys are on stage strutting and gals are drooling on the sidelines, waiting to buy some guy a drink with a name like a Screaming Orgasm (wink-wink) and take him back to their hotel room).

Maybe it’s me. I’m not into the pageantry thing; I never wanted to be the prom queen, either. But at least you talk about that proudly to the grandkiddies one day.

  • Regardless of what you think of cougars, the label, versus cougar, the “sexually liberated” woman, what do you think about contrived ways to get older women and younger men together?
  • Would you feel differently if there were “events” to gather together older men and younger babes?
  • OK, yeah — what do you think about the label “cougar”?

photo © Nathalie P –

Bring on the comments

  1. A Dude says:

    Well I don’t think “cougar” is generally applied to every womoan who is with a younger man, is it? If so it’s a bad term, but I always thought it was just a fun term for older woman “out on the prowl” for one night stands with younger men.

    As far as the events, sure why not? Good for younger guys too who might have trouble getting laid with girls their own age! And they already have events for younger woman/older men- they are called bars.

  2. Steve says:

    Gloria Navarro, 42, the first Miss Cougar America, wasn’t off the mark when she said:
    “I believe every woman has a cougar in them, someone who doesn’t need a man for
    anything other than companionship.”

    Imagine if a 42 year old guy, whether or not he was dating younger women for sex only, said that. Wouldn’t he rightfully be accused of being misogynistic?

  3. Steve says:

    I think we have all heard women sneering about the middle aged guys with “comb overs and guts” going after young women.

    It seems like using the word “cougar” is just the way of demeaning another group of human beings going after their needs the best they can.

  4. dadshouse
    Twitter: dadshouseblog

    I agree with you completely. Women should live their lives however they want. But having a Cougar pageant seems silly. Aren’t pageants for little girls?

  5. BigLittleWolf
    Twitter: BigLittleWolf

    Cougar pageant? OMG. Pitiful. Crass. So American.

    Frankly, I hate the term “cougar.” It’s ridiculous. But then, as a culture, we’re ridiculous when it comes to many things pertaining to men and women and relationships.

    All the labels are silly, and limiting. But it’s what we do. Sadly.

  6. T
    Twitter: tsquest

    Ha ha ha @BLW. “So American.”

    So true!! We’re the worst at putting labels on things and putting them on display. Too funny.

    And it is a little ridiculous to have a pageant. Really?

  7. amy says:

    hm. i guess i didn’t realize that cougars were only out for nsa sex. i thought it was more about finding a boy-toy to serve their needs. or something.

    it’s silly, as are many “media-created phenomena.” i admit i watched part of one episode of the “reality” show–and i found myself vaguely nauseated by how young the dudes looked–like, practically underage. ugh. conjures up images of those tawdry (and illegal) teacher-student affairs.

    i’ve been reading “The Truth About Men Will Set You Free….But First It’ll P**s You Off” by Dr. Pat Allen and Don Schmincke. they give the low-down (backed by reams of evidence from science and the social sciences) on the biological basis of how men and women interact. they bring up the well-known fact that males are at their sexual peak in their late teens/early twenties, and women in their late 30s/early 40s. if we were to go solely on natural “tendencies,” i guess the cougar thing would make sense.

    in any case, count me out. bleah!

  8. KC says:

    If older women hitting on younger men are “Cougars” then I guess I’m a Lion… because I’ve never been in a relationship with a woman older than me and my ex wife was 9 years younger than me…
    I find it interesting that poles have men all figured out.. according to the “poles” I should be sitting on a couch watching Deal or No Deal and the thought of sex should have me running to the bathroom in horror…
    I loved sex at 15 almost as much as I love it now… Lets just say, a few years older…. I have to admit, my views of sex might have changed as has my thoughts on what a relationship should be like but I have JUST as much sex now as I did when I was 20 and it’s WAY more fun doing it with an open mind and with women that have figured out that Missionary is a person that performs Gods Work… not something that is meant for the bedroom… unless both people are screaming “OH, GOD… OH GOOOOODDDDD”

  9. Kat Wilder says:

    Dude — LOL! Bars aren’t just for older guys-younger women. It’s the universal (and ageless, as long as you’re 21+) meet/meat market, right?

    But, yes; any woman over 35 who’s interested in men younger than that is a cougar. As if!!

    Steve — A guy who doesn’t a woman for anything other than companionship is a “jerk,” “Peter Pan,” “playa” and a lot of other unflattering things. I guess it’s a matter of … context?

    Dads — Pageants aren’t just for little girls, evidenced by Miss America, Miss USA, Miss Universe (which never really has anyone from any other planet; what’s that about?) However, I’m not sure what determines who’s worthy of the cougar title — the oldest? the hottest? the most likely to bag a young guy? the one who’s bagged the most? It’s too confusing!!!

    BLW — No, it’s what “they” do. We’re so beyond that!!!

    T — America; it’s the best and the worst. What a contradictory lot we are. No wonder why we all feel so friggin’ unsettled.

    Amy — that’s the problem; the label is slapped on any woman post 35 for whatever reason. Hardly seems fair.

    Of course the cougar thing makes sense; we live longer than men, so we should be with men who’ll pop off around the same time we do, not to mention the sexual “peaking” times. But since my kid i almost at his peak, and I’m ever so slightly past mine … it does put things in perspective. Maybe 5 year younger will do … 😉

  10. Kat Wilder says:

    If you're going to be a #cougar, can't you just hit up young dudes without turning it into an event?

  11. brian says:

    so come on Kat don’t hold out on us tell us where and when the contest is?

  12. Kat Wilder says:

    KC — I think it’s more about, uh, stamina, than the will to have sex. Men can go at it and have an erection an hour later when they’re 18; not so when they’re in their 40s … thus the popularity of Viagra. Roarrrr, lion!

    Brian — Saturday July 24, 2010 at 8:00pm
    Embassy Suites Hotel
    101 McInnis Pkwy
    San Rafael, California 94903 Get Directions
    Meet new friends at this fun party! One lady at tonight’s party will be elected by the Cubs (younger men) to be Miss Cougar Marin! She will win a free berth on the International Cougar Cruise, December 3-6, visiting the Bahamas, courtesy of To be eligible, she must be at least 35 years old and legally single. Only $10 at the door includes dancing to your favorite hits. Adults of all ages welcome. Dressy nightclub attire requested. Saturday, July 24, 2010, 8pm-Midnight.

    BONUS: Rich Gosse, author of The Cougar Imperative: Why MidLife Women MUST Choose Younger Men, will give a brief entertaining talk for those who arrive on time.

    LOCATION: Embassy Suites Hotel, 101 McInnis Pkwy, San Rafael CA 94903. From Hwy 101 take N San Pedro exit east towards the Bay; left on Civic Center Drive; right on McInnis. Free parking.

    SPONSORED by The Society of Single Professionals, the worlds largest non-profit singles organization.

  13. KC says:

    Kat…. you’ve been hanging around the “old Farts” group to long… The “old Farts” are men that THINK they are old and such…. they are… then there’s the over 40 something crowd that is still having fun ! Thats the group I belong too..
    If you have to wait an hour for the next ride by ANYONE… Thats too long and you’re missing out!

    3 times a night, no problem… !
    Viagra, Never tried it… if I do, can I go
    6 times??? Something to thing about! LOL

  14. L says:

    I haaaaaate the term “cougar.” It always seems to be used in a vaguely disdainful way. No one actually admires a stereotypical cougar. That said, I would never have believed how easy it would be, after 40, to have sex with an endless parade of hot younger guys. There’s hardly any need to organize an event to facilitate this, just leave the house. I imagine the young men have some combined Mrs. Robinson/no strings fantasy that it will be some perfect zipless fuck. It rarely works out so perfectly.

    An event to bring together older men and younger women wouldn’t bother me, but most women around my age get really testy about the idea.

  15. Lance says:

    Labels normally don’t bother me at all…in fact, I prefer to use them freely because I think it takes away their power. I actually like the term cougar because in reality a cougar is a sleek, powerful animal. Cougars and pumas are the same thing, and pumas definitely have a positive connotation. Anyway.

    An event getting older women and younger men together? Sure, why not? We’ve got events for everything under the sun now. FYI, I would definitely allow myself to be seduced my a cougar, no question.

    The 21 Convention!! This is happening right now in my hometown and I’m attending! Hahahah!

  16. Rich Gosse says:

    Kat, your points are well-taken. But I think you’re missing the most important thing about the whole cougar phenomenon–it’s allowing MidLife women to believe that they are still desirable, still worthy of a loving relationship or just plain fun in the dating world. Before the cougar movement, most MidLife women were resigned to zero dates for the rest of their lives.

    Come to our Miss Marin Cougar Contest & Dance tonight and witness the fun these MidLife women can now have! Details at

  17. Kat Wilder says:

    L — Yes, you are right — easier to sleep with younger men now that I’m post-40, too. Of course, when I was younger I wanted to sleep with older men!

    Lance — I don’t mind the event getting older-younger together so much as the pageantry part of it. What exactly are we voting on? The oldest hottest woman? It seems somewhat weird.

    Rich — hope the event went well. I’m sure I’ll read about it somewhere. I am certainly not against older women sleeping with younger guys — especially when I do it! I think older women did that before the “C” word ever came into existence. In fact, it dates back to Catherine the Great and earlier — why do you think they called her great?

    It’s the pageant part that makes me a bit nauseous. Like I ask Lance above, what are we voting on?