‘Cougars’ on the prowl, hit back against social stigma

Caroline Flack, the 33 year old woman who dated17 year old One Direction star Harry Styles, caught her fair share of criticism for her ‘cradle-robbing’ behaviour, but an increasing number of ‘cougars’ are proudly declaring their disdain when it comes to dating younger men.

There has been an historical double standard when it comes to dating someone much younger than yourself for quite some time. For some reason, it’s more socially acceptable for a man to date a woman ten or fifteen years younger than him, yet when women do so they are almost universally reviled.

However, the move towards legitimacy for ‘cougar’ dating has been underway for some time, mostly due to high-profile relationships such as the Styles-Flack pairing. Other well-known celebrities, such as Demi Moore and Madonna, have had well-publicised relationships with younger men, which has led to a gradual normalisation of the idea that women can date younger men as easily as men can date younger women.

In fact, 19 per cent of men now say that they would not be dissuaded from dating a woman if she was up to 15 years older, according to a recent research study. However, this seems to be the upper limit, as the lion’s share drew the line at 20 years, with only 4 per cent reporting that a two decade age difference wasn’t a bother to them.

Just slightly less than one out of every three male respondents indicated that they would be comfortable dating someone ten years older than them. This figure increases steadily as the gap narrows year by year, the research findings indicate, with the highest approval rating – that of 98 per cent – was found for age gaps of anywhere from one to three years.

Senior dating – it’s all about knowing what button to press

Another aspect to take into consideration, and this is a point in history that will never recur, is that those now entering middle age, they are entering retirement with a full understanding of the Internet. Finding dating sites via a PC is perhaps easier than opening a jar of pickles. Whereas recent generations of seniors have shied away from that there new-fangled technology, online dating holds no such fear for the senior citizen looking to share their later years with someone new.

And for many more mature singles, as they reach that reflective time in their lives, using dating sites is not only a way of finding out about others, but also a time of self-discovery. After a lifetime of working to pay the bills and dedicating most waking hours making sure everyone else’s needs were catered for, the reward in retirement is often that mortgages are paid, the keys to the company car have been handed back for the last time – no new model this year! – and for the first time since early adulthood, seniors can really look back on their life and forward to the future with perhaps their own offsprings’ families, share their grandchildren with a new partner in a way that time has never afforded before.  What better way to do this than by selecting just the right person to share that future with, using the dating site as a keen tool, perhaps to even better effect than their younger online dating peers.

Whether that feat’s achieved through a stand alone, specifically tailored dating site for seniors or a mainstream one with a bespoke, integrated facility whereby the single can filter the ages brought up in search results, there is absolutely no reason why senior citizens shouldn’t be taking to the Internet to find the next love of their lives, just like them pesky kids do.

And here’s a scary statistic to finish this two-part article with, that proves that there’s life in these old dogs yet. According to a recent study undertaken on behalf of match.com, 91% of singles in the senior bracket reckon they achieve the mighty O every time they have sex. I don’t know about dating sites for the elderly, but it’s no wonder the cougar and sugar daddy sites are so popular if they have that level of success every time they hit the hay. Perhaps there’s another reason why 500 NYU female students have signed up to be sugar babies on seekingarrangement.com and it’s not just to pay their way through college, after all.

Men can be their own worst dating site enemy

In the previous article, “The quickest way to a mans wallet is via his crotch” we questioned the safety of unwitting males on dating sites being lured in by women who know how to get what they want from their male counterparts. Not only via their online dating platform, but offline, to devastating effect.

I cannot help wondering, though, if men haven’t contributed to their own downfalls – you can put all the danger signs up you like, but as the age old saying suggests, when there is the opportunity of a bit of adult fun, they stop thinking with their brain.

As well as in bars, I’ve worked in offices long enough to hear the ladies, mainly the younger ones (but I’m reliably informed that the cougars of this dating world are not averse to similar tactics), relate tales of their weekends on Monday morning in which they bear no shame in having been out all weekend, have more money in their purses than before they hit the town on Friday evening, and yet still managed to maintain a level of inebriation throughout the 3-day binge that would have Ollie and George paying them homage, and all courtesy of the male population’s affability.

And I say ‘no shame’ not to induce the image of brazen hussies cruising the bars looking for men to buy them drinks (although there were elements of that in many of the Monday morning tales), but almost as if there’s a level of expectation at the outcome, that it was guaranteed even before the starter’s whistle had been raised to his lips that the weekend binge would cost them zip.

And again, as in the previous article, many of these girls were not single. Their partners’ knew the score (that other men would be paying for their drinks whilst said menfolk stayed home watching the kid[s], whilst playing Xbox 360 and smoking dope) and they were happy that others were footing their ladies’ beer-bill as it saved on the household expenditure. Is it any wonder that men are setting themselves up as targets on dating sites for women who have made extracting money an art form?

So has the world gone mad, the dating one as well as the offline version? I know I used to help out the odd damsel in distress in my time but, as a gang of guys we soon used to get to know the, well, we did have a name for them: p****-teasers (substitute the **** with the forename of 80’s crooner Mr Astley and you get the picture) and we used to avoid them at any cost. No matter how far they went on a first date.

So, gentlemen, be afraid, be very afraid, if you are asked for money by women on your dating site. Their in-boxes are, more likely than not, filled with responses to plenty of other PM’s they’ve sent, creating a whole manner of plights that could see them getting what they want, just because they know how the male machine is wired. You have been warned.

The quickest way to a man’s wallet is via his crotch

Continuing where we left off in our last dating post, looking into concerns for men’s safety on dating site platforms, we look at how easily many men give away their hearts for all of the wrong reasons, notwithstanding that the ‘woman’ may be anything other than a front for a whole manner of fraudulent behaviour beyond a ‘too good to be truedating profile.

As well as men who are trying their hand at online dating having to suss out the scammers, they also have to be aware of real women who are very aware of their own charms. The majority of women who use dating sites do so for all the right reasons – looking to find someone with whom they have passions in common, searching for the perfect partner online, trying to eek out a love life from the ashes of a past disaster. You name it, there are a thousand honourable routes to finding yourself all of a sudden hooked on online dating.

However, there are a minority who use dating sites purely for selfish reasons, some lawful ones, others criminal. They know that the right combination of body, looks and flattery will soon have most men eating out of their hands and, because men make so amiable targets for practise when there’s the sniff of a little romance in the air, they have become really quite good at pushing the right buttons in real life and even more successful in the ethereal dating land of cyberspace cupids.

Let’s face facts: the quickest way into a man’s wallet is via his crotch (sorry to sound so crude, but that’s the truth of it); not to suggest women try this at home but if a woman was to flash her assets (teeth and eyes, I mean – what were you thinking?) next to a single bloke at the bar of the local hostelry, you can see the reaction, it’s almost chemical. The same chain of events, wallet and crotch literally being joined at the hip, must happen a million times a day on dating sites the world over.

I’ve worked behind enough bars to know the signs, even been on friendly enough terms with a lot of women for them, on occasion, to confide in me that instead of cruising around their dating sites, they’re having a night out on the pull, spiced up with a bit of a wager across the party (of not necessarily all single females) betting on who can bag the most drinks bought for them over the course of the night.

And who is to say that there is not a similar clique going on offline between women, comparing notes as is their wont, only on this occasion measuring how much they have extracted from the men on the various dating sites that they haunt?

Read More [Men can be their own worst dating site enemy]

Kutcher Cougar coup

No wonder he looks like the cat that got the cream. Ashton Kutcher, soon to be ex-husband of Hollywood superstar Demi Moore, has been approached by toy-boy specialist dating site CougarLife.com to head up a high profile media campaign to be broadcast on radio and TV.

The ‘lucrative’ deal will also include personal appearances on behalf of the niche online dating platform by the Two-and-a-half Men star. He may well want to steer clear of the UK dating scene for a while, though, as many British women would seemingly love to get their claws into him, after he scooped the 2011 ‘top cub’ award as their most coveted fantasy toy boy. More than just ‘tickly under there’, then.

Claudia Opdenkelder, the president of the dating site, which caters for experienced women looking to pass their knowledgeable ways in the art of lovemaking down to a younger generation of men, is quick to defend that rite of passage, ‘I don’t think that the age difference played a role…they had a beautiful marriage for over five years and, like many relationships, it came to an end.’

Not exactly a die hard romance, then.

Madge, Kabbalah & Hollywood husbands

Another Hollywood legend, who perhaps considered a guru on toy-boys, show-biz relationships and split-ups is offering Demi continual support and spiritual guidance. Madonna, once married to Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie of Hollywood fame, is sharing her Kabbalah beliefs with Demi, to help her get over Kutcher, sixteen years her junior.

Madge’s message to Demi is to move on, take pride in the fact that she tried to make the marriage work even after it was discovered that Kutcher had been unfaithful and try to find ‘…someone who will fulfil her intellectually and emotionally.’

And it looks like that message is getting through; a last-ditch attempt by Kutcher to get Demi back on side by buying her a £64k sports car didn’t stop her from announcing official divorce proceedings a week later.

Perhaps, though, when Ms Moore does set out on that journey to find her next long-term relationship, she will not be using her 33 year-old soon-to-be ex’s dating site to search for prospects to fill that role.

There is more information, and an insightful definition, of cougars on womensissues.com
…however, as ‘real-life’ examples, perhaps they may want to swap the Moore/Kutcher reference for something more true to life; here’s to you, Mrs Robinson.