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What Is A Cougar Anyway?

Updated on February 23, 2016

The MILF distinguished

Universally, MILFs are older women who are sexy and the object of the desires of all men, from teenagers (as seen in American Pie as exemplified by Stiffler’s Mom) to young men (Mrs. Robinson) and Mrs. Parker in Ice Cube’s Friday. If you never saw Friday, Mrs. Parker is featured in her yard watering her lawn, bent over in the shortest shorts, oblivious of the young men gawking at her from across the street.

An exploration of the American use of the term "cougar"

Cougar is a term that describes a woman and it is an expression that is usually reviled. The term is normally accompanied by snickers or expressions of disgust. What distinguishes a cougar from the sexier MILF (which is vulgar when written out)? The cougar is typically one of two things. Either a woman over the age of 40 seeking sexual relationships with men in their 20’s and/or 30’s or a woman who is in a relationship with a younger man, irrespective of the age difference. The cougar is usually perceived as “aggressive.” She is the equivalent of the Spanish “loba.Loba is a female wolf and, in Spain, she is an older, aggressive woman desperately chasing men. The affectionate term “Cougar” is popular in the United States and Canada.

May/December Couples

May/December Couples Cont'd

The Desperate Cougar

One distinction between the cougar and the MILF appears to be the pursuit. The cougar pursues the men, while the MILF is the object of pursuit. Basically, in using these labels, society is telling us that it is okay for an attractive, older woman to be pursued and desired by men, but it is not okay for an older woman, attractive or otherwise, to pursue a younger man. At the point of pursuit, she is perceived as “aggressive” and/or “desperate.” Is this fair?

Even with the distinction between the “cougar” and the “MILF,” people are often uncomfortable with the idea of May/December romances where the woman is the older of the two partners. Remember when Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher started dating? How many people doomed that relationship before it began? Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon? People did not give Mariah as much flack for her marriage choice. While, at one point, this relationship seemed postured to last, unfortunately, this union, too, has failed. The fact of the matter is no one wants to see an older woman with a younger man. From the earliest era in time, it has been acceptable and even prestigious for older men to date younger women. Just look at Hugh Hefner! Everyone wants to be him. However, the second an older woman dates a younger man, there are expressions of revulsion and exclamations of “That’s disgusting!” and “What is she thinking?!”

Acceptable age difference...

What is the maximum acceptable age difference in dating?

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What is an acceptable age difference?

What is the limit for an acceptable May/December relationship where the woman is the oldest? 5 years? 10 years? 15 years? For the guys… Do you want an older woman with grey hair? Or, would you prefer a Mrs. Parker type? Ladies… What are your thoughts on the cougar label and phenomenon? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. There will definitely more articles to come on this subject!

Age Ain't Nothin' But A Number!

Dating an older woman explored in song

Ponder the lyrics of Andre 3000’s Pink and Blue:

Miss lady

You could have been born a little later but I don't care

So what if your head sports a couple of grey hairs

Same here, and actually I think that's funky

(In a Claire Huxtable type way)

Miss lady

It looks to me like you need a little juice in your life

So call me when that big ole house gets lonelyfied

And I'll teleport from here to there

You show me how it's supposed to be done

I'll make sure you have young fun

Here, it seems that the deeper side of Outkast seeks the attention of an older and seemingly conservative woman, not what one would necessarily consider the MILF. Can you imagine a world where any man does not care about a woman having grey hair?

Cougars: Older women dating younger men...

What do you think of older women dating younger men?

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What are your thoughts about cougars, MILFs, and older women dating younger men in general?

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    • Joyfulcrown profile image


      4 years ago

      Interesting hub. I don't personally have a problem with dating younger men, but I do get along better with people my closer to my age.

    • Angela Kendrick profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Kendrick 

      4 years ago from United States of America

      Thanks for your feedback! I, too, have found that younger men are definitely attracted to many characteristics that older women have which are lacking in their younger counterparts. Younger men are definitely fun to date.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 

      4 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      I like younger men myself. I enjoy their spirit and sense of adventure. I've also found younger men appreciate certain traits in older women; they're less likely to run games on them, and tend to appreciate them for who they are rather than what they can get out of them. I ran a poll once; only one guy gave a negative answer, but he was WAY underage and the poll wasn't for him anyway.

    • Angela Kendrick profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Kendrick 

      4 years ago from United States of America


    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Personally I don't have a problem with it...I date younger men and its fine. When an older women is what they seek then they know what to expect and readily oblige and I don't mean just sexually. There are certain characteristics that they prefer and seem to feel that they can't get it from a younger woman or women their own age. For instance, some say it's hard to have a decent conversation because the younger women, often shallow, isn't mature enough to expound on the basics of current events. Or she's too conceited to give them any conversation because she's looking for a certain type of man; drug dealer, sugar daddy etc. bascially someone to fund her lifestyle... So I guess with any relationship there will be challenges but for now all I want old is my money!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Awesome hub. Thanks for the information and making the distinction between MILFs and Cougars.


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