To Cougar or Not to Cougar

To Cougar or Not to Cougar

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The hetero, horny Solo Mom and the younger man

Let’s begin with a little roaring, shall we? The term “cougar” exists to describe a woman who dates a much younger man, and this makes us want to tear someone from limb to limb with our sharp teeth and claws. We want to growl back, “What is a ‘man’ who dates a younger woman called? Oh, yeah . . . a ‘man.’” Even The Man. Yet, if women date younger men, we are viewed as somehow predatory, on the hunt, or someone to be feared and ridiculed.

Regardless of the sexism inherent in this terminology, we have to accept that it exists and that it’s not going away. So what is the productive thing to do?

Well, what if we embraced it?

As Solo Moms, we are smart, strong, sassy, funny, and sumptuous . . . and we can bench-press 300 (don’t ask 300 of what, though. Cheerios?). We are all that. And we can mow the lawn, cook dinner, and help our kids with their homework after coming home from work. Any guy should be lucky to bask in our attention. Why not choose whomever we want? Why should we be limited to the decrepit, sad, saggy, and shallow? No way, F that. We have options, and we will make good use of our options. So will Solo Moms date a much younger man? Heck, yeah, we will! Bring it!

But what constitutes a much younger man? This is up to us, really. Some women date guys six months younger and proudly call themselves cougars. If we want to call ourselves cougars, we can date a man six seconds younger and wear the badge of honor because who is going to stop us? That’s right. Nobody.

But we don’t date just any much younger man. No. There are some questions we must ask. Three, to be exact. First, is he 18? The law finds it problematic if he’s not. If Much Younger Man is older than 18, we move on to the next question—is he one or more of the following:

  1. Kind
  2. Smart
  3. Hot
  4. Otherwise incredible

If so, he’s definitely worth considering, and we should then ask ourselves the critical question: Do I feel pangs of lust just standing next to him?

Because, let’s be honest, if you don’t, then just be friends: friends can talk, go to the movies, go to dinner, paint the doorsteps, and pick up random things such as our prescriptions from Walgreens and our children from day care. We’re just saying, he better make us lose our pants, or this conversation can end right here.

Let’s say that the answer to all the above questions is an emphatic YES. And maybe for the last one, even an “Ohhhh, yes!” If so, what could possibly be the problem? Why would you even hesitate?

First, there’s the shaming society imposes on us. But Solo Moms are above all that. We don’t give a shit what anyone thinks. Who are these people who want to shame us, anyway? Why do they have so much time to worry about our sex lives? Wait . . . that’s right. They shouldn’t. The fact that they do is not our problem. Their sex lives (or lack thereof) is their own problem.

Another reason Solo Moms might hesitate is because there is a perception that Much Younger Man will be less mature. Well, those of us who have been on the dating scene awhile have a not-so-secret secret. People can be immature at any age, and there is no other pattern. What about someone who is “experienced”? Experience is nothing without self-reflection. It’s much better to find a self-reflective younger man, an incredible panties-be-goner who is smart and kind, than someone who has the introspective ability of a water buffalo.

Then what about being in “different stages in life”? First, if we are just out for a good time . . . who gives a shit? If we want more—let’s say we want to have a real relationship—should we still go for a much younger man? Of course! Go ahead and date him, and discuss your intentions, too. The media has us convinced that an older woman cannot have a fulfilling life with a younger man because of the “biological-clock problem.” The truth is, we are so much more than our biology. It may be that we are assuming things about his life that are not true, or perhaps we believe some things in life are absolute, and we find out, upon further consideration, that isn’t always the case. Dating diversely is a good opportunity to get to know ourselves better, if nothing else.

Don’t make excuses for dating your much younger man, and don’t wait for him to “grow up,” either. We know from experience that waiting never works.

Mika Yamamoto, ESME's Guide for Public Assistance, has successfully nurtured two children as a Solo Mom and now hopes to achieve the same results as a plant nanny.

Please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions.

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