I hate the term "cougar." I mean, I also hate "MILF" and anything else that attempts to define older women or those that have have had children as inherently unfuckable—and thus the rare few supposedly worthy of placing a man's dick in as special—because, damn it, I have no intention of leaving my sexual self in the same dustbin as the idealism of my pre-recession twenties. But I hate cougar because there is no predatory animal to whom men that devote themselves to exclusively fucking younger women are compared: men are, of course, going to want to fuck younger women, and yet older women are supposed to content themselves with ever older men. Fuck that shit.
Not to say that I didn't date older men in my twenties: to my detriment, I certainly did. The divorcés, the never-marrieds, the taking-off-the-ring types. I dated the whole motley crew of misfits and miscreants and, inevitably, they made me long for the more understandably fucked up men of my own generation (or younger). Maybe it's part and parcel of being part of the post-sexual-revolution generation and trying to date men that were raised with the old nuclear model only to randomly discover casual sex later on, but, I'll be damned if my weirdest dating stories don't inevitably involve men born before 1970.
I dated a few younger men in college—a year seemed like a big deal to me then, because my sister was two years younger—but it wasn't until I neared 30 that I went out with someone society might have deemed absurdly younger. And, damn, was it a good time. So good, in fact, that I spoke about it (video audio is as NSFW as this post thus far).
I didn't stop there, either. I've since dated men younger than my sister, even, breaking my long-ago high school rule. (In fact, I'm still doing so.) Since I turned 30, I've had two long-term relationships with people older than me: one was the top entry on my worst ways to get dumped list, and the other one was slightly less screwed up, but far more emotionally fraught. On the other hand, all the younger men I've gone out with have been deeply respectful of my boundaries, thoughtful, and are still people with whom I have close friendships.
But, somehow, women that want to bang (or have relationships) with younger dudes (or ladies) are considered weird—despite, I think we can admit, the significant differences in sex drive and performance as we age—and dudes that spend their midlife crises exclusively pursuing younger woman are considered the norm. Again: whatevs. Women that do it get a funny label to indicate that it's not the norm, and men are just doing something "normal."
The important thing in a relationship is that the power dynamic suits you and your partner, not that it suits society. Age, as I've learned, doesn't solely determine who is more submissive or dominant, it doesn't determine the level of equality, and it damn well doesn't determine how good (or bad) the sex is. So, get on with your bad selves. Just treat all your partners (younger or older) with the respect you want, and demand the same for yourself.
[Image via ucumari on Flickr, Creative Commons licensed]