“For a 70-year-old guy to go out with a 40-year-old woman, as opposed to a 70-year-old woman going out with a 40-year-old guy?
A 70-year-old woman going out with a 40-year-old guy is considered creepy.” Why the double standard?
A whopping 34 percent of women over 40 are dating younger men, according to a 2003 survey.
Smith figured it comes down to science: “It probably has something to do with the concentration of the species on procreation,” she quipped.All scientific notions aside, older women opt for younger men for the same reasons that older men select younger women.“I can’t explain why, but I’ve always been,” she said, pausing.“Without even knowing someone’s age, you can be sure I’m going to gravitate toward the younger guy.I was a cougar before there were cougars.” Indeed, Wheeler’s pre-marriage and post-divorce dating history reads like a steamy screenplay.
She listed a string of young men with whom she had various relationships, occasionally punching numbers into a calculator to determine age differences she had never considered in the first place.And since men have been dating younger women for ages, why are so many of us surprised — shocked, even — that women would follow suit?Valerie Gibson, author of Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men, is all too familiar with this double standard. They were absolutely horrified that older women should be having sex with younger men.”When many of us think “cougar,” we picture the ultimate cougar of the big screen: The Graduate’s legendary, martini-sipping Mrs. These days, real-life cougars are stars like Demi Moore (who, in her 40s, married then-twenty-something heartthrob Ashton Kutcher), the coiffed reality-show cast of The Real Housewives of Orange County, and, yes, everyday women — suburbanites and city-slickers alike.*Editor’s note: Names of some of the interviewees have been changed for privacy.Annette Wheeler* didn’t recall the exact moment she first heard the term “cougar,” but she did remember dashing to her computer to look it up.“The mentality of having a youthful person on your arm who makes you feel good, who makes you feel ageless, makes you feel desired and desirable,” Gibson said.