The self-proclaimed cougar wrote her first book on the topic — Younger Men: How to Find Them, Date Them, Mate Them, and Marry Them — 14 years ago, “and let me tell you something,” she said in a whisper. While there’s no denying that cougars are slinking into the mainstream, there’s still an element of taboo surrounding these age-spanning relationships.
“It’s definitely considered creepier for women to go out with younger men,” admitted Junie Smith*, a 52-year-old cougar who lives on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
*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.
“They don’t mind at all what age she is as long as she’s vital and gorgeous or something attracts them.