What is it with the Cougar Phenomenon?
For some reason I am okay with Demi and Ashton – they are both freakishly good looking and they basically live on another planet. I am not so okay with a 25-year-old employee and his 45-year-old boss getting frisky in my world.
Is it because they are not gorgeous?
Is it because I think it is a flagrant abuse of power in the workplace?
No, its because the thought of getting it on with someone 20 years my senior makes me feel dirty – and not in a good way.
His girlfriend is the same age as his mother. Oedipal much? I am not going to get into Freudian theory here, suffice to say it would make me uncomfortable if my son dated one of my peers. It seems to be that I have uncovered a bias within my psyche. I’m embracing it, acknowledging it and hopefully letting it go.
Once upon a time I was 19 and dating a man 10 years my senior. Looking back, I am so grateful his friends were so kind to me, because I must have seemed like a right idiot. Not for dating an older man, but for being infected by the arrogance of youth and sheer stupidity of teenage hormones. They had jobs, careers and families. I was in my first year of university. They were buying homes, my biggest concern was if I had bus fare. I was so consumed with angst that I couldn’t see the wood for the trees.
Arguably, older women do not go out with younger men for their brainpower or GSOH. Biologically, women reach their sexual peak in their thirties and forties, men in their twenties, so perhaps cougar relationships make a twisted kind of sense. Certainly younger men might have faster recuperative powers, but what do you with them out of bed?
The couple that provoked this train of thought are a good case in point. She likes to go to the casino on a Friday night and spend an hour or two or three on the slots. He likes to go to a club and party until the sun rises. So, I guess they stay home a lot. Oh, except he lives with his mother, so he stays over a lot. She refers to him as “my boy toy”, a term that makes my blood run colder than “cougar”.
I happen to think the cougar is a beautiful animal, filled with power and fluid grace. Older women with middle-aged spread – myself included – do not fall into this category. Perhaps with botox, a boob job and a personal trainer, but in general – no.
An age gap either way doesn’t faze me too much, but when your current lover is younger than your children it raises some awkward questions. I can understand the money factor, but being treated as a walking, talking, breathing sex toy gives me chills down my back. The boyfriend is a father in his own right, however instead of buying toys for his child, he is playing with the ten grand remote controlled 4×4 purchased by his older lover.
Describing the lady in question as “hot” he proceeded to provide an eloquent metaphor on her body, which also provided another telling sign of the social age gap. “Her breasts are a lot like Flubber. You can stick your hand in and then pull it right out.” First of all, no woman of any age wants boobs like Flubber. Secondly, she doesn’t know what Flubber is, because she was too old to watch the movie.
Forget the gaping age difference for a moment and examine the professional implications of this relationship. This lady has never had a boyfriend over 26 years of age. This gives the current boyfriend a gap of about 6 months. What happens then? As his boss she holds an axe over his head that could see his career destroyed. Office gossip is like the Ebola virus, only it spreads quicker.
I may have painted the cougar in this case to be a Cruella de Ville. I am sure she is a lovely lady, albeit with issues, but we all have those. As for the male party? I think he is desperately naïve if he thinks this is going to end in a happily ever after – which he does. If I were him, I’d enjoy the moment and then wave it goodbye and get a new job in the Kingdom of Far Far Away.