In April of 2007, an online dating site, Plenty of Fish, conducted an age and dating study of women in the United States. The study asked how many women, over the age of 30, were dating or seeking to date older men. Of the over 50,000 women surveyed that were using online dating services, 38 per cent of them were seeking men that were at least five years younger than them and another 10 per cent were looking for men at least 10 years younger. The social stigma of cougar dating has decreased in the last decade due in part to the celebrity culture and couples like Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher and Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, as well as the popularity of Internet dating sites. Now, women are branching out and seeking exactly what they want by implementing the help of cougar-specific dating sites to find the young men of their dreams.
"Cougar" is the slang term or nickname for an older woman who dates younger men and is often associated with other pop culture terms, like "MILF." In general, a cougar is identified by a woman over the age of 35, who dates men anywhere from five years younger to 35 years younger than her. A cougar is a woman who frequents clubs, bars and Internet dating sites in search of younger men. While many cougars are interested in only having one night stands, not all cougars are looking for a casual fling. The "cougar" label comes from the perception that a cougar woman is anticipating and calculating as she pounces and sinks her claws into an unsuspecting, naive and innocent young man.
Cougar dating sites are a little bit different than normal dating and networking sites like Match and eHarmony--though Match does have a page devoted specifically to cougar dating. Cougar dating sites work in two ways. First, they help to match older women with younger men and secondly, they match young men with older women. Cougar dating sites like Go Cougar and Date a Cougar offer its members the option of dating to find love, have fun or just to find friends. They offer chat rooms, blogs, membership forums and instant messaging, along with all the typical features that you would find on other dating sites. Cougar dating sites allow men and women to network with other individuals in the privacy of their own home.
The Go Cougar website says that cougar dating is on the rise. Older women dating younger men used to have a social stigma attached to it, but with women waiting longer to marry while they focus on their careers and the increasing rate of divorces, more women at older ages, are venturing into the younger dating scene. Another reason for the growing trend has to do with the growing tolerance and mainstream affects of Internet dating. Internet dating was once a socially unacceptable way to date, but now it is as popular, if not more so, than any other form of dating. Internet dating is a great way to ease your way into cougar dating because it helps create a bridge to cross the often scary generational divide, and this is the reason it will continue to flourish.
Not all cougars are looking for a boy toy or a fling. There are plenty of older women out there who want to get into a serious relationship with their young lovers. Do not mistake a cougar dating site for a legal form of prostitution. Women and men date according to preference and while some people like dating someone in their own generation, others like crossing generational divides to find new and exciting relationships and fulfil their needs. Cougars carry a stigma of being surgically enhanced, desperately horny, old women who will do anything for the company of a young man, but some women are simply looking for their sole mate and just happen to be attracted to younger men.
Whether you're a younger man looking for an older woman or vice versa, there are some important differences you should consider before venturing into this world of dating. Cougars have been in the dating pool for a much longer time than you. They are experienced in relationships and sex and they know exactly what they want. Consider yours and your partners needs and be clear about the exclusivity of your relationship. Playing hard to get doesn't work with a cougar women. She will expect her man to be available, enthusiastic and ready to give her his full attention whenever she wants it.