Cougars Need To Be Cautious
I'm a "Cougar": an independent, young spirited woman who prefers the company of a younger man. I unwillingly entered "Cougar Kingdom" at age forty-seven, due to my husband's tragic death. I didn’t want to jump into anything serious, but I did want sex and companionship. I found being with younger guys perfect for my needs. They were energetic and fun, while not expecting to be in a “relationship.” Being a “Cougar” worked for me! However, as I reflect back on my first year as a “Cougar,” I wonder how I survived both physically and mentally with the risks I’ve taken.
A myth about “Cougars” is that they’re ruthless predators of younger men. I found this to be a huge misnomer. Younger men approached me, not vice versa. I had never lived on my own, never dated in my , and was naive to what it was like being "out there." While I was married, technology had drastically changed the singles’ landscape. Facebook, sexting, tweeting, Internet dating, and even cell phones were new and potentially dangerous traps for “Cougars.” I recently heard a horrifying story about a woman in her forties who was beaten, raped and kidnapped on a date with a twenty-eight-year old. It opened my eyes to something that I didn't realize at the time - this “Cougar” could have been me!
The “Cougar” had met a guy at a bar. They started a texting and phone relationship, and made plans to see each other the following weekend. She went to dinner with him, and he invited her back to his apartment for a nightcap. The nightcap turned into a nightmare! She made the fatal mistake of leaving her phone out when she went to the bathroom. He became enraged when he saw that she had texts from other guys. He raped her and held her captive in his apartment for eight hours before she managed to escape.
“Cougars” are just as vulnerable as any girl in her! As mothers, we tell our daughters to be safe and use good judgment, but somehow it's easy to forget to heed our own advice. As “Cougars” we’re expected to know how the game is played. Facebook, texting, and Internet dating are all new components to the scene, and knowing how to navigate them is key. Being a Cougar doesn't give you the physical strength to defend yourself against a man of any age. We may have claws, but that’s where the physical similarities end. Just because we seem to be confident in our sexuality doesn’t mean that we are ready to jump into a one-night stand.
Here are some of my own personal experiences, which could have resulted in disastrous results:
On vacation in New York City, I met a guy in his late twenties at a swanky nightclub. After talking all night, and becoming slightly intoxicated (very drunk), he followed me into a taxi. I invited him into my hotel room, thinking we would just "make out.” He apparently had other plans, and grew very angry that I wouldn't have sex with him. He asked me point blank to have anal sex without a condom. On top of everything, he informed me that he was a semi-professional boxer.
In San Francisco, I went up to the rooftop of my hotel with a younger guy I had met in the lobby bar. He thought it would be fun to "look" at the pool. He decided to disrobe and jump into the water fully naked. He attempted to get me to take off my clothes and join him. When I resisted, he grabbed me and tried to throw me in. I managed to leave him skinny dipping alone.
In Miami, a thirty-five-year-old guy who I'd spoken to for an hour in a bar followed me to my hotel. He grew irate, when I told him he couldn't come inside. I ran up to the front desk, and warned them not to allow him access to my room. I had given him my phone number, and he called me for several days until I called the phone company to block him.
I met a younger man on a dating website who was living out of town. We communicated for months through emails, texts, and phone calls. We both were excited for our first actual meeting. He came directly off the plane to my house, and there was a strong mutual attraction. After spending the night, he promised to take me to dinner the following evening before he left. I never heard from him again.
A friend of mine sent a nude picture of herself to her younger boyfriend. When they broke up, he was angry and decided to punish her by posting it on his Facebook wall with the comment, “Whore.”
It’s easy for a "Cougar" to get a false sense of confidence about her safety, since she is older and “wiser” than her younger man. His expectations of easy sex based on his perception of “Cougars” may not be in sync with hers. “Cougars” didn’t text and have access to twenty-four-hour communication the first time they were single. There are many advantages to being a “Cougar,” but knowing the dangers of the “Cougar Kingdom” is imperative to her safety.
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