Everything You Need To Know About The Male Version Of Cougars

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male version of cougar
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The term "cougar" needs a male equivalent. Manther? Dingo?

What is a cougar? Well, ever since 40-something-year-old Demi Moore started dating then-20-something Ashton Kutcher in 2003, the term "cougar" has grown to become one of the most popular reference points and punchlines in popular culture. TV shows like Desperate Housewives and Cougar Town, and films like How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Something's Got To Give have given a positive update to the old cougar slang, which tended toward comical (Harold and Maude) and grotesque (Sunset Boulevard)


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But you may ask yourself: What about the men? What is the male version of cougar? Throughout history the phenomenon of the younger woman and way, way, way older man has been accepted if not back-slappingly admired. Where Demi was 15 years older than Ashton, her 54-year-old ex Bruce Willis married 30-year-old model Emma Heming and publicized the union with a racy nude photo spread in W Magazine.

After ending his marriage of 29 years, 54-year-old Mel Gibson debuted his 39-year-old girlfriend, which is a relatively minor age difference when it comes to male celeb May-December romances. Meanwhile, back in 2003 Cameron Diaz, then 30, earned the cougar label for dating only 8-years-younger Justin Timberlake.

Thirty-something women dating younger men get the cougar-in-training label "Puma," but men in their thirties dating younger women? Nary a label in sight, though those who date older women are known by the cuddly moniker of "Cubs."


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Well, we say enough with the double standard! Not only is the tradition of men dating younger women more common and often more extreme in age difference, the male set hasn't even been saddled with a nickname. Fair is fair and men should have a name for the male version of a cougar.

In one of Richard Roeper's articles on the subject, a reader suggested "Dingo." Yes, the mangy, scavenging dogs that are predators. Their close relative the Hyena is a little less attractive. For cool calculation and predatory nature, "Shark" is a go-to, but that cougar slang can be seen as flattering for their aggressiveness and general dominance.

So far, Manther (male panther) seems to be getting the most traction on the internets as the male cradle-robbing label.

In the large rodent category, Pole Cat, Weasel or Badger seem viable. And what about Lizard? Scaly reptiles with creepy, darting tongues? Works for us! "Hey, we better go rescue Tina, my Lizard uncle is creeping up on her again..."

So what's the best name for a male cougar? And what about a positive term for older hot women? MILF only applies to women with children and much younger admirers, and men have been called Silver Foxes, so why not Silver Minx?


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Gwendolyn Bond-Upson is a freelance writer for YourTango.

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