What’s good for the boomer goose is good for the boomer gander. The sexual revolution of the 1960s isn’t over. Nor is women’s liberation. Meet the cougar.
Are we having an epidemic of female boomer chronophilia? The male boomer version is regarded as a natural part of life. If a man can have a crisis in midlife, why not a woman? What is chronophilia? An age related romantic or sexual preference outside one’s age group.
The midlife cougar prowl is portrayed in television favorites Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives, but none of these characters come close to the notorious Mrs. Robinson who seduces young boomer Dustin Hoffman in the 1961 movie, The Graduate. There are lots of current cougar celebrity couples: Demi Moore and Ashton Kushner, boomer Katie Curic and her 33-year-old triathlon boyfriend, boomers Cher or Madonna and take your pick.
Social scientists scramble to explain the phenomenon. Perhaps it’s the final frontier of the sexual revolution as the divorce rates hovers around 50%. As we live longer and better, attitudes are changing. Combine Diet, Exercise, and Botox, and a mature boomer can be a “DEB” again. Groups abound to service the cougar—websites, newsletters, dating services, dances, cruses, conventions. You’re not older, you’re better. If vintage wine is good, why not vintage women? It’s the sexual revolution taken to its logical conclusion.
The relationships tend to be casual by design. These boomer women are often well-educated, financially secure, and looking for sex and companionship, not children. Boomer men can have “baggage,” like ex’s, kids, and potbellies. Remember, it takes two to do the cougar tango. The younger dudes are attracted to the uninhibited nature of cougars, their independence, and lack of commitment demands.
The answer to midlife crisis: deny it.
♀ Ann Bancroft, who played Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, was in real life only 6 years older than co-star Dustin Hoffman. To refresh your memory, Dustin Hoffman ends up marrying Mrs. Robinson’s daughter. Although most boomers are too young to have seen the movie release in 1961, it has become a boomer favorite.
♀ According to a 2003 survey by the American Association of Retired People, 34% of women over forty are dating younger men. It doesn’t say how much younger. For the record, most definitions of baby boomers end the reign in 1964, which means if you’re 46 or older in 2110, you’re technically a boomer.
Baby Boomer Trivia Questions
►Who was the oldest woman to be featured in a Playboy Magazine spread?
►What do all these women have in common?
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Answers to questions at end of post
A Glossary of Terms
Boy Toy—a much younger companion of an older woman.
Cadet Cougar—a younger (post-boomer) woman who aspires to be a mature Cougar. Also referred to as a “Cougar Pup.” Sometimes a woman in her 20’s or 30’s who dates younger men. See Puma below.
Puma—a woman in her thirties who dates younger men (“I just love those frat parties”) often considered to be a “cougar-in-training.” See Cadet Cougar above.
Saber Tooth—a boomer woman, usually in her fifties +, dating a man 20+ years her junior. A cougar past her prime, but prime is in the eyes of the beholder.
Answers to Baby Boomer Trivia Questions
Then and Later
►The oldest woman to be featured in a Playboy Magazine spread was this bod was made was posing’ Nancy Sinatra, who retained her svelte figure and looked great at 55, a poster girl for how boomers could age without aging. The youngest, you might wonder, was one Elizabeth Ann Roberts, a bit before her 18th birthday. Her appearance caused a furor and Hugh Hefner was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The crime charge was dropped for “lack of evidence.” How did she slip through? Could it have been a publicity stunt?
►All these Hollywood stars have been married at least 4 times.