What are cougars? – The Sun | The Sun
COUGAR-TOY BOY relationships are extremely common in the celeb world, and some women refer to themselves as a cougar, whilst others have the label thrust upon them.
But what does the term 'cougar' mean in a relationship setting, and is it derogatory?
What is a cougar?
According to Dictionary.com a cougar is "an older woman who seeks sexual relationships with much younger men", for example, He's in his twenties, but he prefers cougars in their forties and fifties to young women his own age.
Traditionally, cougar-toy boy relationships meant woman in their 40s dating men 10 to 20 years their junior.
However, over time it has come to mean a woman of any age being in a relationship with a 10-year-plus age gap.
Some consider the term 'cougar' derogatory, sexist, or insulting, but the more it has been used in mainstream entertainment and everyday life, its bad reputation has lessened and many now claim it can be empowering.
This has stirred a fierce debate over whether the term is a triumph for women, or it remains a disastrous setback.
As for where the term 'cougar' came from, the origin of the phrase is unclear, but it is thought to have started in Canada.
It later became an established term by the dating website cougardate.com – a site dedicated to "casual dating for cougars and toyboys".
Numerous celebrities are currently in cougar relationships, or have been classed as cougars in the past, including; Priyanka Chopra is 10 years older than Nick Jonas, Demi Moore was 16 years older than her ex Ashton Kutcher.
Cher, 76, and her new boyfriend Alexander Edwards, 36, have a 40-year age difference, whereas Kim Kardashian – then 41 – dated Pete Davidson 28, for several months.
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When is a woman called a cougar?
Many people have different ideas about when a woman falls under the “cougar” category.
Some apply it to women who pursue sexual relationships with men who are more than eight years younger than them.
Others say the name can only be applied to women over the age of 50 who seek men in their 20s and 30s.
But it is widely accepted that cougars are different from 'pumas'.
Pumas are said to be women under 40 who prefer younger men, while cougars tend to be women in their 40s, 50s and beyond who seek out men at least 10 years younger than themselves.
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Is dating a cougar a good idea?
Dating an older woman can be a bit different from dating a woman in their 20s or 30s, but it can certainly be a satisfying and beautiful relationship, according to Regain.
If both parties enter the relationship with "realistic expectations and a willingness to learn", it can be successful, experts say.
Dating someone older, or a cougar choosing to date someone a generation or two younger may depend heavily on your own wants, needs, and level of maturity.
When have cougars been in the media?
The concept has been featured in a number of TV shows and films.
The 2007 movie Cougar Club sees two college-age interns hook up with "cougars" played by Faye Dunaway and Carrie Fisher.
Sitcom Cougar Town, starring Friends star Courteney Cox, followed in the same year and ran for six seasons.
In the show, Courteney's character relentlessly goes after younger men as sexual conquests.
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