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Cougar bait: sorry ma’am, does your son have ID? Younger men with older women; why is it taboo?

‘An older woman’: Leopard print, red stilettos and a voracious sexual appetite manifest in the psyche. Why is there such stigma attached to an age gap?

One is never so dangerous when one has no shame, than when one has grown too old to blush. Marquis de Sade

Historically, when women were considered property and men were considered financial providers with a need to generate heirs, a staggering of ages made economic sense. The greater a man’s fortune, the more he needed to ensure his legacy and social status with offspring. The younger a woman, the greater her remaining reproductive window to breed.

The wealthy older man selects his fertile young bride and her parents swoon with joy at their new financial security and social status boost. This is the ‘wise marriage.’ Society approves.

Perhaps instead, two people of the same age become besotted and start a life of young love together. This is ‘marriage for love.’ They are likely less financially stable, but we say bless them. Society approves.

These archetypal models, rooted in patriarchal systems of inheritance, is acceptable. Deviate, and be judged.

The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the Neck; then the Breast and Arms; the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding only what is below the Girdle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all Cats are grey, the Pleasure of corporal Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every Knack being by Practice capable of Improvement.

– Benjamin Franklin’s advice to his friend on selecting a Mistress

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A study by Randy Olson examines dating age preferences within this framework of the ‘creepiness rule’ (that dating outside of the window of half your age plus 7 years makes other people uncomfortable).

Somewhat unsurprisingly, he found that actual dating age preferences by sex were different: women looked for men around the same age or older (Especially in their early 20s), whereas men prefer younger women. Even removed from the financial and reproductive expectations of historical gender roles, we are taught that our choice of partner affects our status as we are seen by others.

Graph of dating preference
Graph of dating preferences

These are only general trends: there will always be people who don’t fit. When young women are a status symbol for older men, and older, wealthier and more ‘stable’ men are a status symbol for young women, there is always going to be a tolerance by society for ‘daddy dating’.  Meanwhile, the value of a woman (and studies also show her desirability on dating apps) declines steadily from 20 to 65, regardless of looks, health, financial success and whether the men have any intention of starting a family.  Such is our indoctrination.  To be seen with an older woman, regardless of your own age as a man, is to lose points on your street cred.

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Women are like cars.  If you can drive a flashy, ostentatious new one, why would you miss out on the option to show-off in this general male dominance contest by choosing one with a few years on the clock?

The exception to this, of course, is the classic car.  Why settle for new and shiny when you can show off not only your wealth but also your refinement, with a beautifully preserved classic.  All the more special and desirable for their rarity, the classic car is the mark of the connoisseur.  A subtle nod is passed, in deference to the man who shows such exquisite and understated taste.

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All in all, women are reduced back to accessories.  To items of status to be selected and worn.  Stripped of humanity, desires and power.  One small aspect of toxic masculinity in a patriarchal world we have inherited.  What of everyone else, who falls outside this bell curve of statistical desirability?

The young man, devoid of means, stability and experience, but vested with the untarnished glow of youth, idealism, and drive of innocence; the mature woman secure in her career and with family complete.  Where do they fit?

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Is the young man, at the peak of his masculine energy, hormonal drive, and sexual function, to hope and wait that he will be desirable in his 40s, when the women in their early 20s will seek him as a status symbol?  Will he then become worthy of a woman’s investment?

Is the mature woman, who is also at the peak of her sexual energy, hormonal drive, and now finally free, to dwindle away in solitude the rest of her life? The hours, long spent creating home and family, juggling her duties as a wife, mother or career woman are now open to invest in finally enjoying life.  Is a lifetime of wisdom gleaned and a loving heart suddenly of so little value?

I don’t set out to cougar exactly, but looking back over the last year I’ve only been with one guy around my age, and none older. On a dating app, I set my age range to 10 years above and below myself- it just seems to turn out that the people I’m attracted to and have a vibe with are always younger. I meet people I think are my age or a bit older and they are usually 10 years my junior. I’m pretty bad at guessing age. When I was 37 I picked up a guy I thought was in his 30s. Turned out to be 21! The morning after we met ‘Mrs. Robinson’ came on the radio as we were driving back- you couldn’t make it up. Yet 2 years on we still have a lovely sexy friendship. I don’t feel like I’m an ‘older woman’ with these men. I just feel like we are people who get on.

Miss A, sexy woman over 35.

It is more than a sheer necessity of numbers that puts older women and younger men together.  They actually have a lot in common.  They share similar values, similar sex drives and support each other in ways that people of the same age cannot.  While the older woman may not want or be able to start another family, the younger man does not yet feel ready for the responsibility.  While he may still struggle for money, she doesn’t need his financial support.  If he makes errors of judgment through his inexperience, she has the confidence and sense of who she is to be supportive rather than destructive.  She sees him for who he is, and what is wonderful about him, rather than comparing him and complaining to him about everything that he is not.  He sees a woman who is sexy, knowledgeable, appreciates him and isn’t using him to reach for her own life goals.

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There can be a public perception that such arrangements are all about sex, and therefore ‘disgusting’.  Indeed, some younger men say they prefer the dynamic as it helps to ensure the connection remains sexual, with no assumption that it will ever develop into a ‘real’ relationship, burdening as that could be with emotional expectations and worrisome responsibilities.  They relish the opportunity to be their simple sexual selves- the passive plaything.  The toyboy.  The objectified arm candy of a powerful alpha female, basking in the reflected glory of her lifetime success.  Look at the pop icons, the divas, the successful women of Hollywood; a beautiful younger man by their side is virtually an expectation.  These women have turned the tables by rising to the top: they are elevated to the status of men, with all the trappings and benefits that affords them.

There are specific events, such as the cougars and cubs night, which help swingers with this age-gap preference get together. In the swing world, every stereotype is a ‘thing’ to revel in.

Far beyond the fetishization of the ‘older woman’ as predatory and dominant, allowing the inexperienced young man to ‘learn things sexually’ and live out some fantasies, she comes to the table with a complete lifestyle, a taste of all the luxuries, confidence and gravitas the young man has had impressed upon him as aspirational goals for his own life.  She models a future he can taste; a little sample.  He can play grown-up.  She can play young girl again. What could be better than that?

There remains a problem, however: Longevity. Whereas an older man with a young woman can likely supply all she needs for her next steps through life into the future, it is expected that some time soon, a young man will want to step up and build an empire of his own. Stake his claims. Make his own heirs. ‘The Graduate’ is not so much a young man’s sex fantasy as it is a cautionary tale for the older woman. It is the story of Icarus. Don’t aim for too much, or you will burn and fall. Don’t get attached, you will soon be replaced. Don’t get ideas above your station.

My wife is around 10 years older than me. I never cared about the age difference… I care that she completes me! We’re attracted to each other, we have similar tastes and goals in life, and honestly I think the sex has just gotten better over the years as we both found our kinks together… Plus she fucking tolerates living with me, so ….😜 -Mr. P, 30s

Even the most heartfelt declarations of love, intensity, plans and dreams for the future, cannot be taken seriously from the young man. What intensity of feeling is there like that of the young? Yet a little life experience tells us that the brighter a passion burns, the sooner it will fade. To those who have never experienced it, such all consuming fire must surely be destiny. It is impossible to imagine how it might ever pass. How our feelings and needs as people might change- how we might grow. How we can grow apart.

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Ultimately, the only happy path for the older woman in this situation is to let him stretch his wings and leave, with a touching poignancy we might reserve for our own son, as he goes off to college. We must say goodbye and be happy for the time we had, sad not to be beside him as he blossoms into the ripeness of dignified manhood away from us. Hopefully a happy memory, a thankful ghost.

Must it be this way? Sometimes. Society would say it does. Yet we are not obligated to follow these rules. Our lives are our own to lead as we choose. Our dreams and passions are as different as each of us make them. The problem with age difference is not just society’s disapproval. That can be overcome, overlooked, ignored. It is that we are at different places in our expected pathway through life. We soon reach a crossroads where we must go our separate ways, where to do otherwise is to block the needs of each other in the rest of our lives.

This assumes we must all follow the same pathway, in the same order. We don’t have to. We can choose to do something else.

So I have dated older for the majority of my dating life (I dated a 30 yr old when I was 17- we met in the pub and neither knew each others age until after we had gone on a date)…I was religiously practicing (Jewish) for a long time and the idea of the woman being older than the guy was really not accepted. There is a 10 year gap between me and my partner now…i am older. It wasnt something I looked for or sought out…to be fair I wasn’t particularly looking for a relationship at all…age was not something I had thought about. Other people’s reactions can be both entertaining and frustrating…it’s like I’ve won some kind of prize in people’s heads by dating a younger guy.

Miss L, sexy woman over 35

A young man’s torso
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For me, I enjoy older women, actually prefer older women than ladies my age, for a few reasons. Firstly older woman know what they like, its really helpful having a lady guide you to helping her reach orgasm making it enjoyable for both of us. Secondly we tend to have more sophisticated and intricate conversation. Older woman tend to have more developed views and opinions.

Darkarmy from Fabswingers, 21

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The reason I love older women is because they genuinely know what they want, so when push comes to shove, the passion, the desire, leaks from them during the interaction.. but that’s not the best bit, the best bit is the conversation between round 1 and 2 (or just after round 1 since the tank is way too empty) older women are more experienced in life and me being a social/business person I like to have a nice chat with the individual, building a stronger and ongoing relationship.

Jase999 from Fabswingers


Cougars have been a thing, when I was a bit younger. Like anyone else who had grown up with Mrs Robinson, sites like Naughty America (back in the day) or films like American Pie. Fun at the time, simply because you are more than likely to find a woman who is sure of herself and knows what she likes. It is a welcome relief from what you typically have from women your own age at the time. Now, Older, younger, the same age (or there about) it is all roughly the same. Even more so on the scene, as it demands that from those that participate. It matters little what a woman’s age actually is and the pursuit of a cougar fantasy is marginal, it’ll only come up if that’s what the woman is into these days.

Reactions like that typically get a fuck off from me. I really have no time for that sort of thing, when they’ve clearly overlooked that I’m actually happy.

-Mr. K with the abs


I am a fan of older women and have been since a very young age. As a teenager I was mature and able to talk with real women and often found myself drawn to more mature ladies. My first sexual experience with an older woman was as a 19 year old and I was seduced by a 33 year old single mum. The sexual confidence and expression was something I had never experienced and was a quality that I took away from that first meeting and sought it out frequently over the coming years and had many wonderful experiences that helped my own sexual development. As I have got older my tastes haven’t changed and even in my 30s I have found the attraction to women in their 50s still exists. I have never felt the attraction to younger women and although that was a maturity issue at 19 by now I think it’s just the way my tastes and preferences have evolved

Vilbrequin1 from Fabswingers

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I am now 41 and for the whole of my sex life I have always been more attracted to the older woman, find that they are more confident both in their own skin, confident in the bedroom sexually, and not afraid to say what they want which is a great turn on for me.

Onlynearcanmeetme from Fabswingers


There’s an air of confidence about an older woman which is so attractive.  Confident body language and a teasing, slightly dominant stare which instantly has my heart racing

-Kinkysub from Fabswingers

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I love older women… I always seem drawn to an older woman I think it’s a confidence thing a lot of people become more confident as they get older! I also am attracted to powerful women!! Strong mentally and strong physically… not necessarily together! I love a power dresser too. There’s also something sexy about an older women’s body too…. when I say older it doesn’t always mean older then me! Just older than say 30.

Mr. Elusive, single man, 30s

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In my experience younger guys love older women. Lots has changed; Sexuality, physical exercise…..

Miss Gina, sexy woman over 35


When I got divorced my ex husband promised me I couldn’t get better than him. That was worrying…What I have found is the joy of younger men whose optimism, energy and respect is kind of wonderful. It just works. And not for all the cliche reasons. No looking back for me!


The lightness, the non-committal requirement with a younger guy is very liberating. You can be more free. You don’t want to be their boring girlfriend and they like that.


Happykitten, sexy woman over 35


When my husband and I split, I was worried about whether I’d ever find anyone who’d find me attractive. When I discovered that there were gorgeous younger men out there who would find me sexy, I was amazed! I also liked the fact that they were less likely to be looking for a relationship, which is something I wasn’t ready to have.


Lady rope, sexy woman over 35

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I don’t really look at age…however if you look young & act young, then I have no interest in you. I like being with someone who is fun to be with, that I can have a laugh with.- Miss I, sexy woman over 35

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The age factor is always a consideration for both sexes both ways round. A lot of men marry younger women, so why not older women and younger men? I do think that 20 years is probably the iffy number, as its a generation apart, but then again there are many happy exceptions. Older women generally are less needy and don’t play mind games (usually).


Alice Hunter’s mum, sexy woman over 35, in a relationship with a younger man for over 18 years.

**special note: thank you to the beautiful women over 35 and the beautiful men under 35 whose images have featured in this post. If you click the images shown, you will get something more. Peel off the layers and look beneath. Go further down. You know you want to 😉

***another special note: in response to the ‘headless women of hollywood’ phenomenon (take a look at http://headlesswomenofhollywood.com/) the images used in this post have been a deliberate role reversal. As you can see, young, headless, naked men make wonderful eye candy too, and women over 35 with clothes and faces are just as beautiful.

*** this page is not endorsed by or affiliated to any of the pages linked. They have been specially selected by the models featured

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