Flat Stanley has a journalistic bent, but not a mass-media bent, so it's only been in the past few weeks that the term "cougar" has crossed her radar. The word made an audible ping today when the John Boy and Billy show referred to one of Tiger Woods' conquests as a cougar. Only, of course, she being a cougar, it was her conquest of him rather than the assumed other-way-round.
Flat Stanley is certainly old enough (turning 53 this week! send cards and money!) to qualify as a cougar should she set her sights on the sexual conquest of men approximately eight years her junior. The age definition is derived from several postings on the urban dictionary. Obviously the posts are submitted by 20- to-30-somethings, for surely no woman in her 50's is even remotely interested in the sexual conquest of your average 40-something male.
To clarify: Consider for a moment the average 40-something male. If he's ever been married, he's either in the middle of a divorce or treading water trying to stay married long enough to get the kids in college. Or he's a serial playboy who's still reliving his last game of high school football and trying to fit his 38 waist into size 34 pants. (Note to Flat Stanley's husband: Yes, you are the exception. Much appreciated :-)))
FS has given some thought to the concept of cougar and try-as-she-might, she can't see anything wrong with the concept of a woman going after what she wants instead of waiting around for some prince charming to make the right moves. To get perspective on the matter, Flat Stanley visted herself, 25 years into the future. Here's what that lively woman has to say on the topic.
FS: Tell me, Grandma, what do you think about the idea of a woman going after a younger man for the purpose of sexual gratification?
Grandma: I think it's about time that equality of the sexes extended to the bedroom.
FS: ahem. I see. Uhh, Grandma, why do you think the term "cougar" is used pejoratively?
Grandma: What's that?
FS: Pejoratively. Why do you think the term "cougar" is used as an insult?
Grandma: I understand the word, Flat Stanley. I just need you to speak more loudly. Hearing's not what it used to be, you know. The term is used pejoratively because younger people often tend to be under the delusion that there is an inverse relationship between between physical age and sexual desirablity.
FS: But, isn't there? Isn't that what natural selection is based on?
Grandma: Yes, of course, FS. It wouldn't make sense for Mother Nature to instill massive horniosity in people who aren't going to be around long enough to raise the results of their lustful predilections. What I'm getting at is two separate aspects of sexuality. One – orgasm. Two – the need to be fully treasured by another.
FS: But Grandma, what's that got to do with cougars?
Grandma: Pipe down, punk. I'm getting there.
FS: Yes Ma'am.
Grandma: The way I see it, cougars can be pathetic, or they can be powerful. The pathetic ones are the ones pursuing serial sex with younger guys because they are absolutely terrified of life without any Prince Charmings assuring them that the fairy tale can still come true.
FS: . . . and the powerful ones? What makes them powerful?
Grandma: Cougars are powerful because they know what they want. They go after their prey with single-minded determination. These cougars are powerful, FS, because they don't get wrapped up in the game. It's not personal to them. They're after enjoyment, no strings, no complications, no attachment. You could say that cougars represent the next stage in the sexual revolution, where free-love has become free for both parties. By that I mean that both parties are free from culturally dictated roles of playing chase or hard-to-get. People are free to have sex simply because they have agreed to.
FS: That explains orgasm, Grandma, but what about that other thing you said? That thing about being fully treasured by another?
Grandma: FS, you've been around long enough to know exactly what I'm talking about. Cougars can have that, too, although I'd argue that pursuing sex purely for the sake of sexual gratification likely means that being fully treasured becomes a momentary event rather the kind of fulfillment that a healthy long-term relationship can bring.
FS: So Grandma, are you saying that cougars are missing out?
Grandma: Not at all, Flat Stanley. I'm saying that some cougars are needy, and that some cougars know exactly what they're doing. Some cougars I feel sorry for, and some cougars I admire. Now go away. I'm baking cookies today and getting ready for a hot date with Grampa.
And stop looking at me like that. Yo momma wasn't brought by the stork and she wasn't hatched. And that's one thing I'm glad as hell about: No matter what age fella I chase after, there's no worries for me about being somebody's Baby Momma.
Grandma: Cookies are done. Want one?