Swirling Singles

Brenda Thompson: “I Am Not a Cougar!”

By Brenda Thompson

I am NOT a cougar. I don’t even like the term. It implies that I’m out there stalking for little boys to satisfy my sexual whims. It’s not true and I don’t think it’s funny either. But why does an older woman who dates younger men draw such derision and contempt? Men do it every day and it’s no big deal.

It doesn’t signify that we are desperate or super horny or any of that. Most of us like a man who is easy on the eyes and quite often, younger men do look better.. But a wise woman knows a lot goes with those looks and that how a man looks isn’t everything.

When I go to my inbox on one of the dating sites, I see mostly men that look too old. I am youthful and I am in relatively good shape. I don’t look my age and I know it. But most of the men coming at me look like they might need resuscitation after one sexual encounter, or they let themselves go and they have a belly that gets in the room half an hour before they do. I see nothing wrong with wanting a man who looks at least as youthful as I do.

However, that doesn’t mean I want to date a significantly younger man. I get just as many emails from young men and I rebuff them just like I do the ones who look like Burl Ives.

When I was teaching college classes, I often had young men get a crush on me and follow me around with puppy dog eyes. I never gave them an inch. It meant more to me to keep my job and my dignity than to play with one of my students. It just wasn’t worth it.

In my last teaching position, I had a few fellas get a bit more aggressive about it and try to catch me alone or other inappropriate things that I easily side stepped. But I had one young man tell me that he knew I’d be happy with his “performance” if I only gave him a try. He said he wanted to go on a trip with me and you know of course who was going to foot the bill for this. Me. NOT. If I’m going on a trip with a man, I fully expect him to pay for it. This boy didn’t have a clue. I am not paying for a vacation with a freeloader. And there is no sex on this earth good enough to make me do something desperate like that.

It was time for me to give him a serious dose of reality. I wasn’t attracted to teenage boys when I was a teenager. Young men in their 20’s are about the same thing to me. I’m not swayed by the tattoos and the goatees and the swaggering looks.

I think that wearing their pants low on their butt is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen in my life and the 5x tee shirt does nothing for me. And the cap on his head sideways or backwards? Oh. Hell. No. Put on some clothes that fit and look like a grown man for heaven’s sake

I worked with too many young men who told me they didn’t have any clothes to dress up in. All they had was big oversized jeans and shirts and Nikes or Air Jordans. So if I wanted to go to a nice restaurant or a play, or a classy club, he can’t go because he doesn’t own a suit? What full grown man doesn’t own a suit?? Or not even a nice pair of slacks and a sports jacket and a pair of shoes? I like to dress up. I’m not going to be seen with a man who doesn’t. Period.

And, as I told him, what would we talk about later? We had nothing in common to discuss and communication is a not only something I like, but it’s a necessity. And don’t make the conversation all about what you want to do to me with what you have. I get so bored. I don’t like braggarts and it’s not funny if a man doesn’t recognize when he is being inappropriately sexual. I have no desire to get into an intimate discussion with someone I barely know and surely not someone who does nothing for me.

Plus, if he was trying to seduce me, what music was he going to put on – Lil Wayne? Juvenile? Puh-leeze! Boy, you better go ask your Daddy to let you borrow some Smokey Robinson or Frank Sinatra or the Average White Band if you want to play to me like that.

The young man was puzzled. He said all the other older women he knew couldn’t wait to get their hands on him. He said they liked his muscles and his compact hard body, so he wore sleeveless tee shirts and loose jeans hanging low. He then told me I was a good looking older woman and he wanted to be with me and he didn’t understand why I didn’t want him. He could give me what I wanted, or so he thought. He knew I wasn’t getting anything like what he had. He didn’t know my reaction to that was “Thank God!’ He didn’t have anything that I wanted. At all.

So I say once more, I am not a cougar. I have dated a few younger men and had nice relationships with them. But I want more than hot sex with a hot body. That hot body doesn’t do a thing for me if the brain is not engaged. I know there are a lot of women who will disagree with me and that’s fine. Different strokes, as they say.

I like a man with character who has lived and loved and learned. I don’t have to explain things to him all the time. He’s knows. He’s been there too. He has wisdom and empathy and he’s probably already lost a woman he loves and he knows what he has to do to keep her happy. That’s more like what I want. I want a man who understands his relationship with a woman is about more than what he wants. A real man knows it’s about what we both want, not just him. Why would I want a man who thinks saying, “yo bitch” is romantic?

Now I know very well that all grown men aren’t thoughtful, sensitive and caring. Some of them are just as stupid and selfish as the younger men can be. But I weed them out just like I do the young ones.

But I prefer to compare my love for apples to my love for men. I love apples but I want them ripe and juicy. I want my apple ready to be enjoyed and I don’t want to worry because it’s not ripe and if it will make me sick. I want to relish that apple and thoroughly delight in it. I want my men the same way – mature, ripe and ready.

Little boys need not apply.

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