Actress Courteney Cox made it mainstream with her TV show Cougar Town, a show about an older woman dating younger men. Now the phenomenon of the "cougar" -- older women who hook up with younger guys -- has crossed the Atlantic. It's official!
This week, the biggest-selling newspaper in the South of France, Nice-Matin, devoted the front page and two inside pages to lovingly detailing the activities of older women looking for sex -- and relationships (ahem) -- with young guys.
As in America, there are now flourishing websites in French, the language of love, for middle-aged women seeking young, virile men. Sites like femmecougar.com, now has 38000 members, while others sites going by the names of easyflirt.com and meetic.com make it clear what their priorities are.
In a local Cannes disco there is an evening every week devoted to ‘feline cougar’. Women in their 40s to 70s arrive in raunchy leopard skin outfits. ‘They lick their lips at the sight of their young prey’, says Pierre-Louise Pages who spent several weeks researching the phenomenon. One guy even drove from Marseilles for an evening hoping to pick up an older woman on the prowl. A woman called Brigitte, who goes by the alias of Bijou, organizes soirees in Cannes where older women can meet younger men.
According to Nice-Matin, American women too are flocking to the Cote d’Azur looking
for a good time with much younger men. And they have found plenty of willing
Even stranger, men in their 20s and
30s, pretending to be women, have
joined the women-only sites in the hope of picking up older, wealthier chicks.
‘They are soon found out because they send out about 50 invitations in a few
hours.' The sites purport to be for women of a certain age who have
suffered a bereavement of their partner or divorce, and are looking for the
friendship of like-minded women. ‘But everyone is looking for a partner,' says one local.
Cougars have been
made more respectable with the high profile union of May-December romances like Hollywood A-listers Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher.
While the term ‘gigolo’ may be Italian, it seems that the French are rapidly catching up on an American phenomenon. The Cougar is on the prowl - and out of her traditional North Atlantic reserve.