Inside the Sexual Lives of "Cougars"

Posted by Ed 17 mths ago
New research examines women's experiences dating younger men.

When an older man is in an intimate relationship with a younger woman, we rarely bat an eye. It's a relationship structure that we have become used to seeing in our culture. George and Amal Clooney, Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones—the list goes on and on. However, we are much less accustomed to seeing relationships in which the age discrepancy goes the other way. That is, one in which the woman is noticeably older than the man.

When we do see these relationships we tend to think of her as an object of his sexual fantasy (think of Stifler's mom in "American Pie"). Older women are also sometimes fetishized (there are "MILF" categories in pornography, for example).

But a new study published in the Journal of Sex Research challenges what we might think we know about "cougars" by asking women who date younger men about their experiences and motivations.

The research suggests that not only does dating younger men allow women to break down social norms and barriers that might otherwise be present in heterosexual relationships, but women reported high levels of sexual pleasure and satisfaction within these intimate partnerships.

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