The trio of cougar moms are gathered in their usual meeting place. Every Wednesday afternoon they drop everything in favour of their girly get togethers in this chic, Parisian-inspired cafe. Over warm croissants and cappuccinos these cougar moms giggle and chuckle, whole-heartedly throwing themselves into the experience of meeting up with like minded individuals; other hot cougars who know exactly how it feels to be at the mercy of a society which so often casts a blind eye over older men or 'sugar daddies' who choose to date women who are around the same age or even younger than their own children, but who turn up their noses at older women who seek the affections of hot younger men.
A cougar mom such as 45-year-old divorced mother-of-two, Janice knows only too well that such double standards remain at the forefront of many people's minds when they see her out with her 25-year old beau. She knows that these individuals often mistake her partner for one of her own children and that many can barely hide their disgust when they realise the reality of the situation. "I am in a stable, loving relationship with a wonderful man who just happens to be 20 years younger than myself. I am a mother of a two teenage boys, and they have welcomed my decision to date a younger man with resounding maturity. They have both seen me in a state of turmoil when I was married to their father; he was a heartless and emotionally abusive man who used his children as pawns in a marriage which he treated as some sort of game. My sons are well aware of the stigma which surrounds older cougar moms dating younger men, but they have been incredibly supportive."
A significant number of mature women choose to embark on fulfilling partnerships with younger men who can offer them the sort of affection and attentiveness which is often lacking in marriages of convenience which have gradually broken down or else come to a screeching halt. Often a lack of sexual desire among both partners, a breakdown in communications or a lack of good old-fashioned romance is to blame for divorce and separation among older couples. 48-year-old divorcee, Emily agrees that a build up of disagreements can often lead to the break down of a marriage, and in her case, in the months that followed a bitter divorce she was able to reassess her life and discover exactly what she was looking for in a partner. "I stayed locked in a loveless marriage for fifteen years largely because I was afraid of the implications a divorce would bring to my young daughter. My husband was the breadwinner in our household and I worried that I wouldn't be able to provide her with the standard of living which she had been used to. However, I made a conscious decision to reassess my life, and just like my fellow cougar moms, I sought the affections of a hot young cub who could provide me with the kind of adventure and spontaneity which my marriage had lacked."
Janice, through a mouthful of cake and coffee, interjects. "We're making our decision to become cougar moms sound quite flippant, I suppose. We have each made an informed decision to live life on our own terms; to put aside any doubts and fears about what we have to offer a man. That's not to say that we have abandoned our children or not considered their needs, but most of them are almost adults now themselves. This is our time to shine, to experience sexual and emotional fulfilment. What's so wrong with choosing to embark on the journey with a younger man who can satisfy our needs?"
Many cougar mommies state that the benefits of dating a younger man far outweigh the negatives (the hushed disapprovals of family members or embarrassment which can arise when their partner is mistaken for their son). Sassy cougar moms seek younger men who are attentive to their needs; who can engage in mature conversation; who can make them feel like that girlish princess of bygone years.
Cougar moms come from different backgrounds and situations and it is often not solely the case that a cougar mom is the product of a divorce or separation from a heartless husband. In fact, a growing number of older women are gaining the permission of their partners to engage in partnerships (sexual or otherwise) with younger men. This 'open marriage' concept works well for some women who have no desire to leave their loving partners, but may seek sexual fulfilment or simply wish to add a different dimension to their dating lifestyle. In the case of cougar mom, Amy an 'open marriage' has proved to be a viable option which has provided her with a new found sexual awakening.
"I've been married for nearly 20 years and I have two daughters aged 19 and 24. I love my husband dearly, but he is a successful business man who is often away from home for weeks at a time. Neither of my daughters live at home, and I found that I was becoming increasingly lonely and withdrawn rattling around our house on my own.
"My husband is in his late fifties, but he has a very relaxed approach to most things. He was the one who sensed how unfilled I had become, and he suggested that I get myself a 'companion' for when he was away on business. He even researched issues relating to open marriages in which the female partner engages in sexual encounters with a younger man. I've been having flings with younger men for around a year now, and my marriage has never been stronger. All my needs are being met."
While the lifestyle that many cougars with children choose to embark on may appear somehow dysfunctional or selfish to some outsiders, there is no denying that a partnership between an older woman and a younger man has its benefits. From increased emotional stimulation to mutual respect, many classy older women are choosing to take the plunge into the world of age gap dating.
As the three cougar moms settle their bill for drinks and food, Emily sums up her, and many other older women's situation. "Women like us are often treated with disdain simply for choosing a way of life which provides us with a sense of worth. I refuse to apologise for seeking something which so many other women have in abundance and take for granted every day. I just want to be loved."