Of all the passions simmering in my heart, sex with older women is the most potent. I should know. I'm more than qualified to explore the subject. I am that older woman!
To proclaim that sex with older women is wonderfully fulfilling and life-affirming seems a simple enough statement. Yet it is a subject capable of conjuring as many negative as positive stereotypes. Many people view sex with a mature woman through gratuitously tinted glasses. Allow me to take this opportunity to lead you beyond preconceptions into some illuminating truths.
Passion is much better slow-cooked. Zeal is one of the cardinal flaws with sexual relationships. I've first-hand experience of puffed-up bedroom athletes who didn't so much jump the gun as launch themselves from the starting block seconds after assuming the position. And that antithesis to sensuality that is the quick thrill applies equally to middle-aged men.
Before going any further, an introduction. When it comes to extoling the virtues of sex with older women, where do I fit into the picture? I'm in my forties, was divorced seven years ago, and have two grown-up children away at University. I'm comfortably off and, not to put too fine a point on it, as a mature, sexually experienced woman, I'm having the time of my life.
I have a full social life - wining, dining and holidaying with a wide circle of friends. Many are also cougar women. What we all share is a zest for enjoyment.
Sex with older women is something that many younger guys are wary of. The places they'll be used to hanging out in will be swarming with what they see as hot young females, scantily-clad, all-too-eager to please. Any older women who might stray into these bars or clubs are often regarded as fair game. My younger friends have admitted this is how some of their exes have thought: 'If I don't strike it lucky with any of the babes, all I'll have to do is snap my fingers and thrust a cocktail towards one of those cougar moms over in the corner'.
Apparently sex with a more mature woman has zero strings attached? There might even be a sense of 'doing a favour'. We're expected to be grateful for whatever attention we still manage to attract! Sex with older women may even be seen as a guilty pleasure; a slightly sordid confession to be shared with the guys after several pints.
Of course I'm pigeon-holing various attitudes, aren't I? Unfortunately, when it comes to age-gap relationships, society loves jamming square pegs into round holes. So before I go any further, let me dispel various commonly-held myths.
Cougar women are never, ever desperate. Desperation is a young guy throwing himself at a succession of shallow females amongst a seething throng in a club. Cougars are way too sophisticated for cattle markets. I can read blokes like books (and they're rarely Booker candidates). When I'm in my favourite wine bar and a male starts feeding me his prime chat-up routines, I can tell instantly whether I'm being pursued by a man who truly wishes to get to know me better, or merely being wooed by an idiot with the sexual charisma of lamp-post.
Sometimes the signs are so obvious. As he murmurs into your ear, treating you to a sensual cocktail of lager breath and sweat, you can see his eyes roving elsewhere, already anticipating his get-out clause if you don't rise to his bait. And here, perhaps, is the crux of sex with older women as opposed to youthful romps. It is so much more sophisticated.
I'll tell you what I expect from a suitor. Honesty. Charm. Sexiness. Experience. Maturity. Loyalty. Intelligence. Although there are many more, narrowing these down to that 'magnificent seven' seems an appropriate way to argue my case.
When I say honesty, I'm meaning I don't believe in mind games or sexual politics. I prefer to approach my relationships from a more grown-up level. I would expect a lover to tell me exactly how he is feeling. His openness would be reciprocated.
Sex isn't just a pastime. It shouldn't just be a commodity for selling cars, or filling night clubs with gangs of aftershave and perfume-drenched headless chickens. It should cement a partnership based on mutual needs.
Charm is equally important. Although some young guys are driven by hormones, the savvy men know that sex with an older woman will be a worthwhile experience. But they won't even get near first base unless they understand the basics of what cougar women look for in a guy.
Sexiness goes without saying. I expect a man to be clean, well-presented and groomed, and physically fit. Because males reach their sexual peak long before females it's important the guy appreciates what sex with older women should entail. It's not about a quick fix. It's about stoking a furnace over many long, deliciously sensual candlelit hours.
Experience might seem an unusual attribute to expect a young man to exhibit. It is, however, important that a guy knows the basics. Naivety in the bedroom department is not an attractive trait. There are only so many of my own skills I like to impose on a lover without reciprocation. Young men have to be aware that being invited into a cougar bedroom comes with a weight of expectation!
Unlike a drunken young fling, where the only requirements are a horizontal surface and the participants remaining sober enough to unbuckle their jeans, mature women have fairly high standards. For an older woman sex is all about sensuality. Older, sophisticated women ooze this from every pore of their being. It's in the way they talk to a lover, in the way they dress provocatively but tastefully, in the way they stride confidently into a night spot. It's in their sparkling and deeply flirtatious conversation.
Maturity? Again, not something you associate with many of the young clowns you see jostling with their mates at closing time. Sex with older women requires a young partner who is above distractions and herd-instincts. Someone who is confident enough to enter into an age-gap relationship without ridiculous fears about how his friends might react.
This leads on to loyalty. This is one trait that younger men often treat particularly flippantly. They flit from one girl to the next as if trying out different items in a changing room. If they want to entertain the prospect of sex with older women they'll have to quickly grow up from such one-dimensional behavior.
Finally, intelligence. Of course sex with older women is about the physical - the wonderfully, spine-tinglingly physical! - but it's about a meeting of minds as much as bodies. We crave someone who can keep us interested at all times, not just in the bedroom. Someone who can entertain over the dinner table. A young guy who can match us in the flirting department and make us laugh uproariously while we're finishing our liqueurs.
And later on, like a sumptuous banquet, sex with older women is something he'll want to come back to again, and again.