How to wrestle a cougar


Dear Cyn,

I’m a first-year grad student at the U, and I’m just now getting out to explore Minneapolis beyond Dinkytown. I was at Bunker’s last weekend for the Radio On show, and my friend looked at the dance floor and said, “Wow! This place is full of hot cougars. You should totally get on that.” I agreed, but honestly I had no idea what he was talking about. What’s a “cougar,” where can I find one, and why would I want to?

Sincerely, Wannabe Cougar Bait

Dear W.C.B.—

You’re not alone in your confusion. Many people don’t know the meaning of this. A “cougar” is urban slang for an older woman who preys on younger men. Some say cougars are women older than 30, some say older than 40, but the best measure is someone at least 10 years older than you. Think Ellen Barkin in Oceans 13, or Samantha in Sex and the City.

Cougars are: good-looking, sexy women with an independent streak, often divorced, financially set. They seek out younger men, usually under the age of 25. Cougars are great to hook up with because they enjoy no-holds-barred, no-strings-attached fun nights—and occasionally relationships, if you hold their interest long enough. They’re more self-confident and can be more free-spirited than girls your age, and less attached to ideas of commitment. Simply put, they’re wild and fun! And when they get you home, which is usually pretty fast, watch out! A cougar can be a man-eater. She’s more likely to chew you up and spit you out than to commit or cohabitate, but there are exceptions to the rule if you’re not just a pretty face but also interesting, great in bed, not too clingy, and can keep up with her. I know, you’re young, you think “no problem!” But you have no idea of the energy, self-assurance, and self-knowledge that years of experience bring. You can learn a few tricks from the cougar…if you’re open to it.

How to find a cougar? They like to hang out in bars and clubs, and, as your friend noted, they like to dance. If you’re not so good at guessing age, they’re usually well-dressed: heels, nail polish, makeup, etc.
• Rule #1: Remember you are the prey, not the predator. If you are both predators, that will either act like an instant cat repellent or you’ll wind up eating each other up—and not in a good way. So, when you see the cougar you’d like to target, or if she grabs you first, always offer her a drink. Pay her compliments, and don’t use cheesy come-on lines.
• Rule #2: Don’t play hard to get. It’s boring, and cougars have no time for games.
• Rule #3: Be interesting and open to possibilities. Cougars are usually intelligent and experienced in life. While they may ultimately be primarily interested in getting you home, they want to be intellectually stimulated as well. Good conversation is an aphrodisiac for the cougar.
• Rule #4: Be exciting and attentive in the sack. Nothing will turn a cougar away faster than selfish behavior, or boring vanilla sex.
• Rule #5: Always remember—and never forget!—it’s the cougar who controls this relationship, whether it lasts for 3 hours or 3 years. She’s older, wiser, and can move on any time she wants if she’s dissatisfied (which she figures out much more quickly, and does more easily, than the kittens—insecure girls in their 20s).
Most importantly, have fun, and don’t take it too seriously. Usually cougars aren’t interested in a commited relationship—at least at first—and if you get too clingy, they’ll tear your heart out and run away with it. Absolutely don’t flirt with other women, especially younger, in her presence, or it’ll be all “claws out” and you’ll get your face scratched (or you’ll lose a valuable appendage).

So, there you go, W.C.B. Happy hunting!


P.S.: For the female readers out there seeking the male equivalent of the cougar, look for the coyote looking mysteriously alluring and aloof, with slightly longer hair. a slight upturned lip, and almost a smirk—standing in the corner surveying the situation with his bright steely eyes. Just be careful! He may be a silver fox…or he may be a junkyard dog.