Are Older Women More Sexually Adventurous Than 20-Somethings?
Continued from previous page
And with screaming orgasms in mind we must, of course, address the "cougar,” an older-woman image that has become a caricature.
“Everyone assumes it’s just about sex. They’re going after these guys and they’re dragging them back to their house and having sex with them! That’s probably more of a male fantasy than a female fantasy,” she says.
Not that the older woman/younger man pairing is a fantasy.
There are indeed older single women who find younger men attracted to them and think “Wow, well, I’m going to try it out and if I feel like having sex on the first date I will,” Lucia says. While some may have thought it could only be about sex because that’s all a younger man would want, some have found that some younger men do want relationships with older women. One of the best relationships she’s ever had, she says, was with a man 14 years her junior, with whom she still has a close friendship.
As for the supposedly common knowledge that men are biologically driven to seek younger, more fertile women, it may be common, but it may not be knowledge, but rather, preference. Some men, Lucia says, “are thinking 'Even though I’m programmed to want to be with someone fertile my attraction is to someone older,' and so they’re choosing to go with their attraction rather than their programming.”
“We’re brought up to think (men) want youth …why would they want an older woman? Luckily, men aren’t as shallow as that,” she says, and cites confidence, experience, and freedom from drama among the draws of the mature female.
The benefit of the cougar craze, Lucia says, is that it lifted the taboo on older woman/younger man relationships so now they’re as accepted as any other pairing.
“She’s very much on target,” says Julianne Cantarella, the Courtship Coach, about Lucia’s take on the cougar image opening doors for a different kind of May/December relationship, though Cantarella is not crazy about the term (“I don’t think it adds value to older women”).
And what about the vastly different cultural climates these two groups of women came of age in?
Tina B. Tessina, psychotherapist and author of 13 books on relationships, notes that the times older women were raised with has something to do with their more relaxed attitude about sex.
“Women in their 40s were part of the sexual revolution and have a more liberal view of sex,” she offers via email.
“Older women have been around the block, and aren't expecting as much from a relationship. Many of them are not looking for commitment and marriage, they just want to have a good time,” she writes.
Tessina says while the older generation understands that sex can break your heart, they’re less likely to see it as lethal, which younger women, raised with the specter of HIV, might do and thus be more careful.
That’s an interesting thought because on one hand, yes, I vividly remember the wild, free vibe of my '70s childhood, but by the time I was college-age the threat of HIV hit those casual attitudes with a wrecking ball of fear. (I vividly remember this PSA that Madonna did.)
Julianne Cantarella also notes that while 40-somethings might be able to hear echoes of the sexual revolution, the message of sexual safety was drummed into our young heads relentlessly, something she thought would make older women more cautious than younger ones who didn’t grow up with the disease as a nightly news bulletin. (HIV is on the rise, with the CDC reporting that women account for 27 percent of annual new cases).