Demi-se of a modern day cougar

Anyone with an elementary grasp of Sociology understands the notion of a ‘cougar’, a woman romantically involved with a much younger man, isn’t a 21st century phenomenon. History is replete with stories of seasoned maidens courting men young enough to be their son, and in extremely icky cases, their grandson.

Elizabeth I the queen of England and Ireland from 1558 to 1603 never married but Her Highness never lacked companionship either. Various highbrow Europeans wished to take the plunge, but she had more of a “friends-with-benefits” philosophy. Her last serious relationship ended in 1581, when she was forty-eight and her man, Francois, the Duke of Anjou, was twenty-six.

Another Elizabeth, this one Taylor, is arguably best known for her strange relationship with Michael Jackson and her ability to fully consume men in one sitting. Ms. Taylor was married eight times to seven men and in 1991 married her seventh, and last husband construction worker Larry Fortensky. She was fifty-nine; he was thirty-nine. The union lasted five years, which is understandable given their meeting at Betty Ford Clinic.

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Invented FWB?

Elizabeth I – founder of FWB?

Deep down every teenage boy fantasizes about ‘being with’ an older woman. Thanks to movies like The Graduate and the meteoric rise of the suburban MILF, being led upstairs our best friend’s mom is a top-5 on every red blooded American male’s bucket list, even if doing so would require the Laws of Physics to permit time travel.

The fantasy seems fixated on the hope of this senior paramour taking the lad under her experienced wing and showing him the carnal “ropes” through closed-door tutoring sessions. Bedding, or more precisely being bed by, an older woman is almost seen as a boy’s rite of passage; an important gate through which he should go before entering into the kingdom of manhood. Though it’s traditionally understood that once he makes it through his sexual tour guide remains behind, like a proud mentor, watching as her protégé sets out to find his own adventures.

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The rumor mill is spinning continuously amid the chaos that has become Demi Moore’s life after her late 2011 announcement that she was leaving her husband of six years, Aston Kutcher.  Her ensuing public, and epic, meltdown seems all the more pathetic when you stop to consider this entire scene was predestined.

The couple’s history is well known. After meeting at a NYC party the twenty seven year old Kutcher began a public courtship with Moore who was forty two and thirty months later they were finally wed. If 42 has become the new 32, then a hundred thousand dollars in plastic surgery and a bank account that mysteriously has no end, it’s now the new 22.

The motivations for Kutcher were all too obvious. In his case it was a win, win, win. First, she was drop dead gorgeous. Second, she was as A-list as he could have ever gotten on his own. Lastly, the fascination of the relationship in general sent his stock price soaring and the resulting attention was more than talent alone would have ever granted him. As a twenty-something with a sit-com and a few low-brow comedy movies under his belt, being with Moore was arguably a stroke of genius for his career. Can you honestly say he would have landed Three and a Half Men otherwise?  But this isn’t implying the relationship was purely one-sided. For Moore being someone refusing to grow old graciously, what better way to strike a blow at the inevitable than landing a strapping young buck almost ½ her age?

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Taylor and Fortensky, lovers of bad hair.

Indeed, Moore certainly wasn’t the first cougar, she was just the first to make it mainstream. She was the standard bearer for middle-aged single women everywhere who had grown tired of their comparably aged dating options with expanding waistlines and receding hairlines. She proved to the world that not only can a woman in her forties compete with those a decade younger, she made it in vogue. And in so doing, opened a crack in the door for single younger men everywhere. Now, instead of hitting the bars on Friday night all one needs to do is get a good night’s rest and troll the soccer fields Saturday morning.

As much as we may have wanted to Mr. and Mrs. Moore to take it the distance, even my seven-year-old son knew the numbers didn’t add up on the birth certificates.  As with any divorce it’s always fun, and often therapeutic, to ascertain why the marriage went sideways. Certainly Kutcher’s infidelity played a role, but in the end Moore has only herself to blame. You see, she got carried away and made a Bush League cougar mistake – never get serious with the kill. Much like the animal from whence the name derives, a cougar goes in for the kill then moves on to the next; it doesn’t marry it and create a Twitter account with its last name.

For Kutcher, the entire novelty of the relationship was apparent but as the newness faded all he had left was a soon to be 50-year-old wife while he is barely in his 30’s.  The emotional age difference alone might as well be a century. I’m almost 42 years old; my desire to stay out partying past midnight is on par with my enthusiasm for a colonoscopy and rumor has it Moore was on a spiritual quest; it appears the only thing Kutcher is in search of is the next hot tub.

Sooner or later the age difference was going to catch up with them as it always does – if Hugh Hefner can’t pull it off, nobody can. In the end Moore had to realize all the plastic surgery in the world can’t change when she was born. And what 30 something husband wants to introduce the drinking buddies to his wife – who just got her AARP card.

Divorce isn’t fun for anyone and I do hate what she is going through, but this is her third tine so I’m sure she knows what to do by now. I can only hope that whoever Mr. Next is, she will card him first.

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11 responses to Demi-se of a modern day cougar

  1. I agree and this is why I don’t date younger guys. It is difficult when you are not asked out by anyone older than 30. And no, I don’t hang out in bars and clubs where it’s more likely, just how it’s been for years.

    Needless to say, I’d rather wait than go through what you’ve mentioned in the post. Someone is going to bring up that men do it all the time (and it’s fine for both sides) I’m just going to point out in advance that the same issues occur. You will eventually be too old for her or you will figure out you have nothing to talk about.

  2. Call me a sexist pig, but I have NEVER believe the cougar relationships would ever work beyond the fling aspect. I predicted the demise of demi/Ashton the day they married. EVERY showbiz marriage of that ilk has failed, as do most showbiz marriages anyway. It may not be cougar, but I’ll bet that Angelina and Brad don’t make it past the decade.

    There’s a reason for this and it is also sexist. Men age better than women. Men are attracted by looks. Women on the other hand prefer men with brains and humor. And, for successful women the pickin’s are slim. How many BIG-SHOT men are completely satisfied with a model wife? How many BIG-SHOT women could last a month with the male equivalent?

    The irony of my sexism is I’m pretty declaring men to be the slugs that I believe most of us are and women to actually have a bit more taste, class, and smarts when it comes to sex and relationships!

  3. Granted, my partner isn’t half my age but we’re eight years apart. I met him as he was graduating college and I was at the end of my marriage. Now we’re still together, seven years later, and not just that, we have two beautiful daughters together. So perhaps we’re the exception or perhaps eight years doesn’t quite compare to the age difference in Demi and Ashton’s case, but hey, we’re proof that a happy ending (or rather, a happy middle anyway, considering we’re far from the end) is possible.

  4. Alyse Cranson

    So what you’re saying is when women reach middle age, they shouldn’t try to date the sons of the middle age men that are chasing them now? Did I get that right? Very interesting….

  5. Papa – Author

    No, I’m saying that if women of middle age want to chase after the sons of middle aged men, go for it. Just don’t marry them.

  6. The 1st person I dated after my divorce at the age of 35 was a 21 year old college cheerleader. I knew our age difference was ridiculous and the stares we got at dinner told me it was all short term. I use a 10 year rule. If she’s more than 10 years younger or older then no thanks. My wife mow, is 7 years younger than.me. there are times when ill mention a song or tv show and her eyes will gloss over. Imagines those discussions tween Demi and ashhole.

  7. That is a great comment, Alyse. Kyle, I assume you think that men shouldn’t marry their younger pray either?

  8. Papa – Author

    Annie, you tell me? What could a 48 year old man have in common with a 32 year old woman? Seriously?

    The premise is the same, just the motivators are different.

  9. i think its not just age, but the stage you’re at. after my marriage i dated a man who was divorced, but had no kids. he couldn’t relate to me having other priorities, and frankly he seemed selfish to me because he was in the habit of always putting himself first (something no parent does). a friend of mine is 46. Her kids are grown and she has has a 3 year old grandchild. so for her, any man she might date would need to have his kids grown and gone as well.

    i don’t see myself w/ a man any younger than i am, maybe 3 years(?) its weird to me. when i see couples where there is a big age difference i always think its odd. daddy issues, mom hang-up, etc. my grandparents were 15 years apart. it caused a lot of problems. a big one being that he acted like the person in charge, rather than her partner. and since he was on his second family with her, he thought he was the “expert” on all things marriage. kind of funny when you think about it, since by that way of thinking he was also the one with the failed marriage, and therefore the one who shouldn’t have been giving advice.

  10. mikey

    Have to agree with MBT. I am 42 and got asked out by someone who at best looked barely legal to drink! I really had no idea what we would have in common since I am 2x divorced, have a kid, on my 3rd house, etc. So I just politely declined her.

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