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WAIT. AM I A COUGAR?

As I approached my mid 30s, I wondered if this meant I was now a bona fide cougar. I didn’t think so. The term conjures an image of a hungry, embattled woman with heavily coiffed hair, mummified in makeup, squeezed into a bedazzled top and looking to “score” a young man.

The cougar image is cartoonish at best, derived either from a culture fearful of a sexually empowered woman, or from the woman herself, who claims cougardom as a way to boost her self esteem via sex with a man many years her junior. But it didn’t seem to fit my reasons for dating younger, nor is it an accurate or flattering explanation of why younger men are worth dating.

You don’t need to make like Stifler’s mom and prey on young 18-year-old boys. You don’t even need to claim the cougar title. What you need to do is embrace the incredible sexual power you possess-and stop making excuses for why you can’t.

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