I choose to grow young, not old.
I've been intrigued with, attracted to and dating men considerably younger than myself for a quarter of a century. Twenty five years ago the stigma was much more intense than it is now. In my mid-fifties, when I told my mother I was dating a man 20 years my junior, she had a cow! I learned to never bring the subject up with her again.
Back in the day, we had no terminology, catchphrases or labels. We were simply older women who were drawn to younger men. I broach the subject in my book, Sexy In Your 60s, How You Can Naturally Reverse The Aging Process & Rejuvenate Your Life, and blog, www.SexyInYour60s.com, which focus on the health of our body, mind and spirit. I share with others, women especially, what's hindered and helped me over the years, things that keep me young at heart and reversing the aging process.
What can I say? I'm a woman who chooses to grow young, not old. My lust for life attracts younger men and that doesn't seem to be waning with age. Quite the opposite. The older I get the more curious they are. They pick my mind, sometimes I feel like Dear Abby. Recently I joined some Cougar/Cub sites to get a finger on the pulse. I've belonged to other date sites and always draw younger men, but not sites that are subject specific. The resounding welcome and dialogue has been fascinating and prompted me to do some research and writing of my own.
The so-called Cougar/Cub phenomenon as many know, is not new. In my book I explore the goddess cultures, go back thousands of years and guess what? Younger men and older women were an item then just as they are now. Regardless, I'm having a difficult time calling myself a Cougar. This excerpt speaks for me:
Not one to embrace the ‘Cougar’ image, I find the explanation confining and not in keeping with a truly seasoned woman, a crone. Ego need not play a part and while every woman reaps the rewards of honoring her body, the body needn’t be the sole reason to attract men, men of any age. Nor do I adhere to the inference that older women are always on the prowl, not able or interested in long term relationships. I believe that women have choices and to categorize us is counter-productive.
A crone is a woman in her third phase of life; maiden/virgin, mother, crone. A postmenopausal woman. I use the book as a platform because the crone stage is the most astounding, powerful, time of a woman's life. According to the ancients, the crone comes into her mastery on all levels including her sexual mastery. Such a hush-hush taboo subject; older women and sexuality. My friend and mentor, Dr. Linda Savage, was instrumental in awakening me to this part of myself. Her expertise flows all through my book. Savage's book, Reclaiming Goddess Sexuality:The Power of the Feminine Way takes us back into history and reminds us the ancient woman-positive cultures have a message about sexuality that we can learn from today.
On the Internet I found amazing forward-thinking women who have websites and blogs that depict their take on the Cougar/Cub movement. Dr. Fayr Barkley, CEO of www.CougarInternational.com caught my attention with her empowering and informative articles. Dr. Fayr mirrors my old school/young school mindset. She brings into focus those things that serve us and points out those that don't. She does women and men a great service by acting as a role model that speaks to the awesomeness of womanhood. I've become one of her biggest fans and am an active participant on her website.
Another woman, Linda Franklin, her website www.TheRealCougarWoman.com , and author of
Don't Ever Call Me Ma'am, impressed me with her life experiences. She too is empowering women and mirrors my opinion that regardless of our age, we are never too old to try or do something different. No one could have told me I would publish my first book at 64, or, for that matte,r speak out about my lifestyle as it pertains to younger men. Like Ms. Franklin, I encourage women to reach for their dreams and not let social dogma get in their way.
Dawn Marie Ellison, founder of www.CougarandtheCub.com, caught my attention. She sees the cougar/cub relationship as "a spiritual, emotional and sensual connection and not merely sexual." Ellison's comment speaks worlds. The ancient cultures teach the balance of the sexual and the spiritual. In Pagan Society there was no rift between Spirituality and Sex. Both were seen as true and vital forces, dancing in beautiful symmetry.
Regardless what we choose to call ourselves; kittens, pumas, cougars, cleos or just women, the key to it all is to stand as role models for the young people, acting responsibly and with integrity. The reality show mindset the media sells our children and grandchildren doesn't always represent the positive side of life. Much of it is based on dysfunctional conditioning that doesn't serve anyone. It's up to us as women, cougars or not, to set the bar for those who learn from our actions; the children.
~ Joan M Bunney
Author, Speaker, Advocate for Social Change