Demi and Ashton. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins. Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles. After centuries of dirty old men jacking themselves silly to Barely Legal, legions of older women have taken to boning younger dudes. According to a recent article in the New York Post, these women are commonly called “cougars,” and they prowl the urban jungle in search of boy toys.
Now that I’ve reached my mid-thirties, maybe it’s time I got in on this hot trend and chased some young ass. It’s not like I’ve been able to have a healthy relationship with anyone my own age. But how does one go about taking down nubile prey? Is it as easy as flashing a little skin and buying them beer? Will all the young dudes reject me or will I rock the cradle of love?
Please list all the materials required for this experiment (including, if applicable, how they were obtained).
– Tight clothing
In this portion of your report, you must describe, step-by-step, what you did in your lab. It should be specific enough that someone who has not seen the lab can follow the directions and recreate the same lab.
“Why would a woman want to sleep with a nineteen year old?” asked my friend Lori. “You’ll only end up getting your vagina mishandled. Trust me.”
My friend Dave was more encouraging. “When I was twenty-three,” he shared. “I moved in with an actress who was forty-two. It was absolutely wonderful. We both knew it wasn’t forever. She had a lot to teach me, and I was eager to learn. And I could learn again and again — many times a night.”
Turning to the web for guidance, I found several sites offering tips on hunting actual mountain lions, featuring pictures of hunters guffawing at the camera with dead cougars draped over their shoulders. Once I finished sobbing, I found urbancougar.com. It describes “a sophisticated species of female who seeks the pleasure of younger males.”
“Sophisticated?” my friend, Bruce, asked after checking out the site. “They sell ‘Liquor? I don’t even know her’ T-shirts.”
“And beer koozies.”
Though not the classiest site on the web, urbancougar does offer articles, an open letter to Heather Locklear (encouragement from willing prey), cougar classifications and a handy list of hunting tips. Don’t be afraid to slum it, the site suggests. Another tip: Young men like cheap beer. Where there is cheap beer, there are young men. The site also encourages cougars to keep it light. “Because nothing scares off prey faster than reality.”
From the various photos on the site I also gathered it helps if you’ve got fake boobs, a tan, six-pack abs and blonde hair, none of which I possess.
“My biological clock is ticking, but it looks like you’re right on schedule.”
As for where to find young playthings, I consulted my friend Johnny, a twenty-one-year-old film-school dropout.
“Dallas BBQ has a really good happy hour, and they’re not too strict about asking for ID, so a lot of students go there.” He also suggested “anywhere cheap near NYU.”
Though real cougars hunt alone, urban cougars travel in packs, so I invited a posse of wildcats along for the hunt: “Red Alert,” a forty-five-year old, divorced, redheaded Latina performer with the body of a twenty-seven year old and “Jen,” a forty-year-old married performer, who offered to go along for the Kodak moments and yucks. “Tanya,” at twenty-six, is a C.I.T. (Cougar in Training.) Because I am thirty-three, I fall into the “puma” category (a cougar under forty).
“Operation Mrs. Robinson” got underway at my apartment where Red, Jen and I conferred over a six-pack of Rolling Rock while getting gussied up. Jen applied dark red lipstick while Red powdered her nose, leaving her zit uncovered to appear younger.
“That’s the only benefit of adult acne,” she pointed out.
“I’m so tired of the double standard,” I said, pulling on a black mini and leopard-print halter. “When I mentioned this expedition to certain dudes, they acted as if I were opening another Neverland Ranch. Meanwhile, half of them won’t even look at a woman over thirty.”
“I actually don’t think men in their forties are that different from men in their twenties,” Red pointed out. “The main difference is that when a man is in his forties, his back hair starts to connect with his chest hair.”
“It becomes like a shirt,” Jen added.
“Also,” Jen said, “their balls change over the years.”
“It would be cool to do time-lapse recordings of nutsacks.”
Moving off the subject of aging, we brainstormed pickup lines.
Jen suggested, “My biological clock is ticking, but it looks like you’re right on schedule.”
And Red came up with, “I’ve been giving blowjobs since before you were born,” a line so naughty it made me want to do her.
Quantify the effects of the experiment.
We started our hunt at BBQ, where the host tried to seat us in the basement away from all the young people.
“No way!” Red exclaimed. “We wanna be where the action is.”
“They tried to put us in the basement because we’re old,” I moaned once we were finally seated upstairs.
Jen and I split a pitcher of light beer and Red got a Blue Hawaiian that came in a glass the size of a goldfish bowl. Throwing caution to the wind, we also ordered a small onion loaf.
Tanya arrived wearing a strategically torn “MILF” t-shirt. Her hair was in an updo worthy of Passions and her lips were lined with pencil two shades darker than her neutral lipstick. Next to us, a table of young women pointed to her and laughed.
“I see the twins are out,” she said, noting Jen’s excessive cleavage. “Oh, by the way, guys, tonight I’m ‘Tanya Fox.’ I work as an agent’s assistant and have a six-year-old kid.”
“Maybe I should have a fake persona. Do you guys think young men will find me sexier if they think I’m divorced?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Jen answered. “Then you can use the pickup line, ‘You remind me of my fourth husband.'”
“There’s not much prey here,” I observed.
“Everyone looks like they’re on dates,” Red noted, picking at the onion loaf. “This is gross.”
“I know,” I said. “It’s like the scrapings off a George Forman grill. Let’s finish our drinks and get the hell out.”
We paid for our drinks and the waitress brought us fresh-naps for wiping the grease from our fingers. Tanya suggested I go up to dudes, wipe their faces with the fresh-naps and say, “you look dirty.”
Leaving BBQ, we walked past NYU’s Weinstein Hall, where I asked a groups of students where we could meet college men.
They directed us to Josie Wood’s, a nearby pub where Tanya and Red ordered apple martinis and Jen and I ordered beer. The place wasn’t as hopping as we’d hoped. In fact it was full of dudes sitting down with other women. The women glared at us with contempt. Our ridiculous outfits conveyed one thing — we were on the prowl.
“What’s with everyone sitting down?” I asked. “They might as well be drinking in their living rooms.”
“Excuse me,” I stopped our waitress. “We’re trying to meet college boys. Do you know where they hang out?”
She spoke with a heavy accent. “You want young guy you have to come here another time. This place is usually packed. But tonight it dead. Usually it full of young guys. You won’t find any white-hairs here.”
“White-hairs,” I noted. “She said it like it was a disease.”
Tanya and Red finished their martinis and filled their empty glasses with some of our beer creating a new cocktail — “the pee-tini.”
On our way out we witnessed a hot older woman entering the bar with a much younger man.
“Mrrrrrrrow!” Red whispered. “There goes a cougar.”
The younger man overheard her and snapped, “What did you say about my lady?”
“There goes a cute one,” Red stammered, avoiding a barroom brawl.
We left Josie Wood’s and headed for Grassroots Tavern on St. Mark’s Place, where I hung out back when I was barely legal. Upon entering we were pleased to find the place swarming with young bucks. Hipsters in freshly pressed Led Zeppelin t-shirts mingled with women who wore jeans and no makeup. We stood out like sore thumbs in our slutty outfits. Undeterred, we zoned in on a smattering of hotties who were sitting at a table with a woman their own age.
“Don’t worry. We’ll get rid of her,” I said.
Red made the first move, approaching our prey with her digital camera.
“Would you mind taking a picture of me and my friends?” she asked.
The night wasn’t getting any younger and neither was he.
“Not at all.”
We made crazy cougar faces and growled at the camera, attracting the attention of everyone at the bar. The photos look alarmingly like the “cougar sighting” photos on urbancougar.com.
“What’s your name?” I asked our photographer, who had a long black mane and barely-there facial hair.
“You mean like Corey Haim and Corey Feldman?”
“That is awesome. Do you have a girlfriend?”
“Damn. I’m trying to get with a younger man.”
“You should talk to my friend, Dustin. He’s twenty-two and he’s a virgin.”
“No way. You’re making that up. I don’t believe that his name is Dustin or that he’s a virgin.”
“I swear. Ask him.”
“We should pull an Almost Famous-style deflowering on him,” Red suggested.
Dustin was sitting in the corner wearing a corduroy blazer, a T-shirt and jeans. His longish hair hung over his eyes as he hunched over his beer. Like Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, he appeared disillusioned and confused. The night wasn’t getting any younger and neither was he, so I sidled up to him and asked him point blank if he’d like his virgin cherry popped by an experienced sex columnist. He insisted that he was not a virgin and kindly rejected me on the basis that he and Corey were moving to Arkansas in the morning.
“I really just want to hang out with my friends tonight,” he said. “I’m not going to see them again for a long time.”
“Have any of your friends ever been to fellatio school?” I asked him.
Dustin turned three shades of red and shifted around nervously, which for some reason made me moist. I felt like Mrs. Robinson asking Benjamin Braddock to unzip her dress. Though there was no chance Dustin was taking the bait, I knew no one had ever come on to him so boldly.
He suggested we talk in the back of the bar, probably because he was embarrassed to be seen with me. In the back room we chatted about his “hopes and dreams” and pressed together so closely he left corduroy imprints on my chest. Were Grassroots Tavern’s bathrooms not disgusting I would have suggested we sneak into a stall and get it on.
Tanya interrupted to announce she was leaving. Jen and Red had grown bored with Grassroots and insisted we move on.
We planted a flurry of kisses onto Dustin’s blushing cheeks before heading for our next destination where we took the “don’t be afraid to slum it” tip to heart. Mars Bar is the vilest bar in New York City, maybe the world. The awning outside reads “Day Care for Drunks,” and you can actually smell the bar from the sidewalk. At Mars Bar, I have seen (among other things) a man crash his head through the window so he could finish an argument with a prostitute, a man pass out on my shoe and a man scream the word “cocksucker” at the top of his lungs for over an hour. In recent years, Mars Bar has become popular with college kids and young punk rockers who go there for the cheap drinks and ambience.
By the time we got there, it was past midnight. Though we were starting to feel old, embarrassed and unsuccessful we were emboldened by alcohol and the notion that we had nothing left to lose.
A redheaded bartender who wore a retro outfit reminiscent of The Who at their most foppish took our order. He looked familiar.
“Now he is hot,” I whispered. “Most men can’t pull off bangs.”
“How old are you?” Red asked him. “You don’t look old enough to be bartending.”
“Jailbait!” Red exclaimed as he waltzed off to get our beers.
“He’s like a fresh baguette,” I said. “I want to eat him.”
He returned with three beers.
“I like your bangs,” I said. “Are you in a band?”
Like a puma burying her slain prey for later, I slipped Dolan’s number into my pocket.
“That’s where I know you from! The Electric something?”
“The Electric Shadows.”
“That’s right. You guys rock. We met outside of some bar on Rivington Street. We are actually MySpace friends. LSD, Marijuana and Jimmy Page are among my other MySpace friends, so it’s not surprising we’ve never really talked.”
“Oh yeah, I remember you.”
“What’s your name?”
“Dolan, are you gay?”
“Do you like older women?”
His eyes lit up. “Oh yeah, I like them until they get possessive.”
“Oh. I’m horribly possessive. I’m a Leo.”
Dolan and I discussed star signs, music and the perils of working at Mars Bar. He proved to be the perfect prey, since he was trapped behind the bar and couldn’t run away. Meanwhile some dude, who looked like he’d been drinking at Mars Bar every day since opening night, was hitting on Red.
“You’re so beautiful,” he gushed, hovering over her like a corpse in skinny jeans. As Red evaded his cadaver-like hands, Jen was passing out on the bar next to me, cradling her purse like it was a stuffed animal. Afraid she might get head lice from the bar, we roused her from her slumber.
Red used the opportunity to escape the affections of the Cryptkeeper, helping Jen to a cab. I continued flirting with Dolan who gave me his digits.
Unlike Dustin, I got the feeling Dolan had been with plenty of women, old and young. He’s probably gotten more ass than most men twice his age.
“I got his number!” I told Red when she returned.
“You mean you’re not gonna wait till he gets off work and ambush him?”
“Dude, no way can I sit here till closing time. People at Mars Bar never leave at last call. He’s going to be here for at least four more hours.”
“Actually, I’m not sure the people here ever go home.”
Still, we tried to wait it out, hoping Dolan might leave early — not likely, since he was the sole bartender at the beck and call of a roomful of dangerous drunks. Eventually, Red and I were too exhausted to continue. Like a puma burying her slain prey for later, I slipped Dolan’s number into my pocket and threw on my jacket. I would use it another time, but for now I was no longer hungry.
Summarize your findings. Don’t forget to attempt to identify possible variables that could result in different findings for others trying to recreate your test results.
One of the great things about growing older is appreciating the comforts of home and knowing when to call it a night. I spent my twenties passing out in strange places and having sloppy, drunken sex wherein I often faked the big O to protect the ego of whichever dude I was boning. In my thirties I have a decent apartment, a dog, a job, a body and mind I’m comfortable in, orgasms that have redefined the meaning of life and a bed I love sleeping in alone.
I climbed under the covers and passed out, exhausted from the hunt. Though I hadn’t rocked the cradle, the safari alone had worn me out.
The next day I woke up with a heinous head cold. My nose was stuffy. My eyes were running. My throat itched. At least I escaped Mars Bar without a case of pubic lice. I looked and felt so awful I was truly glad I didn’t take anyone home with me. No man should ever be forced to endure the sound of me coughing up phlegm at 9 a.m.
My chest slathered in Vicks VapoRub, I called Red.
“So how’d you feel about the night?” I asked.
“It was a total waste of time and effort,” she said. “Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. To those young guys we were like old trolls, but to the old dude at Mars Bar, I was the most beautiful woman in the world. Plus I think you have to meet people organically. Picking up dudes in bars is humiliating.”
Later, I spoke to Tanya, who agreed.
“It was mostly embarrassing,” she said. “We seriously could have been 100, because that’s how people reacted.”
“When I was twenty-one I used to think thirty-three-year olds were old. Little did I realize how immature I’d be.”
“I think we stabbed ourselves in the foot by actually trying.”
“Yeah, if we’d just sat there and not dressed like cougars, guys probably wouldn’t have run from us. We were too proactive.”
“Also, any woman at a table with guys seemed to immediately hate us. So did you get any action?”
“No. I got a phone number. It might not even be real though. I’ll have to wait till I can breathe out of my right nostril before I call him.”
“Well, then it wasn’t a total failure.”
“I guess not. God that onion loaf was gross. It tasted dirty.”
“I think it was a metaphor for the whole evening. It looked good at first, but then after five bites you realized it was really unappetizing and grew embarrassed for just having it at your table.
©2006 Rev. Jen Miller and Nerve.com