I Am Cougar, Hear Me Roar

November 7, 2022 Mel Bender

I am a Cougar: Accepting My Sexuality Is an Act of Self-Love

In "Dating Like a 'Cougar' Is Leaving Me Lonely," I discussed my mixed feelings about continuing to identify as a cougar. I was worried that the term might be too small of a box to fit myself into. Having thought about it more, I now see the term more like a shoe that fits. It might be a tight fit, but it still fits.

It's not that I couldn't wear other shoes (those other shoes being men my age); it's just futile to claim that the ones I wear don't suit me extremely well. I don't see myself growing out of them anytime soon.

Why does it have to be such a serious topic? I actually love being a cougar. I've decided that there's nothing wrong with it. The heart wants what the heart wants, and we really can't control what we're attracted to. I'm going to stop feeling bad about it and start celebrating it.

I'm Not Apologizing for Being a Cougar

For too long, I've felt I have to apologize for being sexually and romantically interested in younger men. There's a part of me that still believes that only wanting to date men between the ages of about 20 and 27 (and women, as per "Why I've Struggled to Accept My Bisexuality," I don't have much experience in that area) is weird and that I'm a weird person because of it. I think this judgment of myself is one I've been conditioned to believe. I can decide not to believe it anymore. I'm not weird. I'm just me.

There are many misperceptions about what being a cougar means, but I can't let my worries about what other people think stop me from being myself and living an authentic life. What's the alternative: date someone closer to my age when neither my heart nor my hormones are into it? That doesn't seem fair to the other person or me.

If I enjoy dating younger men, and if everyone involved is a consenting adult, then that's exactly what I should be doing. I accept that not everyone understands it. I don't have to worry about getting everyone's approval; the only approval I really need is my own.

It turns out that being a cougar is one of my favorite parts of me. I love myself too much to let that go.

Tags: cougar

APA Reference
Bender, M. (2022, November 7). I Am Cougar, Hear Me Roar, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 24 from

Author: Mel Bender

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