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Around about the same time cougardom exploded into the mainstream, social scientists became increasingly immersed in researching age-dissimilar couples where the woman is the older party.
Meting out the negatives, Ganahl also urges caution.
“Different expectations of relationships can lead to heartache,” she says, “especially if the woman is expecting a traditional commitment when the man aspires to be a player.” Those guys who aren’t in it for the kudos will quickly find out that dating an older woman isn’t a one-sided affair in the slightest.
The chances are that a younger man hasn’t had the time to accumulate the emotional baggage that comes with growing old either.
In conversation, Ganahl, who’s written extensively on older woman/younger man relationships, proposes an astute plus-side: “Younger men were raised by mothers during or after the women’s movement,” she says, “therefore, many tend to be far less sexist than their fathers, and not as preoccupied with money and status.” A word of warning though: watch out for boastful boys who’re just out to get bragging rights over their mates.
Without getting too entangled in semantics, Elite Singles resident psychologist, Salama Marine, is quick to discuss this point.
“Prejudices have a tendency to stick, even if society is changing,” she says, “calling an older woman a cougar isn’t meaningless, it’s a way of defining her as a predator who’s only interested in hunting down younger prey.” For an enlightening comparison it’s worth looking at an equivalent expression for older men who hook up with younger women.
For our in-depth analysis of the cougar phenomenon, read on...
There’s been an enormous amount of media coverage centred on older women dating younger men over the last decade.
In their 2006 study, Sandra Caron, Mary Logue and Nichole Proulx interviewed eight married couples where the wife was between 10 to 17 years older than the husband.
Their findings revealed that whilst both partners were content with their relationship, they still worried about how others judged them.