These days, those women simply want to take advantage of a perk previously exclusive to men: dating much, much younger.
But empowerment and ubiquity have led to an unforeseen outcome.
For the cougar hunter, dropping a home address on the flat of Beacon Hill or in parts of the Back Bay or the South End can suggest a certain It factor, especially with women from the suburbs.“I like to tell cougars that I bought Johnny Damon’s condo in Back Bay when he signed with the Yankees,” says Chris, 27, a banker.You've heard of cougars—those empowered women with an appetite for younger men. He's that opportunistic twentysomething infiltrating the classy Back Bay bar, his sights set on a middle-aged conquest.And with him on the loose, the rules of Boston's dating scene are turned upside down.He says he’s shopping a reality show, creatively named Cougar Hunter, in which he would travel across the country in an RV, picking up women at various spots along the way. “These chicks just seem to love me.” Lest you think any twentysomething can just hop on over to the nearest cougar watering hole and start making time with a sophisticated older woman, you should know that there are some things a would-be cougar hunter must keep in mind. Rosa’s dirty-blond hair is thoughtfully shaggy, his muscles are gym-enhanced, and the stubble on his face is an intentional three days old.
He resembles an actor playing the role of an out-of-work actor. Davidson, meanwhile, has a lankier frame and wears his hair closely cropped.Younger men (ever the prescient pioneers of new ways to get ass) are taking notice of all this cougar pride and doing more than just making themselves available to plucky cougars: They’re now seeking these women out.And so it is that taking home an older lady—once seen as a desperation move to be kept secret—has become a spirited and celebrated pastime for a certain type in the male population born between 19.And they are definitely noticed by two guys in their late twenties making their way to the bar.With their open-collar shirts, distressed status jeans, and carefully cultivated facial hair, it’s clear that Matthew Rosa and Patrick Davidson are at least a standard deviation below the average age of those frequenting Abe & Louie’s on a Thursday. “The cougars are out tonight,” says Davidson (his name has been changed for this story), eyeing the throngs of middle-aged ladies as he and Rosa belly up and order their drinks.If you’re a younger guy angling to spend your evenings in the company of older women, few settings are more target-rich: The steakhouse bar has been rated by the readers of as one of the top cougar dens in town. What was once just a punch line to jokes involving Demi and Ashton is now a bona fide cultural phenomenon whose manifestations are legion: Eva Longoria’s character doing her young gardener on guide.