The Cougar Cruise

Everywhere I go, I see mention of cougars. No, I don't mean the animals in the wild, but rather the relatively new terminology that associates older women with younger men. The first mention of a cougar in this context (and please do correct me if I'm wrong) was Valerie Gibson's book, Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men, which was originally released in 2001 and has seen an upswing in sales since its re-release last year.

But although calling someone a cougar wasn't the nicest of labels a few years ago, older women seem to be wearing the title in stride, somewhat in part to the character of Samantha on Sex in the City. There are reality shows about cougar women (TV Land's The Cougar), movies (2007's Cougar Club), a cougar convention held this past August in Las Vegas, and Courtenay Cox's [Cougar Town]( is coming to a TV near you this fall as well.

So it only makes sense that the "first" [cougar cruise]( would be held next year too, where cougars and their "cubs" (men who hook up with cougars) can meet in a no-holds-barred, sexually charged setting. Although billed as the first of its kind, I did find mention of another cougar cruise from Canadian dating and sex columnist Josey Vogels, who described in great detail [her experiences on the four-hour tour]( Still, this new cruise under the Carnival line boasts a bit more get-to-know-you time, with three days of on-board fun and frivolity including a pit stop in Ensenada, Mexico.

Is being a cougar different than [dating younger men]( I think so, as the cougar mentality seems to focus more on the [casual sex]( aspect of dating relationships, rather than the [friends with benefits]( or actual relationship scenario. Yet, every mention of cougars in a relationship context was combined with tales of [May-December romances](, such as Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate or real-life couple [Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher]( So which is it folks? Is a cougar a woman who merely seeks out relationships with men significantly her junior, or are cougars more the older version of a male player?

[The Cougar Cruise ]( originally appeared on [ Dating]( on Friday, September 18th, 2009 at 17:10:06.

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