The following is a piece written by Myna Wallin on her experiences at the Toronto Cougar Convention, Friday July 9th. Enjoy!
Cougars and Cubs Come out of the Closet
Cougars and cubs went wild at Canada’s first “Cougar Convention” on Friday, July 9th at Queen Street’s Tattoo Rock Parlour. The party was the brainchild of Rich Gosse, of http://cougarevents.com who write books on dating and sponsors parties/events on six continnts. He’s tapped into the popular zeitgeist, no question about it, if Friday’s party was any indication.
Global was there, CityTV was there; inside cameras flashed and video crews filmed the entire time. Not sure what they were asking the young men lining up to be interviewed, because it was impossible to hear over the music, but I can guess: “What do you like about Cougars?” And what’s not to like?
The premise was simple: call your party the first Cougar Convention in Canada, host it at a huge swanky club with strobe lights and loud music, get a half dozen co-sponsors like Hedonism II and Singles Travel Company on board; offer the first-ever Miss Cougar Canada a free trip on a cougar cruise ending at a resort in Australia hosting, you guessed it, International Cougar Week (March 27th through April 2nd 2010). Next, alert all the local media to the event; give the men gold coins to hand to the women of their choice; at 11 pm crown Miss Cougar Canada (the one with the most coins wins). At 11:30 pm bring out stripper poles onstage for two scantily clad dancers to bump and grind, so the cubs who haven’t found cougars yet have something to look at while they down their drinks.
I went, reluctantly, but the minute I got there I knew I was going to have a good time. The women, on average, were over 35, and the men…er…boys were 19 and up. Like no singles event I’ve ever been to, this one had every kind of person you can imagine from business types to tattooed rockers. Mix in a bit of Club-Med style partying like it’s 1999 and I think you’ve get the idea. By 10 pm, which was when I got there, the sexual energy in that room could have harnessed a nuclear reactor.
The men outnumbered the cougars about 5 to 1, and I’ve got to tell you those are great odds for cougars! I haven’t had that much attention in one night–well ever. It didn’t matter if I was dancing, sitting, or just nonchalantly sipping my Bloody Mary; I barely had to lift my pinky finger and there was another guy asking me to dance, positively salivating.
The first guy to approach me, I’ll call him Raj. Beaming from ear to ear, he couldn’t have been more than 22. I am, well…older than that. To cougars, age is a taboo subject. Even newly-crowned Miss Cougar Canada, Alison Brown, a personal trainer with a skirt up to there, and legs to rival a pro-tennis player’s, dug around in her huge purse and just couldn’t seem to find her ID. She nearly refused to give it out until our host, Mr. Gosse repeated, “We need your proof of age.” in front of the media and crowd for the third time. She had to be 35 to qualify.
We cougars are all 40-ish. You have to be at least 40 to belong to the club. Before that you’re a cougar-in-training or a puma. After 40 we’re still 40. It’s a little trick we’ve all perfected. I like to say, when you hit an age you’re happy with, you should stick with it. Mine is 42.
As for men, they are were all cubs. My male friend predicted that it will be “a sad rite-of-passage when men are no longer young enough to be considered cougar-bait.” That’s how it’s done: give the other gender a taste of that old double standard!
“My name is Raj. I am the manager of a Tim Horton’s,” my dance partner said, “You’re very beautiful. I like your booty.”
I thanked him politely after the dance and moved on. When I glanced around, I saw people grinding together on the dance floor, older woman/younger man pairing, a veritable bacchanalia. Something about the full license of it, en masse, gave this party an added aura of sexuality. No one acting coy; the women strode around confidently and the men were the ones doing the prowling. It’s interesting to note that the whole cliche of the avaricious cougar couldn’t be more wrong. Even when I left, cub in tow, there were men lined up down the block! We all owe Madonna, Demi Moore and Courtney Cox a huge debt of gratitude: cougars are cool now.
I’ve been extolling the virtues of younger men for years and wrote a new novel, Confessions of a Reluctant Cougar with that premise in mind. The novel was launched at Proof Vodka Bar a few weeks ago with Cougartinis, cougar attire and we even crowned a Miss Cougar of our own that night–Carolyn Clink. Now, just like any craze, fueled by Hollywood, a popularity reaching critical mass–and a whole lot of commerce behind it–it’s great to see the cougars/cubs coming out of the closet.
As for me, let’ just say I came home with a stack of men’s cards in my leopard print handbag. I asked the adorable cub I snagged what he liked about older women, and he smiled and summed it up in two words: “no games.”
Myna’s novel Confessions of a Reluctant Cougar is available for purchase online.