The Cougar and Cub Dating Study

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A few weeks ago, we published a study on the cost of dating younger women.  This week, our study addresses the question of Cougar and Cub couplings.  A “Cougar” is generally defined as an attractive woman over 30 years old, who is dating or likes to date younger men (affectionately referred to as “Cubs”).

In recently years, TV shows such as Cougar Town and reality series “The Cougar” have led to the Cougar-boom of the past few years.  For me, the realization that Cougars is a younger man’s fantasy started when Finch ended up on top of Stifler’s mother, Jeanine, on the pool table in the American Pie movie.  Cougars have been rocking hot since then.  Hundreds of “cougar dating” websites have surfaced all over the place to cater to this dating niche made even more popular by the likes of Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher.  So is “Cougar dating” a real trend, a viable relationship configuration, or is it just a myth fueled by teenage boys who lusted over their high school teachers only to eventually grow up?

To begin understanding the Cougar Phenomenon, we start by conducting a survey which was sent out to younger male members of our websites (WhatsYourPrice.com, SeekingArrangement.com and SeekingMillionaire.com) who have shown an affinity to or preference for dating older women.  The results may or may not surprise you:

Cougar Survey: Why Younger Men Like Older Women

Over 89% of the younger men surveyed said they like Cougars because Cougars are more sexually experienced.  72% like dating Cougars because they probably don’t have to pay for the date. 58% said they prefer Cougars because Cougars don’t come with the same commitment expectations that younger women have.  38% said they love older women because Cougars know what they want.  But the most revealing answer of whether Cougar-Cub relationships are headed for trouble may be in the final question:  Do you prefer to date Cougars because you do not find younger women attractive? Only 9% answered yes to this question.

To further understand why older women and younger men get together, and whether their relationships will last, we turn to the numbers on WhatsYourPrice.com.  (Note: While some of you may find this study to be offensive, please understand that it is not our intention to offend.  The price value of an attractive male or female in this study is calculated from over 180,000 first date offers traded between members of our website.  Our study is meant only to let us understand how humans, from a sociological and quantifiable point of view, evaluate each other.)

The following is the Cougar value graph and the Cub value graph, which represents the average price of first date offers received by attractive women and attractive men based on their age:

Cougar and Cub Value Curve

From the chart above, we see that the perceived value of an attractive woman peaks when she reaches 25 years old, and gradually diminishes as she ages.  The perceived value of an attractive man however, starts at a much lower price when he is young, peaking only when he reaches the age of 34.  It appears from the value curve above that at least some stereotypes we often hear do hold some truth.  For example, that female models earn the most before they turn 30.  Or that men become more attractive as they age.

But no matter what some of you may read from the value curves above, it has proved a useful tool for predicting when Cougar-Cub couples get together, and when they are likely to break up.  The value curves also provide clues of what types of Cougar-Cub relationships stand the best chance of surviving in the long run.

Let us take the Demi Moore – Ashton Kutcher union as an example.  Demi and Ashton started dating back in 2003 when she was 40 and he was 25.  The green circle on the value graphs show the value at their respective age back then.  Both were valued at approximately $70.  This likely means both valued each other equally, which may provide a simplistic (but scientific) explanation for why the two started dating back then. Over time, as both age, Ashton’s value has been on the rise while Demi’s have declined.  Fast forward to 2011, the orange circles on the curves show Ashton’s value at approximately $158, and Demi’s value at $56, a $101 difference in Ashton’s favor.  This may explain the recent rumors we read about Ashton cheating on Demi, and that their relationship may soon be over.  It is also probably a coincidence that Ashton’s new mistress, Sara Leal, who is 23 years old has a value that is more closely aligned to his.

A Complex Story

The value gap between a Cougar and a Cub only explains one part of a complex story. There are of course many other reasons why Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore are headed for a breakup today.  First, Ashton’s net worth has grown much more than Demi’s over the past eight years.  Second, Ashton’s testosterone production is nearing its biological peak according to his age, while their relationship is nearing the seven year itch point.  Finally, Ashton is near the biological clock ticking age where he is ready to start a family of his own, and unfortunately Demi is way past her baby producing phase of her life.

So, is there hope for the Cougar – Cub relationship?  Of course there’s hope!  In fact, there have been examples of many successful Cougar – Cub unions that have passed the test of time.

The value curves above do provide some important clues and guidance.  Cougar – Cub relationships that stand the best chance of survival are those that form between an older woman and a younger man who is over the age of 35 — i.e., when the value of both are in the decline and the value gap remains a constant over time.

The fact remains that the value curves only measure the superficial methods by which us humans evaluate each other.  Once two people get to know each other at a deeper level, other more influential factors come to play:  true love, genuine care, real understanding, conscious commitment, and of course rational choice.

What do you think of this study? 

If you are a man, what are some of the reasons you like to date Cougars?

If you are a woman, what are some of the reasons you like to date Cubs?

55 Responses to “The Cougar and Cub Dating Study”

  1. Brandon Wade says:

    All personalities and perspectives are welcome in the blog, while personal attacks and name calling are not. It’s inevitable that there will be disagreements but let’s handle it as mature adults with class to keep the dialog constructive and respectful. Please refer to the “Blog Etiquette” for more details.

  2. Blue says:

    …and then there is always the real world, where down is up and up is down and people don’t fit into stereotypes and don’t participate in studies.

    After a childhood of modeling and performing, I took a 10 yr break and I didn’t get started again till 26. As a performer, my income grew every passing year and I”m not going to say how old I am now but because I am smarter, a better negotiator and have the credentials under my belt I am earning more on my dates than I did before not less, and so are my friends in my age group, but know this…I still have young guys after me. In fact it seems like the only ones who hit on me are younger guys some younger than my son. NO I won’t date or sleep with them. I have no interest in wasting time on a fling. I was lucky enough to have my fun when I was young but just because a guy is younger than me does not mean that I’m buying his dinner. I have plenty of younger SD’s. I am not ready to throw in the towel. I am a woman and will always be the woman in the relationship even when I”m 90. Those days of paying for the broke boyfriends was something I did in my early 20′s. Even Ashton Kutcher would have to pay me for the date and if you don’t believe me I can give you a few A list stars who I have turned down. I’m not that hot, and I’m certainly not what you would call beautiful, I’m more cute than any of those, girl next door and a lot of women are cuter than I am. it’s just that real gentlemen are kind and generous to women no matter what her age.

    I like the study but perpetuating these stereotypical roles, labeling people does no one any good. Life is a mixed bag. Take people as they really are not as you imagine them to be.

  3. Amy Luna Manderino says:

    In my experience as Miss Cougar International, attending many Cougar/Cub events across the country, there are two distinct categories of young men looking for older women…

    1) Those who value money and looks. These men are looking for sugar mamas and sex. Yes, there are some older women looking to keep a boytoy. These women and men make a good short term match.

    2) Those who value looks, character, self-knowledge–the deeper things relationship can provide. These men feel younger women tend to be too immature to handle the deeper aspects of partnership that make life much richer. Some older women are looking for “old souls” who are mature but still youthful and vibrant for a fuller relationship than one based on the superficial characteristics of looks and money. These women and men make good long term matches.

    In their book “Older Women, Younger Men,” authors Felicia Brings and Susan Winter actually interviewed hundreds of long term couples where the woman was more than 10 years older than the men. What she found was that over 80% of the time, when the relationship ended, it was the woman who ended it. They also found that when the men couldn’t bring themselves to commit to a long term relationship (less than 5% of the men) it was usually because they didn’t feel worthy of the woman, not having enough maturity or money, etc.

    Ashton has said many times that his relationship with Demi is a soulmate match, meaning fulfilling in body/mind/spirit. Many people go through life never being lucky enough to find that. He and Demi shared physical passion, yes. But they also shared a family and a passion of purpose (their Demi and Ashton Foundation which is working to end sex slavery).

    IF (and that’s still an IF) he did cheat with this young woman, than he has given up his soulmate for a gold-digging, blackmailing, adulteress, party girl.

    And somehow all the coverage is about how Demi’s not “good enough” anymore? Clearly, if this is the case, Ashton is not good enough for her anymore.

    In my experience in the Cougar/Cub world. This is the common scenario. The young man, through the superficial temptations our culture bombards him with 24/7, messes up, loses the woman’s trust and deeply regrets losing her.

    Men are not genetically superficial sexual robots. The pressures of our culture makes people do superficial, stupid things. Cougars have high self-esteem and rich, full lives. So when that happens, we just move on to greener pastures.

    Finally…

    A study is not “scientific” if the members of the study have not been randomly selected. You are asking men who have already shown a proclivity to be on a dating site based on attractiveness and paying for company. That’s hardly reflective of what would be the priority of the general public or men who would not want to search for a partner on a site like this.

    Amy Luna Manderino
    Miss Cougar International

  4. queen says:

    The downside is when you are young you get less because they see you as not knowing what you are doing then when you get older you get less because you are ” to old ” ….bottom line is people are just cheap and looking to use each other and use age as an excuse to do so.

    • Blue says:

      I can agree with that on some level but doesn’t matter what age if you aren’t positive you won’t make money.

  5. queen says:

    I used to work as eye candy at a legit biz and the poor people would tip big yet the super rich wanted me to get the owner for them so they could talk him into some free services.

    • Blue says:

      Yes, they are all “friends”of the owner. Most of them are a pain in the butt freeloader to the owner. That was always funny to watch.

  6. queen says:

    Well, i have decided even 200 is way to cheap to meet a stranger online. I think we sell ourselves to short!

    • Bobby the K says:

      For that much money, I should be allowed to serenade her with my guitar on the Santa Monica beach to “Beyond the Sea”, pouring kisses passionately upon her nape between verses.

      • beachisking says:

        exactly! Here we are us generous members paying hooker prices and we aren’t even expecting sex. So I think these chicks should at least bake some fresh bread and sing a song to me over candles for $200.

  7. Lisa says:

    Why are we ignoring the fact that Ashton is a married man and that only a 23 year old would be so foolish as to date a married man?

    • Dr. Dar says:

      Lisa,
      Good point but I do think that older women do also date married men and it is not just limited to 20 somethings.

  8. queen says:

    Good point lisa!

  9. Grapeship says:

    I think women who have had a child should cost less. Some of these women who have a kid expect way too much money. That should be included in the cougar article. My hat goes off to these women. They must have a tough life and be really lonely.

    • Blue says:

      Ignorant men should pay double. I like people with kids better than people who have never known unconditional love of a child. They have softened and know much more about life.

      If a woman has a child she has the greatest love of all in her life. If a man is on here paying I would think he could be really lonely and could use the company of a good mother.. He should be so lucky to be a part of that child’s life don’t you think?

      • I_See says:

        His “luck” at being part of a child’s life isn’t really the thing the guy (I assume that was a guy) was talking about, I don’ think. Let us admit that having a child takes more out of woman than a guy, from the physical processes of giving birth (and there effects on the female body), to the actual raising, particularly if she is doing it alone. I don’t agree that they “deserve” less than other, equally attractive females on this site, but it has to be admitted that there are physical differences that might not appeal to ALL men, or that the joys of helping to rear someone else’ kid (who they have abandoned to be raised by their mother) are not universally longed for by the lonely male SD…

        • Blue says:

          Please. I think it’s funny how men think they are all that and so attractive. I don’t think you realize just how many men like women with children. Most women who have posed for Playboy have had children, did you know that? What Chippendales show were any of you men in anyways because the guys I date IRL are much hotter than anyone on this site.

          THE MAN WHO HAS NOT HAD A CHILD IS STILL LESS ATTRACTIVE THAN THE WOMAN WHO HAS.

          So now tell me do you really think we care if some guy thinks we are not good enough for them because we have had children. LOL LOL LOL I’ll take my kids over some ignorant db guy any day. :-)

  10. queen says:

    I think it depends on what they look like~ some moms need the money more than us! Also~ seems all the men these days have a ton of kids by diff mothers! Should they pay more? They all use kids as an excuse they they dont have money because the men say kids first.

  11. likethis says:

    haha blue ignorant men should pay more!
    I think one reason men like women in their early 20s is bc they are still naive and easily fooled! the one time charlies (guys who tell you everything you want to hear and don’t end up paying) definitely would rate the victim as more desirable. The one time charlies that hope to get lucky fast always go for the easiest prey. They look for insecure girls or women who had a bad childhood and who have not yet had the time to mature out of it. I’m sure a jerk who preys on young girls would never try and put one over a young girl that has a strong family and that would go after him if he was found out, exp, paris hilton in her 20s. I expect that she did not get used much. I expect most men to judge a 21 yr old paris hilton as undesirable just bc she is not easily fooled into having sex on a first date and she will not put up with verbal abuse like a poor girl would.

  12. likethis says:

    I think men and women are equally attractive agewise. A hot 21 yr old guy is just as hot as a hot 21 yr old girl. The only difference is that this is a man’s world and men have the better jobs, thus more money. If the women had more money then this graph would change. Money is the major factor that causes a shift in the value of desirability as women desire security and will give in on the looks requirement to get the stability. However, if women mad just as much and had just as much power in this world, then there would be no difference.

  13. likethis says:

    who are madonna and cher dating? not rich old men! even pamela anderson who has not much money- She still wants a hot young guy. add money to the graph! then the lines would overlap.

  14. queen says:

    Not fair that guys are bidding low offers of 100.00 to open a confo then write in profile this: I’m not paying you to have lunch and talk to me. I’m paying you for discretion and what happens after lunch.

  15. queen says:

    I reported both profiles who wrote that but they are still on the site. One guy I even met in person. He changed his profile after I said ok to meeting but I had not noticed the change. He said: Did you read my profile it clearly says I am not paying unless we have sex.

  16. redhead says:

    I am in my 40′s I am hit on my man much younger than myself all the time. On this site I have a picture posted but have been asked for a cell phone picture because they think the picture may be an old one. I look like I am in my early 30′s. Its not that I have a picture that is 10yrs old. I look 10yrs younger than my age lol.

  17. redhead says:

    I think women who have had a child should cost less. Some of these women who have a kid expect way too much money. That should be included in the cougar article. My hat goes off to these women. They must have a tough life and be really lonely.
    ( REPLY )

    Wow really? I am a mother and defiantly not lonely or desperate. I am an attractive, well educated woman. Why should I get less money because I have a child? That is the most ridiculous comment I have ever heard.

  18. queen says:

    Redhead: Your picture in avatar does look like a picture from many years ago but of the quality of the image .

  19. queen says:

    I mean because they quality looks low like a camera from 10-20 years ago.

  20. redhead says:

    The avatar picture is old lol I do not use that picture. I m not sure how to get it off here.

  21. queen says:

    I think avatar.com but you can make a new email and it will not show.

  22. Blue says:

    Why is my comment being moderated out?

  23. Blue says:

    Maybe it’s a glitch so I will post to I See here:

    Please. I think it’s funny how men think they are all that and so attractive. I don’t think you realize just how many men like women with children. Most women who have posed for Playboy have had children, did you know that? What Chippendales show were any of you men in anyways because the guys I date IRL are much hotter than anyone on this site.

    THE MAN WHO HAS NOT HAD A CHILD IS STILL LESS ATTRACTIVE THAN THE WOMAN WHO HAS.

    So now tell me do you really think we care if some guy thinks we are not good enough for them because we have had children. LOL LOL LOL I’ll take my kids over some ignorant db guy any day.

    • I_See says:

      I said “some men”, not all men. That some men prefer women with no children is the truth. I didn’t say it was MY preference, just as I don’t say that younger women are my preference, though it has to be admitted, older men are quite often attracted to younger women.

      Do you deny either of these facts?

      But who said anything about men being attractive? And I wasn’t questioning your affections or preferences for your children. I also personally don’t care what kind of man you find most attractive, SO THERE WAS NO REASON TO SHOUT IT.

      I also never have really understood the reason for “lol”, and in this case multiple LOLs. It’s always meant as ridicule to the other person’s stated opinion (though in this case incorrectly paraphrased by you) but it just looks so ignorant. That is my opinion, just as your insult to men with no children was yours and both are equally unimportant.

  24. queen says:

    I do not wanna date a guy with a super small ding ding either and let me tell ya, Most guys are four inches and under and …..you have to find out the hard way ! The hot body guys on here hide the face for reason girls. I prefer to not see the face pics because i’m always like EWWWWWWWWWWWWW ! I rather enjoy the not knowing while I am so excited getting ready but always a let down because the hairline in most cases is not good !

    • Miki says:

      I do not have a receding hair line. i actually have long hair down to my lower back haha x) and just out of curiosity what is a good online dating website for meeting cougars?

  25. I_See says:

    I just re-read my post to which Blue replied and see that SHE did NOT read it, so I should have just heeded the advice someone wrote and not written back with the above. I won’t reply to those kind of rants again.

    • Blue says:

      This is just plain silly. Who do you think you are to even be discussing the value of a woman? and I do have a life outside here in case you thought otherwise.

  26. just bc says:

    I think that men in their 20s are much hotter than men in their 40s. I just wish the guys in their 20s had the $$ of the older guys. lol

  27. redhead says:

    I think Making generalizations about anyone is showing ignorance. We all have our preferences, likes and dislikes. It does not make one wrong.

  28. redhead says:

    Yes most men are attracted to younger woman. That is a fact. In my experience dating. Men are always telling me that the dates they have gone on with younger woman have not been satisfying. They have a pretty package, but nothing in common. They complain they are not on the same levels. In some cases experiences do count for something.

  29. queen says:

    Does anyone else find some of these dates to be way to long ?

    My First Date Expectations:
    We would start out at a quiet bar for a cocktail and to become more comfortable with each other. Then we’d go to dinner someplace special and romantic where we’d spend 2-3 hours. After dinner we would go to hear live music (maybe even change clothes if the music doesn’t match the attire from the restaurant) and dance and have fun. I’d like to steal a kiss and hold hands and flirt throughout the evening. When the show is over we’d either head to an after hours club/bar and listen to music.

    • Blue says:

      To which you should reply: That sounds absolutely wonderful! To start preparing for our evening we should spend a few hours discussing my retirement with my banks financial planner and set me up in some investments including a diversified portfolio. Then we can head over to the Tesla dealer for a new car for me to drive and then drive over to Saks Fifth Ave for a personal consultation with a wardrobe consultant and new clothes for the weekend we will be enjoying together. From there we could both head over to my favorite spa and salon and get done up from head to toe pampering. Then we have the time of our lives tonight.

  30. queen says:

    Does anyone else find some of these dates to be way to long ?

    My First Date Expectations:
    We would start out at a quiet bar for a cocktail and to become more comfortable with each other. Then we’d go to dinner someplace special and romantic where we’d spend 2-3 hours. After dinner we would go to hear live music (maybe even change clothes if the music doesn’t match the attire from the restaurant) and dance and have fun. I’d like to steal a kiss and hold hands and flirt throughout the evening. When the show is over we’d either head to an after hours club/bar and listen to music.

  31. just bc says:

    @queen, that is way too long of a first date, lol.

    First date should be one hour max. Then if you are both interested set up a second date.

  32. just bc says:

    Ask any guy how much he would pay for a date with Demi or Sarah, please?
    I think there are lots of Sarah’s out there, but not many Demi’s.

    At an auction I think Demi would get at least ten times more than a Sarah.

  33. jule says:

    A cougar started out being age 50 then 40 and now 30? No, a cougar is at least 36 so that she can date someone young enough to be her son. 36-18 = 18 legal age to date. Usually a cougar is late 40′s to 50′s similar to men in middle age that date young women.

  34. justin says:

    ive been datinga gorgeous 77 yr old woman for 3 months now and im 18 . we met at a fund raiing party and hit it off straighta way .she dresses elegantly and has young outlook.

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  36. jsr says:

    What were the non-normalized values for the men.

  37. Nice Information and it is very useful for me and at the same time useful for who wants More Information about Cougar Dating

  38. James says:

    Its my view these (99% ?) are short term flings, but the 1% is celebrated as some sort of true myth (oxymoron i guess).

  39. James says:

    But then again there are some successful LTR’s with a 10-15 year age diff (even middle class). Best wishes to all

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