Rrrroar! The cougar phenomenon is alive and growling in 2010. And we don’t mean the animal kind. We mean the savvy, sexy and strong-willed species of older women who seek the company of younger males.
The latest figures show the cougar trend is increasing in Australia. The latest census stats show that there were 568,000 women aged 40-54 who were not married or in a de facto relationship, representing more than a quarter (27 per cent) of that age group. The number of single men in the same age range was just 479,000, or 24 per cent of that population.
''These women are educated, they are successful in life and work and they are not afraid or shamed to be single as I think was the case, unfortunately, for men and women in the 1980s and earlier,” says demographer Bernard Salt.
“In 10 to 15 years, I think there will be a lot more acceptance about older women looking for an relationship with someone younger,” he added. “I think cougars are a positive thing. These women are boldly going where no generation has gone before. They’re like the Starship Enterprise of human behaviour; pioneers of a little-plundered demographic.”
So where are all these cougars? Mr Salt says Sydney’s lower North Shore has among the highest proportion of single women aged 40 to 54 in the country, with Neutral Bay topping the list at 58 per cent, followed by Kirribilli (55 per cent), Cammeray (53 per cent) and Cremorne (50 per cent), compared to the Australian average of 28 per cent.
In Melbourne St Kilda takes the gong with 68 per cent of single females between the ages of 40 and 54, followed by Fitzroy and Elwood.
In Queensland the hottest cougar town is Cairns, while Perth and Adelaide are happy hunting grounds as well.
Many of these “hot spot” suburbs are picking up on the trend and even hosting their own cougar nights. Here are 10 of the best!
Top 10 Cougar Hot Spots
• Crows Nest Hotel in Sydney hosts cougar nights every Thursday.
• Burwood RSL in Sydney hosts regular cougar events.
• Local sporting matches are always a great bet for a bevy of young men.
• Rydges Hotel on Swanston in Melbourne held the cougar convention this year.
• Sugarmill Bar in Kings Cross is known for its cougar Valentine’s Day.
• Wyndham Vacation Resorts SurfAir Marcoola Beach will host a cougar weekend from June 3-6 June, 2010.
• www.fastimpressions.com.au holds single cougar events around the country.
• Look out for a cougar cruise coming to Australia in 2010 thanks to the Singles Travel Company.
• The Fox in Brisbane has held cougar nights in the past.
• Joining a local social clubs is a great way to mingle with younger men (and their friends!)
Do you know of any cougar hot spots? Let us know about them.
Do you like the term “cougar”?
Mr Salt says he doesn’t like the term “cougar”. “I’m not a huge fan of the term, I think it’s derogatory and it has an aggression I’m just not comfortable with.” Demi Moore agrees saying she’d prefer to be called a “puma”. What do you think?