I wouldn't want to hinder them from experiencing the things I've experienced, or keep them from living life to the fullest." A Valentine's party for single cougars will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. People think nothing of Clint Eastwood being 35 years the senior of his wife, Dina, but Susan Sarandon, pictured at top, raised eyebrows - and may have been the first cougar to hit the public eye - when she began dating Tim Robbins, 12 years her junior, while filming "Bull Durham" in 1988.
Blake said she dislikes the term "cougar" because of its negative connotations. The Society of Single Professionals is a nonprofit group that says it hosts events on six continents.
Nevertheless, she went to the event to get out and meet people, and found herself perched on a chair next to Bob Leisure, 46, a project manager from San Mateo. "Mature women don't play games." Now, for the big question: Do cougars want relationships? In the Bay Area, the society's Web site lists 170 organizations with events for singles to meet and greet.
The cougars' biggest complaint is that men their age don't have the same energy level.
Young guys are not only better looking but have higher energy, too." There is some disagreement on the definition of a cougar.
The fourth official cougars event will be a Valentine's Ball on Feb. He said he hopes that more young men will realize that older women are mature, comfortable with their personalities and accomplished.
Today, compared with previous generations, women are more physically fit, and with visits to the dermatologist and hair salon, appear more youthful than their grandmothers did at the same age.
I think a lot of people in the Bay Area are like me, busy, with hobbies and without a lot of time to go out." The term "cougar" is believed to have originated in Vancouver, British Columbia, bars as a derogatory term, according to Valerie Gibson, a Toronto journalist and author of "Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men," (Key Porter Books, 2001). ' " Gibson recalled in a phone interview last week.
"Even though it meant an older woman drunk in a bar grabbing at a young man, I said, 'That's a great name. ' " Whether it has been Hollywood's influence, the influence of her book hitting the media or a slow societal shift as women have become more financially successful and independent, women have taken control of their sexuality by leaps and bounds during the seven years since her book came out, Gibson believes.
"Cougars are more interesting than bimbos you can meet in bars," he said, unapologetically.
"The men their age are out of shape, bald and need Viagra.
Nick Santoro, 26, a marketing coordinator for an engineering firm, was roped into attending by his friend Paul Lee, 30, a university administrator from Oakland. "It's attractive, instead of chasing someone, to be chased." There is also an appeal, he indicated, in not having to make a commitment.