Interview With a Cougar

Woman smoking a cigar

I met her quite by accident. Her name was Sue. A beautiful woman in her late forties, Sue wore self-confidence like a designer handbag. She had one of those too. Everything about her was perfect, flawlessly put together. It was easy to picture her at a casino in a short skirt, leaning against a craps table blowing on a fistful of dice. We connected immediately, or maybe it was after a couple glasses of wine, but before long, we were sharing secrets.

Our conversation turned to men. Sue was single. With a sparkle in her eye, Sue admitted she’d been with a younger man the previous night. A much younger man.

I said OMG a few times and wanted details. She was about to dish prime fantasy material. You don’t have far to look for the stories. “So you like to date younger men?” I asked.

“Umm . . . yes, I do.”

“But you know from the get-go the relationship’s not going anywhere, right?”

“Right . . . . That’s understood. Nobody falls in love.”

“So what’s the point? What do you get out of it, just sex?”

She held my gaze over her wine. “The sex is nothing to sneeze at. But it’s more than that. There’s a closeness with some of the younger guys that’s not there with men my age.” She swirled her wine and drained the glass. “They’re not afraid to show affection or tell you how they feel. They tell you what they want and what they dream about. We both know we’re living in the moment, so there’s no pressure to make the relationship into something else.”

“What about men your age?”

“They’re all looking for a relationship.”

“And you don’t want a relationship . . . ?” I asked.

“Yes, I do. But the men I’ve dated don’t want one with me.”

The raw honesty of her statement was sobering.

“So I date the young ones, sometimes,” Sue said with a shrug. “Why wouldn’t I? I’m single and on my own for the first time in a long time. It’s different than when we were in our twenties. I learned to look at the world with new eyes.”

Sue was letting me know being single wasn’t all fun and games. That’s when I knew she was brave. She was also sensible; she took what life had to offer.

Sue shrugged. “I’ve always been attracted to younger men so I thought, ‘why not?’”

“So how did it happen? Tell me about the first time.”

Sue looked pensive for a minute and then smiled as the memories kicked in. “Well, I opened a message. It said, ‘Hi beautiful, you have a nice smile.’ His picture was mostly dark, in silhouette. I found out later he was a cop, and he didn’t want it out there, his picture, you know? But, he looked really good. So I said something back like, ‘I like your smile too.”

“Did you go on a date?” I asked.

Sue shook her head at my naïveté. “No, no date. We talked a bit, and messaged each other. I told him it was my birthday. He was coming to town for an antique car club thing. He asked if he could come by my house after the car show.”

“He just came over?” I asked, trying to not to appear too shocked.

“Yes,” Sue replied with a knowing smile and an eye roll. “I’m not completely crazy, I checked him out first. I did a little research, to make sure he was legit.”

“And then what . . . ?”

“He came over, and I answered the door.” Sue let her breath out in a whoosh. “He was one heck-a-hunk-of-gorgeous. Just beautiful . . . about five-ten, sturdy and rock hard, without an ounce of fat on him.”

“Oh my god, what did he say?”

“He said, “You’re as beautiful as your profile picture.”

I shook my head in awe. “And then what?”

“We went into the kitchen. I poured us some wine and we talked a little. Then he came over, took my wine, and set it on the counter. His electric blue eyes had the longest curly dark lashes.” Sue paused for a second, enjoying the memory. “He said ‘Happy birthday gorgeous,” and lifted me to the counter. He put his hands on my knees, and pushed up my dress. For the first time in a long time . . . he made me feel beautiful. He took me from the kitchen into the bedroom, where it was all about me.”

. . . . Wow.


Sue appears in The Provocation of Detective Brooks, the sequel to Hologram: The Seduction of Samantha Bowman. She could be many women of a certain age who are finding their way in a world where the rules have changed, some for the good, and some not so good.

Sue embraces life head on, taking what she can. How many women can do this? What about romance? Anticipation? Intimacy? Only a lucky few get it all.

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