Significant age disparity in sexual relationships has been and remains a feature of couples in many cultures and societies. Although the more common pattern in heterosexual couples is an older man with a younger woman, the proportion of the converse (older woman/younger man) has risen significantly in many countries.[1] In extreme cases, age disparity may be seen as dysfunctional (a paraphilia) if such relationships are pursued to the exclusion of all others and to the detriment of the partners.[2][3]

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Age-disparate relationships have existed for millenia; King David's last wife was the much-younger Abishag, who was recruited in "a kind of Bible-era beauty contest" to keep him warm in his old age.[4]

Slang terms Edit

Several English slang terms describe pairings in which one individual is much older than the other:

  • Chickenhawk—an older gay man who sexually pursues younger males, i.e. "twinks"/"chickens" or, more rarely, underage boys.
  • Cougar—a woman, 40[5] years of age or older, who pursues younger men, typically more than eight years her junior.[6] The term is also commonly applied to women that are thirty or older. [7] The origin of the word is debated; however, it is thought to have first appeared in print on the Canadian dating website[8] and has been used in TV series, advertising and film. The 2007 film Cougar Club was dedicated to the subject and in Spring 2009 TV Land aired a reality show called The Cougar. The sitcom Cougar Town explores the difficulty and stigma of many so-called "Cougars". There was also a book published in 2010 by Tightrope Books called Confessions of an reluctant Cougar by Myna Wallin.
  • Cradle robber or cradle snatcher[9]—a person involved with a much younger individual.
  • Cub/Tadpole—a younger male who is going out with an older partner, often paired with the term Cougar.[10] The term is also often used in the gay community along with the term Bear. While normally used to refer to a partner under 30, this is not a prerequisite.[11]
  • Trout [12]—An older man who dates a younger woman.
  • Gold digger—someone (typically a female) who develops a relationship with a much older partner or someone whom she does not find attractive physically, intellectually or congenially for primarily financial reasons, especially to inherit the partner's wealth upon death (which is expected to come soon), or upon divorce.
  • GILF - acronym for 'Grandma I'd Like to Fuck'. Derived from MILF.
  • Jailbait—a sexually attractive young person who is below the legal age of consent. This designation connotes enticement to endanger oneself of being prosecuted for statutory rape. In California, the term "San Quentin Quail," a reference to the state prison at San Quentin, is used. Perhaps due to the influence of Hollywood on American slang, the expression is used in other states as well.
  • Lolita – a sexually precocious girl who is the object of desire of a significantly older man. The term's origin is the name of the title character in Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita, whom the book's narrator, Humbert Humbert, calls a nymphet. While nymphet still describes younger children,[citation needed] Lolita has come to be applied to older adolescents and young women in the context of pornography.
  • Manther - A male 40 years of age or older, who pursues younger women, typically more than eight years his junior.
  • May–December romance—a relationship in which the age difference between the two adults is wide enough to risk social disapproval. The issue was explored in depth in a very successful BBC comedy series, May to December.
  • MILF (an acronym of "Mother [or 'Mom'] I'd Like/Love to Fuck")—a sexually desirable mother, though not necessarily an older woman. Can also in some cases be used the other way around, for a sexually attractive older woman who does not have children. This is often critiqued, not the least by the women themselves if they are not mothers. The term is used frequently as a descriptor of pornography featuring older women, assumed to be mothers. It was popularized amongst others by the 1999 film American Pie
  • Puma—a woman in her late twenties and thirties who dates a younger man (i.e., 20-somethings), often considered a "cougar in training". It also means a cougar whose age disparity is less than eight years.[13][14]
  • Sugar daddy/mama/mommy—a rich, usually older person who offers money or gifts to a less rich, usually younger person in return for companionship or sexual favors. This differs from prostitution in that the older person is usually the sole financial provider to the younger person. In Japan, there is a loosely similar practice known as enjo kōsai.
  • Toy boy/Boy toy[15]—a much younger boyfriend or husband of an older woman. In male-male relationships, a toy boy (sometimes toy boi) characterizes the one who is (and usually enjoys being) used for sexual gratification (boy toy can also be used this way in similar-age heterosexual relationships: Jan Hooks applies the term to her ex-husband in the episode ""Sex and the Single Woman" of the television show Designing Women).

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. "More women marrying younger men". BBC News. 12 December 2003. 
  2. Levesque, Roger J. R. (1999). Sexual Abuse of Children: A Human Rights Perspective. Indiana University Press. pp. 1, 5–6, 176–180. 
  3. "United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child". Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 1989. 
  4. Jonathan Kirsch, King David: The Real Life of the Man Who Ruled Israel, pp. 270-271. (Random House, Inc., 2001). ISBN 0345435052, ISBN 9780345435057. Found at Google books, citing 1 Kings 1:1-4. Accessed September 9, 2010.
  5. "Urban Dictionary: cougar". Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  6. "Are More Older Women With Younger Men? 'Cougars' on TV and in Real Life Find Romance Overcomes Age Gaps". ABC News. 2005-05-05. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  7. "Are More Older Women With Younger Men? 'Cougars' on TV and in Real Life Find Romance Overcomes Age Gaps". ABC News. 2005-05-05. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  8. Barrett, Grant (17 October 2007). "Time for a cougar?". The Star Online. Retrieved 26 August 2009. 
  9. "Cradle-snatcher". Sexual Dictionary. 
  10. "Cougar & Cub Speed Dating – Is It For You?". The Real Cougar Woman. 
  11. SFBrawnyBear (July 21, 2009). "A Day in the Life of a Cub". 
  12. "Cradle-snatcher". Sexual Dictionary. 
  13. "Hollywood's Cougar/Puma Continuum". Fox News. Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  14. "Should a Cougar play a Puma?". Fox News. 2009-08-20. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  15. Macdonnell, Jane (2008-03-09). "The truth about toy boys". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  16. Green, Jonathon (2006). The Big Book of Filth: 6500 Sex Slang Words and Phrases. Illustrated by Kipper Williams. Cassell P L C. p. 244. ISBN 9780304368242. 

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