What is a cougar?

    Cougar in waiting

    Put simply, a cougar is an older women who seeks a relationship or sex with men who are significantly younger than them.

    Traditionally this meant women in about their 40s dating men 10 to 20 years their junior.

    However, over time it has come to mean a woman of any age being in a relationship with a 10-year plus age gap.

    Some consider the term derogatory, sexist or insulting.

    But, the more it has been used in mainstream entertainment and everyday life, its bad reputation has lessened and many now claim it can be empowering.

    This has stirred a fierce debate over whether the term is a triumph for women, or it remains a disastrous setback.

    The origin of the phrase is unclear, but it is thought to have started in Canada.

    It later became an established term by dating website cougardate.com - a site dedicated to "casual dating for cougars and toyboys".

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