Christelle (not her real name) was a beach babe, then a trophy bride and graduated to becoming a real MILF. For the next seven years, she dropped her twins at school, the ponytail at the back of her head as tight and riding as high as her shapely butt in her neon gym shorts. She shared gossip with other soccer-mums, religiously punched in playdate appointments and school events, yet never missed how the male teachers, soccerdads and high school boys walking from the same car park would rest their eyes just a bit longer on her.

It was her cheap thrill. Hubby was out on his bike at 5:00 am every morning and she knew how it felt to wake up without heat or touch and all alone every morning. It did not really matter when he spent weeks away on business – it was not as if she would notice. By the time her boys hit high school, she discovered that the Biggie Best-looking coffee shop around the corner from her gym sold a killer Frappuccino. Strong roasted coffee, froth dripping off the rim, and a quick shot of Frau Angelico to take the edge off her growing realization that she did not have a life and that gravity was taking its toll on her share of morning stares. Younger mummies with younger boys, with higher butts and tighter breasts were stealing her limelight. She started skipping out on gym and had a few more rounds with the girls than what she planned, washing down those magic Frappuccinos with freshly-baked bran muffins in the name of suburban propriety, even as she sometimes drove up to the school gates pissed out of her skull.

Whatever sexual appetite these drinks and uninhibited banter with the self-styled “coffee-shop bitches” might have awakened died right there. After all, every self-respecting South African housewife has a daily cleaner dominating private space in her home, so where would fantasy find a space to become reality. Does the vaccuum cleaner ever really drown out the hum of a vibrator? Her shower nozzle became her best friend. Christelle turned to on-line gaming on her state-of-the-art home Mac. She felt the rush of the gamble. It was like virtual foreplay, though she almost always ended just as disappointed as with her husband’s scheduled “nookie-breaks,” as he called them.

Yes, to be the Financial Director of the largest national retail chain does come with some perks, yet scheduling is everything and if nothing else, always tight. Too often, Christelle was down a few thousand Rand by the time her calendar clock pointed her to the school grounds, once her personal ramp, and the itch just grew deeper and harder to scratch. With forty-five fast approaching, her body still had great tone, yet her mind and self-esteem were all over the place. She felt the need to affirm what she had suspected for a long time; whether her clockwork of a husband did not have scheduled meetings with a porn-site or two. In, out, on with the day’s work? She smiled thinking how it would not be out of character for him to diarize 5:00 am Ride; 6:30 am emails, wank and shower, 7:00 am squeeze fresh orange juice and off to work. No amount of searching on his laptop yielded anything, yet while on-line in the XXX domain, her eye caught the word “Cougar.” Not once, not twice. It sunk into her head, in the way a Bruno Mars ditty can stick for days, and she became curious. Curious, but also thrilled. Here was an idea…

Anton (not his real name) is a respectable lawyer in Johannesburg today and lives in a swanky street around the corner from the Gupta compound in Saxonwold. He finally settled down with a trophy wife half his age. He would never say it, yet everybody knew that Anton had never dated anyone of his own age. It had just never been part of his game. Twenty five years earlier, Anton took the brunt of his friends’ okes in a slightly-bemused way. “Why don’t you bring your ‘ouma’ to the keg party, to the faculty dance, to the rugby, to the beach so we can meet her?” They could tease him, because Anton had a much older lover, as he inadvertently let slip one day. More he would not tell. When everyone else in the fourth year law class headed out to someone’s parents’ beach house for the weekends, ever hopeful to score with some well-to-do varsity girl and her friends holing up in the same Hermanus trendy zone, Anton would bid all a quiet good bye, grab a long shave and shower, and set off for Llandudno.

Now, you have to Google Earth this place with a good zoom to get it. Llandudno is where Clifton beach babes live out their mature lives. The place is part big-budget porn-film set, part Architectural Digest. Old money lives the other side of Table Mountain. This is show-and-tell land, and Llandudno likely has more meters of silk and satin sheets per square kilometer than anywhere else in the world. And Anton was having a good roll in these sheets each weekend. While his classmates were getting laid by self-conscious, somewhat guilt-ridden and too-damn-inexperienced varsity girls (well, at least the poetry and music were good) in car parks, parents’ holiday bedrooms, the beach (so over-rated with all that sand) and on linens that were three weeks overdue for a laundry bag trip home, Anton entered a love nest every weekend that had been carefully and lavishly prepared the whole week. Foreplay, sweet talk, rival suitors, what’s that His “oumatjie” called the shots and did the hard work of staging the ultimate seduction. He was just along for the ride. Who could possibly care exactly how perky breasts were if the alternative was great sex without complication? Some of his mates still argue that it fucked up his psyche. That it was his “oumatjie” that doomed him for a life without romantic attachment. That the latest trophy wife was just another chapter in the same story. But, in retrospect, he was a pioneer, as was his lover. He was a cub and she a cougar when those words only had innocent meaning.

It is a simple mix. Studly young male, hormones raging and going off the cliff to sow seed before the expiry date of his prime. Scared shitless by the thought that medical journals suggest it may only be downhill after 19. Six-pack, tattoo and tan almost de rigeur around a beach city, and plenty of time between classes or sales calls. She, credit card in hand, hardly a day ever spent near a place of work, packing in the gym hours, and with the social confidence, sexual appetite and bedroom experience that make beauty look so wasted on young beach babes. It was a no-brainer that once the word started getting out on cougars and cubs, adventurous and mature women would want in.

Christelle was not the first and certainly not the last to start looking at her gym instructor in a very different way once she saw her potential nirvana. South Africa is no different, except perhaps for the privacy constraints, and cougar dating websites started springing up everywhere. Oh, it’s a bitch, not? Do I have my fancy villa for myself and my lover when my husband is at work? Is the sex really great enough to give the cleaner the day off and clean up myself later? Dating a cougar is a different ball game. The mating social skills you learn through teenage and adolescent years have no bearing. You will not find yourself knocking on the front door and getting to know her parents. Your only curfew will be the fear of getting caught, and only if she is married. You will yield control. And more. With that in mind, we present a primer on how to date a cougar. To catch one may be easy – be beautiful and available. Making it stick is the tricky part.

Tough science may not be necessary to explain cougars and their desire for cubs. We are not witnessing a particular age threshold where mature women suddenly go ballistic on some time-delayed release of a hormone. No such thing as the patiently-waiting-to-get-fucked-properly gene that only kicks in at 45. It is far simpler. Medical and sexual research have consistently explained that sex with mature women just keeps getting better and better exactly because of that word “mature.” They know what they want, they know how to say it to their partner, they do not break into a cold sweat when he starts making a move, and there is less guilt, if any. In fact, both the male and female libido drop off over time, and the male’s does so at alarming speed compared to the female. To become a cougar and to grab a cub does not require waiting for hormonal change or the on-set of a physical condition. It is a mental and social process – a mature and confident woman decides “fuck the consequences and the social rules, I want to get myself some of that young stud and all that comes with it.”

Footnote on the Local Scene
Before you rush out and cancel the date with the cute woman in the marketing department and go camp out at your high school car park or the trendy coffee bar opposite Virgin Health, let’s just get a little real. Good cougars are hard to find. Oh yes, lest we forget, they do the hunting, so they have to find you! And the market looks bleak unless you live in but a few affluent and trendy parts of your town. A quick scan of cougar websites servicing the local South African scene is just plain hilarious, if not almost sad. The lay-out is slick and the models used in their ads are gorgeous with names like “SexyCoug” and “SexyKit.” But then you get to the members’ area. Our favorite listing was “Langste” the 40-somethingyear-old guy from Welkom who thought he would be a hit sending in a pic of his nether regions in a blue set of washed-out Jockeys. No six-pack, lots of pasty white skin and some curly hairs that reminds one of Prince after a work-out.

And if “Langste” was trying to suggest that he had something of exceptional length hidden in there, the very flat Y-front sadly exposes his over-optimism. One just does not see the limos with darkened windows rushing out to Welkom for the pleasure of meeting this beefcake. The women who advertise their availability are no lookers either, and are reminiscent of a factory-line’s Human Resource office mugshots. The layout of these websites all seem too familiar and we suspect it may the same people who launched a dating site for married couples in South Africa last year who are now trying to fleece “Langstes” and friends from their hardearned cash. Take a hard look at yourself and the company you keep, and decide whether you fit into the real-world gym juice-bar set or the virtual Jockey-stuffed-with-golf-ball set. The future is in your hands…

by Charl Du Plessis

Published in Playboy South Africa March 2013