Dating a Urban Cougar in the UK or in the US
She is sophisticated, sexually predatory and won'tsee 40 again: meet the urban cougar, the new phenomenon sweeping the New York dating world and now on the prowl in the UK.
The urban cougar dates younger men: think Sharon Stone, Kim Cattrall, Demi Moore or Nicollette Sheridan's Edie Britt in Desperate Housewives. Cougars are successful in their own right: financially independent, career-driven, possibly divorced, with children, and they want to avoid the ties of a long-term relationship in favour of the freedom of the hunt, turning the tables on older men who scoop up trophy babes.
With stealth and athleticism, the cougar pounces on her prey and gets away fast.
Visit venues such as Soho House and Bungalow 8 in New York and you'll find cougars at large - dressed to the nines and sipping cantaloupe martinis with a glint in their eye.
These 40-something women have no qualms about picking up the same boys that as babysitters they sent off to bed for being naughty, according to followers of the trend in Britain.
Shows such as Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives have removed the stigma of the oversexed older woman. "The strength and power of New York women is almost frightening," says Sarah Ivens, the editor of American OK! "We British girls have a lot to learn. Manhattanites on the prowl are ferocious. They earn a lot of money and spend most of it on looking good and going out. They feel they deserve the best."
Websites have sprung up offering an on-line dating service, advice on the best places to meet younger prey and age-defying fashion and makeover tips. The predator's hand-book is Valerie Gibson's Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men.
The new Hollywood film Prime, released in the UK this week, stars Uma Thurman as a 37-year-old career woman who, after a painful divorce, embarks on a passionate affair with a man 14 years her junior. The classic cougar film's release coincides with a stealthy approach by UK felines.