Raging Romantics

Raging Romantics

#6: On the Prowl With Cougars

November 20, 2020

"...[D]ear reader, everyone knows that romance for women ends at 30. Doesn’t it?”(Jones, 2017)

Be warned y'all, JACKIE GETS VERY RAGEY IN THIS EPISODE. Why, you may ask? Because herein Jen and Jackie take on the patriarchy that is rife in western culture with a discussion of cougars in romance novels. We review the history of the term "cougar," and ponder why older women in romance novels simply isn't a "thing."

TW: Teacher-student “relationships,” age gaps, discussion of the porn industry’s influence on romance, divorce, miscarriage, Abusive relationships; talk about BDSM


  • Cougar- "A "cougar" is typically defined as an older woman who is primarily attracted to younger men, often involving a sexual relationship. Although there are no precise ages, the woman is usually 35 years or older with the man more than eight years her junior" (Lowen, 2020)

  • Wife Husbandry- "A story where (usually) a man falls in love with a woman, having raised her from childhood." (tvtropes.org, 2020)

  • Chick Lit- also known as "women's literature," refers to books that feature women characters and usually a plot of self-discovery; isn't necessarily a romance although it may feature a love story

  • Independent/Indie Publishing- "Smaller publishing company which, like the big conglomerates, commissions books from authors and publish at the company’s expense, not the author’s. If very small, they are called micro-publishers." (Alliance of Independent Authors, 2020)

  • BBW- "Big, Bold Woman," referring to a woman of a larger size; also called a "curvy" romance

  • BDSM- "bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism" (Cosmopolitan.com, 2020)

  • Boomer- Generation born between 1946-1964

Books read/mentioned: