“When I ask younger men, ‘Why do you date older women? “They all say 'because they know what they want.'” She added, “At a cougar cruise, It’s more like, 'I like you and you like me, I like sex and you like sex -- let’s see if we’re compatible.'” Aasla Lee, a 75-year-old who attended a 2011 cruise to the Caribbean, saw her ship’s dynamics quite differently.
“It is a very party-like atmosphere, and it serves a purpose for a part of society that has been there all along and getting stronger and more prevalent," Thomas wrote in an e-mail. Men have always dated younger women and society accepts it (to a point); this is the reverse!” The Cougar-Cub Dynamic According to Thomas, cougar cruises generally have a 50/50, if not male-heavy, gender ratio -- unlike most singles events, which are usually predominantly female.“I met a young man my first night on the cruise,” said Manderino, 47, an artist who had previously been married to a man seven years her junior. “By night three all the cougars were in bed early, after two nights of partying,” she said.“All the guys were in the bar alone.” The Singles Travel Company LLC held the first International Cougar Cruise in 2009, 42 years after Dustin Hoffman was seduced by Mrs.While Lee had not been involved with the cougar community before winning the Miss Cougar America title and went into the cruise with an open mind, because of the heavy drinking and partying, she said it “wasn’t [her] kind of cruise.” “I don’t really drink and I wasn’t interested in jumping in the sack with a drunk guy,” said Lee.
“I just kind of enjoyed watching everybody else do whatever they were doing.
Either way, Manderino maintains that the ship’s hookup culture isn’t any different than what you would find on any other singles trip.
“There is a stereotype that if an older woman dates younger men, then they would automatically date ANY younger man, but we want compatibility too,” said Manderino.
“The gentlemen I saw who were attractive got latched on to immediately,” said Lee. “It’s not like when guys are pursuing younger women or women their age.
The dynamics change a little bit, and these are older women who are probably more secure and more confident, but also maybe more desperate,” said Lee, a retired graphic and industrial artist.
Richard Gosse, the publicist for Singles Travel Company and founder of had the idea for the first cougar cruise the summer before the first one set sail.