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Old 05-16-2010, 02:49 PM   #1
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Cougars vs sugar daddies

Cougars vs. sugar daddies: Dating website accuses Google of sexism | Posted | National Post

By Kenyon Wallace May 13, 2010

The founder of a Toronto-based dating website for older women looking for younger men is accusing Google of sexism for labeling Internet ads for “cougar” dating sites as “non-family safe,” while ads for many sites promoting liaisons between older men and younger women remain “family safe.”

Claudia Opdenkelder, founder of cougarlife.com, says she was informed this month by her Google account manager that the Mountainview, Calif.-based web giant is classifying ads promoting the concept of “cougar dating” — a la Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher — as unsafe for family audiences, even if the ads contain no sexually suggestive words or images.

At the same time, ads for so-called “sugar daddy” websites, such as arrangementseekers.com, a forum for older men and younger women to meet and which sports the slogan, “Get the arrangement you want…without the commitment,” continue to be labeled “family safe” by Google, according to Cougar Life’s parent company Avid Life Media.

“It’s a huge double standard and I think women should just be appalled,” said Ms. Opdenkelder, 39, a self-professed cougar who has been dating a man 14 years her junior for two years.

“Cougar Life was made for women … single moms, divorcees and women that are just looking for a second chance at love. In any relationship, obviously there’s going to be intimacy but it’s not a sex-related site where we’re trying to push sexual relations.”

Cougar Life, which has signed up more than half a million members since its launch last year, bills itself as “the premier online dating service that pairs women in their prime with younger men and ends the double standard.”

Up until a few weeks ago, its banner and text ads — featuring photos no less innocuous than a man or woman smiling accompanied by the words, “Think all the good guys are taken?” — were running on millions of websites that outsource their ad space to Google.

Google spokeswoman Wendy Rozeluk denied that sexism plays any part in the decisions the company makes as to what ads it labels “non-family safe” or “adult.” Rather, she said the company has a list of words which trigger a review of the site and the ads before a decision is made. She would not confirm whether “cougar” was one of the trigger words.

“It’s not just about the ad, it’s about the ad and the landing page of the site,” Ms. Rozeluk said. “Anything that’s considered non-family safe will not run on the Google content network at this point.”

But a quick Internet search reveals Google-sponsored ads for various websites that purport to offer comparable services to Cougar Life. An ad for Anastasiadate.com boasts “15,000 sexy Russian & Ukraine women for friendship, love & marriage!” while Eligiblegreeks.com proclaims “Greek Dating – Sexy Pics, Meet single Greek men and women, browse photos, send flirts & more!”

Ms. Opdenkelder says she doesn’t understand why ads that seem more provocative than those for Cougar Life are acceptable.

“We just want to be treated the same way as all the others, and the discrimination against the word ‘cougar’ makes it even worse,” she said. “It makes us — cougar women — feel like dirty perverts. I’ve been trying to fight so hard on every interview that I do that the old stigma on cougars doesn’t exist anymore and that we’re just strong, powerful independent women who just happen to enjoy dating younger men.”
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:28 AM   #2
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I read that article yesterday-and no matter what they say it does seem like a double standard. What is the equivalent word for cougar for an older guy who will only date younger women? The "sugar daddy" thing does not get tossed around that way, and many of those women are making their own money anyway. In many cases the guys are dating younger women because they won't date older women, for whatever their reasons are...and it has nothing to do with money.

That word does have a negative connotation-as if these women have to "prey" on younger men and the men are not interested. How could they possibly be when they could be with a younger woman who is deemed to be more attractive just by virtue of being younger? It does imply that they're perverts in a way. But of course the younger women will always be interested in the older men. The older man/younger woman still does not have the same stigma, no matter how things have changed.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:58 AM   #3
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I agree with Mrs. Springsteen. There is a double standard.

I am a woman, in my early fifties and have on a few occasions, had much younger men flirt with me. Mostly, when I have been hiking. I am happily married. And kindly say, Thank you, I am not interested.

I have always been attracted to men in my own age group. I like the finished product!
And if I were single. He would have to be single and at least fifty years of age. Not older than sixty, though.

But, my point is......it isn't fair to accept older men dating much younger women. And not think it is okay, for the opposite situation.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:52 AM   #4
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I have a problem with the whole "cougar" thing. I know a lot of women just think it's a fun term, but to me it has the stink of "ha ha, older women have a sex drive? That's so weird and kind of icky, so let's give it a nickname!"

You know what they call older men who go after younger women?

"Men."
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:22 PM   #5
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You know the "ads by Google" at the bottom of your posts? Here are the ones from my OP.

...gave me a creepy data mining feeling at the same time.

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Old 05-17-2010, 01:08 PM   #6
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Free Video Shows How To Get Women Yours Free W/ No Purchase Required
OK - so is the video free w/no purchase required or does it instruct one on how to 'get women' without making a purchase for them??? Really, how do these things expect to be successful if they won't advertise clearly???


As for the subject at hand: double standard. Period. The kind of dreck that Ali Envy referenced is OK to advertise but older women wanting to date younger men isn't? What's the matter? Upset that the shriveled old crones won't stay indoors & out of sight - where they belong??
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:33 PM   #7
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from an evolutionary perspective, a younger woman/older man couple makes more sense and is likely deemed more "family-safe" than an older woman/younger man couple because the former couple makes reproductive sense -- older men can impregnate younger women at nearly all stages of life.

good/bad/right/wrong, that's where this is coming from. the older woman/younger man relationship screams "she's just using him for sex, he's just using her for money" much more than it's reverse.

of course it's a double standard.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:55 PM   #8
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the older woman/younger man relationship screams "she's just using him for sex, he's just using her for money" much more than it's reverse.
Irvine, you are certainly one of the most intelligent, articulate, gentlemanly posters on Interference & I don't relish challenging you, but I have to question you on this. Does the older woman/younger man dynamic really say to you that it's more about sex than the older man/younger woman pairing? Why? Whether it's about actual sex or implied sex, don't you believe that the "sugar daddy" set up is about the man saying to the world (in part), "Look how virile I still am. Middle-aged/elderly & I can still bang chicks half my age. Can keep 'em so satisfied that they want to stick around. "

Granted, for some "cougars", these relationships are them trying to make the same statement to the world. I'm just curious as why you think the cougar relationship speaks more about sex that the sugar daddy relationship.
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:03 PM   #9
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Irvine, you are certainly one of the most intelligent, articulate, gentlemanly posters on Interference & I don't relish challenging you, but I have to question you on this. Does the older woman/younger man dynamic really say to you that it's more about sex than the older man/younger woman pairing? Why?


to me, no.

but to society at large, that's what it's saying.

sorry if i wasn't clear -- i was talking about what i perceive to be the general attitude towards "cougar" relationships, not my own attitude.

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Old 05-17-2010, 05:26 PM   #10
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to me, no.

but to society at large, that's what it's saying.
I can accept that.
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Old 05-17-2010, 06:20 PM   #11
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Thanks for posting this, AE.
Double Standard? Hell, yeah !!!!

The evolutionary thing probably runs in the unconscious .
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:32 AM   #12
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i do think that, ultimately, the cougar thing is empowering for women, the names aside and the derisive comments aside. whenever women have advanced into new areas, they've had to deal with derision, and this is no different, but all that the patriarchy has to keep women in place are to call them names in order to reduce them as people and to keep them in place.

though i know this freaks us out when it comes to women, i do think that the frightening thing about the "cougar" is that she is having sex to have sex, she's not concerned with reproduction. certainly, a younger woman can go out and have sex and it's just that, but always there is the idea that she should be looking for a man to ultimately marry and have children with, so even recreational sex is understood as playing into that narrative. with an older woman, it's different. she's had her kids, or doesn't want any, and so she's just having sex because she wants to, similar to how a man might be having sex. and this is terrifying for many.

but i say, you go girl. seriously. if an older woman is financially and emotionally secure, and is, for all social purposes, a "man," why can't she have sex like a man?

often, younger guys love this. they, too, feel overwhelmed by the overwhelming pressure women their age feel to get a man and get married. they love the independence of an older woman, they love her confidence, they love that people don't age these days the way they did in the past (today's 40 is not the 40 of 30 years ago), they love that older women are often sexually confident and experienced, and they love that the relationship exists on it's own terms and it's not pressured by the reproductive narrative.

certainly, understanding sexuality apart from reproduction is new to some (i.e., "a race to the bottom"), but so long as it's performed by adults who take responsibility for their own actions (and that's scary too, the idea that women are fully responsible for their sexual decisions and consequences), i see nothing but empowerment.

this is actually a very fascinating topic, detaching sexuality from reproduction and even, in a manner of speaking, gender.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:51 AM   #13
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I do think a lot of young men, as they grow up, become detached from the 'little prancing round teenage girl who giggles a lot and doesnt really know herself', and is drawn more to the older girl/woman who, if I say so myself, can with age and time become a very independent person in her own right, comfortable in her own skin, etc.................when that confidence shows, I was told guys like it.

now the one danger is, a lot of boys may like to be mothered by an older woman.


but I reckon eventually, a young guy who likes older women - when he hits prob mid to late 30s, may actually AIM for a younger girl.


but this is what and how we plaster it, in the end, the two persons involved with each other, be it older woman with young lad or young girl with older guy - its how THEY get on with each other that we overlook, and really is the key secret to their temporary or permanent bonding.









and if I may say so, the name 'Cougar' is pretty fucking ridiculous..............

it seems like, with today's media, there are three types of women, or three types of men, and we are sort of so fuking tuned into that, the truth is there are LOADS of types of women and men, and its all about human interaction and what works and what doesn't.

no thanks to old men wearing bling drooling over young girls and older women with fast cars, money and wanting the stamina of younger guys - hello, we are not all like that.

jaysus I want to burn all fuking media shit! LOL!
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:07 PM   #14
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its all about human interaction and what works and what doesn't.

I think you are correct Ideally it's about the person and not the age. In other words, you're not with the person just because of the age they are and whatever inner needs that just the age is satisfying.

I'm not going to use the word anymore, I don't like it and it is sexist

But I do agree with you the "mothering" thing could be an issue. Then again there are plenty of older men who are still looking for that too.
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:19 PM   #15
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if an older woman is financially and emotionally secure, and is, for all social purposes, a "man," why can't she have sex like a man?
There is an inherent misogyny which says that the "way a man has sex" (traditionally, on the sly, with no string attached, etc) is the way to go. Interestingly, it gives male sexual irresponsibility a pass, and subtly tells women that the only way to get a man is to not only indulge his irresponsibility, but engage in it yourself.

Additionally, it's my understanding that most of these women -- many of whom are entering what was traditionally known as menopause -- are trying to find a new way to express their femininity, not deny it altogether. It may also be that some of these women -- particularly the single moms and divorcees Openkelder speaks of -- have been a victim of the standard "divorce that comes from an affair with a younger woman" narrative. It's not a narrative worth repeating.

Quote:
certainly, understanding sexuality apart from reproduction is new to some (i.e., "a race to the bottom"), but so long as it's performed by adults who take responsibility for their own actions (and that's scary too, the idea that women are fully responsible for their sexual decisions and consequences), i see nothing but empowerment.
Because men have done such a great job with the whole "sex with random strangers" thing over the years.
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