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Being a cougar isn't for the faint of heart ... For nearly five years, I've been dating a man 15 years my junior. I have been a consistent member of the "Cougar Club" since my husband passed away.According to the NCHS's William Mosher, the average age for first-time sex for women is between 16 and 17.What's different about the Hutchinson-Stodden marriage and the Cox-Catsimatidis wedding is that the grooms were willing to enter so publicly into relationships with teenagers, with the apparent approval of their brides' parents.Then just sit back, relax, and enjoy the relationship, just as you would do when dating a woman of any age.his dry sense of humor kills you, and dang those eyes!The "Urban Dictionary" states: "Cougars are gaining in popularity — particularly the true hotties — as young men find not only a sexual high, but many times a chick with her shit together." I like to think of a cougar as a confident, independent, young-spirited woman who happens to prefer the company of younger men.Here are 10 common myths about cougars in the dating world, and the REAL facts that totally debunk them:1.

Some 16 percent of girls had sex with male partners who were 4-6 years older and 11 percent had partners that were 7 or more years older.

From the standpoint of anthropology and sociology, dating is linked with other institutions such as marriage and the family which have also been changing rapidly and which have been subject to many forces, including advances in technology and medicine.

"True love can be ageless," declared actor Doug Hutchison, 51, an actor who starred in the television series "Lost," when he announced his May marriage to Courtney Alexis Stodden, a 16-year-old beauty pageant queen turned aspiring country star. Kelly's rumored romance with 15-year-old singer Aaliyah to rocker Ted Nugent falling for 17-year-old Pele Massa in 1978 -- and becoming her legal guardian because she was too young to marry him -- relationships between older men and younger girls never fail to make us squirm. states, a person can't legally consent to sex until age 17, and individuals under 18 years old must have a parent's permission to marry in all states except Nebraska, where the legal marriage age is 19. Lou Ann Brizendine, who has written about brain development in males and females, says that girls' brains are as much as two years ahead of boys' during puberty and that boys may not even catch up to girls until late adolescence or their early 20s, so a few year between partners can -- and often does -- make for a compatible match.

This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement or marriage.

Dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which has mainly emerged in the last few centuries.

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