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The Cougar Image – Positive or Negative?

When author/editor Jolie DuPre conceptualized The Cougar Book and put out her call for submissions over a year ago, both halves of Adriana were thrilled. We knew immediately we wanted to be in that book and we had no problem coming up with our fantasy of a perfect evening for an older woman’s first time out with a stunning younger man. We’re proud to have made the cut – our story, “A Taste of Ginger,” is one of the twenty-two stories finally selected for the anthology, released on Valentine’s Day 2010 at Logical Lust and available in both print and e-book.

We’ve never hesitated celebrating the powerful and enticing imagery we associate with the image of the cougar. In the words of The Cougar Book’s introduction by Valerie Gibson, Canadian TV personality and author, cougars are

“skilled—and creative—in the sexual arts . . .They love to make love and enjoy it for what it is—a joyful, satisfying, energizing, and life-enhancing activity that keeps you youthful and vital. What’s more, it’s fun! It’s a rare and precious attribute for any woman, but when it comes with enthusiasm and few strings attached? Priceless!”

 

Both of us are also longtime fans of TV and film star Kim Cattrall. In her role as “Samantha” in Sex and the City and in her personal life, she epitomizes the positive qualities we associate with “cougar.” Through her books and many personal appearances she continues to encourage women to embrace their lives, their bodies and their sexuality. Some quotes:

Asked by Amazon.com to explain what she means by sexual intelligence: “A person who knows what they like! And has some idea why … I used the word intelligence in the title of the book and the documentary because it reflects my desire to gather whatever insights, inspirations, and information that could nourish the part of us that is sexual and sensual, so that it might be strong and function well.”

 

In a recent interview for TheaterMania.com promoting Sex and the City II: “We have encouraged a lot of women to change the way they feel about being single, about having cancer, being lonely, and I think that’s a powerful thing in this era of post-feminism. I think we have helped to find what it is to be successful, smart, and feminine.”

 

But it turns out she – and many others – think the term is derogatory and the cougar trend is on its way out. PopEater.com puts it this way in Saying goodbye to the Cougar Trend:

“And so now it looks like we’re going to have to look at Pfeiffer, Cox, Cattrall and other aging actress for what they really are: confident, successful women whose talent has kept them in the spotlight beyond an arbitrary media-determined sell-by date. Rather than agree to hide behind some sort of cartoon send-up of what an attractive older woman is, these ladies are redefining how we see life after you spot that first wrinkle.”

 

Cattrall recently turned down a cover spot on a major women’s magazine because they wanted her to pose with a cougar – and to her, that term and that imagery are derogatory. She told Extra “I really take umbrage to the code ‘cougar’ …I think cougar has a negative connotation, and I don’t see anything negative about Samantha and her sexuality, sensuality and choice.” Over at The Today Show in an interview with Meredith Viera she clarified, “I feel there is nothing predatory about a woman of a certain age. The stereotype is that the woman is searching for young men like they’re prey, and I just don’t think that’s good enough.”

We’ve received lots of positive comments from readers who are inspired by the cougar concept and love the fantasies, so we’re curious – what does the cougar image mean to YOU? Positive or negative, celebratory or derogatory, powerful or demeaning? Eager to hear from you!

 

Hot New Review and Upcoming Reading

Colors of the Night just received a Top Pick from MonicaBBB at Night Owl Reviews! 

This book is excellent. I love the idea of the Goddess of Love teaching this couple how to love and accept love. The characters are normal people, just a normal couple with normal issues and the Goddess is—well—a Goddess, so she is not normal but she is still incredibly sexy and confident…Another great story by Adriana Kraft! 

Colors 150            NOR Top Pick   

I’ll be reading an excerpt from this spicy paranormal adventure live Monday night, April 12, at 11pm EDT on blogtalk radio:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/other_worlds_of_romance. Colors of the Night is available at Extasy Books, Fictionwise, and Amazon.com.

 BLURB

The dazzling and timeless love goddess Aria pays a visit to struggling thirty-something Jamie and Ryan Hazleton, who are on the brink of divorce.  When the hot sex that results from her first lesson cools to icy glares, Aria decides to move in with them and provide more experiential learning.  Can Ryan overcome his jealousy of Jamie’s uninhibited response to the delectable goddess? What if he succumbs to his own desires?  Only time will tell whether this love triangle with an immortal will ignite or extinguish the dying embers of Jamie and Ryan’s love.

 

Click HERE for an excerpt.

 

My Life on Twitter

I joined Twitter slightly over a year ago, on the advice of @bookgal Penny Sansevieri after listening to her keynote speech at the 2009 EPICon. The point, as I understood it then, was to get my “brand” in front of more potential readers—especially, readers who might not have joined any of the nearly 100 fiction-specific yahoo groups I then belonged to, readers who didn’t know my hot LGBT erotic romance e-books were exactly what was missing in their lives. It’s been a fascinating year. 

I now have nearly 1500 followers and follow roughly the same number. Who are they? In the beginning, they were other erotic romance writers and the people who followed them. But I have a couple of specific niche markets—the LGBT community and the swing lifestyle. These make for some interesting bedfellows, so to speak. 

I follow and support LGBT causes and marriage equality. I’ve “met” Dr. Loren Olson (@LorenAOlsonMD), a Des Moines psychiatrist who came out as gay at mid life and, since he lives in Iowa, is now married to his partner. He’s interviewing men with similar stories and writing a book about it. Contact him if that’s you!  

One of my favorite encounters was taking the “how hetero are you” quiz from @StockholmPride and discovering that, based on my twitter friends and the language in my tweets, I am only 1% hetero. I was so excited I blogged about it—you can still take the quiz, at http://www.stockholmpride.org/howhetero/ . 

I discovered the power of hash marks to bring me instantly into the community of peeps involved in any specific event. This past month I’ve loved tweeting with other peeps following #NCAA March Madness, especially the night UNI beat first-seed Kansas to move into the Sweet Sixteen. But it works for any breaking news. Last October I couldn’t be in Washington D.C. for the National Equality March, but watching it on C-Span and being part of the conversation at #NEM was beyond powerful, and I blogged about that, too. 

Swing lifestyle (focus of a hot series I’m writing at Extasy Books) brings me some pretty sizzling connections—swing clubs, swingers, sex toy stores, and even porn stars, pretty much anyone with an interest in eroticism. In case you didn’t know, “Adriana Kraft” is the pen name under which my husband and I write erotic romance with mainly bisexual heroines. Swinging, it turns out, is one solution for a heroine who finally figured out at mid-life that she is bi.  

I’ll just shout out some of those fun connections: @chantelleaustin is an Australian Life Coach and Swinger who has written a guide for peeps new to the swing lifestyle. @PaulasPleasures runs a neat toy store and describes herself this way: “Pleasure Expert and Party Consultant, Teaching women how to Ignite the Passion in their love lives.” Sounds good to me! @DrMiaRose runs a website called Better Sex For Women packed with fab tips and info.  

And just for fun, I follow some of the rich and famous. It was neat to catch @ApoloOhno’s tweets while he (and we) watched Olympic figure skating. If @TheEllenShow has anything great going on, I hear about it first on Twitter. Former Tonight Show host @ConanOBrien has to stay off TV and has chosen Twitter for his medium, usually a single tweet per day, sometimes a joke. From watching #NEM, I picked up @BillieMyers and @ladygaga, so now I’m always on top of what they’re up to.  

Hope you’ll follow me @adrianakraft on Twitter – wonder what the next year will bring!

 
© 2018 Adriana Kraft. All Rights Reserved.
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