'Guys my age are boring – many hit their 40s, get lazy and beer bellies – that's just not me'
Dublin fashion blogger Nicole Spain (flutteronby.com) looks great and loves dating younger men. But as she nears her 40th birthday she's not convinced everyone is okay with the cougar dating dynamic.
She says: "I feel a lot younger than I am. I take care of myself, getting microdermabrasion and my hair and nails done, but I think what's different now is that I'm doing it for myself.
"In my 20s I cared more about what other people thought but now I'm more confident, I've a different outlook on life and I'm more comfortable with who I am.
"I don't know if that confidence makes me more attractive. Perhaps to some people, but I think some people are intimidated.
"I find the 'cougar' label hilarious but there've been times, if I've been asked out by a young guy, where people have said 'watch out, she's a cougar!' and it's been said in a derogatory way.
"As much as I'm not bothered by what people think, I'm still conscious of not going out like mutton dressed as lamb.
"The guy I went on a date with recently was 28 and his attitude is 'age is just a number'. I think guys my age are boring. Many of them hit their 40s, get lazy, beer bellies and just want their pipe and slippers – and that's just not me at all.
"Sexually, I'm better matched with younger guys. You can have some fun with someone who's not falling asleep when you're ready for a bit of action!
"But if I brought a 28-year-old home, I'd have to lie about his age to my parents. They'd be appalled. I have a daughter who's 19 and maybe they'd think he was too close to her age. I think there's a generational thing there when it comes to attitudes about older women and younger men."