The economy is getting a big boost -- thanks to cougars on the prowl for younger men and sexy clothes.
When you think of seduction at the hands of an older woman, the movie "The Graduate" set the bar.
But today, relationships like the one Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft made famous in 1967, are no longer taboo. Thanks to on-screen and off-screen Hollywood hookups, that between-the-sheets age difference is acceptable. 21-year old Branden Scott says, "It just seems like older women know what they want." The relationships are also sought out. Matt Cale says, "I can't see it lasting a super long time, but dating absolutely."
Now, retailers, in addition to guys, are cashing in on sex appeal of cougars. Loosely defined as women 35 and older who like younger men, statistics say they are the fastest growing animal in the lingerie-buying kingdom. Nasrin Hozmari says, "The age comes with an experience, a sophistication and appreciation of anything. So now, we're learning to appreciate what we have gone through to get this body."
Cougars make up more than half the customers at the upscale European lingerie store Trousseau of Dallas. It is moving locations to meet increased demand.
Claudia Opdenkelder is a cougar and the founder of dating website Cougarlife.com. Since it's start in early 2009, CougarLife.com has grown to 500,000 members. It's picking up about 1500 new members a day. The popularity, in part, is fueled by high-profile couples. Claudia Opdenkelder says, "I think, if anything, it helps women understand it and embrace it and realize, 'Okay I don't have to be ashamed of this. This is not something just I'm in to. A lot of people are like this.' "
Many feel the cougar is nowhere near extinction, it's just the hunt has changed for the better.