Episode 223: Older Women Who Date Younger Men

September 12, 2023 by Justin Lehmiller

Sex and Psychology Podcast
Sex and Psychology Podcast
Episode 223: Older Women Who Date Younger Men

Whenever an older female celebrity dates a younger guy, it tends to make the news. These women, often referred to as “cougars” or “MILFS,” have long had their relationships subject to scrutiny and stigma. However, the narrative around them has shifted, and nowadays, they’re frequently celebrated in the media. Case in point: the recent arrival of the popular reality series MILF Manor, a show in which a group of middle-aged moms date each other’s sons. In today’s show, we’re going to dive into why so many older women are into younger guys, what their relationships are like, and do a little analysis of MILF Manor.

My guest today is Ashley Weller, a Human Sexuality and Health Psychology Professor at Chapman University in Southern California. She hosts a podcast called What’s Your Position that tackles issues surrounding sexuality, relationships, life, and love from a comedic yet educational point of view.

Some of the topics we explore include:

  • How common are age-gap relationships?
  • Why might an older heterosexual woman want to date a significantly younger guy?
  • Is MILF Manor a sign of progress, or is it feeding stereotypes around women and aging?
  • We also explore the dynamics between moms and their sons on the show, the unrealistic beauty standards older women are held to, and why a show that was designed to facilitate sexual and romantic connections struggled to produce matches.

You can find Ashley on Instagram and check out her Linktree to stay connected.

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Credits: Precision Podcasting (Podcast editing) and Shutterstock/Florian (Music). Image created with Canva; photos used with permission of guest.


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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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