London society is a jungle, and like most jungles, various predators prowl it. The latest to stalk into my binoculars’ view is the HNW cougar – powerful, successful single women looking for young male prey. (This makes a change from frayed old lion-men or slick, grasping hyena-men.)
Female barristers, bankers, entrepreneurs and recently enriched divorcees are filling some of London’s most notorious hot spots looking for their fun. Some see this as a feminist statement, showing that men are not the only ones who can use their power and money to get what they want; others think the personal is not political and that we can’t comment on people’s desire.
Alexander, 23, a part-time student who moonlights at one of the UK’s most exclusive luxury concierge services, knows only too well the allure of an older woman.
‘I met her at a nice bar in the West End, and immediately she offered to pay for everything. She was a barrister and although she was in her thirties, the power was sexy. She texts me when she wants me, and picks up the tab for the privilege.’ (A sexy woman in her thirties – imagine!)
There are thousands of successful single women in London. Cinema would have you believe these women tend to go for the personal trainers, tennis coaches and gardeners. In reality, the choice of younger men is far less prosaic, nor is it limited to the boarders of W1 and SW1.
I spoke to Jeremy, a 24-year-old restaurateur and man about town, who spent his past summer revelling on the glittering beaches of Mykonos. Approached by a striking older woman, the casual chat lead to a champagne-fuelled lunch at the infamous Namos Beach Club followed by a casual tryst shortly afterwards.
Jeremy recalls, with the cheeky grin of a ‘boy-done-good’, that the 38-year old advertising executive ‘texted me when I got home, letting me know she keeps a room occasionally at the Corinthia Hotel in London, and to be in touch.’
Even if our regular economy is still wildly swinging this way and that, it seems like our sexual economy is finally being rebalanced.