A Self-Described 'Cougar' Explains Why Young Men Make Life Worth Living

One woman's take on finding contentment later in life and what we can look forward to from shagging as we get older.

Tessa isn't like the stereotypical idea of a mom. The last time we met, she was taking an hour off from shagging a 22-year-old in east London while he waited for her in their hotel room.

Tessa's not her real name, but I can say that she's 49-years-old and was celibate for seven years while she was raising her 15-year-old son on her own. Now that her son's gone to live with her dad, Tessa says she feels like she has her life back. Using dating website Toyboy Warehouse, she's fulfilled almost every sexual fantasy she can think of with younger guys.

There's still no clear scientific consensus on when men and women hit their sexual peaks and how we can even define a person's sex drive, beyond the rudiments of how well our bits reach to stimulation. But I chatted to Tessa to get some of her insight on sexual fulfillment, contentment, and the quiet joy of getting crotchless pants delivered to your parents' house.

VICE: Hi Tessa, let's start at the start. Why do you think you're so into much younger guys?
Tessa: Women peak in their 40s, sexually, and men in their very late teens. That's just biological, so it's kind of a no-brainer. People snigger at this whole cougar thing, but biologically it makes perfect sense. I am hornier than I've ever been in my life and that's all young men want—and they can just keep it up.

What's the youngest you've ever gone?
Considering my son is 15, it freaks me out when I go too young. I had an 18-year-old recently begging me online to take his virginity, but I had to say, "I'm really sorry, that ain't going to happen." It creeped me out. Also, what's in it for me? If you're 18 and you haven't had sex before, you're probably going to last two and a half minutes. I'm not like a man who has this weird thing about "popping a girl's cherry." I just need someone who has stamina and energy. Twenty was the youngest I ever went and it was good, but we didn't really have a connection.

It's really not just about how buff they are. The first guy I spoke to on the website was a 27-year-old stockbroker and eventually after a year and a half we finally got it together. And he was really fit: he had a six-pack and everything and he looked amazing. But he showed up at my place and we had no chemistry, and I wasn't into it.

How does sex now compare to sex when you were young?
I had a couple of threesomes when I was in my early twenties, but I had no idea how to handle the situation and I don't think anything got done properly. I'd like to revisit it, now that I know exactly what I'm doing. You just gain experience, like with work. I think older women are more open-minded and we're much more open about our bodies.

What makes you say that?
I work with a lot of young female models in my job, and they're beautiful but I think a lot of them are paranoid about how they look and about their bodies. I think they don't let themselves go. I ask the guys I sleep with about this, and some of them say that they just have a fetish for older women, but some say they sleep with women their own age, and their review is often, they're hot, but they're quite boring.

When it come to avoiding boredom, who's been your favorite partner?
I met one 22-year-old Polish boy on the website. He worked in a factory up north, and was stunning to look at—he was a weightlifter or bodybuilder or something. I almost never message men myself on the website, but I sent him one saying, "Oh my god you look amazing." We chatted and he told me it was his birthday soon, and that he had nobody to spend it with, so I told him to come to London and to meet me at a hotel.

I got to reception an hour early and got them to send up a bucket of ice and two champagne glasses. When the stuff eventually arrived I was all dressed up—in something like thigh-high boots with seven-inch heels and stockings, suspenders, gloves—and the poor guy from reception was shocked. I was dressed like a dominatrix. The look on his face, like: Oh my god, you're a prostitute.

Then my toyboy finally arrived at 3 PM, and he walked in we didn't say a word and just got down to it. We finished at 6 AM. In between, I met up with you and some of the other guys at a pub round the corner for an hour, then took the birthday boy to a restaurant for a burger and a celebratory shot of vodka. When we were out together he was saying, "Do you think people think you're my mother?" and I could, in theory, have definitely have been his mother. And after that, I didn't see him again.

Is it just the sex you're into, or is it about more than that?
I'm a bit into dressing up, and have well over 2,000 pieces, which is good because a suspender belt covers up my hysterectomy scar. But it's not like I'm paranoid about my body—getting dressed up just turns me on. I buy lingerie regularly, using American eBay sometimes so that the lingerie's sent to my parents' address. My poor 85-year-old dad has to tell me what's arrived.

How does he usually react?
He'll go: "Yeah, you've got a pair of split-crotch knickers, and a bra that's got no nipples in it." He probably thinks I'm a prostitute, and he's quite religious, bless him. I wonder if it's hereditary. My mom's 85 and when I told her about the Polish boy and showed her a picture of his torso and penis and said, "Mum, I've been riding that," she said: "I am so proud of you." She's such a shagger—she says: "Sometimes your father and I have sex before church and then after church."

Occasionally I think there might be something wrong with me. But most women my age are busy washing uniforms and doing homework. I'm glad I don't have to do that. I just want to feel and experience everything before I die.

Thanks, Tessa.

Follow Helen and Polly on Twitter.