Italian cougars are on the prowl

Italian cougars are on the prowl

With Italy being the country of love, passion and desire, it should be no surprise that Italian citizens are seemingly becoming all the more desperate to find “the one”.

A recent phenomenon to manifest itself in Italy has been the prevalence of cougars, middle aged women who prefer the company of younger men. The recent emancipation of women has lead to the tables being turned, with older women being the ones to seek out younger partners, which undeniably is appreciated on both sides.

With the estimated number of Italian cougars standing at one million, dating sites specifically catered towards them have enjoyed wild success, the most popular amongst which is CougarItalia.com. However, with the passing of summer, all the more time is being spent on the Internet, and therefore, their number will undoubtedly continue to considerably increase.

At the centre of attention of both national and international gossip, the figure of the Cougar woman continues to conquer the market in all sectors – from travel to meetings, from clothes to fitness, and the website has drawn up a profile for the average Italian Cougar.

Cougars have approximately 35 percent more disposable income than the average woman, and are reported to spend as much as 500 euros a month on clothing and accessories alone. Regarding travel, cougars like to splash out, preferring a higher quality of hospitality and comfort. They also have a taste for fine dining, with a general preference for haute cuisine and sophisticated foods. Cougars are now starting to be targeted all the more by Italian firms, with companies seeing them as a new niche in the market.

Whilst the notion of being a cougar has always been somewhat of a taboo, the main websites are hoping to banish this stigma, staying in contact with many national media outlets across Italy, to make their cause heard. However, it inevitably seems that it will take society a while to come to terms with this trend, one of older women digging their claws into younger, potentially more vulnerable prey.

Paris: In search of open social space

Paris: In search of open social space

It’s been a few years now since the Grand Paris project has started to become a tangible reality and it is clear that Parisian party-makers and party-goers recently adapted to this new trend.

Many of the trendiest and most up-to-date clubs are now located in the near suburbs. Parisians, facing gentrification, want to escape from the agitation and the narrowness of the city to greater and greener spaces.

6B pioneered a trend which reflected that need for space in 2010 with a crowd-funding concept. A whole building on the Seine bank in Saint-Denis dedicated to different kinds of arts – exhibitions, plays, concerts, and more recently DJ sets and after-parties organized on an artificial beach to enjoy the music toes in the sand.

Since then, a dozen locations were born outside the city centre: Paris 80 in Bobigny is combining a restaurant, a performance hall and an open-air clubbing side, Le Tunnel and District Factory are both night clubs located in a disused chalk quarry in Issy-lesMoulineaux.  If you’re looking for something more relaxed, Sonnenkönig in Saint-Ouen is a place where one can enjoy a barbecue while listening to music, which is again placed next to yet another suburban-initiative – the contemporary art gallery Until Then.

Parisians are constantly looking for underground and atypical places to go, which, besides from the new permanent locations, has resulted in a number of other one-off happenings and events in the suburban-areas. The chateau of Vincennes hosted an open-air party in September; an abandoned villa in Nanterre is occasionally occupied by a musical collective. It is mainly about sharing with others, and more importantly, getting together outside of traditional and overloaded meeting places.

This shift in scene and partying has been noticed by several official institutions as well, who are currently working towards increasing metros’ and buses’ frequency during the night for a better mobility. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs also underlined the importance of the new Parisian nightlife and is currently working on a project to enhance and promote it abroad.

The city centre is challenged like never before. Suburban events are popular, cool and, if we have to predict, here to stay.