Cubs and cougars had a chance to sniff each other out during an evening of music and drinks at the Tattoo Rock Parlour bar in Toronto on Friday night.
A cougar convention organized by author and event planner Rich Gosse brought older women - and the men who lust after them - together for the night.
The evening got off to a slow start and at times had the feeling of an awkward singles event as decked-out women and buff younger men trickled in to the sounds of Prince and INXS.
Laura Turek travelled all the way from Montreal for the chance to check out a cougar event.
The 40-something documentary filmmaker dated a man 15 years her junior for six years. But after having her heart recently broken by a man closer to her own age, she's decided to test the waters again to see if she can find love with someone younger.
"It doesn't make you desperate," Turek said of dating younger men.
"It doesn't make you a sex fiend - because that's what people think... It just makes you someone who's just really comfortable with who you are and dating someone who's really nice and maybe matches well with you."
Turek wore a short royal blue satin BCBG dress, and sparkly silver high heels in a look she called "a la Sex and the City."
"I think that's what the boys are expecting tonight," she said.
The boys, it seemed, were looking for something they say they can't find with women their own age.
"Most girls my age are too materialistic," tattooed and clean-cut Erik Rolt, 25, said as he sat with some buddies.
Rolt said older women are less judgmental and more open-minded.
He hasn't set an age limit for a potential date.
"If you're confident, and you strive to always be more in the next day - you got my attention," he said.
The event was organized by Gosse, author of The Cougar Imperative, who is based in San Francisco and publicizes worldwide cougar events from his website cougarevents.com.
Gosse himself dated younger women until he got too old to be considered a cub himself.
As part of the convention he organized, Gosse said one woman would be crowned Miss Cougar Canada later in the night, winning a free vacation during International Cougar Week which runs from March 27 through April 2, 2011.
The prize includes a week at the Hedonism II Resort and Spa in Jamaica.
In recent years celebrity couples like Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore have given a very public face to May-December romances.
Gosse said the cougar phenomenon has been in full-swing since 2002 when Toronto relationship expert Valerie Gibson published her book Cougar.
"From that time on, the concept has just taken over the world," he said.
Gibson was scheduled to make an appearance later in the evening as a keynote speaker.
In the meantime though, men and women milled about or sat at tables, some alone.
At one point it looked like men outnumbered women.
Gosse said that's typical.
"There are millions and millions of cubs in the world that are desperately each wanting to find their own individual cougar and there are not enough cougars to go around," he said.
"We want to educate the men of the world that the older women are the best."