The 'Cougars' Of Silicon Valley Prey On Tipsy Programmers

Illustration for article titled The 'Cougars' Of Silicon Valley Prey On Tipsy Programmers

At long last, the utopian dream of nature and technology living in perfect synergy has come true, thanks to the efforts of a pair of dedicated Silicon Valley visionaries. The ground-breaking duo, Amy Andersen and Nina Ericson, have at last found a way to intermingle men in tech, that rare specimen, with the wild and voracious Cougars Of Silicon Valley — through a high-end dating service recently profiled in Vanity Fair.


Andersen's biggest contribution to cougardom occurred on a historic night in 2009, when she launched an unofficial cougar night at the Rosewood Sand Hill hotel in Silicon Valley. She summoned her male clients with a rousing battle call (a seasonal newspaper called "Dating Confidential"), urging the lovelorn, sweatpants-clad venture capitalists to "change out of their baggy Palo Alto polo shirts and exercise pants, to dress up, and put their best side forward." She also helpfully recommended that they "bleach [their] teeth" and "spray tan." And so the newly-groomed men flocked to the upscale hotel bar, like helpless ungulates to a mountainous landscape, and Cougar Night was born.

The cougars in question came to Andersen for help because they exhibit the characteristic of "being assertive without the ability to turn it off." According to her, "They have a tough time being women." Having drank from the chalice of assertiveness, these beings can no longer be fully-formed humans with two x chromosomes. By day, they are male eunuchs. By night they are large stalk-and-ambush predators who prefer to hunt in dense underbrush and rocky areas.

Their preferred prey: wealthy nerds with spray tans.

According to the article, cougar night is truly a decadent scene. Cougars gather by the bar "in dresses tight as sausage casings." The engineers, who apparently "still act like high-school nerds who have no idea what to say to women" linger around with no idea what to say to women. Ericson notes that their male clients tend to think that think that they can engineer the perfect woman: "I have a lot who say, ‘I want a 105-pound Olympian, Ivy League–educated triathlete,' " she says. "They are not going to find that on Thursday night at Rosewood."

No. There are no ladies who majored in "triathlon" at Yale at the bar. As far as the eye can see, there are only cougars stuffed into their dresses, as the article so delicately implies, like ground up pig bits into an emptied-out intestine.

By the end of the night, however, the cougars' 106+ pound bodies are not even an issue:

Tipsy programmers are chatting with frisky cougars about companies they have helped build and the ones they've witnessed going bust. Handshakes are heading toward hook-ups as day turns to night.


Pure poetry.

"Mating in Silicon Valley: 'Cougar Nights' in Menlo Park and the 'Love Concierge' Who Arranges Them" [Vanity Fair]


Photo credit: @eric/Shutterstock



What is the story? There's a singles night at a bar? People go in looking for 10s and end up talking to 6s and 7s? This is kind of just life, unless I'm supposed to be startled that women over 25 sometimes seek out sexual intercourse.