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Friday was the first Los Angeles Cougar Convention - dedicated to younger men and the older women who appreciate them. The event was organized by the Society of Single Professionals, an educational group dedicated to spreading the word about younger men dating older women.

Lucia (no last name), host of The Art of Love radio show and author of Lucia's Lessons of Love, taught the first-ever 'Cougar School' which took place right before the event officially opened.

According to Lucia, the term 'cougar' was coined by a player on Vancouver's hockey team, who started calling the older single women who came to the games cougars.

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Also according to Lucia, to qualify as a cougar a woman must be at least 40 years old and exclusively date men at least 10 years younger than herself. The rest of you ladies are out of luck and just getting your freak on.

The event, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Beverly Hills, started with a 'speed-dating' type mixer, followed by a keynote address and the cougar-themed "comedy" stylings of Unique Monique, and then a dancing and drinking at the cash bar.

For those of you who were afraid of who you thought was going to show up, the actual event was attended by mostly normal-looking women, many of whom said they weren't looking for a younger guy per se, but were just curious about the event.

Most of the guys there, when questioned, admitted that they were interested in meeting any lady, not just an older one.

All in all, the event was very fun, and the ratio was good for women (it ran about two men per women, although the organizers tell us that changes from city to city), and as the event room filled up and the line and the tiny corner cash bar became unmanageable, the party spilled out into the hotel's lobby bar (where at least one could run a tab), where phone numbers were exchanged furiously before attendees melted away into the night.

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