Confessions of an Aspiring Kept Man: Is That a Cucumber in Your Shopping Cart? 

It's not easy trying to be cougar bait

Wednesday, Jul 2 2008

I have a friend, Andrew, who lives in Paris. Every day, Andrew wakes up at 11, stretches, and prepares himself a leisurely cup of tea followed by a four-course breakfast — fruit, bread and cheese, yogurt and, finally, a cup of strong Vietnamese coffee and a piece of chocolate. By the time he finishes his morning routine, it’s well into afternoon and he’s ready to go out. Sometimes he strolls the boulevards and back alleys of Montmartre, snapping photographs. Other times, he treats himself to a massage. He tries to take in at least one film a day.

Photo by Mark Mauer

(Click to enlarge)

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MARK MAUER

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When he’s not in Paris, Andrew travels the world: sometimes weekend trips to Holland or Spain, sometimes monthlong journeys to Cambodia, Vietnam or Australia.

Also read Zen and the Art of Cougar Hunting By Gendy Alimurung

Andrew doesn’t pay for most of his travels. Andrew doesn’t pay for his food. Andrew doesn’t pay for his rent. Andrew doesn’t pay for his massages. Andrew doesn’t even pay for toilet paper. He has a beautiful, successful young French girlfriend to pay his bills.

Andrew is a kept man.

I’ve been thinking about Andrew and his situation a lot recently, and a nagging question has begun rattling around my brain — how can I be more like Andrew?

Andrew and his girlfriend are very much in love — an arrangement I’m not particularly adept at. I’ve gone that route twice, with similar results. The first time, I endured three years of monogamy in New Orleans — a city where indulging in Caligulan excess is as simple as dangling a 5 cent set of Chinese-made plastic jewelry in someone’s face.

Everyone has his breaking point. Things ended badly.

The second time around, love set my car on fire. Well, love didn’t do it — we think it was my girlfriend’s girlfriend. Long story, but that one didn’t work out either.

If I can’t handle a relationship where trust, caring and mutual appreciation are the only prerequisites, tacking on the task of finding myself a monied young woman of international intrigue strikes me as far too much to ask for.

No, if I’m to achieve a life of leisurely Parisian mornings and afternoon massages, without working for it, of course, I’ll have to become someone’s pretty piece of meat. Someone rich, middle-aged and a little desperate. In other words, I need a cougar.

But where to find such a woman?

My first thought: Orange County. Show up at the Newport Yacht Club in an ascot, a nautical blue blazer and loose-fitting white pants — a young Thurston Howell III, as it were, looking for my Lovey. (Thurston, I maintain, was a kept man. I think he was a street thug who mugged and stripped a drunken Kennedy, forged a Harvard diploma, clenched his asshole as tight as he could and crashed a Radcliffe cotillion. Lovey, gin-sipping heiress that she was, fell for his act.) Then I reconsider. I’m a scruffy, degenerate Semite. I do happen to come from New England, but I’m far too Jewy to get any Ronald Reagan–doting, Orange County yacht-club cougar to fall for my Boston Brahmin act. On top of that, I could practically pay for my own massage for what it costs to drive down there.

Scratch Orange County.

Where, within reasonable distance, could I become cougar bait?

“The Mountain,” one of L.A. Weekly’s interns told me. “It’s a hiking trail where all the old Hollywood power brokers go to hunt young men.”

Tempting, but if I’m going to have random public sex, it’s not going to be with an old lady (or old dude, for that matter; this is Hollywood after all) — especially in the unkind daylight. If spontaneous sex is to be had, it’s going to be around last call in the bathroom of a UCLA sports bar, with a doe-eyed brunette named Tina or Emma.

Besides, I’m not looking for a one-time thing — I want plane tickets.

So, aside from “the Mountain,” where does one go to get spoiled? When I ask around, time and time again, the same answer surfaces: upscale grocery stores.

Easy enough. There’s a Whole Foods up the street from me in Glendale. My neighborhood is certainly stocked with its share of Lexus-driving Armenian and Filipina hotties. After seeing Pinay weather goddess Elita Loresca on a recent cover of this very publication, I find the latter option particularly appealing.

I envision myself meeting the wealthy former mistress of a lumpia baron —like Elita, but tack on a decade. Elita-Plus-10 spent her glory years waiting for said lumpia baron to ditch the wife. After enduring 15 years of sweet, beautiful lies, Elita-Plus-10 finally realized she was being strung along. She left the guy, taking with her a healthy lump of hush money. Now, she’s shopping for organic cheese at Whole Foods, waiting, cash in hand, for a scruffy, young writer to help her rekindle her lost youth.

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