The way my life is set up, I find myself more often than I care to confess, attracted to short stories. They usually can be read in one setting, giving me a snapshot of the character's life, quickly resolving an impending conflict. Short stories usually leave the reader with one lasting impression about the subject(s) unlike novels, with details that are important to the development of the story and characters.
Confessions of a Reformed Cougar is a short story true to form centered on a woman we only know by her first name, Janet. Because this is a short story, there is no character maturation. The dialog between the characters are lengthy and read like uninterrupted text messages in tone and informal mood; not conversational as I believe they are meant to be.
It is hard to determine if Janet is truly a cougar - her age is never mentioned, neither is her physical appearance, city of residence, or her ethnicity. Like the wind, you have no idea where Janet comes from or where she is going, but soon you learn she is juggling multiple men and enjoying what she describes as "meaningless sex" and is strongly desiring a polyamorous relationship with them all.
If a cougar is still defined as an older woman who is interested in dating and actively pursues much younger men, I am not sure if cougar would describe Janet. No descriptions about the men she is dating are anywhere to be found. Who are these men... There is Austin, Janet's favorite boy toy who she doesn't want to share and is easily frustrated by his playboy ways - the proverbial kettle calling the hypocritical pot black. Sammy, a former sex partner from her past that recently has returned, professing undying love and an acceptance of her horny ways, hoping she will choose him and forsake all others. Kirby, is the friend with benefits - the benefit being his sex is good and his personal advice is, in Janet's case, life saving.