Guest Blog: ILYA on Room For Love (Part Three)

In the third in his series of blog posts about Room For LoveILYA reveals how Frank, one of the book’s central characters, got his nickname.


The origin of the street name given to the younger male character in Room For Love, “COUGAR”, is also based on a true incident, this one happening to me in the late 1980s. This time I effectively took on the role of Frank, the other central character in the book.

Way back then I accidentally-on-purpose paid a visit to the celebrated homosexualist’s venue and palais of Gay Shame (it’s ironic), the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, in, uhh, Vauxhall?
Royal Vauxhall TavernBold as brass yet innocent as the lamb, I strolled in and proceeded to hold up the bar, wearing a cowboy Stetson made of straw. The pal I had arranged to meet was characteristically late. I got chatted up something rotten. By all accounts, despite my many protestations to the inverse, I looked “as gay as a cougar”.

Dance Colt 69What did I know? Not nearly so much as I do now.

Weirdly enough, it is only in recent times, so far as I am aware, that within the urban dictionary this same term has become widely understood shorthand for an older woman who’s into significantly younger men. There’s even now a TV show…

cougar town…oh, and a new graphic novel that I hear is pretty good. Racey, but good. What was it called now…Room For Love.

ILYA’s graphic novel, Room For Love, is available now from all good book shops. You can buy it online here (Amazon) and here (Waterstones).

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