Older Women and Younger Men: Why Not?

When I recently started seeing commercials for squeezable peanut butter, I thought, "It's about damn time."

— We've had squeezable jelly for years and, quite frankly, I could never understand what great time savings there was in not having to spread the jelly on the bread if you still had to spread the peanut butter on the bread.

I felt the same way when I found out that 40-year-old Demi Moore is dating a man/boy 15 years her junior. I said, "Squeezable peanut butter. It's about damn time!"

I am shocked that Demi and her new paramour, Ashton Kutcher, have made the cover of virtually every entertainment magazine and the first five minutes of every infotainment show. What's the big deal?

First of all, she looks like she's 25, and whether she's had work done or not is beside the point.

As far as her having children almost Ashton's age, that's not quite the case. Her eldest daughter is 10 years Ashton's junior. That's a little too close for comfort. But this is Hollywood. Let's just be happy he's not dating Rumer, although Demi's ex, Bruce Willis, would be ready to kick some tail! Is Demi Pulling a PR Stunt? Who Cares!

As to the validity of the relationship, it's quite uncertain. The gossips say that when the paparazzi are not checking them out, they aren't checking each other out. In other words, they're only playing smoochie-face for the cameras because it's a publicity stunt.

News of this relationship seems suspiciously well coordinated with Demi's comeback performance in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.

According to the rumor mill, they've been spotted together in Haley, Idaho. They've also spent quality time with Demi's three daughters and, strangely, with her aforementioned ex.

Truthfully, it's a mutually beneficial deal. He helps her pick up the 20-something audience who hasn't had the pleasure of knowing Demi the way the baby boomers do. She, on the other hand, affords him the credibility of a little more mature audience who might not have rushed out to see him in Dude, Where's My Car.

This could also be true for the most recently rumored dynamic duo, Cameron Diaz, 30, and Justin Timberlake, 22. She just got off an almost three-year stint with Jared Leto, while he's been reportedly busting loose with a bevy of babes — including Tatiana Ali, Janet Jackson and Alyssa Milano — since his supposedly virginal courtship with Britney Spears came to a close.

Could this be another publicity stunt to ramp up audience numbers for the Charlie's Angels sequel? Maybe that's why this one's called Full Throttle.

But let's leave publicity and reality aside. I just think it's nice to see an older woman with a younger man. I say, "Why not!" Old Guys Do as They Please

We've accepted the old man/young woman thing for years. Jack Nicholson, 66, has been been playing with girls ever since he parted ways with Anjelica Huston, most recently with 33-year-old Lara Flynn Boyle.

Meanwhile, Harrison Ford is a 60-year-old man playing house with Calista Flockhart, who's 22 years his junior. He coos about how he loves to change diapers when referring to Calista's 2-year-old son. She'd better love changing diapers, too, if she sticks with a man old enough to be her father.

There have been many ladies who have practiced the fine art of loving a younger man. Cher, 58, of course, is the one that comes to mind. There are several examples, but who could forget her Bagel Boy, Rob Camilletti?

Cher was 40 when she first laid eyes on the former bagel shop employee from Brooklyn. Of course, she's not exactly your typical older woman. I believe she requires a gent with a little more chutzpah … or at least enough strength to help her remove those cumbersome costumes she wears.

People laughed, but Cher always maintained that this one of her greatest relationships. Older Woman/Young Man Magic

My favorite older woman/young man couple has always been Juliet Mills and her hubby, Maxwell Caulfield. She's 61, he's 43. She was the Nanny from Nanny and the Professor. He was Miles Colby on Dynasty, but he's probably better remembered as the forgotten Michael Carrington in the so-bad-it's-almost-good flop Grease II.

The couple married in 1980, when she was 38 and he was 20. I don't know what she had at 38 that he wanted at 20, but I bet I know what he had at 20 that she wanted at 38. I'm 38 and I say, "Bring it On!"

By the way … they're still married.

Another older/younger success story is Susan Sarandon, 56, and Tim Robbins, 44. They've been together since they met on the set of Bull Durham in 1988. They share living space and kids. They also share political views, which, in turn, they share with everyone. She could've had Kevin Costner. He could've had a lot of younger ladies between then and now. Instead, they still have each other.

Goldie Hawn is 57 to Kurt Russell's 52. These days, that's not a significant age difference, but they've been together since 1983.

Joan Lunden, 52, and her decade-younger husband, Jeff Konigsberg, just had twins with the help of a surrogate mother.

Julianne Moore, 42, and her fiancé, director Bart Freundlich, have a beautiful baby and nine years between them.

You've gotta love the magic between Daryl Hannah, 42, and David Blaine, 30, even if you don't understand it. Suffice it to say, whatever brought them together is surely stronger than a straitjacket and a tank of water, for he's yet to escape this towering power of love.

Of course, there are always the far less successful examples of mature ladies paired to less-mature men, such as Elizabeth Taylor and hubby No. 7, Larry Fortensky, and Joan Collins and her many younger lovers, including her fifth husband, a bambino 33 years behind her in age. Truthfully, I don't think these illustrations should count, since these women have enlisted more men than the U.S. Army.

So, be it wisdom, sex appeal, desired tabloid scandal or Social Security benefits, there's a trend happening here, and the middle-aged ladies of yesterday are reeling in the freshest catches of today.

Only one thing to say to that: You go, girls!

Heidi Oringer is director of entertainment programming at ABCNEWS Radio.