They taught me a lot about being comfortable with who I was." Now a jewelry designer in Las Vegas, the 63-year-old Stanton recalls, "I swore I'd never stick with a man who hadn't grown up with the feminist revolution.

Nonetheless, more than one in 10 of these relationships leads to marriage: The most recent Census Bureau figures show that about 12 percent of all marriages are between older women and younger men.

Women dating younger men said they appreciated the strength, humor, openness, youth, and passion of their partners. Stanton believes that although some of the attraction may be predicated on the mystique of the older woman, her appeal to younger men was based not just on chemistry but on "the luxury of having a finished person.

"They were much more comfortable with their own sexuality," she says.

"And they seemed to love a smart woman who understood sports and classical music." A trend on the upswing Stanton was apparently on the leading edge of what experts say is a new trend: older women dating younger men.

With me they got great cooking, a settled home, and a bonding of souls who had so many common interests," not the least of which was rock and roll.

Whether this kind of romance leads to a happy marriage, of course, may depend on luck or destiny.

Robin Stanton supposes her appreciation for younger men was honed during the feminist revolution.

Growing up in Ohio in the 1950s, she married her high school sweetheart at age 22.

In later years she covered major political events and the lives of celebrities, interviewing more than 1,500 in 30 years, including favorites Gene Kelly, Cher, and writer and producer Paddy Chayefsky.