Matt Sayles/AP
September 01, 2009 12:00 AM

Besides being the star and one of the producers of ABC’s sexy new comedy Cougar Town, Courteney Cox Arquette can speak from real-life experience when it comes to an older woman dating a younger man. In fact, the 45-year-old actress married her “cougar bait,” husband David Arquette.

“I am a cougar!” Cox tells PEOPLE in L.A., while helping her husband collect cans of donated soup for the Cheesecake Factory’s “Drive Out Hunger” Tour benefiting Feeding America. “I don’t take offense to the word. David’s much younger than me and he loves older women. I mean, why not date someone younger if you can?”

Just don’t tell that to 37-year-old Arquette, who hosted the food drive that visited the sets of ABC’s Scrubs and Cougar Town.

“She keeps saying that, but I’m too old to be considered cougar bait!” Arquette said with a laugh. “I’m a little concerned. I’d have to be in my mid-20s for this to be a cougar thing. I really fall in the middle, so for me it’s kind of sad.”

He can laugh, but only because Arquette seems to have an insider’s guide to why younger men are attracted to older women. “Women know a lot of things that men don’t,” he said. “At points in their life they start to think the same way that men always do. Sexually, we’re peaking at different times, so why not peak at the same time?”

Cougar Town, which debuts on ABC Sept. 23, follows Cox as a middle-aged woman who is trying to rediscover herself and her sexuality while piecing her life back together in the wake of a divorce.

As far as Cox is concerned, being a successful cougar is as simple as following one golden rule: “You have to be confident,” she said. “The reason younger men want to date older women is because of their experience. Show them that you know what you’re doing.” –Reagan AlexanderMatt Sayles/AP

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