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"I don't have a boyfriend," she says, "I have a team roster."Lily and Anna are not our real names, but then you probably knew that was coming.Virtually everyone on Craigslist lies about something: their name, their age, their weight, their marital status, maybe even their penis or bra size.At an age when most women were sending their firstborns off to college, we found ourselves -- through chance and circumstance -- single, tumescent and ripe for adventures.Those adventures have spanned 10 counties and four states and involved roughly 45,000 e-mailed words, 27 phone calls, 36 face-to-face initial dates and 13 actual lovers -- and re-aggravated our carpal tunnel syndrome from all the typing.At age 28, she moved in with the first man who looked her way.It was a virtually sexless union for 10 years before a therapist helped her come to her senses and move on.
Sometimes we just coordinated the logistics of the hookup, but equally often, we wrote and received profoundly intimate and revealing letters -- an epistolary of erotic stories.Anna decided to try Craigslist because she found other online dating sites too silly.Now, despite her wrinkles and middle-age spread, she "dates" a multitude of guys. "We don't go places together; they sometimes buy lunch but just as often they don't. Actually, that's a euphemism; we have sex." With a lover whose bad back has him on the injured reserve list, Anna knows what to do: click on "Casual Encounters" and start the e-mail banter that almost always leads to a meeting.Anna Reed is a 50-year-old who, as a young woman, had been raped and pressured into sex during the so-called sexual revolution.
She had read books on women's sexuality -- Barbach, Tisdale, Jong, Hite and Nin -- but each held only a small piece of the puzzle.
For the purposes of this story, we have changed everyone's names to protect their privacy.