They desired companionship and a social life — and sex.But they were not willing to compromise on losing their sense of freedom, to the point that they were “willing to be lonely before sacrificing independence.” I don’t want to be alone or lose my freedom — is it possible to have both without having to become a wife again?

Emerging from a stale and sexless marriage, she would do things her way this time around.

Lily turned to the free Craigslist personals because didn't want to spend any money getting laid. She was open to every person and every experience -- even Republicans, as long as they could kiss.

The two of us met when Anna answered an ad that Lily's then-boyfriend, Scott, posted on Craigslist.

Lily and Scott were seeking a third partner to join a menage a trois.

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.

"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.

So she lost 40 pounds and decided she would make up for lost time.

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.

Because men have shorter lifespans, many older men are interested in having a potential caregiver or a “nurse with a purse.” They tend to marry quicker than older women, but it isn’t because older women can’t find a hubby; it’s because women are more likely to be looking for a short-term relationship or a companion, not a husband.