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We were both hungry for intimacy and physical touch after years of wandering in the desert. Lily Penza, 46, had been overweight since her teens and suffered from dangerously low self-esteem.At age 28, she moved in with the first man who looked her way.Lily told her close friends about how thoroughly she would be sleeping around, joking, "I want my vagina to have call-waiting." Now she is enjoying the adolescence she never had, dating like an oversexed high school student but armed with the wisdom and savvy of a woman in her 40s.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.
"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.
There were forgettable ones too, like the alcoholic art dealer, or the guy who excused himself in the middle of sex to smoke a cigarette.
And there have been multiple-partner dates, which involved average-looking East Bay residents who swing, tie up, dominate, submit, and spank. Some of the lovemaking was wonderful, a lot of it was initially awkward but got better as time went on, and some of it was downright disastrous.
It takes a woman about a thousand words and a condom to get laid on Craigslist.
But for a woman to be laid properly -- by a passionate lover who knows what he's doing -- well, that's a whole different ball game.
So she lost 40 pounds and decided she would make up for lost time.