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But it's primarily down to the significant increase in people getting divorced after the age of 45 - forcing flocks of inexperienced divorcees out into the dating world after decades of monogamy.Between 19, divorce in England and Wales in the 45-plus age group rose by more than 30 per cent.In fact, she's 51 and the educated, successful director of a blue-chip company - with a 21-year-old daughter.Her story is an illustration in microcosm of why sexually transmitted diseases among the over-45s are on the increase.And then, three months on, she did something completely unexpected and out of character: she started sleeping with other men.Like many newly divorced women I've spoken to, it wasn't that she'd developed a voracious appetite for dating, but that in doing so she found an effective distraction from the pain of divorce.There was no suggestion of seeing one another again.'I thought I was fine with what had happened, but a few days later all I could think about was that I'd slept with someone other than my husband.
Judy Hollis's story is not untypical of the dozens of women I've talked to about divorce and dating.Health Protection Agency figures show a 60per cent increase in cases of chlamydia in 2008 in this age group, compared to 2004.The popularity of online dating and surprising lack of sexual knowledge in older adults are contributory factors.She explains: 'I'd never even slept with anyone other than my husband, and suddenly I found myself using sex with men to make me feel better about myself.' Judy joined a couple of internet dating sites and found it surprisingly easy to meet men in their 40s and 50s who wanted no-strings flings.But it's not necessarily what most women are after.
We met online and within a week we'd met under the guise of going for drinks - alcohol gave us both confidence and we ended up back at my house.