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.Then there is the issue of sexual chemistry, which is arbitrary, inexplicable and largely unpredictable.Terrific e-mail connections don't guarantee a sizzling face-to-face meeting. More than once, last-minute cancellations left us calling one another for support, or just drunk, horny and alone with a DSL connection.Finally, there's the zany sitcom a woman's life becomes when she's juggling multiple lovers: scheduling dates; trying to keep personal data straight on each man; finding enough time after work to shave her legs, dye her hair, exfoliate her skin, apply mascara, and Map Quest the planned meeting spot.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.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.Years before embarking on Craigslist, both of us had experienced sexual abandonment.
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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.She had read books on women's sexuality -- Barbach, Tisdale, Jong, Hite and Nin -- but each held only a small piece of the puzzle.Not one of these authors could tell her as much about sexuality as her own inner life did.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.