Dating websites for lonely women

'I didn't always use protection - caught without any, in the heat of the moment, I threw caution to the wind.Then I discovered I had chlamydia.' You'd be forgiven for assuming that Judy is an irresponsible 20- something, heedless of the consequences of her actions.

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 if the menopause proves tricky to navigate, there's always HRT to help us through.The Noughties was the decade in which women, for the first time, could say I'm Fifty And Fabulous or Sixty And Sensational and it was a genuine feeling, rather than just empty words.Although the idea of a passionate affair filled my fantasies, my sexual confidence was at rock bottom. After a few disastrous dates with men who were introduced by friends, I met a man I liked. After the massive build-up of nerves and anticipation, I was surprised at how simple and natural it all was - I had forgotten that sex is about how we connect, not whether we have perfect bodies.

Judy Hollis agrees that taking those first few steps is very daunting.

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.

Mostly, though, it's been the women who have instigated the separation and there has been no other person involved.

And it's a pattern that's being repeated all over the country: 68 per cent of divorces are now initiated by wives.

Confused and upset by the shock of their relationship falling apart, particularly if they hadn't wanted or expected it, they embark, initially at least, on a self-destructive pattern of seeking solace through sex with near-strangers.