Put this book on your nightstand and ignite some sizzle.

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Price goes where few have gone before, covering a wide array of midlife health challenges, including heart disease, which often affects women; cancer; the effect of medications; joint replacement; arthritis; chronic pain and diabetes and their effect on sexual pleasure and function.

Particularly useful is the six-point system from sex journalist Michael Castleman that helps midlifers have “great sex despite chronic illness.” But Price also encourages fun in the bedroom and offers input and wisdom from sex educators, marriage counselors and, yes, phone sex operators.

Until now, I always thought people who resort to dating agencies must be a little desperate. I have never before even been set up by friends or been on a blind date.

But then I reached the first anniversary of my divorce and, much to my surprise, having sworn off men for life, I started to wonder, with the prospect of a great big yawning new year stretching ahead of me, whether there might be someone out there for me and, if so, how on earth am I going to find him?

She never sends clients photos, but instead supplies a brief resume of their qualities. He says he likes good hotels and restaurants, long walks and log fires.

She has, she says, an instinct for knowing who will hit it off. 'Looks are subjective,' she says, and adds 'he is charismatic and an animal lover with a Labrador.' That swings it. I tell him I live in the middle of Exmoor, have horses, dogs, cats and rescued farm animals, and am recently divorced.

Men say they want intelligent, independent women who are their equal in every way, but do they, really?

Mairead, who is 38, blonde and delightfully blunt, asks me to fill her in on my background, and tell her what I look for in a man.

Dating in your 40s, 50s and beyond is so different from dating in your 20s and 30s that you may feel like you need a guidebook to navigate the new terrain.