Online sex chat with older people

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It's taken me a good while to fully come to terms with what I've done, to understand how easily I fell into the previously unknown world that I would regrettably come to prefer to the real one.

Luckily, after only a short time apart, my husband came back to me, willing to try to put us back together and realising, in all this, he had had a part to play too.

I was fortunate enough to get another chance to do so, and I'm working at it now. Turned On By Lucy Dent (Doubleday, rrp £14.99) is available to order from Telegraph Books at £12.99 £1.35 p&p.

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And so our long-nurtured virtual affair became real.

He was young and beautiful and I couldn't believe that he wanted me.

I was convinced I wouldn't make a very good mother and didn't want my son or daughter, in 40 years time, to dread calling me, fearful I'd berate them for some emotional crime or other. I'm not sure I entirely agree with that, but it is true that when we bought our first house together, we somehow conspired to buy a wreck that required a lot of our attention and focus. I didn't want an affair, nothing grubby, nothing seedy.

And for 12 long, frequently torturous months we painstakingly made it liveable and lovable. I had a husband, a home, yet I was missing something, intangible but palpable. I still loved my husband, but I wanted adventure, excitement, a reminder I was still alive. I began chatting to men online in private chat forums, concealing any obvious indentifiers of who I was but talking about my life, problems and thoughts.

While my husband spent most evenings catching up on the horse racing he'd recorded over the weekend, I began perusing chatrooms – not in pursuit of cybersex necessarily, but initially more for harmless flirtation, a little virtual attention.

There were redundancy problems at work; my marriage was showing strains; and there was something large and unnameable missing from my life.

I ignored it until I could do so no longer, until eventually, for what felt like the sake of my sanity, I resolved to do something about it.

I met all sorts of people, from all over the world, older and younger, and each seemingly as desperate for a true connection as I. Should I be blaming my mother, or my – mostly absent – father for feeling that something was eternally missing? I was born to a woman that didn't much want children, and who fell foul to postnatal depression a good couple of decades before the term was even coined.

And for a while at least, it all felt harmless and innocent, and fun. My father leaving didn't help, and for the first six months of my life I was placed with a notional "auntie", a family friend who became my surrogate mother throughout my childhood.

When the time was right for both of us, we would work through our problems and come back to one another. I shed my regulars and concentrated on just one, a man younger than me by almost two decades.

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