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It follows numerous recent articles examining the experiences — and cultural significance — of older women, including from Australia's Jane Caro and journalists from the New York Times.

But while commentators say pop culture's embracing of stories about older women is a positive development for a generation that has been habitually ignored by mainstream media, many women on the dating scene say the stories hitting our screens and bookstores don't quite capture how messy it can be to pursue a romantic relationship when you're in your late forties and up.

In other words, they're cashed up and ready to pay for films and books that reflect their lives.

" says Ms Lethbridge, a former advertising executive who regularly travels overseas, has two adult children, and is three-times divorced herself.

"I just wanted my independence." Then there is the sexual mismatch.

While many women in their 50s and up say they feel more sexually liberated than they did in their 20s — finally released from the worry of getting pregnant, and more comfortable with their bodies — they are frequently tumbling into bed with men who suffer from erectile dysfunction."I hear this from a lot of my girlfriends, and it's depressing," writer Kerri Sackville said.

"Finally, [they think] 'I'm going to have great sex', and it's not working, and there's nothing you can do about it."No wonder filmmakers and TV show creators have come running.

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