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What’s liberating about late love is that you don’t have to follow convention or anyone else’s ideas; you can design what works for you. Marry, or not. Live together, or not. Have sex a lot or a little.

Peggy Hilliard, 80, met John Morse, 84, through an Internet dating service in 2006. They lived in different cities, and after a year, Peggy left her house in Oregon and moved in with John at a retirement village in Washington State. She says that 50 years ago, “I would never have lived with a man without being married. At 80 you have more freedom.”

I tell her some of the women I’ve met are having glorious sex, but others say erotic desire lessens as you get older.

“Wrong!” Peggy says. “We have a wonderful sexual life—very fulfilling.” She admits there are physical challenges, “but that doesn’t stop us. You just have to relax and be creative.”

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