It’s atavistic, weirdly fascinating – and utterly terrifying.Most haven’t even read my profile and I haven’t posted a photograph, but I have two X chromosomes and I’m online – and it seems to make me irresistible.
Given that internet dating has evolved from the Last Chance Saloon for the asocial to a Happy Valley of cash-rich, time-poor professional singletons, perhaps it’s inevitable that even cheating has gone digital.
The bottom line seems to be that whatever your morality or religion, profession or hobby, there is a dating website out there for you.
But while the social stigma of online dating has long vanished, shadowy dangers do remain.
Well, Wolf Whistle, what I do is, I click on this button that says “bar user” and wait for Late38 and Hung Man to tell me how much they like me. Is this tailored matchmaking the reason why internet dating has become so popular?
There are dedicated websites, as I discovered, for the not-so-happily married; the beautiful – where existing members assess whether you deserve to join them – and the wealthy (bank statements are checked by Cupid’s bean counters), not to mention the overweight, every religion going, wine lovers, disabled people, classical music aficionados and single parents.
In recent years there has been a dramatic fragmentation in the online dating industry, currently worth billion globally.I for one find my online experience irrationally compelling.I begin, detached and full of contempt at the sleazy banality, but every so often I get a message – a grammatically accurate, urbane one-liner – that makes me smile, coquettish as a schoolgirl, at the screen.These men have never met me, yet are asking me out for a romantic dinner in a Michelin-starred restaurant. I’m almost tempted to rush downstairs and tell my husband what a hottie I am.In a single mouse-click, years of feminism are reversed.The pleasure centre in my pre-frontal cortex is flashing like Blackpool illuminations.