For the first two years of dating online, I subscribed to a dating service run by one national newspaper. On my first date, a stunning solicitor turned up at my home in a BMW and designer dress.A mere five minutes after we met, she suggested the pair of us perform an unprintable sex act. When I said I wanted her to leave she looked taken aback, as if I should have been turned on.He has been internet dating since he and his wife of seven years, Christabel, 49, a writer, separated in 2008. But in the flesh she was plain and dumpy, not sylph-like and pretty, and as soon as I spotted her waiting for me in a bar in Canterbury for our first date in January 2010, it was clear she had doctored her picture. It seemed more convenient than using the lonely hearts columns and I felt I was too old to chat up women in bars and clubs.Incensed, I walked up to her and roared ‘You’re not tall and thin! I stated clearly on my profile ‘my past is part of me’ because Christabel and I remain great friends. My longest relationship was with Alison, a 50-something financial broker I met online in July 2010.Four dates have ended up in bed; three after just one date.
Still trying to find my feet, I was overwhelmed by the feeling of not being as ready to start dating as I had thought and barely said a word.The build-up is rarely racy: one woman cooked me chicken casserole last month before kissing me on the sofa.The next morning, she made tea and I left with a spring in my step.Men are often lambasted for sexual malpractice with women they meet online, but women, it seems to me, are by far the more permissive gender.Now, I am on match.com, which bills itself as Britain’s biggest online dating website for professionals.