Magazine article The Spectator

Low Life

Magazine article The Spectator

Low Life

Article excerpt

After the Cow Girl debacle, I went straight back online with another dating site. I was working on the same principle as those eager to get behind the wheel again as soon as possible after a serious accident to regain confidence.

I signed on with a dating site designed for people wanting to have sex with as many people as possible and posted a photograph of myself with no clothes on, just my glasses, and smiling confidently and a little suavely at the camera, as though clothed or unclothed it was all the same to Lord Tangent, as I called myself. I also indicated, by ticking boxes beside diagrams of little stick people making love in various positions, the positions I preferred. Three of the ten I hadn't considered before and one looked well beyond my capacity, but I ticked all of them. I also ticked yes to ten questions about my sexual habits, likes and dislikes, including one asking whether I 'like it if it hurts a bit'. The wider I cast my net, I reckoned, the greater the harvest.

In the space where I was invited to say something about myself, I said I was single and looking for someone who didn't mind getting muddy.

There was no joining fee for women; chaps had to fork out £15 per month. The moment my membership was active, as they termed it, I carefully inspected the profiles of women who lived within 20 miles of my postcode. About half had posted nude photos of themselves.

If they were genuine photographs, not a few could have made a living in the glamour trade.

Some included the head and face; many were just torsos. I saw no reason to discriminate against these torsos. Initially repelled, I quickly grew to like them. Often I liked them more than when the head was included. I liked their style, these torso women, which seemed to me an admirable blend of cynicism about chaps and intelligent use of the theory of Occam's Razor.

There was less beating about the bush on this website than on my last one. Apparently, it wasn't necessary to exchange chatty or informative emails for a week or two before one party coyly suggests meeting for coffee. On this one you either liked what you saw in the photo or you didn't, and in theory the entire relationship could be conducted without a word being spoken on either side. …

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