A year after my 28-year marriage ended, I came up for air. And having not been a child bride, I was definitely the wrong side of 50. Funny how being older is the “wrong side” but there’s the truth of it.
I took stock of my assets: I am a good looking, tall, slim senior corporate executive who pals say is good company and a good egg. A catch, someone to snap up, they all say.
Six years without sex
Deserted for a younger (20 years younger than my husband!), thinner, blonder cliché, I didn’t feel exactly tip top in the attraction stakes. Added to that, we hadn’t made love for six years, and I’d gone through the menopause during that time. So I couldn’t even guarantee that my equipment was in working order.
But my mum always used to force me to get back on anything I fell off… horses, bikes, water-skis, men. Well, not actually the latter, but she would have if she was still around. So I now needed to apply this life lesson to mounting of an entirely different kind.
Where to find a suitable man? Suitable meaning single, over six feet tall, intelligent, successful, handsome and 50-something.
Is there a bar full of them somewhere? No. And short of stalking car shows spotting the lack of wedding rings, I couldn’t think of anywhere they would be concentrated.
Not one friend had offered to introduce me to anyone in a year, so the Brownian motion of real life was not going to throw me together with anyone. And I was really busy, so going to lots of socials on the off-chance just wasn’t going to be efficient.
So I decided: it had to be the internet. This is where the tall, single, intelligent 50-something guys are found in numbers. Very clear. Very logical.
I tried ‘adult’ dating sites but I couldn’t bring myself to register alongside such a confection of nylon-clad sluts
Less certain was what exactly I was looking for.
Frankly, having sex was important. Six years without, and I didn’t really fancy love so soon after splitting up.
Looking for a male escort
First port of call then: escorts! After several evenings reviewing muscly hunks with statistics on their height, weight and knob dimensions (length and girth!), the lack of any data on IQ rather put me off.
And I decided what I really, really needed was to be desired, and this would be patently lacking if I paid for it. No escorts then.
I decided to try dating sites for ‘adults seeking physical relationships’. Mostly cheap and cheesy with soft porny photos, I couldn’t bring myself to register alongside such a confection of nylon-clad sluts. I’m more Coco de Mer than Ann Summers.
Dating Agency seemed to fit me better. It’s adult and felt classy but not slutty.
Sites work by letting you have a very small browse, but to see anything meaningful you need to register by giving an email address.
Then you fill out a profile and you can be seen by others on the site. Your profile data is then matched with other members wanting what you have. And to contact other ‘members’ you have to pay. Email alerts when anything happens on the site keep you coming back.
An algorithm on sexual prefrence
Clearly keen to make contact with members, I duly registered and started filling out my profile. Already, I was getting emails saying men from the site wanted to make contact. Encouraging… and I wasn’t even fully registered yet!
I went through the profile information they wanted: gender, marital status, age, height, location, hobbies, do I like it doggy style? DO I LIKE IT DOGGY STYLE???? I am not telling an algorithm what I like in bed. It’s been so long, I’m not sure I even know any more.
Emails from hopeful ‘adult members’ came in every 30 seconds. But alarmed by the prospect of sexual preference matching, I decided to de-register.
I couldn’t get off that site without calling a phone number (very unusual). I started to panic as the spam from doggy-style-loving fans reached tsunami proportions.
Figuring out what I want
But then I read the small print and discovered I can block emails. So that is what I did. And I have never phoned the number.
I am still registered, inflating the number of female members claimed by the site, and cruelly inviting spam from horny little members, who want a bit of action, sending me emails into the ether.
Maybe I’ll try something a little more mainstream next time! Whatever that means…
Internet dating. You can find anything. A bit of two by fourteen (we’re talking inches), chaps looking for ladies who munch, dogged men for a doggy-style date. Figuring out what you really want, I discovered, is much harder than finding it.
Next week: Louisa tries mainstream dating websites, but does she get lucky?
*Louisa Whitehead-Payne is not her real name