A perpetually single British journalist in his late 30s logs on to assess the state of online dating.
Thomas starts by reporting that he finally found the nerve to pop the question to his longtime girlfriend, on a rooftop no less. But he hadn’t always been so lucky in love. Two years earlier, commissioned by Men’s Health to analyze Internet matchmaking, he skeptically got online—and why not, it worked wonders for his newly married half brother. Scanning the dizzying array of matchmaking services, two stood out: one boasting 4.5 million subscribers, the other offering the widest variety of U.K. singles. Thomas impatiently stops and starts his search numerous times, frustrated at the lack of responses despite being “witty and offhand and self-deprecating and carefully calibrated to appeal”—and using a profile photo of himself with Mick Jagger. A long parade of unsuitable gals marches through his life. “Bongowoman” is nice but too tall, “Lizziegirl” swiftly loses interest, “Kate” helps him overcome an aversion to anal sex, but enjoys it too much, “Chinalady5” becomes an obsessed stalker—alas, no one possesses the “tumescence” the author seeks. Scattered about are revelations on subjects as varied as the profiles he peruses. Thomas reflects on his boyhood crushes, orgasms, heartbreak, crabs, kink, wild nights in Bangkok and Russia, the “profound promiscuity” of his “shagging years.” Along the way, he develops a compulsion for online porn, and then begins to seriously question his commitment potential after a year of online dating. He offers sage tips on how to maximize (and not become disgruntled by) the experience, shares a few messy pregnancy scares and comes full circle with a wedding announcement after finally striking gold.
Not nearly as explicit as one would expect from a horny single guy on the make—instead, a tastefully amusing roll in the hay.