But if I'm going to find out what really makes these women tick, I need to leave the safety of the virtual world and see them for myself. I arrange to meet a 41-year-old mother of two who misses "romance and flirting", in a cafe in two days' time.She has declined to tell me her name, so I have to think of her as her web sobriquet.After discussing how mundane marriages become and avoiding questions about my personal life, it's clear we're past our sell-by date after ten minutes, never mind ten years. She doesn't want to discuss her husband, and I feel uneasy talking to her.Despite this, she still seems keen to flirt with me.
We have encountered one another via an internet dating service established for the sole purpose of enabling married people to commit adultery.
I feel sorry for her husband, presumably unaware that the mother of his children is pursuing cheap thrills with strangers.
By now, I have been contacted by scores of women, so I arrange dates with the ones who are prepared to meet me in the next few days. Blonde, slim and relaxed, she has already told me by email that she's been married for ten years, has young children, time on her hands and wants to add a frisson of excitement to her life.
Postings such as: "I want a man who can look after me and knows how to treat a woman. I'm surprised and unsettled by the forward tone of some of the material. Determined to avoid the connotations, I reply: "The Beatles." I never hear from her again.
One woman sends me a message heavily laden with sexual innuendo and I come to regard her as the mistress of the single entendre. Another woman's first contact with me included a plan for a day out together, including visits to art galleries, a stroll round a park and then "a few hours under the duvet". I'm later propositioned by someone who tells me she has an hourglass figure.