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“We met at a railway station and had a chat in an empty pub,” she says. We asked each other questions and tried to work out if we were right for each other.
You know the type – probably hangs out with a lot of hot women and thinks she’s hot by association.
But alongside the myriad sites for singletons in search of love, another more controversial breed of dating site has cropped up: extra-marital affair websites, specifically targeted at married people who want a relationship on the side. Another big player, Illicitencounters.com, has been running since 2003 and now has over 610,000 members across the UK & Ireland. But in terms of active members (that’s people who have logged into the site in the last month and sent at least one message), women outnumber men by 3 to 1.
One of these sites, Ashleymadison.com, bills itself as ‘the world's leading married dating service for discreet encounters’. So what would drive a married woman to register with such a site?
“I’ve met up with 10 of them and emailed five more, but I’ve not had a physical relationship with anyone since January, which is very frustrating.”To get herself over first date nerves, Penny treats every encounter as though it were a business meeting.
“I meet the men on weekdays as weekends are reserved for my family, and I talk myself into a work frame of mind. Typically I’ll meet a man in a plush hotel foyer – the kind of place where you legitimately could be doing business – because if anyone I know sees me, I need a good excuse for being there.” It’s a stark contrast with Penny’s weekend routine.