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.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. "I want a man with a personality and looks to take my breath away." These are the requirements of the dark-haired, dark-eyed, 37-year-old Asian beauty who has sent me her romantic wish list.Reading it on my laptop in the aptly named Cafe Affaire in central London, I consider what she really wants: a no-strings-attached sexual relationship.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.
And all of them are looking for an opportunity to betray their spouses. But I wanted to find out what sort of woman uses such a site.After a quick search, I get the measure of the women on the site."My preference is for a man who is much younger than me with rugged features," says one. This is a way of paying someone a compliment without typing out the words. And over the course of a week I get almost 100 replies, messages and propositions.In order to fit in with the general ethos of the website I have invented a wife.Our relationship, I note, has suffered because we don't spend enough time together (not surprising really, since she doesn't exist).
It may sound like an unpleasant niche website for a handful of amoral people to whom wedding vows never meant very much.