I remember my first kiss really well.

Laurie McCall, the 14–year-old, slim, ginger boy from my art class leant in to kiss me, as the lights of the school disco flashed around us, music pounding.

An awkward 30 seconds later his motley group of friends bounded over to us, “I don’t believe you actually did it!,” they squealed in delight, placing a shiny 50 pence piece in his hand.

Mortified, I realised what had happened: He had kissed me for a bet, because I definitely was the ugliest girl in school. Ego. Crushed. Fantastic.

It may surprise you to hear that my dating life didn’t improve. Over the next decade it was a car crash of cheating boyfriends, searing rejections and feeling chronically unsexy.

So what changed? Fate made me stumble across one of the co-writers of the infamous bestseller, The Game — he introduced me to the world of pick-up and made me learn that dating and seduction were art forms that could be learnt. Soon I was absorbed in using my bookworm-ish brains to think up my own theories to how to be dynamite at human interactions. I also hit the gym. Hard.

It took work, practice and failure, but eventually I was striking up conversations with people willy nilly, my social life burst open and as my confidence grew I realised I could learn to be irresistible to both men and women alike.

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Online Dating Popularity Skyrockets

by Online Dating on October 12, 2010

Back in the stone ages, when there was no DSL or cable Internet and you had to pick between a dial-up connection to AOL, Prodigy or CompuServe, online dating was a pretty rare thing. It was a novelty, in 1997 or so, to say that you’d met your spouse online. Just a few years later, and with the explosion of the world wide web, online dating became more and more popular. Today, online dating continues to gain in popularity, reaching new heights each and every year.

In fact, a recent study at Stanford suggests that online dating is about to surpass offline dating as the way that couples meet for the first time. That should come as no surprise to single folks, who already know that the web is the place to meet.

Who’s looking for love

One interesting fact to come from this study is that specific groups are more likely than others to embrace online dating. Middle-aged heterosexuals are the groups in the highest number of adherents. Gays and lesbians also seem to use the online dating sites in higher proportions, according to the study. The study suggests that these groups have left off the traditional outlets of meeting people.

Hiding behind the screen

There are a number of factors that go into these numbers. One of the researchers suggests that anonymity is one reason that online dating is popular for gays and lesbians. It allows them to look for love in an environment where they don’t have to come out. They don’t have to risk outing themselves in order to meet new people. It opens up their dating pool significantly, especially if they live in an area where there aren’t many social opportunities for gays or lesbians to hook up.

Will the kids catch up?

What isn’t sure is whether or not the younger generations will embrace online dating. While they certainly use the Internet for everything else, it seems that younger folks still prefer to meet one another at school, in a club or through friends or family. If those groups start moving toward online dating, it will represent a huge shift.

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