"Ted," a well-dressed 34-year-old Taiwanese businessman, responded to a posting he found on an adult Web site by a young lady looking to meet Taiwanese men for discreet relationships. He chose a quiet tea shop for the first encounter, where he described how he meets women online for sex, saying if both parties are interested it doesn't have to end with coffee, but if it takes a second date then he's willing to wait.
He said most but not all Web sex daters prefer to meet over coffee before they rendezvous in a hotel room. Ted and this cyber-sex virgin sipped tea over small talk in order to determine if and where they would meet again.
He boasted of five to 10 one-night stands with women he met online over the past three years. He said he used the sites to "fill" his sexual appetite, but added if he found the right girl he would consider dating her -- although he wasn't sure it would be a monogamous relationship.
On our date, there were a few uncomfortable silences, but Ted was determined to get more than a bill for coffee out of the encounter, so he suggested we move the discussion to a nearby hotel. "Your mind is somewhere else. Maybe you need to relax," he said before asking, "Have you ever been licked all over? Apparently, it's very good to make you relax."
There is a whole swathe of Chinese-language sites and chat rooms with postings and links to people looking for one-night stands in Taiwan, typically with one-liners that read, "Come in if you want to share a honeymoon night."
Some are more specific in what they ask women. A recent search turned up a gentleman looking only for "girls who like to eat cum."
Date number two, Eric, a 30-year Taiwanese gynecologist, explained within the first 10 minutes why he uses the Internet for sex. "I'm married, but I have discreet meetings outside of my marriage. I still need to be safe."
He finds the Internet a convenient and safe way to meet women because he can learn more about someone before he gets intimate. He met his wife online, but not in a chat room. "It's a different kind of site."
Despite posting a picture of his erect penis in his online profile -- as many others do -- he said women seldom reply to his messages. This was Eric's first date with someone he had met in an adult chat room. "Maybe she was looking for a boyfriend, I am looking for sex," he said, referring to one girl who stopped sending him messages when he mentioned he was married.
Described as the "world's largest sex and swinger personnel site" on its homepage, AdultFriendFinder.com (AFF) boasts more than 10 million active members worldwide. The US-based adult Web site has 16,000 listings from local and foreign residents living in Taiwan. Additionally there is AsianFriendFinder.com with 10,000 listings, most of which are the same as those on AFF.
More than 60 percent of the Taiwan listings are of men looking for women. To provide participants with a directory of suitable matches the application asks members to select what they are looking for from a list of options ranging from erotic chat to sadism/masochism.
"John" said curiosity made him log on to AFF and he paid US$20 per month for a silver membership (basic membership is free). He said he doesn't like to pick up girls in bars, because of a fear of rejection, but after three years of paying for an empty inbox, he now questions just how swinging AFF really is. He believes one reason for the lack of interest in his profile was not attaching a naked picture of himself.