Jan 10, 2006

Extreme dating

Maria Headley spent a year dating anyone who asked her out. Now she's written a book about it.
Headley's first "yes" was to her handyman, Mario, "an ex-coke-head cowboy Colombian". Accompanied by his six-year-old daughter, they went for burgers. "Obviously, he was a little unbalanced, but it turned out to be a pretty interesting date," Headley recalls. "I'd never done anything like that before."

Soon, the dates came thick and fast. Over coffee, a man from Cyprus asked her to bite his penis. She declined. A 70-year-old neighbourhood eccentric took her salsa dancing. A lesbian she nicknamed "Wonderwoman" asked her to have her baby. She slept with an actress, dated taxi drivers, psychics and carpet salesmen. A 30-year-old virgin wooed her with his exposed brick walls. A train conductor, who sounded so cheery over the intercom that she pursued him down the platform, took her swimming.

There were plenty of unsettling moments, Headley admits. One was the date with "the Boxer", who asked her to meet him in a strip club. He disappeared for a lap dance, before taking Headley home with him. "I so wanted him to be a better person than he was," says Headley. "But he was just not very nice."

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