1) I was offered money for sex several times. The thing I struggled to make sense of was how my perceived market value was rising with my age. I put that down to all the working out I was doing. My best offer was $600 for an hour of my time. I told one of my male friends about my potential career opportunities. Without hesitation, he offered to be my pimp. I declined all offers.

2) I met five strangers for dinner one evening. We had been ‘matched’ through a dating agency. As a means of relieving nerves, we exchanged funny dating stories over dinner. I had been sitting chatting to James for a good twenty minutes before he launched into his story. “About a year ago, I emailed a very pretty woman. I asked her out on a date but she turned me down, saying she didn’t think we would have that much in common. She said she saw I was into motorsport and that wasn’t her thing. I messaged her a couple more times, telling her I wasn’t that much of a petrolhead. I really tried with her as she was gorgeous but nothing seemed to work – she kept brushing me off.” James then swung his head around and looked straight at me and said, “And that was you, Emma.” Clearly the Auckland dating scene was a goldfish pond, not an ocean.

3) I was emailed by a 62-year-old guy from Taranaki, with long grey hair and a beard. “You’re hot,” he said. “How would you like to have some fun with me and my daughter Jade?” I blocked him.

4) A faceless dude with no profile pic told me he liked to entertain bored housewives. He said he was handsome, well-hung, married, and had a secret pad. He was after NSA sex. Wow. Just pay for a hooker and be done with it.

5) I got asked to join in with several married couples. I was fair game for lesbians too. Sorry. Not interested.

6) I was asked out on dates by men from the age of 18 to 74 and everything in between. When I politely explained to one 68-year-old that he was almost as old as my father, he responded by telling me his name. He suggested I should Google him. “I’m quite well known,” he said. Pass.

7) I was told by one guy that with my looks and education I would be a perfect match for him. He seemed to think he was a successful businessman. My bet was he was into pyramid selling and sold vitamins and powdered meal replacements. He was short and looked a little like Mickey Rooney.

8) Why did so many men hold dead fish and slaughtered pigs in their profile pictures?


9) I was told by a pilot that most men won’t be interested in my personality. He said that, because of my looks, all a guy would be thinking when he saw me was, “I want to f**k her.” My heart truly sank when I heard that.

10) I had coffee with a corporate guy in Auckland one day. His name was Steve. He leaned over the table and quietly asked me whether I had big or small nipples. I thought a mature businessman might have a bit of class.

11) One guy went on a rant over dinner about his ex-wife’s spending habits. “She just wouldn’t stop buying café-made coffees,” he explained. What a mean-spirited creep. He was from Hamilton.

12) I was set up on a blind date by a well-meaning acquaintance. As I sat and sipped on my skinny latte, my date told me with complete nonchalance how he had left his wife because her cancer changed her. He went on to explain how he divorced her before she died. I remember sitting across the table from him, staring at him in disbelief. How could someone be so cruel?

13) When I’m 43 and you’re 36, and you say you’re fit, yet when you’re two minutes into having sex with me you say you want to stop because you’re short of breath and have got a stitch … well, all I have to say is this: “Get the hell out of my bed and don’t bother coming back until you’re in better shape.” In fact, why don’t you just leave. You’re annoying me.

14) Mental note to self: Google search the full name of your potential date before you agree to go out with him. That might aid in the prevention of accidentally dating criminals.

15) Taking me on a date to a food hall and spending $10 on my meal will not impress me.

16) Lying about your height is not only pointless, it’s pathetic.

17) Bringing your rat-like bitzer Hairy Maclary clone of a dog named Suzie to my home was bizarre. Having Suzie sit at the end of the bed while we were having sex was truly crazy. Discovering the guy had a nipple ring and a partially removed tattoo of his ex-girlfriend on his left pec really made me want to bolt from the room. The trouble was, I was kind of naked and committed by that stage.

18) Stripping me almost naked, then refusing to give my underwear back was kind of hot. Except for the fact they were expensive knickers and now my set doesn’t match.

19) Having multiple text conversations with several women at the same time and accidentally calling me Stacey will only ever end with one word. Delete.

20) Referring to my beloved daughter as a SOCK (Some Other C**t’s Kid) is never going to be okay. Not ever. Not under any circumstances. And these guys wonder why they are in their late thirties and still unmarried and childless. It’s not rocket science. Treating people with respect and showing compassion would be a good first step.

An extract from the wildly entertaining memoir You Can’t Botox Your Ass: Divorce and hell to wild and free by Emma Rivers ($49.99), available at selected bookstores (Paperplus in Orewa and Pahiatua, and Paperdoll in Paraparaumu) or from the author at www.emmarivers.world.

Emma Rivers is the author of You Can't Botox Your Ass, which details how she fought her ex-husband in court to hold on to the life and financial freedom she earned. After her divorce got into such things...

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