But in the modern world, in which the internet has become a vehicle for all manner of impropriety, she regards this kind of behaviour as perfectly acceptable.We have encountered one another via an internet dating service established for the sole purpose of enabling married people to commit adultery.

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In the end, we agree to part and she wishes me luck and assures me I'll find the perfect paramour. This was like having a meeting with a new accountant with a helping of self-disgust thrown in.

Later on I'm perplexed when she sends me two flirty text messages.

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.

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).So I paid £119 for a month's membership, giving me an entre to thousands of faithless females.They are allowed to sign up for free as a way of ensuring the numbers are balanced between the sexes.But she is an old hand at this type of encounter and tells me she's met many men through the site, and that I was probably the only one who hadn't lied about my age."Sophia" tells me she thinks relationships have a shelf life of about ten years before boredom sets in, but that she stays married to ensure her children have a stable home. "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.