HECKLER

<i>Illustration: Simon Letch</i>

Illustration: Simon Letch

BEING single and at times lonely for some male company, I made the mistake of joining a couple of online dating sites. I now call them ''non-dating sites'' because of recent experiences.

Here are some tips for the unwary novice:

First, there is a site called Are You Interested? that put an unauthorised advertisement on my Facebook page telling all my friends that I loved the site. Nice one for my privacy. They removed it, but even after cancelling my membership (with no offer of a refund) they are still flooding my email with messages.

Here are some men to watch out for.

Nick, 51, the no-show: this man sounds intelligent (the only one so far) but makes arrangements to meet that never come to fruition. He has done the same thing to my friend, and her friend, and has not actually met any of us. It's probably not even his photograph on the website and I am sure he doesn't have clients in Melbourne, which is his main excuse for calling off meetings.

Charlton, 39, the pizza man: this guy says he will meet you for a drink but then has every excuse in the book to get invited to your house, where sex is pretty close to compulsory. He refuses to use a condom, so many STD tests later and not a word from him, I suspect this is his modus operandi with all women.

Carlos, 39, faceless and voiceless: obviously married, wanted me to meet him 30 kilometres from my home, at a hotel, late at night, or in Pyrmont, same time. Sends text messages but never calls. Sends an SMS every Friday saying ''have a good weekend''.

Jean, 22, and French: loves to say nice things by text about age not being important. Suggests a time to meet for a French lesson and a glass of red wine, but it turns out all he wants is for you to photograph yourself naked and send pictures to him, probably to share with his friends.

There was one man I did meet, and although he was nice, he apologised for not having put his teeth in! Many men who contacted me asked what sport I liked to watch, as if that might raise my interest, but it is an absolute turn-off.

All I want is to meet a man who is not a sleazeball, who would like to chat, go out and see what happens. These men do not seem to be on Are You Interested? and perhaps not on any other dating sites, so I have decided the internet is not for me.

I have made up my mind to finish the diving course I began in Turkey and continue to enjoy my life as a thrill-seeking, adventurous sex goddess, and maybe someone intelligent and caring will recognise my attributes.

Name and address supplied