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I DATED 700 MEN IN TWO YEARS; THE FASCINATING BOOK EVERYONE WILL WANT TO READ.

DIVORCEE Rochelle Morton put the following advert in a magazine: "Female. Slim and attractive. 30s. Seeks professional male for fun times." Rochelle (pictured right) was stunned when she got 1,500 replies. And once she started dating them she couldn't stop. Some were famous, some were married. There was the TV presenter who wanted sex in his dressing room before he went on air, the married politician who "couldn't afford" to leave his wife, and the "very well-known actor" who wanted a specific type of sex. There were rich men, poor men, sad men, happy men, liars and losers. Most wanted only one thing. But Rochelle, 36, just had dinner with them, always offered to pay her share and then went home alone. Now she has revealed what happened on the most memorable of the 700 blind dates she had in two years in a new book called Eat Your Lonely Heart Out to be published on Valentine's Day. And if the guys who went out with her read it, most will blush...

IT all began when a friend needed a date for a party and turned to Rochelle for advice.

"I suggested putting an ad in the paper for her and there would probably be five or six replies and of those a couple would be no good and out of the three left one might be OK," says Rochelle.

But when they listened to their voice mail they found an incredible 70 likely lads tempted by the thought of a slim attractive female in her 30s.

By now Rochelle's friend had sorted herself out without any help from the lonely hearts.

But Rochelle, who already had a steady boyfriend called Phil, was fascinated by the size of the response.

She says: "They were just coming in the whole time. By the time we'd listened to the first 70, there were already 10 more waiting."

The ad ran in LOOT, the London-based free sheet, for 10 days.

From that Rochelle estimates there were more than 1,500 replies.

She says: "It was staggering. At first I tried to go and meet them all but it was just impossible.

"It got to the point when we were just deleting two calls and listening to the third one.

"All these men would ask, 'What made you choose me' - I didn't have the heart to tell them they just happened to be the third caller."

But what made a convent-educated, respectable mother living in a smart four-bedroom house in Chigwell, Essex, embark on a such a punishing dating regime?

Rochelle's 10-year-marriage had ended two years earlier at about the same time she gave up her job as an ice-skating instructor.

Money was not a problem and with her son, now 14, at school she went on shopping sprees.

"It's fun for a while and then you get totally bored of shopping malls and shops and how much shopping can you do?

"I had nothing to do. I had a son at school and I had no 9-5 job so what DO you do?

"I decided to do this and write a book."

Her boyfriend was unconcerned about his girlfriend's new "job".

Rochelle says: "I don't want him to come across as cold but he was very busy starting a business and it was just like 'OK, well go and play'.

"He wasn't jealous. I wasn't cheating and he knew exactly where I was."

Rochelle admits that at first she did not think she could go through with her plan.

But after a bit of encouragement from her friends she got into her Metro car and headed for central London.

"I remember in the beginning, the very first date, I was a nervous wreck. I was just thinking, 'I'm not going, I'm not going to do it'.

"But he was just a normal man - he didn't have two heads.

"I met him in the restaurant and I didn't feel afraid or that anything would happen to me - it wasn't the best date in the world but I didn't feel intimidated or anything. He was a very nice man."

After that Rochelle quickly got into the swing of things and, with her friend Angela helping organise her hectic dating schedule, was cramming in all the appointments she could.

She became fascinated by the variety of men using the small ads to meet women. "There was just a vast array of men - it really surprised me because I thought they would all be really sad lonely people and maybe one man who genuinely wanted to see someone.

"Basically I thought they would all be 'not able to meet someone in the normal way' if you know what I mean."

Would you believe there is a man out there who can't resist sticking out his tongue and sucking his nose all through dinner?

There is - and Rochelle says: "I still have nightmares about him. It was totally strange - he just liked sucking his nose."

Rochelle's curiosity led her to date every type of man.

There were the Anoraks, the Liars, the Egomaniacs, the Nice Guys - and even a girlfriend's very embarrassed husband thrown in for good measure. ("I promised not to tell her.").

And then there were the "well-known men who should have known better".

Rochelle says: "What really surprised me was that these men could be so trusting and naive.

"I could have run to a newspaper with those stories and made a fortune.

"But that would have ruined their marriages and who am I to do that to their wives. Someone else might do it but not me."

Many of them were predictably after sex if they could possibly get it. She was propositioned numerous times.

"I don't think the ad was very risque, I don't think it was very provocative, I don't think it was very sexy, I don't think it insinuated that I was looking for anything.

"I just think men are like that."

Rochelle did have to explain to a waiter at trendy Langan's Brasserie in West London why she had appeared 11 days on the trot with a different man each time.

"I'm sure he must have thought I was a hooker," she says.

Boyfriend Phil will be relieved to know that Rochelle never took up any of her dates' offers.

She claims she was not even tempted.

"It never got to that. I was really interested in why very nice-looking men, obviously wealthy with a red Ferrari parked outside, would need to find a woman in this way.

"You'd want to say, 'I know women who would fall at your feet just for having a red Ferrari out there, let alone all the other things'."

But there were times when even Rochelle, fizzing with energy, got tired of it

and thought of giving up.

" Oh yeah - there were quite a few dates when I thought, 'Why am I here? You are my last date'."

Even after more free dinners than most of us could hope for in several lifetimes Rochelle remains girlishly slim.

"Seafood salad - that's the secret to eating out and not ending up the size of a house," she says.

But she admits her training as an ice skater also helped.

She is reluctant to be drawn on actual figures.

A significant proportion of the men were married and looking for something outside the "home environment".

Many said they could not afford to leave their wives.

"There was a section of men who thought material possessions were what women wanted.

"There was another section of men who thought acting quite rudely towards would impress you.

"There were one or two who thought they could laugh you into where ever they wanted to get you.

"Some were funny but some really weren't funny and thought they were.

"And there were some very nice men - they weren't cheating, they weren't the funniest but they were nice."

Rochelle is convinced the lonely hearts column is a great way to meet people.

But she advises advertisers to be specific.

She says: "Don't be frightened of saying you want a man over 6ft with a full head of hair.

"That way you won't waste time."

She believes dating agencies are a waste of money.

Rochelle is also critical of people who think she took risks.

She said: "I always met the men in restaurants.

"When have you heard of someone being attacked in a restaurant?

"Some men wanted me to go to their houses for dinner but there was no way I would ever do that.

"I always drove myself or took a taxi and never accepted a lift - even if he did drive around in a Ferrari.

"I also never wore revealing clothes. I never felt in danger."

One person she is not prepared to let loose on the small ads is Phil.

Asked whether she would let him do the same thing she shoots back: "No way. He's not doing it."

And after what she has learned about men in the last two years who could blame her.

TV presenter asked for sex 15 minutes before he went on air

ROCHELLE Morton wrote her book about the most memorable of the 700 blind dates she went on. They include many married men - and some famous men who should have known better. Here are just a few of Rochelle's dates and the lowdown on how they tried to lure her into bed...

LUKE, MARRIED, 34, TELEVISON PRESENTER

LUKE had left a message telling me to watch TV at a certain time and, if I liked him, I should call him.

The number he left was the television station. The next day I watched him. I thought he was nice-looking.

When I called him he invited me to the studio and said he would arrange a pass for me at the gate.

The security man was expecting me and Luke came out to meet me. He had lots of studio make-up on but looked OK.

We had a drink and then he showed me his dressing room. He was due on air in fifteen minutes and he asked me if I would have sex with him before he went on.

When I refused he apologised and said his wife was pregnant and she didn't want it.

He offered me some cocaine and asked if he could put some on my nipples and suck it off. I made my excuses to leave. He then asked me if it was the make-up that was putting me off him. Now every time I see him on telly I think of how he wanted to molest my poor nipples. Yuk.

RICHARD, MARRIED, 38, WELL-KNOWN ACTOR

THIS man told me his first name over the phone and said that he was an actor. When we met I immediately knew who he was. He has starred in many films and TV productions. For me to name any of them would be naming him. On this particular day he was starring in his own dirty movie - this extremely well-spoken star asked me to go to his home and have oral sex with him. Apparently, I didn't have to be afraid of him because he was so famous. I didn't understand the logic of that statement. But his main concern was: "Do you go all the way?" Yes, luvvie, all the way home.

DAVID, MARRIED, 46, RADIO PERSONALITY

I MET David for lunch in Michael Caine's restaurant Langan's Brasserie in London's West End.

David talked non-stop about his wife and how unhappy she made him.

It seems she would shout at the poor soul if he didn't put his cup or plate in the dishwasher.

He wanted to "create a diversion in his humdrum life". I suggested he drive a different way to work but he didn't mean that kind of diversion. He wanted to meet someone for "lots of kisses and conversation". Obviously his mummy had never told him it's rude to speak with your mouth full.

RONALD, MARRIED, 33, POLITICIAN

I HAVE never been interested in politics and after meeting this politician I never will be.

He had initially asked me to meet him at his flat but when I declined he suggested a picnic.

After I said no to that idea we arranged to meet in a hotel. Ronald said his wife didn't like sex but he couldn't afford to leave her. How unusual.

I would imagine his wife didn't like sex because he looked like a teddy bear, which is probably why he wanted to go on a picnic.

He was smarmy and slagged his wife of so much that I told him I had to go. Our date last 40 minutes and that was 35 minutes too long.

CARL, MARRIED, 29, DISC JOCKEY

CARL worked for a popular radio station. I had heard of him but never seen him. He had asked me on the phone what I drank so he could have my drink waiting for me when I arrived at the wine bar. He was not too bad- looking and had a great personality. Things were looking good until he said: "Come on, let's go."

I told him I wasn't going anywhere with him and he said: "But I've cooked us dinner."

I thanked him and refused his hospitality. He asked if I would go home with him anyway because he had to turn the oven off and he needed to be home for a 10pm call from his wife who was abroad.

He didn't seem to grasp that I didn't want to go to his home for any reason at all, regardless of ovens or wives.

He was a bit annoyed and asked if I would wait for his return.

He told the barman to give me what I wanted. The barman got me a taxi.

MARTIN, SINGLE (BUT WE KNOW BETTER), 37, COMPANY DIRECTOR OR LIAR

MARTIN turned out to be a friend's husband - not a close friend but close enough for me to have been to his daughter's Christening.

He recognised me and his face went white. I enjoyed watching him squirm. He was almost in tears so I told him he should go home and not worry because I wouldn't do anything to upset his wife.

He left but returned two minutes later asking me to swear I would keep quiet about it.

Apparently he had never done anything like this before and he would never do it again.

Glad to hear it because if his wife heard the message he left on my voicebox proclaiming to have a large member (and I don't mean for Wickham East) he might very well now be divorced.

But why should I tell Martin's wife what a creep he is? Poor thing, she'll find out soon enough.

PAUL, MARRIED, 33, MERCHANT BANKER

THIS was funny. Paul had told me that his wife was away and he arranged for us to meet in a very posh restaurant for lunch. I arrived about 10 minutes early and sat at our table awaiting Paul. Then the waiter came over and said someone outside wanted to speak to me.

I went to the door and there stood a tall man dressed in jogging bottoms, trainers and a T-shirt. It was Paul.

What had happened was this: his wife had returned home early and he couldn't get out, so he had pretended to go jogging just so he could come and say hello and so that I wouldn't think he'd stood me up.

He couldn't even come in for a drink because he wasn't dressed correctly.

He was really sorry and he wondered if we could try again. I thanked him for coming to let me know.

He said: "I'd like to chat a bit longer but I've got a cab waiting."

PETER, MARRIED, 38, SECURITY MAN

WE met in a Chinese restaurant. Peter kissed my hand and said he was pleased I was slim and that he had met several women from the ads and I was the nicest.

I felt really flattered until he told me that all the others others were all fat and ugly and lied about their age. I didn't feel so flattered.

Apparently Peter's wife wouldn't wear sexy underwear - that's why he had to meet other women.

He "just loved" to see women in sexy knickers and basques.

He asked if I liked to wear things like that because if I did there would be no problem about getting me some.

In fact, he had some in his car. He would go and get them now. What size was I?

Did he drive round with a bootful of G-strings and knickers? Apparently so.

I asked him not to get anything for me as I wouldn't be wearing any underwear he gave me.

I got up to leave and as I was walking away he leaned back in his chair, tipping it on two legs, and said with a smirk: "No visible panty line. Not wearing any knickers are you?"

As he said that his chair tipped right over, sending him sprawling over the floor.

Thank you. There is a God.

AIDEN, MARRIED, 56, ENTREPRENEUR

WE met for lunch at a restaurant where everyone knew him.

He told me his wife approved of him meeting other women and if I wanted I should call her.

Aiden said he wanted a woman who didn't have much to say for herself and would do as she was told.

He had placed an ad asking to meet single mothers as he felt they would be more needy - if he paid their gas bill they would be willing to do what he wanted.

I didn't have anything to say for myself or to him. I left.

TONY, MARRIED, 42, BUSINESSMAN

TONY and I met for lunch in an Italian restaurant. He was nice-looking and funny. After a bottle of wine he wanted to kiss me. After two bottles he wanted to kiss everyone. His wife was 10 years older and didn't understand him. How rare.

LUKE, MARRIED, 36, TYRE SHOP OWNER

ON the phone Luke told me he looked like Robert Redford. He didn't. We had dinner in Fulham, London. He said he wanted to meet a woman for an affair as his wife had just had a baby and he didn't like her breasts. What a lovely man! Luke had an annoying habit of saying "Go for it". So I did - the door.

EDWARD, MARRIED, 42, COMPANY BOSS

EDWARD told me he had many interests which included going to swingers' clubs. One of his previous wives had gone with him but his current wife wasn't into swinging at all.

He needed a partner because they weren't keen on single men at the club whose motto was "anything goes in the Inner Circle".

Apparently, there was a white circle on the dance floor and if you danced inside it you were fair game.

Edward was getting all excited while telling me. He was licking his lips and wiping his brow. I was trying hard not to laugh at the thought of stepping into the inner circle by accident.

JERRY, MARRIED, 36, IRONMONGER

JERRY had brown teeth. I couldn't stop looking at them. I wondered how they hadn't fallen out. I didn't dare to mention it to him. He was smiling a lot so it didn't seem to bother him. He told me he and his wife didn't get on (maybe it's his teeth) and he was hoping to find a girlfriend or two. I thought he'd be better off finding a dentist.

Adapted by MATTHEW BENNS from Eat Your Lonely Heart Out by Rochelle Morton, published by Virgin Books on February 14, price pounds 5.99.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Lewis, Anna
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jan 11, 1998
Words:3290
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