Alone in a hotel room with a man she’d met only half-an-hour earlier, Becky Stevens knew it was too late to back out.
Like many parents, her family was unaware how she was spending her time online.
Becky, who lives near Exeter with her widowed mother, a childminder, says: ‘We’d check into cheap hotels, or they’d drive me somewhere and we’d have sex in the car.
When the Mail went on to two of the most popular free dating websites, Plenty of Fish and OK Cupid, their true nature quickly became clear.
When we posted pictures of a respectably dressed Daily Mail writer under a false name, the profile attracted more than 70 messages within an hour from men wishing to indulge in sex — cyber or real.
Young people can easily go on sites where they can connect with strangers — sometimes six or seven at one time.’Verity, 16, an A-level student from Cheshire, has been using My Space, MSN Messenger and online chat rooms to meet men for two years.
She admits it’s become a round-the-clock preoccupation as she’s constantly inundated with messages.
Like Becky, while she gets little attention from boys at school, in cyberspace there’s no shortage of admirers.
Despite her young age, she has slept with five men ranging in age from 18 to 31, and had cybersex with many more.
As part of their virtual courtship, Stuart — who claimed to be 24 — lavished her with compliments and asked her to send increasingly provocative photos of herself. Becky says: ‘We’d been chatting for a few months and sent sexual messages to each other a few times so, although it seems so stupid now, real sex seemed like the obvious next step.
But my first thought when I saw him was: “Oh God, he looks nothing like his picture.” He wasn’t attractive and looked more like 40.
My mum thought I was over at my friend’s house the whole time.’It would be easy to assume that such a degrading experience would put Becky off internet ‘dating’ for ever.