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How my perfect online date turned into a creepy, kinky nightmare

Cooper is one of the best-known female radio personalities in NY. A radio veteran, and Gracie Award winner, she currently hosts her own morning show for Cox Media Group, aptly named 'The Cooper Lawrence Show'. She can be heard mornings o...

My perfect match turned out to be a masturbating stranger

I’d like to say the first thing that attracted me to Rob was his personality and sense of humor, but I met him online, where all I had to go on was his photo. He was hot. I was superficial, so I contacted him right away.

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While his good looks and perfect skin drew me to him, as I got to know him I found that he was smart and well traveled. And most important, he knew my friend Stephanie. This made him more than just some random on a dating site. Now he was a friend of a friend, who, when I asked her, said she would have set me up with him anyway.

Rob and I planned to meet at my favorite bar in the West Village, Automatic Slim's. I’d been going there for such a long time I knew the entire staff. This made it a safe meeting place where, if it got weird, I’d have backup.

I forget whether I was early or he was late, but I found myself sitting at the bar for quite a while with my bartender friend, drinking up a storm. I’m known to do that when I’m nervous. Finally, a very handsome, perfect-skinned man walked in, looking around like he was lost.

“Rob?” I asked.

“Yep,” he said.

“I’m Cooper. Sit down, let's have a drink.” 

So, Rob sat with me at the bar, where he, the bartender and I started doing shots, laughing and talking like we’d all known one another for years. Every story started with, “One time I...” which became a race to see who shared that same experience. Nobody got too personal — just the kind of stuff you’d say at a bar among people you’ve just met. Drinking stories, celebrity sightings and quoting movies were as deep as we got.

When I felt I’d had enough, I switched to water and waited for a good time to suggest leaving. Rob insisted I come to his place to have one last drink on his balcony. I was young and impulsive, and he was hot with that perfect skin, so I went.

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He lived in a spectacular luxury high rise on Central Park West with floor to ceiling windows. The grand staircase leading to the next level made it look more like a mansion in the suburbs than an apartment in New York City. I had never seen anything like that before. He led me to the balcony and said, “Hang here, I’ll get us some wine.”

The view was magnificent. I couldn’t believe I was in my own city yet seeing it for the first time. I had never dated a guy for his money, nor would I, but I understood immediately in this moment why women do.

I entertained the idea for a split second that Rob and I would fall madly in love and I would live this kind of life in the city I loved — a life where I didn’t have to struggle or wonder if I’d have to move out to Queens when the rent got too high. No, a life with Rob meant those days would be over and would be someone else’s worries for a change. Then I went back to taking in the view. It was a vantage point of the park I had only seen in photographs.

As I was contemplating this unthinkable future, I realized a significant amount of time had passed and wondered if Rob had fallen asleep. Or maybe he had gotten lost in his obscenely large apartment.

I started to walk toward the bedrooms, calling out his name, but no answer. I began to open doors, “Rob?” then again, “Rob?” until I finally found him. He was in a back room with no clothes on, watching porn. While I’m not against porn or nudity, finding him like that after he was supposed to be getting us a bottle of wine was beyond disturbing.

I stupidly said, “What the F are you doing?” — even though I knew exactly what he was doing. I was just shocked that he was doing it, so I yelled, “I’m outta here.” I ran out so fast I didn’t even wait for the overpaid concierge to get me a cab. I grabbed the first one I could find and got the heck out.

The next day I woke up to am email from Rob, apologizing... for standing me up.


It seems that “Rob” was a common name among hot men in New York back then. I didn’t actually go home with my online date and friend of Stephanie. I went home with a complete stranger.

The experience kinda soured online dating for me after that.

More: What I learned from a year dating outside my comfort zone

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