Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hultin, Lisa and Hultin, Claire. Love, Sex & Deception: the Chronicles of Online Dating. (Book Review)

Morgan James Publishing. 2010. c.218p. ISBN 978-1-60037-775-4. $17.95.

In light of the fact that online dating has moved into the mainstream, with more than 800 dating sites and 60 million subscribers (p. 4), this publication written by a daughter and mother, who have dated online, compared notes, and “actually survived!” is timely and relevant. By Lisa Hultin (B.A., Telecommunications, Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia; freelance writer, Tao Entertainment and, a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, and Claire Hultin (freelance writer, Tao Entertainment; author of The Doctrine of Lucid Dreaming; writer of socio-political excerpts for; founder of; owner of Electronic Novelties, LLC), a resident of Los Angeles, California, it purports to be an entertaining read as well as an informative guide consisting of stories, advice, tips, and tricks for online daters and others. It also is intended to serve as a “‘comfort book’” for persons who may be in “‘dating limbo,’” while experiencing the cyber world of online dating. (p. 1) Covering online dating as well as in-person dating, since many online dating experiences evolve in the latter, it is organized into themed chapters covering the “new frontier,” sexuality online, dates who lie, college kids and online dating, disaster dates, scammers, illegal activities, swingers, manners, good protocol, and more. Each chapter includes an introduction written by the authors, their commentary and responses, as well as online dating stories contributed by individuals, most of whom are women and many of whom reside in larger cities in the United States, not limited to Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York. Presenting eye-opening views of what daters most likely will encounter when they plunge into cyber dating, the contributions are real, anecdotal, seemingly truthful, and sometimes emotionally evocative. They cover the gamut of online dating experiences. From them, you may learn how to protect your affections, trust, and time, positive strategies for finding true love and avoiding deception as well as the do’s and don’ts of online and in-person dating. While this book is entertaining and to some extent informative and educational, it needs better documentation and presentation. Firstly, in some cases, the stories only are signed with contributors’ first names and locations. In other cases, contributions are anonymous or signed with first names only. While this obviously protects the identities of storywriters and encourages their more complete and truthful disclosures, confessions, and recollections, it also leaves readers in the precarious position of having to judge whether what they are reading is in fact “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” as they would say in a law court. Secondly, this book lacks footnotes or endnotes, a bibliography, and an index, all of which should have been included for readers. Finally, it includes many spelling errors. Written by authors who have gained their expertise from firsthand experiences and including contributions by participants, it mainly will interest readers who have experienced online dating or want to learn more about it. Not a reference book or how-to-manual, it is recommended as a supplementary resource for many public libraries, particularly for those found in large and medium-sized cities, where the online dating and in-person dating scenes may be more active and developed. Review copy. Availability:, Barnes &