WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE -- Mar 1 -- Amid sluggish growth for dating Web sites, a different kind of matchmaking service is thriving online: so-called adult dating sites that dispense with courtship and urge members to head straight for the bedroom. With names like AdultFriendFinder.com, SexSearch.com and IWantU.com, adult dating sites purport to help users find one-night stands, swinger parties and other sexual escapades. "We enable someone to express themselves sexually in a place that doesn't make them feel dirty," said Andrew Conru, FriendFinder founder. He estimated that about half of his site's members are "actively seeking a sexual partner." Others take advantage of features such as chat rooms and blogs. Others are merely interested in being a "voyeur into other people's lifestyles." AdultFriendFinder's traffic rose 67% in January from a year earlier, according to Nielsen. SexSearch.com, the second-most visited adult dating site, tripled its traffic to 3.2 million unique visitors in January while running online advertisements that promise "real people, real sex." Nielsen said traffic to InterActiveCorp.'s Match.com, the most popular of the traditional dating sites it tracks, grew 7% to 4.5 million unique visitors over the same period. Holly Fabian, 40, of Warren, MI, joined AdultFriendFinder "as a joke" to browse the amusing content. She received 150 emails in 24 hours and discovered a man who shared her interests. They met for dinner, and have been dating for the past two years.
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Mark Brooks: It's a rarity that the press write about the casual dating sites, much less Wall Street Journal.