InvestiDate Author Takes Dating to a Whole New Level of Paranoia

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Author Maria Coder has parlayed her experience as a crime reporter and a dater of shitty dudes into a new book called InvestiDate, which, if its clever title has proved too elusive for you, aims to help readers uncover the truth about their new squeezes. What, you ask with polite but no less urgent anticipation, are some of these secret tips for ferreting out the serial killer in your new SO? Use the internet, use the internet, and, um, probably call the registrar's office of the college that this charming new romantic partner claims to have attended.


The New York Daily News writes that Coder, whose surname would be pretty cool if she were actually a movie crime reporter investigating a serial killer and not, rather, an investidator, was inspired to write InvestiDate in the wake of high-profile crimes like Natalee Holloway's disappearance and the Laci Peterson murder. She says that she wrote her book in order "to help people avoid the cheaters, the liars and the really dangerous people who are out there." Dangerous people like, say, a Tom Noonan lookalike whose unsuspecting new girlfriend can't tell how completely creepy he is because she's blind and thinks going to hug a sleepy tiger is the best date idea ever. Or something.

The Daily News' write-up, though, makes InvestiDate sound like a one-trick pony — Coder's advice seems to wary daters is, first off, develop a healthy, real-world paranoia, and then use the internet to inform and nurture that paranoia. She directs readers to websites such as,, and if they want to vet a possible SO, and suggests that people verify their new partner's story of triple degrees from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton simultaneously by placing a few phone calls to the beleagured employees in a college registrar's office.

Of course, there are plenty of innocuous reasons for daters to lie about themselves, including the fact that, for most people, their personal histories are quotidian narratives about how they drank too much when they were younger and watched all their dreams of tooling around the Sunset Strip in a Porsche dissipate one fine day when they found themselves working in, gasp, a cubicle. What's a little fib about being second-string quarterback for the high school football team or steering the Model U.N. delegation to victory? Granted, anyone who piles on lie after lie is probably a bad bet for a long-term relationship, but what are the odds that any of us will end up like Cliff Stern's sister from Crimes and Misdemeanors, i.e. handcuffed to a bed and pooped on, after a blind date?

With ‘InvestiDate,' author Maria Coder helps daters discover the truth about the people they've started seeing [NYDN]

Image via Arman Zhenikeyev/Shutterstock.



Okay, this is from back when I was a virgin, ages before I became a dominatrix and during a time in which I was far more naive!

So, I was about seventeen, and I was terribly horny ALL THE TIME. I was also in-between boyfriends every few months or so, and after every break-up, I would go on Craigslist and find some guy to e-mail cyber (from my fake email account) with to make me feel better. Well, after a few times of doing that, it got pretty boring, and I started looking for kink. And oh boy, did I find it!

This one guy I emailed was into something he called "IOR." "It's Okay Rape." It's not "really" rape; you get permission to do it beforehand, but then you just go to town on someone and there's no safe word. This was incredibly taboo to me, so I let him send me a few emails about it. It was really nasty, dirty, depraved, vicious, cruel stuff. To be honest with you, I was a little bit into it, but I was a virgin and ain't nothin' gonna happen down there like that, lemme tell you. (Later, life remembered that I had felt this way and decided to kick the living shit out of me.) Towards the end of the emails, though, he began to really freak me out: before, he was talking about how it was a "fantasy." When he found out I wouldn't meet him, he told me that it was a "reality," and what's more: it was a reality over which I, as the woman, had no control.

Yeah, never wrote him back after that one.

A few days later, I got a new boyfriend and a few months after that, we broke up. I went back to Craigslist. This time, though, I was nursing wounds; I posted a semi-legitimate dating ad. I went out on a few dates, but nothing stuck. Then my computer broke. There was this one guy I wanted to go out with but I wasn't quite sure, but voila! He was an expert with computers. So I asked him to come over and fix it, and I'd make him dinner and we'd have a date.

He came over and fixed my computer, but when it came time for dinner, he scoffed at me. "No offense, but I wasted my time here," he said, gesturing at me. "I don't know about you, but I don't waste my time with someone who isn't going to put out."

(Perhaps he was referring to the fact that I dress like a 50s housewife with headbands and bows and ruffles and polka dots and oh, this is why everybody in my last class last semester thought my name was Betsy.)

I felt so shitty about being rejected! I decided to make him regret that he had judged me by my pink, sparkly cover. I kept chatting to him a little bit on IM and email. Nothing materialized from it; nothing materialized from anything else, and a few months later, I found myself horny again. I remembered those old, nasty, dirty emails and I decided to, uh, just read them and stuff. (And masturbate. Oh yes, I was going to masturbate.)

I opened them up. Something... Something was oddly familiar... And then it struck me: same email.

The rapist dude was the guy that I had invited over to my house. In the middle of nowhere. With no one around, and without telling anybody.

. . . Don't worry, I learned from that experience.

More recently, I had suspicions that my (now ex) best friend may have been a sexual predator. I did a little online search and found out that he was a pedophile. Now I run the check on every guy I know.