The next, someone contacts you to tell you that you’re in the Daily Mail and you soon realise that whilst you were out of the country someone had grabbed your life, twisted out of all recognition and published it to the world.
Welcome to the story of Hayley Quinn who this happened to in October.
Hayley Quinn describes herself as a ‘dating coach and writer’ and a ‘specialist in the arts of conversation, persuasion and seduction’. The Daily Mail described her as: ‘the matchmaking expert who cannot hold down a boyfriend’. Just one slight problem with that description: Hayley was at the time of publication on holiday with her boyfriend of 10 months. Hayley has been kind enough to go through the entire Daily Mail article and point out just what parts of it were inaccurate or simply an invention of the writer – the byline belongs to one Lauren Paxman, you are all welcome to join me in a slow handclap for her once you get to the end of this blog post.
All the parts highlighted in bold are my emphasis and are tackled by Hayley below the chunks of the Mail article. Bear in mind that Hayley never gave any form of interview to the Daily Mail so the constant ‘she said’ stuff the article uses are either made up or taken from a Now magazine article which you can read in full here – links given at the bottom of the article. If you read the Now magazine article – which must presumably be the source of the Daily Mail article – you can see just how much invention, exaggeration and distortion is used by the Daily Mail to ‘sex-up’ the article and to create a completely different Hayley Quinn than you meet in the Now magazine article.
It’s an age old problem that even formed the basis of Jane Austen’s novel, Emma, the better you are at advising others on dating, the harder it often is to find yourself a partner.
But Hayley Quinn, who has helped teach 100,000 men how to seduce women cannot find a boyfriend for a reason that would have scandalised high society Georgians: she is addicted to casual flings.
The 100,000 figure is inaccurate: more like 10,000. Internet forums have thought that I purposely exaggerated this figure: in fact the paper just made it up.
As for the ‘addicted to casual flings’ accusation: I’m not a saint but I am not a sex addict – and ironically this article came out when I was on holiday with my boyfriend of 10 months in Malta.
The frustrated 24-year-old earns £40,000-per-year as a professional dating expert who teaches shy guys to bag the woman of their dreams.
Made up figure: I also didn’t want any salary released to the public as I didn’t want to appear to be in a better/ worse position than my competitors.
But despite going on more than 200 dates in the past year herself – often as many as seven in seven days – she cannot hold onto a man.
Made up. I have maybe been on 30 but I’ve been monogamous with my boyfriend for some time.
Hayley says she has become so good at seducing men she is ‘addicted’ to it and finds it impossible to settle down.
The pretty brunette, who lives in central London, describes herself as ‘a more extreme Carrie Bradshaw character from Sex and the City’.
She said: ‘My bigger problem is that there’s one client I just can’t crack – me‘.
A fantastic piece of creative writing.
‘Despite what my job may imply of me, I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, and can’t seem to find the right guy for me’.
‘I would love to be whisked off my feet and proposed to but, despite falling head over heels numerous times – often with clients – it just hasn’t happened’.
This implies that I’ve had romantic affairs with my clients, this is untrue and detrimental to my business.
‘I can’t follow my own advice and seem to be able to find love for anyone and everyone but me.
‘I’ve kept a diary of all my dates, work and personal, so I can keep track, and call it my ‘Sexcapades‘.’
This implies I go on dates for work = escorting. Nope I teach other guys how to date women in a theoretical, seminar based fashion.
I haven’t named it this ['sexcapades'] (in fact working title is ‘first date to wedding bells’ as the diaries mainly describe the progression of my relationship with my boyfriend. I may have used the word ‘sexcapades’ historically but this is anachronistic.
She added: ‘The problem is I’ve become so good at the dating game that I’m addicted to it.
‘Now, if I spot someone I find attractive I challenge myself to seduce him into bed. And I never lose.
‘I simply can’t get enough of the thrill of the chase. I’m addicted to dating and each fling only fuels my appetite for the next.
‘It’s meant that, for now, I’ve had to postpone all thoughts of my dream wedding to Mr Right.’
I don’t think I’ve ever challenged myself to seduce someone into bed. I traditionally have dated mostly women and have only ever slept with 6 men… which is hardly a record breaking amount. Two of those were ‘flings’ four ‘long term relationships’… not salacious stuff. The truth is my luck with guys is a bit rubbish – or it has been – but not because I have an addiction.
‘The irony isn’t lost on me – I train men how to be successful with women, but can’t find the right guy myself!’
Hayley, who grew up in Devon, became a serial dater after the DJ boyfriend she moved to London with aged 18 cheated on her with two women – at the same time.
She said: ‘I was very much a one man woman and wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with him.
‘So when I discovered he had cheated on me with not one, but two women while on holiday in Las Vegas, the revelation shook my outlook on life and love to the core.
John B (my ex) is a great friend of mine and I would never have wanted something so scathing printed about him.
‘I felt like I was out of my depth and I hated the way he’d made me feel so helpless and unable to influence my own happiness.
‘My life had been turned upside down by the man who told me he loved me and had then had a threesome behind my back, and so in a bid to take back control I went on a dating spree.’
This happened when I was 18, we were then together in a monogamous relationship until I was 23, then I began to date again after we’d broken up. His behaviour did not trigger a ‘dating spree’.
Hayley has also been given regular dating columns in men’s magazines and on dating sites, reaching out to more than 100,000 men.
Earning a healthy £40,000 salary from all of her dating exploits, she has turned her passion into a career.
She said: ‘I’ve been so successful I frequently receive messages of thanks and gifts from men I’ve helped find romance.
‘Many of the guys who come to me are just happy they get to sleep with someone!’
‘But as for me, I’m still single I’m continuing my search for Mr Right.’
Repetition of inaccurate figures.
I’ve received one book from a client- no other presents. This again feels ‘escort-y’.
This REALLY implies that there’s more to what I teach than conversation skills.
I’m not single anymore.
Hayley would like her version of events to travel as far and as wide as possible, so please share this on Twitter (you can find me: @uponnothing or Hayley: @hayleyquinn to RT). You can also visit her website to find out more about what she actually does.
For my part, let me just repeat one of the claims that the Daily Mail makes in this article: ‘Many of the guys who come to me are just happy they get to sleep with someone’. No matter how many times I read this I cannot take away any other message but: ‘Hayley’s service includes sleeping with all of the men who use it’.
The Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press must have our full support. We can’t go on accepting that this is just what newspapers do.
You can start the slow hand-clapping for Mail hack Lauren Paxman now.