Hartshorn is a hired gun, ghostwriting correspondence on behalf of single men unwilling, too busy or too inept to do it themselves. His online dating is done on commission for Virtual Dating Assistants, one of the first full-scale Internet-dating outsourcing companies. For $600, Virtual Dating Assistants guarantees clients two dates a month; the "executive service" package promises five dates a month for $1,200.
"I get paid for each woman who writes back positively," explains the modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac. "It's very analogous to sales . . . like a cold-caller or a telemarketer."
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