Koota asked a grand jury to consider whether it was a crime to invite students to "Pick 'em cuter by computer": "The potential danger to physical safety and morals is clear.Some control is essential to prevent criminals, racketeers and sex deviates from this profitable field." Today, is the largest dating site in the world, with an estimated 20 million members.
By 1825 an agency in Bishopsgate, London, opened three days a week for members of the public looking for a partner to describe themselves and subscribe to the appropriate list.
However, by then both ladies and gentlemen had to classify themselves in 5 different classes.
Though most people meet their dates at social organizations, in their daily life and work, or are introduced through friends or relatives, commercial dating agencies emerged strongly, but discreetly, in the Western world after World War II, mostly catering for the 25–44 age group.
In the process, her work has become a fascinating barometer of social change: when Stella first started her agency in the early Sixties, newspapers refused to carry her adverts for fear of causing a scandal.
But some things remain comfortingly constant, among them people's expectations - which are, she says, on the whole, generally unrealistic.