MEET YOUR MATCH _MAKER_ by pengxiang


									                                                            “I’ve been matchmaking for free since high school, I’ve      friend looking out for my interest. I connected with
                                                            always enjoyed doing it, so I decided to pursue it pro-      him,” says John, a 37-year-old owner of real-estate
                                                            fessionally,” says the Iowa native and former financial      investment firm, who declined to use his last name. “I
                                                            exec. “I really didn’t need to work for money anymore.”      can say things to him I couldn’t say to a woman…I can
                                                                                                                         have a frank sexual conversation.”
 MEET YOUR MATCH (MAKER)                                    But Easton’s paying clients pay a lot. He says he has 25
                                                            men shelling out from $10,000 to $100,000 per year,          Even though Easton was divorced in 1991 (he has two
                                                            depending on what they can afford and how difficult          daughters from that marriage) and just ended an en-
                                                            the job is.                                                  gagement, he calls himself a “total romantic at heart.”
                                                                                                                         He also has big bucks behind him having sold his EMC
                                                            “A man who wants to marry a woman in her 30s but             Bank to the Merrill Lynch Group in 1999.
                                                            who doesn’t want children is a real challenge, for ex-
                                                            ample. And I have a man who wants to run for senator         As part of his love-connection duties, Easton acts as a
                                                            and is looking for a wife who will help him get elected. I   concierge, getting clients into hot spots like Bagatelle
                                                            will have to check that woman out as far back as high        for brunch and referring them to nutritionists and styl-
                                                            school. They pay me well because they are looking for        ists who can improve their look.
                                                            serious relationships – they could have a meaningless
                                                            date on a Saturday night for a lot less,” Easton says.       “You would like to have my clients at Thanksgiving din-
                                                                                                                         ner – not like the men on ‘Millionaire Matchmaker’
                                                            Rival NYC Matchmakers – who are all female – admit           who just walked off the set of ‘The Sopranos,’” he says.
      Richard Easton—The Matchmaker                         Easton has an advantage that could shake up their in-
                                                            dustry.                                                      Bill, a 48-year-old Long Island Software sales exec who
By Beth Landman                                                                                                          also declined to give his last name, explains, “I didn’t
                                                            “My women tell me everything and I always tell my            have a hesitation with Richard because he is a serial
May 28, 2010                                                men that they should talk to me like I’m a man,” says        entrepreneur and a successful guy.” Easton set Bill up
                                                            matchmaking vet Lisa Ronis. “But the other day a guy         with a 34-year-old Belgian woman in the fashion indus-
 It’s a rainy Monday evening, and Richard Easton is slip-   was afraid to tell me that this woman’s thighs were too      try. “We had a three-hour dinner, went into taboo
ping his business card to a stunning Australian hostess     big. Richard is part of that boys club.”                     areas like politics and religion and came out shining,”
at Betel, a new eatery around the corner from his West                                                                   Bill says.
Village office. In his oxford shirt, skinny tie, black PF   And yet Janis Spindel says there’s no way Easton – once
Flyers and Beatles haircut, the man’s man looks like a      her client – will muscle in on her business. “He’s a nice    Easton says he has empathy for his male clients be-
rock music agent — but rather than aspiring to be pop       guy, but there’s not a chance in China he’s a threat to      cause he was once a client himself – in between his
stars, his clients are looking for love. Easton, who        me,” she says. “He’s just another wannabe and not in         divorce and engagement, he signed up with two high-
started his love-connections business in January,           my league.”                                                  profile New York matchmakers. But it didn’t work.
doesn’t fit into the city’s little clique of upscale mat-                                                                “There was a disconnect,” he says. “I was telling them
chmakers. For one thing, he’s a guy. His Web site           Tell that to the guys that are signing up. “Rich men are     what I wanted and they were sending me Eastern Eu-
boasts a cartoon video of animals having sex, alongside     willing to share their deepest predilections with him,       ropean gold diggers.”
a news article “THIS DUDE WILL HOOK YOU UP!”                and he works with gorgeous assistants,” says Lori Le-
                                                            vine, whose firm, Flying Television, is trying for an Eas-   At his office recently, Easton worked the phones along-
An unorthodox approach, but one that appears to re-         ton reality show. “He’s ‘Charlie’s Angels’ meets Hunter      side his two assistants, Greta Tufvesson, 30, and Nikki
sonate with his male clientele, who can confide in him      S. Thompson.”                                                Lewis, 22. He was interviewing three women and had
in ways they wouldn’t with female matchmakers. (Eas-                                                                     just signed two new men.
ton says he doesn’t charge his women members be-            With male clients (who come through referrals), Easton
cause he doesn’t think it’s chivalrous and, of course, he   performs an initial consultation, dinner and then drinks.    “I’m clocking longer hours than I ever did when I owned
needs them in his database.)                                Female members (he claims he has 200) send photos            an investment bank,” he sighs. “But it doesn’t feel like
                                                            and bios, and visit for interviews. “He’s like a best        work. I have the best job in the world.”

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