A few months ago I was asked to write about what I would consider to be the "perfect date" and after at least 10 or 20 minutes' reflection, I realised it would be one that ended in sex.

Now, I don't say that because I'm wailing at the moon in desperation for ... ah ... congress; it's just that when you get a little older and you have a child, like I do, you get picky.

Actually, picky may not be the right word, it's more caution, informed by a couple of decades of dating experience that tell me very quickly whether the person in front of me is someone I'd actually like to talk to after climax.

So when I say "my perfect date would be one that ends in sex", that means my involvement in this most intimate of acts would indicate I had truly met someone special - because otherwise it wouldn't be worth the bother.

This is quite a new sentiment on my part because, in my 20s and 30s, it was always worth it. Short of discovering "she" was a "he", it was almost impossible to regret sex.

Nowadays, I recognise that, when you collide in the bedroom, you always bring another person - however briefly - into your world.  And at the centre of mine is my daughter.

Last year, I had a welcome epiphany about the "love of my life"; that the woman I'd waited 40 years to meet was not actually a woman, but my little girl.

Despite this, there's still room for romance, although I don't envisage a Brady Bunch fantasy in which I'd picnic with my little one and a single mum and her toddler, because it'd never play out that way.

I think most single parents are careful about introducing new partners to their children, and I've got an agreement with my ex to wait three months before either of us do so.

So, in terms of logistics, my "perfect date" would probably start in Darlinghurst, an inner-city suburb in Sydney, because it's central, and you can still find real people at pubs such as the Darlo Bar.

I'd ask her what she drinks and she'd say "Scotch, neat" and, after I'd swooned appreciatively, I'd order us both a double Lagavulin and we'd chat about anything other than The Shire, property prices or our jobs.

I'd love it if she was well read and a family girl, but hell, if she was an orphan who read comic books, it'd be just as wonderful.

After the third drink, we'd both recognise what was happening and dinner would transform from a vague plan to an absolute certainty.

I'd probably suggest somewhere wanky, so as not to appear cheap, but she'd insist on divey Don Don where you can get the best noodles for 10 bucks.

The conversation would just be there, you know?  That feeling where you want to know everything about them and tell them everything about you and all of a sudden the restaurant's closing.

I'd suggest a cab back to my place, to share a rusty red and take in the view of the ocean from the outdoor day bed, which is wedged into the cliff face at the back of my apartment block. 

Somewhere around midnight, the waves churning below us, we'd kiss for the first time - slow, soft, both of us tasting of chilli.

By 2am, maybe 3, we'd be in my bed feeling the bubble form around us, the atmosphere of our new planet taking shape.

We'd hold each other, the two of us cleaved together like peach halves, murmuring our source codes into the other's ear, past the static of what we think the other wants to hear, what we've told those who've come before, past the banter with acquaintances and friends and even our parents.

"I've been trying to think of a word that sums you up," I'd whisper into her neck and she'd snort softly, in that way that she does, at the thought of being summarised so easily.

"It's been difficult," I'd say, "but I just keep coming back to 'magnificent'. You're absolutely magnificent."

And she'd be pleased.

Feel free to describe your perfect date ... keep it clean.

Sam de Brito's latest novel Hello Darkness is in bookstores now. You can follow him on Twitter here. His email address is here.