January 23, 2010

Ashley Madison: Life Is Short, Have An Affair

web 3 Comments

I hadn’t been on the site minutes that my screen blinked indicating I had an IM.

Stranger: Are you behaving yourself today?

Me: No.

Stranger: oh really? watcha doing?

Me: Well, let’s see, I’m on a website where married people can meet to arrange an infidelity. I’m married. Does it sound like I’m behaving myself?

It was autumn, 2008. After continued insistence from my (now ex-) husband that blogging is pointless, I decided to give monetization a shot. Show a capitalist a profit, after all — even if it’s only a dollar — and he will see the light. So I got on AdSense and slapped some ads on my blog.

After writing a post dealing with infidelity, the ads lit up with all kinds of products: devices to spy on your spouse online, books about how to tell if your spouse is cheating, ways to tell if your crush is harmless or constitutes an emotional affair, lonely housewife classifieds and, finally, a married dating service by the name of Ashley Madison.

Google tells you that you are not allowed to click on your own ads, but I couldn’t help myself. I was genuinely interested in the product. The notion of a married dating service immediately conjured two different trains of thought: 1.) GENIUS, and 2.) What the hell?

Not that I’m a connoisseur of infidelity by any means, but doesn’t this sound particularly risky? You may be on a site for like-minded people, yes, but you can’t see them! A person can be like-minded until the moment she realizes she’s talking to her brother-in-law. Then it’s all over, isn’t it?

So there I was. Logged in under a pseudonym in the name of research. And curiosity, of course. And loneliness, maybe.

ME: So tell me—why are you here?

HE: I need a playmate.

ME: And what kind of play would you expect from her?

HE: real life.

ME: Your profile says “conventional sex is fine.”

HE: meaning it’s better than what I’m getting now.

ME: Have you ever had an affair or are you just beginning to look?

HE: never actually done it, but I think I need to.

ME: When was the last time you had sex?

HE: and enjoyed it? over a year.

ME: How long have you been married?

HE: 6yrs.

ME: How do you like it?

HE: everything is fine… except the sex. that’s why I’m here.

He didn’t seem to mind the cross-examination. A little more probing indicated that while he and his wife did enjoy a sex life, she often orgasmed too fast, became tired and left him unsatisfied.

“Aren’t you afraid I could be someone you know?” I asked him. “I’m paranoid about everything.”

He sent me a key to his gallery of photos.

“Do you know me?” he asked.

I didn’t.

“Would you ever meet me?” he asked.

“I’m scared,” I replied. I wasn’t lying.

“Me too.”

I talked to twelve men over the course of an hour, with handles like CuriousGuy, Looking4More2, DoTh1s, badkarma, statistic. Most of them were like the one above — they had never had an affair, they were sexually dissatisfied at home, and a lot of them were unsure of how to proceed.

And then there was the chronic cheater.

“I haven’t been on here for a while,” he told me without introducing himself. “I don’t have time. But I’m taking a long lunch. Let’s meet for a nooner.”

“Do you just approach women like this when you come on here?” I asked, a little shocked.

“I don’t have time to chit chat. You’re here because you wanna fuck, I’m here because I wanna fuck, so let’s go fuck, you in?”

“Do you get a lot of ass?”

“As much as I can. You cumming or you wasting my time?”

“I’m wasting your time.”

“Think about it. I’ll hit you up again next time I come on here.”

What at first had appeared difficult and laden with all kinds of emotions was suddenly exposed as simple, as easy to schedule as a mani-pedi.

“Life is short,” the banner across the top of my screen read. “Have an affair.”

As I logged off, I couldn’t help but wonder how many people would meet that day with someone they hardly knew, someone they thought could help them escape their reality, just for that moment.

And out of those, how many would feel satisfied afterward?

I never went back on the site. I hated it. I hated it not because I thought what was going on was immoral — I hated it because I was jealous. What I didn’t realize until long after my divorce was that I would have been happy to simply be lacking for sex. But for me sex is a complete experience. It’s not just something I can schedule and feel filled with. I didn’t want to just hook-up. I wanted a soul-quaking communion.

And that’s much harder to compartmentalize than a lunch-time romp.

Images in this post, top: AV Flox, back when she had killer abs in 2008… and a Gateway, whoa. Bottom: from the Ashley Madison Agency.

AV Flox

Your humble editrix-in-command.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

  • http://www.pornsgoodguy.com PGG

    I’ve tried Ashley Madison. Not for cheating — I’m divorced — just to see what it’s like. In my experience the women on there are generally 1) not very attractive and 2) extremely flaky.

    I don’t approach like the horndog you describe — I try to have a real conversation — but I think the women there are scared or something, or maybe even fakes setup by AM? I use the same approach in other types of online dating and hook up regularly that way.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Ashley Madison: Life Is Short, Have An Affair | Sex and the 405 -- Topsy.com

  • Anaiis

    I got the same vibe–a lot of longing and hesitation for the most part. Most of the people using the site seem not to want to end their relationships, simply supplement them, so the risks are great.


Add our page on Google+!

Keep up with everything we're covering right in your stream. Please note this page is limited to users 18+.


Gamers Won’t Be Seduced, Will Stare At Random Cleav Instead

That Steam allows the objectification and sexualization of female characters in a variety of its games but refuses to accept a game about actually engaging with women in a more interactive fashion is astonishingly backward.

FetLife Is Not Safe for Users

That the site doesn’t take measures to protect user content and has shown incompetence or negligence in regard to user privacy, all the while prohibiting victims from warning others about predatory behavior creates an environment where it is nearly impossible for members of the community to take care of themselves and one another. By enabling FetLife to continue espousing a code of silence, allowing the spinning self-created security issues as “attacks,” and not pointing out how disingenuous FetLife statements about safety are, we are allowing our community to become a breeding ground for exploitation.

Why You Should Vote No On Prop 35

Should people who benefit (parents, siblings, children, roommates!) from the earnings of “commercial sex acts” (any sexual conduct connected to the giving or receiving of something of value) be charged with human trafficking? Should someone who creates obscene material that is deemed “deviant” be charged as with human trafficking? Should someone who profits from obscene materials be charged with human trafficking? Should people transporting obscene materials be charged with human trafficking? Should a person who engages in sex with someone claiming to be above the age of consent or furnishing a fake ID to this effect be charged with human trafficking? What if I told you the sentences for that kind of conviction were eight, 14 or 20 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $500,000, and life as a registered sex offender?

Pretty and Calls Herself a Geek? Attention Whore!

If you are a woman, you might be given a chance to prove yourself in this community. Since there is no standard definition of what a “geek” is and it will vary from one judge to the next anyway, chances of failing are high (cake and grief counseling will be available after the conclusion of the test!). If you somehow manage to succeed, you’ll be tested again and again by anyone who encounters you until you manage to establish yourself like, say, Felicia Day. But even then, you’ll be questioned. As a woman, your whole existence within the geek community will be nothing but a series of tests — if you’re lucky. If you aren’t lucky, you’ll be harassed and threatened and those within the culture will tacitly agree that you deserve it.

Cuddle Chemical? Moral Molecule? Not So Fast

Zak’s original field, it turns out, is economics, a far cry from the hearts and teddy bears we imagine when we consider his nickname. But after performing experiments on generosity, Zak stumbled on the importance of trust in interactions, which led him, rather inevitably, to research about oxytocin. Oxytocin, you might remember, is a hormone that has been linked previously to bonding — between mothers and children primarily, but also between partners. What Zak has done is take the research a step further, arguing in his recent book, The Moral Molecule, that oxytocin plays a role in determining whether we are good or evil.

How to Avoid Pissing off a Stripper

Let’s talk about the strippers. Whether they like to be half-naked or not, whether they enjoy turning you on or not, there’s one thing they all have in common: they’re working. Whether you think that taking one’s clothes off for money is a great choice of career is really beside the point (is it a possibility for you to make $500 per hour at your job without a law degree? Just asking). These women are providing fantasy, yes, but that is their job. And as a patron of the establishment where they work, you need to treat them like you would anyone else who provides a service to you.


Send us news!

AV Flox

In-House Theologian:
Robert Fischer

Eros and Desire Scholar:
Dawn Kaczmar

Scientific Consultant:
Jason Goldman

East Coast Liaison:
Jackie Summers

Barbie Davenporte

Read about the contributors we've had over time on our staff page.

Follow SAT405 on:


Hosted by (mt)


Sex and the 405 is what your newspaper would look like if it had a sex section.

Here you’ll find news about the latest research being conducted to figure out what drives desire, passion, and other sex habits; reviews of sex toys, porn and other sexy things; coverage of the latest sex-related news that have our mainstream media's panties up in a bunch; human interest pieces about sex and desire; interviews with people who love sex, or hate sex, or work in sex, or work to enable you to have better sex; opinion pieces that relate to sex and society; and the sex-related side of celebrity gossip. More...