Have an affair or your money back!


Evidently I’ve been living under a rock, because I only recently learned about the latest internet craze, web sites for married people looking to have an affair with other married people. AshleyMadison.com, the premier site of its kind, garnered a massive amount of free publicity when its Super Bowl commercial was banned in 49 out of 50 states. The ad showed a woman out to dinner with her annoying husband; the voice-over asked: “Isn’t it time for AshleyMadison.com?” The article I read went on at length about what such websites tell us about how we view marriage. I came away, though, with an entirely different impression.

Can a married woman be so desperate that she is willing to pay to get someone else’s husband to sleep with her? Isn’t that kind of defeating the purpose of an affair?

I’ve never had an affair, nor do I intend to, but I was under the impression that an affair was supposed to be an unbearably romantic experience, especially when contrasted with the stale partner being cheated upon. Despite your best efforts, you cannot ignore the attraction and neither can he. Ultimately, after strenuous attempts at resisting, passion overwhelms. You never intended it to happen, but the heart has a mind of its own, right?

Apparently not. When you sign up with AshleyMadison.com (“Life is short. Have an affair.”) or LonelyCheatingWives.com or MarriedDateClub.com, you actually plan your affair with someone else who is planning an affair. Where’s the passion in that? It’s like sending yourself roses and pretending that someone cares. If it’s only about having sex with someone, anyone, why not saunter down the street naked? Someone is bound to proposition you, and you won’t even have to pay.

I can’t get over the fact that people are willing to pay for this, and it’s not cheap. Packages start at $49 and quickly escalate from there. For $249, AshleyMadison.com promises to refund your money if you don’t end up having an affair.

I’m confused, though. Wouldn’t it be simpler, and far more lucrative to become a call girl? When you sign up as a prostitute, someone else’s husband pays you to have sex with him, and, as a call girl, the sex is pretty much guaranteed.

Sites like AshleyMadison.com pretend that they are wicked, but I find them to be pathetic. Sure they invite you to break your marriage vows, hurt your spouse and humiliate your children, and I guess that is “wicked.” However, if you have to pay for the privilege you must be desperate.

If recent surveys are to be believed, almost 50% of married people cheat at some point, proving that people can manage to be selfish, self indulgent and heartless on their own. Does anyone really need help to pull that off? Does anyone really need paid help to make it happen?

Websites that promote infidelity represent themselves as sexy, sinful and fun. In reality, they are nothing more than the most pathetic form of lonely hearts club: unhappy cheaters, so desperate for human contact that they are willing to pay for it. AshleyMadison.com and similar sites aren’t sexy, they’re just sad.