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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

AshleyMadison Enables Married Cheaters In Rough Economy

So...people can't afford divorce these days. Instead, they pay for online subscription to...cheat?

Michiganders flock to Web site for flings with married cheatersAshleyMadison.com hooks up people bent on adultery

"Drew" is a 37-year-old businessman who lives in the Troy area.

His wife is consumed with work. And they don't have sex.

"The truth is I love my wife, but sometimes I feel like I need something on the side," says Drew, who spoke to the Free Press on the condition of anonymity.

So Drew hooks up through the adultery dating service AshleyMadison.com. He said he has met, and had sex with, about 10 women, and he credits the illicit trysts with helping him stay married.

"It has enabled me to meet women in my similar situation and has helped fill the void of the lack of intimacy in my life," says Drew, whose wife has no clue. "Strange as it may sound, it's helped my marriage. The pressure is off ... It's probably a lot cheaper than divorce."

Drew's story dovetails with the sales pitch masterminded by AshleyMadison's founder, Noel Biderman, a Toronto-based sports lawyer who has cleverly and profitably engineered a moneymaker from pairing human foibles with the Internet's social networking reach.
AshleyMadison -- named after two of the most popular baby names for girls -- was born in 2001. And if the site's growing popularity offers a clue, the Michigan economy's swoon means boom times for infidelity.

In Michigan, the site has grown from 38,000 members as of June 1, 2008, to 110,000 twelve months later. Biderman's theory is that economic instability forces shaky couples to stay together -- they can't afford to get divorced. Infidelity becomes a more likely option.
Research does indicate that as work demands and stress increase, so do marital conflicts. Financial declines have always triggered an increase in a range of unhealthy behaviors.
Some 43% of U.S. couples said they are arguing more about money because of the recession, according to the recent "Can't Buy Me Love" poll by Internet payment company PayPal.
Biderman is unapologetic and doesn't shy from controversy or confronting the opposition. He has faced down critics on "The View," "Larry King Live" and "The Tyra Banks Show."
Politicians nationwide also are providing plenty of fodder for discussions about infidelity -- Wednesday, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford confessed that he secretly left the state to travel to Argentina to be with his mistress -- and Biderman isn't letting the opportunity for free publicity pass. Earlier this month, AshleyMadison was in the news when a Las Vegas newspaper rejected its full-page ad capitalizing on Nevada Sen. John Ensign's admission of an extramarital affair. Biderman placed a similar ad in the New York Post when Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned after he was caught using an escort service.

"I know people want to vilify me," Biderman said. "I argue back that I didn't invent infidelity."
At the Free Press' request, an AshleyMadison public relations person sent out an e-mail asking if potential cheaters would anonymously speak to a reporter.

One woman, a Detroiter in her late 40s, says she intends to end an 8-year marriage because it has not emotionally, physically or mentally "measured up."

Several months ago, she heard about AshleyMadison on the radio and signed up in February.
It's free to become a member and to create a profile and search others. But to chat with another member, a user has to buy credits-- $49 for 100 credits (it takes five credits to initiate a chat; subsequent back-and-forth chats are free). For the Affair Guarantee Membership it's $249 and the Web site will refund your money if you don't have an affair in three months. "If somebody had a genuine, sincere message and sounded like a nice person, I would send a message back," she says. "You had to really weed through those who didn't want what you wanted."
She said she wanted somebody to have a conversation with, too, before he became a friend with benefits.

The Detroiter chatted online with 10 to 15 guys. She met five of them face-to-face. She met four of them more than once. "I'm not looking to be physical right away at all," she'd tell them, "so please don't go there with me."

Now she says she is regularly seeing a "very nice person" who is married and does not want to leave his wife. She sees him a couple of times a week, meeting in hotels.
"He's filling the things that are lacking. He treats me extremely well. He's a professional. He makes really good money. He's very, very intelligent and very well-educated," she says. "I enjoy intelligent conversation. It's something I can't have in my marriage."

Her husband, she says, has no idea what she's doing.

Biderman says he's providing a service to people who would cheat anyway. But recently listeners of 89X-FM (88.7) radio's morning show, weren't so convinced.

"I think it's absolutely ridiculous that he set up a Web site to help people cheat," a female caller said. "This is the worst thing you can possibly do to somebody you care about."
A caller named Ryan says he's happy in a 7-year relationship, but knowing about the site "makes me want to call it.

"It provides a temptation, you know, for people who might be in a happy relationship, but at the same time (think) hey, maybe I can get away with it," the caller said.
Another caller, Natalie, said her ex-husband cheated on her through dating sites, and she found out.

"I was never mad at the Web sites," Natalie says. "The bottom line is if somebody's going to cheat, they're going to cheat."

Biderman's got a catchy retort for nearly every argument people throw at him.

Adultery is the "only thing in the world people think is immoral but a consensus still do it," he says.

"What I'm saying is don't have an office romance and risk losing your job," Biderman has said. "Don't start a relationship with an unsuspecting single person and definitely don't visit an escort service and risk breaking the law.

"...We're secure, anonymous and it was created exactly for people like you."
Biderman has been married for seven years. He and his wife, Amanda, have two children, and he describes his marriage as happy and secure.

"I've been a faithful person my entire life," he says, but adds provocatively, "to date."
Contact PATRICIA MONTEMURRI : 313-223-4538 or pmontemurri@freepress.com


Scott said...

cheating bastards!!!!!! I am so outraged at the filth that exists in this country!! What is wrong with people??? By the way, are we BBQ on the grill tonight?

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Some married cheater is one of the great idea to economy status. There are mainly consider to the don't use of make on-line friends.

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