A website dedicated to helping people cheat on their spouses ran a full-page ad in the New York Post cashing in on the Spitzer-hooker-cheating zeitgeist. The Canadian site called The Ashley Madison Agency purports to have 1,000,000 members. And, according to the ad, if Eliot Spitzer had used them instead of an escort service he wouldn’t have left a paper trail.
The site and ad claims that its users are discreet enough that getting caught would involve someone doing something really dumb on their own. The exact quote from the ad was, "We hate to say we told you so. Approaching an affair the wrong way is always a recipe for disaster ... We're all of the fun and none of the trouble. ...No headlines, no scandals." We wonder if Dr. Laura is going to blame the women of Canada for letting such a site exist. At any rate, Ashley Madison’s president Noel Biderman says something about his product being much safer than seeing a pro or an office affair.
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We think he’s missing the point. Yeah, sometimes “monogamy becomes monotonous” and you want to cheat so bad you can’t stand it (Chris Rock gets into this, “Wanna cheat. Can’t cheat. Gotta cheat. Can’t cheat.”). But buying sex is more than about plowing through someone who’s not your spouse. A) It’s a transaction. Both sides know that no matter how close they get it’s not going anywhere. A Pretty Woman or a hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold is few and far between. B) The Other Golden Rule. The person paying gets to set the rules. Establishing that kind of dominance with a non-freelance employee is tough. C) Discretion. Yes, a person cheating runs the risk of getting caught; but is a housewife from Jersey really going to be able to keep it under her hat that she’s hitting the skins with the Governor of New York? Though, invariably pros get sloppy and get caught and have to turn over their list to the Feds. So you're basically screwed either way. D) Quality. For the money, you’re probably getting someone who knows how to work that switch.
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In summary, we’re not advocating that anyone cheats. And we’re definitely not advocating prostitution. But is one a superior choice over the other? And what about Marriage without monogamy? Whatever floats you’re boat, it’s just a good idea to keep your spouse informed. They deserve to know why it burns when they pee when it never burned before.