As of late I’ve been conducting some covert exploration of a “dating” site (if you want to call it that) called Ashley Madison.
I was reading Newsweek several weeks back and came across an article about it. I had a vague knowledge of its existence before then, but since it’s not really my niche, I never really cared about it or knew what it entailed until I read the Newsweek article. Basically, it’s a website catering to people who are married and/or in relationships that are seeking to have affairs.
After reading about it, I was instantly intrigued. I wondered how exactly one would go about finding someone to have an affair with on a site like that, assuming that any person with common sense wanting to find a secret affair playmate wouldn’t just readily post pictures of themselves for the whole world to see. I went to the site to browse around purely out of curiosity, provided some preliminary information and a little-used email address to register, and had myself a look.
As it turned out, I was wrong. There are actually quite a few bold men out there with their faces prominently displayed. Not too many, but more than I would’ve thought. To be exact, I would’ve thought that exactly 0 people would be that dumb. But nope, definitely more than zero. Then there are others who don’t show their full faces, but instead crop their pictures to just part of a face and/or the chest/torso area. Less risky, I guess. But if their wives or girlfriends or anyone who knows them at all were looking, they’d probably be able to tell who they are. Via pose…clothing…scenery…it’s not rocket science. The majority of men do not have a profile picture displayed though. I was confused as to how the hell they would ever meet anyone, the Internet being a purely superficial medium after all, but I didn’t stick around long enough to find out. I logged off and went on about my life.
But I happened to be bored one day this past weekend and so I ended up logging back in to see what was what. To clarify: I’m not looking to meet a married or attached man. I’ve had my illicit encounters in the past so I won’t pretend it’s something that I’m above, but it’s not a situation I’m consciously interested in anymore. I have enough problems with single men, I don’t really need to add the complication of a significant other to deal with. If I were to dabble again, he’d have to be some extremely handsome, distinguished millionaire or something like that, basically. That could be fun. Otherwise I don’t see the point.
I logged back on strictly to be nosey, and for entertainment purposes. I was curious to see if I’d end up coming across any guys I know. Or even worse, the men of any girlfriends of mine. But what ended up surprising me was the fact that several men had already sent me messages and “winks” (just like Match.com). Most importantly, a few had sent me links to a “private showcase” of pictures. I quickly discerned that the private showcase is a secret trove of pictures that a member has to specifically grant other members access to (and can revoke access to at any time). The majority of men opt to place face pictures (or other sorts) in the private showcase in lieu of having a public profile picture. That’s smart. What’s not smart is the fact that I had no picture whatsoever uploaded, only the most basic profile information (location, height, weight, and age), and these hounds were already all over it. Not even knowing who I am or what I look like, people were still trying to make contact and sending me links to their private pictures. What a bunch of dumbasses.
If I were any of these guys’ wives or girlfriends and found out about their activity on Ashley Madison, I’d probably be more pissed at the utter lack of intelligence about the whole operation than at the actual cheating. If you’re going to cheat, be smart about it at least. You would think guys on a site like this would exercise only the utmost cautiousness and selectiveness about who they reveal themselves to, but they definitely don’t. It’s pretty bad. Many of them remark vehemently about the need for discretion in their profiles, yet clearly fail to grasp the fact that advertising your interest in an affair on a website is the exact antithesis of discretion. Basically, the men on Ashley Madison are dumb. If any of their significant others have even the smallest iota of Internet savvy, they’re doomed.
I was highly amused by the fact that without even trying to in the least bit, displaying a completely bare-bones, generic, blank profile, I had managed to generated interest. Something about the utter lack of discretion and the faint hint of horny desperation really tickled me. So to take it a step further, I decided to upload a picture. Of my feet. My profile picture was literally a picture of my feet in a pair of heels I took ages ago to show the shoes to a girlfriend. Heels are subtly sexy, I know, but that’s all it was.
And yet the wolves still pounced. From what I understand, the site is completely free for women, but men have to pay for it. There are several ways a person can contact another: messages, winks, and the site’s real-time messaging system. The instant messaging can be a bitch because if you have the option activated, anyone can just IM you out of the blue once they see you’re on. From my feet alone, I’ve been inundated with all forms of contact.
There are a LOT of guys on this site, and many of them are quite obviously very horny and looking to screw the first person they can get their grubby hands on. There are a LOT of penis pictures in the private showcases and many men are very eager to allow access to these pictures within mere seconds of greeting you and receiving a polite response back. Some people don’t even wait for that, they just send you the link to their private pictures out of the blue. Again…DUMB.
If pictures of random dicks turned me on, I’d be in phallic heaven. But I’m not sure if guys get that penises aren’t really attractive though. And that they all look alike, really. I guess there are women out there who find them visually stimulating, but I just don’t. I love men, I love sex, and I do love penises in terms of what I know they can do for my body, but a picture of one from a random guy with whom I’ve only literally exchanged a hello with, or haven’t even spoken to at all, leaves me utterly speechless…and not in a good way. I mean, I’m not really sure how I’m supposed to respond to a picture of a hand on a bulging erection…Thank you? Good job? Wow? I don’t know. It just doesn’t interest me. It wouldn’t interest me even if I were serious about trying meet someone from there.
From the profiles I’ve browsed and the brief conversations I’ve had with a few guys on there that seemed fairly normal, a lot of men are on there because they lack “excitement” or “that spark” or “passion” or a “connection” in their relationships. Blah, blah, blah…standard cheater excuses. That doesn’t really surprise me.
What does surprise me are the ages and relationship statuses of a lot of these guys. I had it in my mind that most of the men on Ashley Madison would be in their 40s and 50s, and married for decades. That’s a common scenario, and to me, perfectly understandable. Not necessarily more acceptable, just more understandable. They’re older, have been married a long time, usually have kids and all that, and may be generally happy…but are just bored. It happens. Attractions change as you grow and age. I myself am definitely not attracted to the same types of men today as I was several years ago. Several years ago I wasn’t attracted to the same types of men as I was several years before that. I go through phases in general, but there is always an overall type of man that I categorize as my ideal, and that ideal definitely evolves a little from year to year. And then sometimes I find myself attracted to a guy who isn’t necessarily the ideal. It depends. Sexual attraction can be a very fickle concept. So it’s understandable to me that couples who have been married for years and years may lose a little bit of sexual chemistry. It just happens. Not that the spouses have grown to be ugly (or maybe so, in some cases), but finding someone attractive doesn’t necessarily equate to sexual attraction.
So that’s what I was expecting. And there is that. But quite a few of the men that have tried to contact me are in their 20s and 30s, so they couldn’t possibly have been married too long. Some of them aren’t even married, but just in relationships. There are few single people here and there as well…at least they claim to be.
I just think there’s something especially malevolent about being married or involved and being so obviously determined to have an affair. It’s one thing to kind of “fall” into an affair that was unplanned and unexpected, but just “sort of happened,” as sometimes they do. It’s quite another to aggressively seek out someone to have an affair with on the Internet. It becomes a question of: Are you seeking an affair because your relationship has lost its spark, or has your relationship lost its spark because you’re spending so much energy seeking an affair? Maybe if you put that energy into your relationship, it’d be a little better off.
In any case, I’m already pretty bored. There are a few guys I’ve talked to that seem nice, but I’m not interested in meeting them or anyone else from there. I’m literally getting inundated with messages. FROM MY FEET. I can’t even imagine what happens to any pretty girls who dare to show their faces publicly on there…their computers probably end up melting down. I mean, I’ve been playing around with this site for like 3 days and I’ve already had literally over a hundred different men contact me in some form. They just make it too easy, really, and that’s always boring.