Ashley Madison's not-so-sexy secret

Ashley Madison’s Not-So-Sexy Secret

Noel Biderman really wants you to have an affair.  So much so that he has made illicit passion his life’s passion.

Lest you think Noel is just a benevolent benefactor, tirelessly working to help bring infidelity to your doorstop,  I should point out that Noel is financially incentivized to encourage you to cheat on your spouse. More specifically, Noel makes money if you choose (1) to break your marriage vows, and (2) to utilize his company–Ashley Madison–to do so.  It turns out that adultery can be a very profitable business, if you are willing to embrace the shame of peddling sex. Noel freely admits he is “printing money,” a perk of operating a “taboo-focused business.”   “Taboo focused” just means that, before Noel, no one else was willing to cast aside conscience in favor of cash, at least, not via this particular venture.  Incidentally, can you imagine how his job goes over at “Career Day” at his kids’ school?

Before we explore Noel’s hypocrisy, let’s take a look at the lies that his website proclaims about extramarital affairs  (just going to the website made me want to take a shower to wash the filth off, so I’m not inclined to provide a link to it):

Ashley Madison is the most famous name in infidelity and married dating. As seen on Hannity, Howard Stern, TIME, BusinessWeek, Sports Illustrated, Maxim, USA Today.  Ashley Madison is the most recognized and reputable married dating company. Our Married Dating Services for Married individuals Work.  Ashley Madison is the most successful website for finding an affair and cheating partners. Have an Affair today on Ashley Madison. Thousands of cheating wives and cheating husbands signup everyday looking for an affair. We are the most famous website for discreet encounters between married individuals. Married Dating has never been easier. With Our affair guarantee package we guarantee you will find the perfect affair partner. Sign up for Free today.

(emphasis added).  Just a few observations regarding the claims on this website:

  1. What is “reputable” about cheating on your spouse?  Reputable means “enjoying good repute” and “held in esteem.”  I don’t see how sneaking around in an effort to break your marriage vows can possibly be “reputable,” but perhaps I’m just old fashioned.  Also, if cheating on your spouse is truly such a praiseworthy venture, why doesn’t Noel use his own name for the domain?  Besides the obvious answer that “Noel Biderman” isn’t exactly a sexy name, perhaps Noel was a bit reluctant to prominently feature his family name with a site promoting adultery.
  2. The promise of “discrete encounters” is a siren song.  Stated more simply, it’s stupid.  Granted, Noel is marketing to the roughly 70% of idiots who say they would have an affair if they knew they wouldn’t get caught (probably because they heard it’s the reputable thing to do).  It may sound appealing to Noel’s hormone-driven commonsense-lacking customers but it ignores a harsh reality:  Even if their spouses don’t ever find out (and that is a big if), it doesn’t change the fact that the affair occurs, and it doesn’t change the fact that the cheating spouse will know.  Aside from the consequences that a revealed affair may have on the cheater’s spouse and any children, even a secret affair may cause the cheater himself to experience a loss of self-respect, a lack of trust for his own partner, and a host of corresponding issues.  Again, it’s stupid.
  3. There is no such thing as “married dating,” unless we are talking about dating your spouse.  Within the context of marriage, there is fidelity, and there is infidelity.  Putting a pleasant label on an shameful activity doesn’t change the reality.  Saying “let’s go get some sushi” might sound better than “let’s go eat some uncooked fish,” but the truth remains (apologies to sushi lovers).  Married dating is just a more pleasant way of saying “having sex with someone that is not your spouse in violation of your marriage vows.”
  4. The “perfect” affair partner.  Really?  Does Noel think that the ideal person with whom to have an affair is a woman who visits a website with the goal of sex with a married man?   Or the married guy who vowed to stay faithful to his wife but is now seeking to break that vow?  I can’t see either individual being eager to trot out that “how we met” story for mom and dad.   Perhaps Noel just means that the two people I described would be perfect for (i.e., deserve) each other.
  5. You may “[s]ign up for free today,” but you’ll be paying a price tomorrow.  There is nothing about participating in Noel’s site that is truly free.  A man can’t put fire in his lap without being burned.

Aside from the obvious lie that Noel Biderman is selling, it is significant to note that Noel claims that he has not indulged in his own product.  Why?  Because he’s a married father of two children with a “happy” marriage, and because  his wife would be “devastated” if he did.   Let that sink in.  Even though Noel claims an affair can actually “save” a marriage, he isn’t willing to put his marriage where his money is.

Share Ashley Madison's not-so-sexy secret on Facebook or Twitter
Share Ashley Madison’s not-so-sexy secret on Facebook and Twitter.

Noel is the equivalent of a car salesman at a Toyota dealership, who personally refuses to drive anything other than a Honda but tries desperately to convince you that a Toyota is right for you.  He’s like a drug dealer saying his product is the purest of the pure and will bring a clarity or an intense pleasure that you’ve never before experienced . . . but neither has he.

If Noel is to be believed, he has never so much as tried his own product.  But he wants you to bet your marriage on his product.  It’s a risk he isn’t willing to take, and neither should you.

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