A study by ashleymadison.com shows that their average members has a physical affair with someone within 36 hours of posting a profile on their website.
For those not familiar, ashleymadison.com is a website catering to those who want to have affairs. It is similar to any other adult dating or hookup site but its target audience is married people seeking to hook up outside the marriage.
In a study of their users, they found that the typical user will set up a profile Monday morning, actively look for potential partners and send emails during his/her lunch hour, connect electronically with someone on Monday night, and meet in person on Tuesday. 36 hours!
Really? I am not buying it. Hookup sites notoriously have many more people seeking online flirting and friendship than people looking for physical relationships. Plenty of Fish recently shut down its casual encounters portal when it discovered that 90% of female profiles were actually men in real life.
The fact is that most online prospective online hookups are not (prospective hookups I mean). It may be good marketing for Ashley Madison to say you can be in bed with the philanderer of your choice within 36 hours of joining, but I am not buying it.
I believe the beginning of the story – after a tough weekend, many profiles are posted on a Monday morning. I also don’t doubt that the posters spend many hours in the early days checking out profiles and reaching out to potential partners. But the next step – a 12 hour turn-around to being in bed with someone – rarely. More likely, what follows is lots of emails, IMs and online chats with dudes pretending to be women and, when people really are who they say, frustrated men and women looking for a little flirtation and attention but with no real intention of going further.
I have no doubt that affairs eventually happen for ashleymadison members, but it is only for the patient and persistent. As a believer in ethical non monogomy and a big disbeliever in cheating, I kind of hope I am correct.