Ashley Madison, the adultery website has become quite popular in Japan, a culture known for conformity, tradition and protocol behavior. The site has garnered one million users in just eight and a half months, a record holder for the fastest pace of user registration among 37 countries the site operates. The U.S. which has the largest concentration of users, took a year to reach the million mark and Spain took two years to gain one million users. Ashley Madison started in Canada, in 2002, it is a website for married individuals to cheat on their spouses. Married women have free access to the website but cheating husbands are required to pay a fee for membership. Noel Biderman, the CEO of Ashley Madison has stated the website boasts 25 million users worldwide and it serves as a secure forum for cheaters who want anonymity for their infidelities.
Japan is no stranger to adult entertainment, it is a sexual playground of massage parlors and bath houses that cater to the carnal desires of men. Ashley Madison is serving a market for unhappy women who want some adventure outside their marriage. It gives them equal grounding in a culture where men are given many options in satisfying their prurient needs and the choices for women were nonexistent. Ashley Madison has far exceeded expectations of gaining new membership in Japan, in the first four days, the site registered 75,000 new members and Biderman anticipated 100,000 a month in the far east country. An Ashley Madison survey of 3,500 Japanese women concluded that 84 percent of them think extramarital affairs are healthy for marriages and the number one reason for infidelity is lack of sex. It was inevitable for the adultery website to gain popularity in Japan.
Ashley Madison has not been well-received in other Asian countries. The Singapore government made a preemptive block to access the site before its launch amid public scrutiny, denouncing the site as a blatant disregard for family values and morals.
In Japan, 64 percent of the users are men and a package of 100 credits is currently price at 4900 yen ($49), which allows connections of up to 20 potential paramours. Credits can also be used towards gifts to pursue lovers, such as virtual flowers. A technology consultant and writer, Nobuyuki Hayashi, has a clear understanding on why Ashley Madison is a hit in Japan. The Japanese have no reservations on particpating in sexual encounters with strangers and have become dependent on cell-phones and social networking to partake in flings. There are not many ways for successful businessmen to express their social status, like in the United States. That is why Japanese men like to engage in sexual debauchery at hostess bars and love hotels. The only surprise about the adultery website, is why it did not launch in Japan sooner.
Mostly the Japanese have no misgivings about extramarital affairs, only 2 percent of the women and 8 percent of the men have feelings of guilt. Japanese culture is not dominated by Western Judeo-Christian beliefs and prides itself on its appreciation of the art of seduction. Biderman claims that the reason people have affairs is to stay married and that notion has made Ashley Madison a very profitable adultery website which had revenues of $125 million in 2013.
By Isriya Kendrick
News On Japan