The advertisement for this site shows a woman’s face with her finger up to her lips. The Canadian dating site is designed for cheating on a spouse or significant other. The site was hacked, and the result is Ashley Madison’s hack exposed philandering spouses. The company, Avid Life Media (ALM), owns three websites–they are Established Men, Ashley Madison, and Cougar life. People who use these sites do so for many reasons.
According to Gentlemen’s Quarterly (GQ) magazine, over 81 percent of Americans believe having “an affair is always wrong.” Whereas the people who have had affairs and think it is wrong is just over 62 percent. Approximately one in five adults admit to cheating on their significant others. Another lifestyle, which is referred to as Polyamory, has multiple partners without jealousy. Men understand this concept better than women. While this is not the norm, there is an understanding and outside relationships are open. Within open relationships, there is no need for dating sites like Ashley Madison.
In an article discussing why spouses cheat, a variety of reasons are given. A little less than half of men who admit to stepping out on their spouses say they do it for more satisfying sex. Some indicate they want variety. Men and women alike have flings for the thrill of it. Whereas women tend to enter into adulterous relationships for emotional reasons. Interestingly, some people who have had fantasies of cheating make the choice not due to love. For example, about 40 percent of women and almost 70 percent of men report having an attraction for someone outside their monogamous relationships and have chosen not to have an affair because they love as well as respect their partners.
The hack on Ashley Madison exposes philandering spouses, and even if the customers use the “delete my information feature,” there is still data on the servers that the hackers now have. According to the hacking group, which calls itself “The Impact Team,” this information includes a client’s credit card information and purchasing history, including real names and addresses.
While it is not clear how much information the hackers were able to obtain, they are demanding that ALM must take Ashley Madison and Established Men offline permanently. However, the hackers have not indicated they have a problem with ALM’s other site, Cougar Life. If ALM does not comply with these terms, the hackers say they will release all of the customer records. These records will include all of their “secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions.” Also, included would be the real names and addresses of the clientele. Moreover, the hackers will also release the employee emails and documents.
If all of this information is released, it will affect thousands of marriages and monogamous relationships. Many could end in divorce. In the United States, the divorce rate is not 50 percent as most people think it is. In fact, it is less. The divorce rate in 2013 was 3.6 in every 1,000 marriages. The Ashley Madison’s hack exposes philandering spouses and that could upset many relationships.
By Cathy Milne
Edited By Leigh Haugh
GQ–The Married Women of Ashley Madison
NBC News–Many Cheat for a Thrill, Stay for True Love
CDC FastStats–Marriage and Divorce
USA TODAY–A Peek Inside Ashley Madison Dating Site
Krebson Security–Online Cheating Site Ashley Madison Hacked
Photo Courtesy of Andreas Weigard’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License