To keep it simple, it is a Web site where married people can search for people with whom to have affairs. Back in my day, we called this "community theater."
The pastime has gone tech since then, though. Now it's like shopping online, but without waiting for shipping.
"Ashley Madison" combines two of the most popular girls' baby names from 25 years ago, which is just about the right fantasy age target, I'm guessing, for men who sign up. Madison is still in the top 10 for babies, though, which is a little icky, frankly.
But the name is incidental. Guys being guys, they would jump on board if the site were called "Tugboat Repairs." Nobody knows the exact ratio of men to women on the site, but I would bet 100 to 1 would not be far off.
This week hackers purportedly acquired the names, addresses, fantasies and photos of Ashley Madison's 37 million members, threatening to release them if the site was not shut down. The site was not shut down. As of this writing, the members' info has not been released.
Well, they supposedly outed a guy in Massachusetts and a guy in Canada, just as a sample. Imagine, your odds are 37 million to 1 and you still get picked. I would get on a plane to Vegas. I'll bet my wife would pack my bags.
Ashley M labels itself the "most famous name in infidelity," but I think that governor, Mark Sanford, who "hiked the Appalachian Trail" is up there. Tiger Woods. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
It is the only one I just named which charges a fee, however. It even charges a fee to erase all traces of you from its site, so they get you coming and going, which is certainly fitting.
I'll bet you when this blows over, A.M.'s membership numbers will get a nice bump. I am sure there are people who had not even heard you could sign up for affairs as easily as ordering CDs from Amazon.
Despite the slick marketing, infidelity seems like a lot of work to me. Plus, when you're done, you probably feel like ordering a pizza. I say why not just cut to the chase?
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