For everyone out there that isn’t DeafPegasus303 or Luv2TasteU, let me just provide a quick overview of AshleyMadison.com. It’s a “dating” website that has over 3.86 million members, advertises heavily on porn websites, had a Super Bowl ad rejected this year and serves as a virtual social lounge for people specifically looking to step out on their spouses–hence the tag line, “Life’s short; have an affair.”
First things first, the best part of any dating website (much less one catering to scumbags) is the profile names. To do a little research, I had to build an account. My first attempt at a name, Slutty Boots, (based on my deep seated belief that all men can be manipulated with the right pair of boots and an inappropriately short skirt- or as effectively proven this weekend, with alcohol) was summarily rejected with this reproach: Screen names cannot have the word ‘slut’ in them!
Well, excuse me, Ashley Madison. I just assumed a website meant to foster illicit affairs between people with spouses, small children and mortgages wouldn’t care if we got down to brass tacks. I try again: Lady Boots. It’s a winner probably because there are so many ladies on this site.
I start to peruse my potential paramours and am absolutely thrilled by the screen names, including but not limited to: DeafPegasus303, GiftedHandsofPleasure, Luv2TasteU, FreeMeFromBoredom, YourPleasuredAss and Princilicious, whose tag line was, “It’s girth that matters” and whose profile photo involved an ill fitting pair of mom jeans. And here, I feel compelled to say that DeafPegasus303 needs to immediately cancel his account and hold on tight (tight!!) to the woman that has bad enough tastes to marry someone who would use the screen name Deaf Pegasus. GiftedHandsofPleasure… that just kind of strikes me as overcompensating. Luv2TasteU is simultaneously gross and juvenile- and let’s me know that he’s an abuser of emoticons without even opening his profile. FreeMeFromBoredom just seems like a world class asshole, which is saying quite a bit on this site and just the name YourPleasuredAss makes me think about depending on a pillow to sit down for the next week.
There is no doubt in my mind that I would be extremely upset to see either of my married brothers on this website, but it’s hard to say if I would be more upset by the fact that they were stepping out on my sister-in-laws or that I shared genetic material with someone dumb enough to post a photo of their face (while wearing mom jeans) and calling themselves Deaf Pegasus. That said, there is obviously a demand for this service and as Neil Biderman, CEO of AshleyMadison.com pointed out on The View exactly three seconds before Elisabeth Hasselbeck crapped herself in rage, “AshleyMadison didn’t invent infidelity. It was always there; we just made a website.”
Okay, okay, so Elisabeth Hasselbeck didn’t crap herself, but she did indignantly retort, “Why not make a website that helps people with their marriage then?!?!? Huh?!?!”
At which point, he said something like, “There are a lot of those websites and books and therapists and many of them fail” which I interpreted to mean, Hey Moron- Not everyone’s husband is a football player and thus, some men need this site. Men like GiftedHandsofPleasure need all the help they can get and we’re going to exploit them all the way to the bank! Neil then went on to say, “Monogamy isn’t natural” and an entire audience of women that have nothing better to do than attend a live taping of The View, disagreed and disagreed loudly.
“Hey people,” Whoopi sagely intervened, “This is called The View because people have views. Neil has a view. Let’s listen.”
“How do people pay???” Elisabeth Hasselbeck is practically crying at this point.
“With tokens,” Neil explains.
“Oh! Oh! Because it’s Chuck E. Cheese for cheaters!” she concludes to the whooping support of many, many unhappy women who may or may not go and tell their husbands about the bad man who was on The View, which is why I assume the bad man went on The View in the first place.
Then he said, “This is an awesome example of free market demand!!” Okay, he didn’t say that; I said that. I yelled it at my computer in fact. And, it is an awesome example of free market demand. Do I think it’s a morally great thing to do? No. Do I think Elisabeth Hasselback gave voice to what a lot of women feel? Yes. Do I think it takes a special kind of morality to make a living off of helping someone wreck their marriage? Yep… but, I agree with him, they didn’t create infidelity; they are just making a dollar off of it. Take away Ashley Madison and the same person bold enough to build an Ashley Madison account is the same person bold enough to bark at his secretary.
MSNBC actually has a really interesting article on the site’s popularity and struggles to get financial backing, and its CEO (he’s married with two kids), which you can find here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41583762/ns/business-bloomberg_businessweek/.
If you want to watch Elisabeth Hasselbeck crying, you can get it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_4I__YdnG0.