3/9/13

mod (Andy) note: "Blast from the past - Best of Eddie" - This one is originally from February 2011. If there's an old post from Eddie you'd like to see up again shoot me a message.

I saw this on Bloomberg the other day (video after the jump), and I wanted to get your opinions on this business model. For those who don't know, AshleyMadison.com is an Internet dating service with a twist. It pairs people with potential love interests just like eHarmony or Match.com, but only for those seeking extra-marital affairs or affairs outside their current relationship. Site membership has exploded into the millions, and it appears they've found a very profitable market niche.

Now, you guys know I'm not into moralizing. Cheating's never been my thing, but that's just me. I've certainly known a lot of cheaters over the years, but I've always figured that was something between them and their significant other. I will say that it's my personal belief that most cheaters get caught eventually, but I don't really have any hard data on that.

What I'm wondering is whether or not there is a societal cost to institutionalized infidelity. I'm speaking specifically about the United States in this case, because here in France marital infidelity is not only "accepted", it's more or less expected. The French tend to think it's human nature to cheat. But I wonder about the effects in a more puritanical society like the U.S.

There is obviously a demand for these types of services, as this video clearly demonstrates:

So, have the folks at AshleyMadison.com found a way to make millions from good, clean fun, or is this a sign of the end times? Should the guys at the Vice Fund be looking into this? Is marital fidelity a relic of a bygone era? How do you guys feel about it?

I'll leave you with this rather clever, but naughty, Christmas offering from the company. I wonder if the writer would help out on The Street Before Christmas this year...

Comments (72)

Best Response
2/16/11

Not to sound like a jesus freak(I am agnostic fwiw), but the church and christianity in europe/the US was very helpful in the past in reaching an eqm in the male-female relationship.

At a very basic level men strife to impregnate as many hot women as possible and have their offspring survive.

Women on the other hand want one resourceful/powerful man to be with them to protect their offspring and extract resources from him. Whilst using this man for resources the female goal is to sleep with as many males with good genes as she can to ensure her offspring has the best genetics possible.

Since this would lead to quite suboptimal societal outcome at some point religion adressed this problem by introducing marriage and stigmatizing women that sleep with alot of men as whores. Marriage stopped men from sleeping around with alot of women and got them to take care of their one offspring. The male benefit from this was that they were guaranteed that their women would not sleep around and their offspring was actually theirs. Women benefitted from this as they were guaranteed to be provided for and not run the risk of their husband running off to sleep with alot of other women.

Fast forward to the 21st century, the return of modem harems(well in 50 years or so, currently we are still in transition). With the breakdown of religion to keep instincts in check and the sexual liberation of women, cheating has run rampant and we are returning to stoneage like interactions. The success of this website is a good illustration of this.

From a moral standpoint, who cares? Its to everyone for themselves to decide. The real question is how do you avoid being found by your significant other on there? What happens if wife and husband both sign up and meet on a blind date xD?

I myself will make sure to hire two detectives, one to watch the future wife, the other one to make sure the wife doesn't sleep with the first detective. Also get a watertight prenup.

Bring the monkey shit on! Also I am looking for generic platitudes about love, the one, meant to be and others!

2/16/11
leveredarb:

I myself will make sure to hire two detectives, one to watch the future wife, the other one to make sure the wife doesn't sleep with the first detective. Also get a watertight prenup.

Did we ever talked before? that is my exact same idea!. The only problem would be, what if she sleeps with the second detective too? O.o

Valor is of no service, chance rules all, and the bravest often fall by the hands of cowards. - Tacitus

Dr. Nick Riviera: Hey, don't worry. You don't have to make up stories here. Save that for court!

2/17/11
El_Mono:
leveredarb:

I myself will make sure to hire two detectives, one to watch the future wife, the other one to make sure the wife doesn't sleep with the first detective. Also get a watertight prenup.

Did we ever talked before? that is my exact same idea!. The only problem would be, what if she sleeps with the second detective too? O.o

Hire a female detective

2/16/11

Good post leverdbarb. I really hope some women chime in. If they do, please don't monkey poo them children...

2/16/11

great post leveredarb. You've essentially summarized the book Sperm Wars, which I have not yet read myself, but a buddy of mine quotes it endlessly. His strategy with the ladies is essentially based on this book as well as The Game.

Not sure to what degree I agree with all this, but it is an interesting way to look at things. After all, we're just animals who can talk...

2/16/11

I'd be interested to find out the real breakdown of people using the site that are actually in relationships vs. those that are just trying to get laid by someone looking to cheat (because for all we know a lot of people just put relationship in their profile to make things easier). Truly single people could in fact be the majority of the site.

*Edit

2/16/11

According to the interview, the CEO stated that 90% of male users and 75% of female users are currently in another relationship.

2/16/11

I'm Catholic, so most of my opinions about marriage are based on that. This may sound obvious, but people ought to be very careful, not casual, about whom they choose to marry. Making marital infidelity easier is not OK in my book. There are broken families everywhere, the majority of marriages now fail, and especially if there are children involved it just causes so much heartbreak and anguish for everybody involved. Even if you don't subscribe to any religion, divorce just plain sucks. Cheating is wrong, regardless of who does it.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

2/16/11
Edmundo Braverman:

What I'm wondering is whether or not there is a societal cost to institutionalized infidelity.

I don't think so. It's going to happen anyway, so I don't see them as really influencing anything (other than making it slightly easier for people to do it, which I believe to have negligible effects in terms of the proportion of people who cheat).

I also try to keep my moralizing to a minimum, but I do think there is something pretty messed up about cheating on somebody (unless they know/consent). If my girlfriend was cheating on me and I didn't know it, the whole relationship, and my feelings about her, would be based on a false premise. I have friends who've cheated and I never tell them not to do it because, like you said, I believe that's between them and I'm not about to interfere in their drama/relationships. With that said though, it's just a personal policy of mine not to cheat, since I think it's so messed up.

Just out of curiosity, would any of you guys/girls stick with somebody that cheated on you? Or is cheating a deal-breaker?

It's totally understandable that some people want to "get around." I guess, I just feel like if that's what you want to do, it's better to just be single. Less complications, nobody gets hurt, etc. (Or if both people want to cheat, just be a swinger or have an open relationship, but that's another story.)

Lastly, I gotta be honest that it does bother me that cheating seems to be so common in this country. I'm not bothered because I think we're going to "hell in a hand basket" or anything like that. I'm just bothered because that potentially makes it harder to find the type of girl who'd never cheat on me. I'm starting to wonder if there's something in our culture that produces women who are, on average, a little more bossy, promiscuous, rude, shallow, and materialistic. I guess that's probably part of the reason I like American girls who are somewhat conservative (not necessarily in a political sense) and girls raised in other countries (particularly Asia).

2/16/11

I don't think I could ever cheat on my boyfriend simply because I know how devastated I would be if I found out he cheated on me, which I guess is the selfish motivation. Plus I can only imagine how crushed he would be, and I would probably lose him, which is another disincentive.

I guess it comes down to this for me: Why bother with the relationship if you aren't truly ready for the commitment? And why stay with someone who you still feel the need to cheat on? Clearly they aren't satisfying you in some way, so stop wasting both your and their time. If you're just in it for the thrill of sneaking around then it's not really fair to your partner, and you should end the commitment prior to your affair.

Inb4 monkey shit, just cuz.

2/16/11
anaismalcolm:

I don't think I could ever cheat on my boyfriend simply because I know how devastated I would be if I found out he cheated on me, which I guess is the selfish motivation. Plus I can only imagine how crushed he would be, and I would probably lose him, which is another disincentive.

I guess it comes down to this for me: Why bother with the relationship if you aren't truly ready for the commitment? And why stay with someone who you still feel the need to cheat on? Clearly they aren't satisfying you in some way, so stop wasting both your and their time. If you're just in it for the thrill of sneaking around then it's not really fair to your partner, and you should end the commitment prior to your affair.

Inb4 monkey shit, just cuz.

Haha I bet I could get you to cheat on your boyfriend...

Consultant to a Fortune 50 Company

2/16/11
alexpasch:

Haha I bet I could get you to cheat on your boyfriend...

if you've got blumi's charm, Im sure you'd have no problems *sarcasm*

2/16/11
down on the upside:
alexpasch:

Haha I bet I could get you to cheat on your boyfriend...

if you've got blumi's charm, Im sure you'd have no problems *sarcasm*

She wouldn't be the first girl to cheat with me; last year I slept with an engaged 29 year old (3 times)...that was one of my fav pulls haha (she's not engaged anymore but we still hang out every once in a while lol)

Women will always trade up when given the opportunity.

Consultant to a Fortune 50 Company

2/16/11
alexpasch:
down on the upside:
alexpasch:

Haha I bet I could get you to cheat on your boyfriend...

if you've got blumi's charm, Im sure you'd have no problems *sarcasm*

She wouldn't be the first girl to cheat with me; last year I slept with an engaged 29 year old (3 times)...that was one of my fav pulls haha (she's not engaged anymore but we still hang out every once in a while lol)

Women will always trade up when given the opportunity.

this is true. add to that the fact that women are quite emotional and if your skilled at manipulating their emotions you can get anyone to cheat. I am saying this in a non judgemental way by the way, this is just a fact of nature, nothing else.

your other point is also true, brad pitts wife would be totally fine with him having other women on the side.

2/16/11

This website is less of a commentary about sex/cheating/relationships as it is a commentary about our society that is shifting away from hard work and paying your dues to one that is driven by instant gratification (A lot of the posts on WSO highlight this as well).

2/16/11

cheating on your wife with a 20 yrs old girl is like driving a Porsche, it makes you feel young

2/16/11

I remember seeing ads for this website back in Toronto on the buses and in subway stations. within a week it got pulled because there was an outcry over the immorality of it all. People got to be responsible for their own actions but when there's kids involved thats a distinct no-no for me. Why should the kids suffer just cause you cant keep it in the pants

2/16/11
down on the upside:

I remember seeing ads for this website back in Toronto on the buses and in subway stations. within a week it got pulled because there was an outcry over the immorality of it all. People got to be responsible for their own actions but when there's kids involved thats a distinct no-no for me. Why should the kids suffer just cause you cant keep it in the pants

Great story: the councillor who opposed the ad ended up getting caught cheating on his girlfriend... priceless. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Giambrone

2/16/11

I think you hit the right key: America is a very puritanical society. I would agree with the 1st post that religion made marriage of 1 man to 1 woman because it was the best thing to do, then (2000-2500 years ago). Some religions did this recently, others, still consider polygamy OK. At the end, it is the same idea.

The website Ashleymadison is tapping on a need, that happen to be legal. Cheating is not illegal in America. In one my science class this is what I learned:
Polygamy among a group of animals is rampant when the male is generally taller (or larger) than the female. In the US, Average height:
Male: 1.78M
Female: 1.64m

Maybe, we are still in a world where polygamy is the norm, thus cheating.

2/16/11
johnnie.welker:

I think you hit the right key: America is a very puritanical society. I would agree with the 1st post that religion made marriage of 1 man to 1 woman because it was the best thing to do, then (2000-2500 years ago). Some religions did this recently, others, still consider polygamy OK. At the end, it is the same idea.

The website Ashleymadison is tapping on a need, that happen to be legal. Cheating is not illegal in America. In one my science class this is what I learned:
Polygamy among a group of animals is rampant when the male is generally taller (or larger) than the female. In the US, Average height:
Male: 1.78M
Female: 1.64m

Maybe, we are still in a world where polygamy is the norm, thus cheating.

Cheating is not illegal but if she finds out, divorces you, and takes half your crap you may regret it. For me the main concern would be the kids though, I know alot of wall street guys who have a wife and kids and still cheat. To me that is messed up that you would be willing to put your kids security and happiness on the line so you can bang someone who's not your wife.

And I don't even think it is much of a moral issue. For me there are certain things that common sense would tell you not to do. Betraying someone you are in a relationship with is not a good idea, period.

2/16/11

The problem with cheating isn't the act itself. It's the signal that you don't love/care about your SO enough not to hurt them. I'm with whoever said you might as well break up if you're going to cheat, because the relationship probably wouldn't last anyway.

2/16/11

I find responses to this website more interesting than the website itself. Here we have commenting on WSO, I would guess, mostly agnostic people--or at the very least non-spiritual or non-religious--if not outright atheist and yet we have these competing concepts about there being no morality and that he or she had better not cheat on me, and the repulsion at the idea of cheating on the significant other despite the emphasis of not moralizing.

I'm a Christian, although among my "Christian" or "church" friends I'm the most greedy, hateful, lascivious, hedonistic, and vulgar of them (in fact, I'd say most would consider me not a Christian--I guess that's poor commentary on my character). My morality is based on a loving God with the Bible as the absolute truth. My conscience, therefore, won't allow me to view infidelity in any other context other than it being wrong (that's not to say that I wouldn't cheat--see beginning of paragraph--just that I could never cheat without being morally conflicted). That said, if I were like most of the rest of you--agnostic, atheist, non-religious, etc.--I would screw everything that walks. I would have no moral compunctions at all about cheating on my significant other and, presumably, I'd be of little regard as a person if I were upset at the idea of her cheating on me. Therefore, I find the responses here interesting.

2/16/11
Virginia Tech 4ever:

I find responses to this website more interesting than the website itself. Here we have commenting on WSO, I would guess, mostly agnostic people--or at the very least non-spiritual or non-religious--if not outright atheist and yet we have these competing concepts about there being no morality and that he or she had better not cheat on me, and the repulsion at the idea of cheating on the significant other despite the emphasis of not moralizing.

I'm a Christian, although among my "Christian" or "church" friends I'm the most greedy, hateful, lascivious, hedonistic, and vulgar of them (in fact, I'd say most would consider me not a Christian--I guess that's poor commentary on my character). My morality is based on a loving God with the Bible as the absolute truth. My conscience, therefore, won't allow me to view infidelity in any other context other than it being wrong (that's not to say that I wouldn't cheat--see beginning of paragraph--just that I could never cheat without being morally conflicted). That said, if I were like most of the rest of you--agnostic, atheist, non-religious, etc.--I would screw everything that walks. I would have no moral compunctions at all about cheating on my significant other and, presumably, I'd be of little regard as a person if I were upset at the idea of her cheating on me. Therefore, I find the responses here interesting.

Interesting religion spin, I think it reflects what the post said above: the US is a puritanical society.

2/16/11
Virginia Tech 4ever:

I find responses to this website more interesting than the website itself. Here we have commenting on WSO, I would guess, mostly agnostic people--or at the very least non-spiritual or non-religious--if not outright atheist and yet we have these competing concepts about there being no morality and that he or she had better not cheat on me, and the repulsion at the idea of cheating on the significant other despite the emphasis of not moralizing.

I'm a Christian, although among my "Christian" or "church" friends I'm the most greedy, hateful, lascivious, hedonistic, and vulgar of them (in fact, I'd say most would consider me not a Christian--I guess that's poor commentary on my character). My morality is based on a loving God with the Bible as the absolute truth. My conscience, therefore, won't allow me to view infidelity in any other context other than it being wrong (that's not to say that I wouldn't cheat--see beginning of paragraph--just that I could never cheat without being morally conflicted). That said, if I were like most of the rest of you--agnostic, atheist, non-religious, etc.--I would screw everything that walks. I would have no moral compunctions at all about cheating on my significant other and, presumably, I'd be of little regard as a person if I were upset at the idea of her cheating on me. Therefore, I find the responses here interesting.

If the only reason you're not doing something is due to a fear of God I think you have to reanalyze your life. I'm a self professed atheist and even so I still care for the feelings of others. I wouldn't cheat.

I feel that once your ready to make that commitment, you shouldn't. There's no point in lying/destroying a relationship if you can just date or be in an open relationship.

2/16/11
TimRay:
Virginia Tech 4ever:

I find responses to this website more interesting than the website itself. Here we have commenting on WSO, I would guess, mostly agnostic people--or at the very least non-spiritual or non-religious--if not outright atheist and yet we have these competing concepts about there being no morality and that he or she had better not cheat on me, and the repulsion at the idea of cheating on the significant other despite the emphasis of not moralizing.

I'm a Christian, although among my "Christian" or "church" friends I'm the most greedy, hateful, lascivious, hedonistic, and vulgar of them (in fact, I'd say most would consider me not a Christian--I guess that's poor commentary on my character). My morality is based on a loving God with the Bible as the absolute truth. My conscience, therefore, won't allow me to view infidelity in any other context other than it being wrong (that's not to say that I wouldn't cheat--see beginning of paragraph--just that I could never cheat without being morally conflicted). That said, if I were like most of the rest of you--agnostic, atheist, non-religious, etc.--I would screw everything that walks. I would have no moral compunctions at all about cheating on my significant other and, presumably, I'd be of little regard as a person if I were upset at the idea of her cheating on me. Therefore, I find the responses here interesting.

If the only reason you're not doing something is due to a fear of God I think you have to reanalyze your life. I'm a self professed atheist and even so I still care for the feelings of others. I wouldn't cheat.

I feel that once your ready to make that commitment, you shouldn't. There's no point in lying/destroying a relationship if you can just date or be in an open relationship.

For Christians, self-giving marital love mirrors the self-emptying, self-sacrificing love in the Trinity.

*********************************
"The American father is never seen in London. He passes his life entirely in Wall Street and communicates with his family once a month by means of a telegram in cipher." - Oscar Wilde

2/16/11

For Christians, self-giving marital love mirrors the self-emptying, self-sacrificing love in the Trinity.[/quote]

Couldn't have said it any better myself! The thing that separates the Christian view of marriage is that we view it as holy, and a lot of other people don't share that viewpoint. It goes back to my first post: people don't take it seriously enough.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

2/16/11
Virginia Tech 4ever:

I'm a Christian, although among my "Christian" or "church" friends I'm the most greedy, hateful, lascivious, hedonistic, and vulgar of them (in fact, I'd say most would consider me not a Christian--I guess that's poor commentary on my character). My morality is based on a loving God with the Bible as the absolute truth. My conscience, therefore, won't allow me to view infidelity in any other context other than it being wrong (that's not to say that I wouldn't cheat--see beginning of paragraph--just that I could never cheat without being morally conflicted). That said, if I were like most of the rest of you--agnostic, atheist, non-religious, etc.--I would screw everything that walks. I would have no moral compunctions at all about cheating on my significant other and, presumably, I'd be of little regard as a person if I were upset at the idea of her cheating on me. Therefore, I find the responses here interesting.

I'm glad you chimed in VT4, as I always love your opinions and insights. I do want to take issue with this one though. As an agnostic, I'd say you shouldn't be surprised that non-religious folks have morality (or is it ethics? I always forget the distinction). I understand that a lot of your moral views come from your religious background, and that's totally cool, I'm just saying that some of us get our moral values from other places. Take me for example, I think it is immoral to cheat on your girlfriend (if she doesn't know about it) because it's incredibly hurtful and dishonest. I just feel like cheating on someone (without them knowing/consenting) is a violation of them and the relationship. I don't know if this comes from my conscience or what, but I truly just feel that way on a personal level. I'm not trying to tell you guys that you should feel that way, just that it's my personal moral views and I expect any girl I date to feel the same way.

2/16/11

Site is probably full of a bunch of horny 20-year old guy with MILF fantasies. Any woman who wants to have an affair can just go to a bar after work and have her pick of dudes, they don't need to join some lame site.

2/16/11

Site is probably full of a bunch of horny 20-year old guy with MILF fantasies. Any woman who wants to have an affair can just go to a bar after work and have her pick of dudes, they don't need to join some lame site.

I'm no psychologist, but I would think that for some people cheating is a crime or opportunity (any cheater on here can weigh in). I think going to a bar (where you might run in to someone you know, might not find anyone suitable, etc.) planning on cheating takes a little more conviction than say, joining the site on a whim and deciding to go through after that. I'd be curious to see if people who use the site to cheat did so before joining the site. I'll bet some of the people had thought about it before, but never had the opportunity or the balls to go through with it.

Even if the site does get people to cheat who might not of otherwise been able to, I would say that most of those people weren't in great relationships anyways. Obviously cheating can destroy relationships, but I think of it as usually more of an symptom than a cause.

2/16/11

I really want to bang a married chick before I die...morals and all that aside.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

2/16/11

Eddie,

Is this an institutionalized problem now? Not quite. Is it getting there? Certainly. With the proliferation of the internet, you have created an easily accesable avenue to cheat. Cheaters will find a way to do it. Not everyone has to be puritanical, but they need to be comfortable with the consequences of their actions at the end of the day. Cheating is a matter of trust. You and your SO need to trust and care for each other for a relationship to work. It's not morals or a religious upbringing that dictate whether you cheat or not, but whether you trust and care for your partner. Cheating is, as someone said, another way of saying I dont trust or care for you anymore. Unless there is consent from both parties, once the damage is done, it's hard to repair a relationship.

Me, I'm against cheating and have no desire to cheat. I know I wouldn't be able to handle dealing the morality of it if I were the one to cheat, and being cheated on isn't a pleasure cruise either.

2/16/11

Like someone else said, if your current relationship is not up to par, you should have the balls to end it and look for another one.

Ashleymadison.com is not only catering to the lowest common denominator (people with low moral fortitude), it appeals to losers who are afraid of being single.Because, if you weren't afraid of being single, you'd end your current relationship with the confidence that you'll meet someone else quickly.

2/16/11

Some cheaters can just get away with it: have a great, loving wife, to be the mother of your kids. And then fuck other girls on the side. To a lot of people, that sounds very exciting.

2/16/11

Many women will tolerate their man having fun on the side, provided they feel the guy is the best they could possibly get.

Think about it. If you were with Angelina Jolie would you care if she had a little fun on the side?

Consultant to a Fortune 50 Company

2/16/11

Like with everything in life: perform a cost benefit analysis and decide from there:

For some: benefits of cheating > costs of cheating
For others: benefits of cheating < costs of cheating

Know the potential consequences of your actions, plan accordingly, and never underestimate your downside.

2/16/11
Kools:

Like with everything in life: perform a cost benefit analysis and decide from there:

For some: benefits of cheating > costs of cheating
For others: benefits of cheating < costs of cheating

Know the potential consequences of your actions, plan accordingly, and never underestimate your downside.

I assume you have measured Pascal's Wager then?

*********************************
"The American father is never seen in London. He passes his life entirely in Wall Street and communicates with his family once a month by means of a telegram in cipher." - Oscar Wilde

2/16/11
veritas14:

I assume you have measured Pascal's Wager then?

Veritas,
Wondering if you've seen this piece on Pascal's Wager from a couple days ago:
http://www.alternet.org/belief/149920/why_it's_not_a_'safe_bet'_to_believe_in_god/

Blaise Pascal was an interesting character. A mathematician and degenerate gambler, yet a professed holy man.

2/16/11

Edmundo Braverman:
veritas14:
I assume you have measured Pascal's Wager then?

Veritas,
Wondering if you've seen this piece on Pascal's Wager from a couple days ago:
http://www.alternet.org/belief/149920/why_it's_not_a_'safe_bet'_to_believe_in_god/

Blaise Pascal was an interesting character. A mathematician and degenerate gambler, yet a professed holy man.

This reminds me of the Church of Last Thursday

looking for that pick-me-up to power through an all-nighter?
2/16/11

Cheating for some risk junkie's is a rush...

Love taking risk's and are very successful? Sounds like an industry I have heard of before.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

2/16/11

TimRay, let me speak more broadly for actually practicing Christians rather than for a scumbag like myself: Christians would avoid cheating not out of fear of God but because their conscience tells them it's wrong. That conscience would have been developed by culture as well as long-lasting or eternal "truths" based on Biblical scripture.

Which brings me to econ's point that non-believers (in a higher power) can also have forms of morality (or ethics--yeah, I'm confused about that one, too). I completely agree with this. But I sat down to lunch with an agnostic (in fact, down right hostile to religion) co-worker today and asked her, "would you cheat?" Her response was that she absolutely would not cheat on her boyfriend, whom she loves. I asked her, "well why would you care or he care? What's the rationale?" She said something like, "Well, I don't know. It would just hurt his feelings a lot and mine, too, if he did it to me."

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that there is no "rational" reason I see against infidelity and that to me, if I believed in no absolute truth/morality from a higher power, I'd have trouble seeing infidelity as anything other than what's completely natural. Assuming my significant other was an agnostic/atheist as well, what would be the rationale for us to be upset about the other having sex with someone else other than rational fear of venerial disease?

2/16/11
Virginia Tech 4ever:

TimRay, let me speak more broadly for actually practicing Christians rather than for a scumbag like myself: Christians would avoid cheating not out of fear of God but because their conscience tells them it's wrong. That conscience would have been developed by culture as well as long-lasting or eternal "truths" based on Biblical scripture.

Which brings me to econ's point that non-believers (in a higher power) can also have forms of morality (or ethics--yeah, I'm confused about that one, too). I completely agree with this. But I sat down to lunch with an agnostic (in fact, down right hostile to religion) co-worker today and asked her, "would you cheat?" Her response was that she absolutely would not cheat on her boyfriend, whom she loves. I asked her, "well why would you care or he care? What's the rationale?" She said something like, "Well, I don't know. It would just hurt his feelings a lot and mine, too, if he did it to me."

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that there is no "rational" reason I see against infidelity and that to me, if I believed in no absolute truth/morality from a higher power, I'd have trouble seeing infidelity as anything other than what's completely natural. Assuming my significant other was an agnostic/atheist as well, what would be the rationale for us to be upset about the other having sex with someone else other than rational fear of venerial disease?

Well, I take your point. Let me ask you, would you hit your girlfriend?

Assuming, that the emotional pain of being cheated on is similar (due to cultural factors and such), then I think it is rational for people to avoid hurting other people by cheating. In addition you have other factors (i.e. social stigma, fear of losing a loved one, ostracization). The argument isn't a purely ethical or moral dillemma.

I'll pull back a bit on the whole absolutely "no cheating" though. If culturally, like the French, women were okay with it or if it were an open relationship than I'm fine with it. I'm opposed to the whole hurting a loved one scenario rather than the actual cheating.

2/16/11
TimRay:

I'm opposed to the whole hurting a loved one scenario rather than the actual cheating.

Agreed. If everyone's ok with something, then it's not cheating, it's called having a really freaking awesome gf/wife.

It seems that people object more to being cheated ON, as opposed to being the cheater.

Get busy living

2/16/11

VT4: Good questions. I don't have a great answer. The only thing I can think of is that people don't want someone cheating on them, so they wouldn't want to cheat on someone they cared about. The Golden Rule, I guess. The thought of my girlfriend being physical with anyone else while we're in a relationship is really disturbing to me. Likewise, I know it's disturbing to her. Since I wouldn't want to hurt her, ruin her trust, sabotage the relationship, feel guilty, etc., I feel it's morally wrong to cheat.

2/16/11

And I agree with you 1,000%. What I can't wrap my brain around, however, is WHY we agree? Why do a right-wing Nazi Christian and an agnostic agree on this point? My guess is that it comes down to what others, including Eddie, have pointed out--it must be cultural. I guess it's just how we're raised. Apparently in France it's not a big deal while in Iran you get stoned to death for it.

2/16/11
Virginia Tech 4ever:

And I agree with you 1,000%. What I can't wrap my brain around, however, is WHY we agree? Why do a right-wing Nazi Christian and an agnostic agree on this point? My guess is that it comes down to what others, including Eddie, have pointed out--it must be cultural. I guess it's just how we're raised. Apparently in France it's not a big deal while in Iran you get stoned to death for it.

I agree, it is strange that so many across any spectrum seem to agree on the principle of monogamy.

2/16/11
econ:

I agree, it is strange that so many across any spectrum seem to agree on the principle of monogamy.

As a moral principle, yeah, maybe. Now when it comes to actually being faithful... Most of my friends cheated. The more baller they were, the more likely they were to do it.

Cheating has always been prevalent. The universal is not aversion to cheating- it is cheating itself.

Read Buss' "The evolution of desire", great book with some very powerful insights on the question.

2/16/11
mxc:
econ:

I agree, it is strange that so many across any spectrum seem to agree on the principle of monogamy.

As a moral principle, yeah, maybe. Now when it comes to actually being faithful... Most of my friends cheated. The more baller they were, the more likely they were to do it.

Cheating has always been prevalent. The universal is not aversion to cheating- it is cheating itself.

Read Buss' "The evolution of desire", great book with some very powerful insights on the question.

A relationship requires certain agreement. Fidelity is usually a basic component. We do not accept fraud, theft, destruction of property, slander as ethical behavior. Infidelity is just as immoral.

*********************************
"The American father is never seen in London. He passes his life entirely in Wall Street and communicates with his family once a month by means of a telegram in cipher." - Oscar Wilde

2/16/11
veritas14:
mxc:
econ:

I agree, it is strange that so many across any spectrum seem to agree on the principle of monogamy.

As a moral principle, yeah, maybe. Now when it comes to actually being faithful... Most of my friends cheated. The more baller they were, the more likely they were to do it.

Cheating has always been prevalent. The universal is not aversion to cheating- it is cheating itself.

Read Buss' "The evolution of desire", great book with some very powerful insights on the question.

A relationship requires certain agreement. Fidelity is usually a basic component. We do not accept fraud, theft, destruction of property, slander as ethical behavior. Infidelity is just as immoral.

^ agree, but while I'm single it's a free for all.

leveredarb:

fwiw tough I believe married women are extremely attracted to guys hitting on them since that shows massive confidence as they are not afraid of the husband.

....because they are either stupid or just that good. It's strange how rarely women fail to consider this part....

Get busy living

2/16/11

"eventually" may mean a very long time, and many things can and will happen during that time.
Cheating is when your relationship sucks but you are stuck in it (read: kids, no prenup).

2/16/11
Edmundo Braverman:

What I'm wondering is whether or not there is a societal cost to institutionalized infidelity.

I'm of the opinion that a certain percentage of the population /- a few points across eras has always cheated - this is just part of the effort to make it publicly acknowledged. It may help manage the problem by putting it all in one place and openly dealing with it, much like decriminalized drug zones. However, I think promoting infidelity is a serious mistake, and it's a matter of time before this blows up in people's faces.

Since I'm single, I've considered using the site to score some easy belt notches, but then again, it's sloppy seconds and I just don't feel the need to be a homewrecker, so I'm on the fence about it. I would think that if one person isn't enough, marry someone open to the idea of swinging if things ever get dull in bed. As for flat out cheating, I don't and any chick that cheats on me is DONE, no questions asked. I'm going to share a bank account, living space, and family and communal resources with someone that can't be honest with their SPOUSE and reciprocate the self control I'm willing to show??? hell no, don't bother getting married because I will crucify someone who fucks me over

Get busy living

3/21/13

UFOinsider:
Edmundo Braverman:
What I'm wondering is whether or not there is a societal cost to institutionalized infidelity.

I'm of the opinion that a certain percentage of the population /- a few points across eras has always cheated - this is just part of the effort to make it publicly acknowledged. It may help manage the problem by putting it all in one place and openly dealing with it, much like decriminalized drug zones. However, I think promoting infidelity is a serious mistake, and it's a matter of time before this blows up in people's faces.

Since I'm single, I've considered using the site to score some easy belt notches, but then again, it's sloppy seconds and I just don't feel the need to be a homewrecker, so I'm on the fence about it. I would think that if one person isn't enough, marry someone open to the idea of swinging if things ever get dull in bed. As for flat out cheating, I don't and any chick that cheats on me is DONE, no questions asked. I'm going to share a bank account, living space, and family and communal resources with someone that can't be honest with their SPOUSE and reciprocate the self control I'm willing to show??? hell no, don't bother getting married because I will crucify someone who fucks me over

Indeed, cheating is a sign of other things to come. It's one thing to be honest and breakup before fucking around, but to keep it a secret is another. There has to be an innate need and want to be completely truthful with your partner, and I think those who are incapable of it are doomed.

2/16/11

using this site as a single man to sleep with married woman is a terrible idea. Not only morally, but I personally dont wannabe attacked with a massive axe/gun/whatever by an angry husband :X

fwiw tough I believe married women are extremely attracted to guys hitting on them since that shows massive confidence as they are not afraid of the husband.

2/16/11

In regards to Pascal's Wager, wouldn't God realize you're gaming the system and just discount your beliefs?

2/16/11
econ:

In regards to Pascal's Wager, wouldn't God realize you're gaming the system and just discount your beliefs?

HAHA. Very clever. +1

2/16/11

spare the rod...

2/16/11

How do you define cheating though? If it's just sex that's not exactly an affair IMO, and I'm more opposed to the lying and emotional cheating parts in these situations rather than the sex... If both parties can agree on something though and still commit emotionally, I don't see how that wouldn't work out in a relationship.

Marriage is overrated anyway... but then again I might think differently 10 years later haha

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

2/16/11
ah:

How do you define cheating though? If it's just sex that's not exactly an affair IMO, and I'm more opposed to the lying and emotional cheating parts in these situations rather than the sex... If both parties can agree on something though and still commit emotionally, I don't see how that wouldn't work out in a relationship.

Marriage is overrated anyway... but then again I might think differently 10 years later haha

emotional cheating is 1000x worse than physical cheating... You can easily fuck someone meaninglessly its a lot hard to fake talking to someone day in day out for months...

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

2/16/11
blackfinancier:

emotional cheating is 1000x worse than physical cheating... You can easily fuck someone meaninglessly its a lot hard to fake talking to someone day in day out for months...

that's what i just said...

I don't accept sacrifices and I don't make them. ... If ever the pleasure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud.

2/16/11
ah:
blackfinancier:

emotional cheating is 1000x worse than physical cheating... You can easily fuck someone meaninglessly its a lot hard to fake talking to someone day in day out for months...

that's what i just said...

i forgot to add i completely agree haha

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

2/22/11

Anybody read the Businessweek article last week? It was their cover story.
http://www.businessweek.com/print/magazine/content...

3/9/13

Personally I think the site is garbage. We should all strive for goodness, and if we fail(cheating on a spouse) then we should strive to not let it happen again. Maybe this is naive, but certain things I like to keep it simple and naive. A website that takes advantage of people's weakness that has material impact on their relationships with their significant other is just wrong IMO.
Yeah, we should be smart about the realities of marriage, but this kind of online service just makes me lose hope for humanity.

3/9/13

Go out and do whatever the fucking hell you want, but when you marry do it right. If it's not for you, then don't bother. I personally think that too many people marry too young in life and are therefore too biochemically volatile, and would be better off to wait until sometime in their 30's as opposed to beginning to procreate as soon as it's biologically viable: our current incarnation of civilization makes this a better idea. Marriage is about FAMILY and I think people need to prioritize that first: love, lust, and all those other things can be had while single.

OR

Find a partner that's OK with some level of openness in the relationship, while always putting that primary relationship first: personally, I've come to appreciate bi-chicks because I'm not threatened by another woman and if they have some side action then I can too. In theory, three ways sound fun but I know jealousy will present itself, so I actually don't push that envelope for fear of undermining the primary relationship. I'm Catholic, but I'm also realistic, and given that people tend to live so long I know that both I and any woman would want some variety over time. Just as eating exactly the same meal every day would be tiresome no matter how delicious, sex is not so completely different and is a stronger biological urge, so this way it's possible to maintain a permanent relationship and family while not feel trapped, bored, or otherwise guilty for wanting to be fully expressed. Self control is one thing, a pattern of lifeless obedience is another. Plenty of people also swing, it's the same release minus the lies and guilt, but I don't know that I would be comfortable with that. My personal default is actually monogomous, but I'm not naive and pay attention to the words and actions of those who have come before me...

SO

Honestly, if people want to sleep with other people and there doesn't have to be relationship damage, then I say acknowledge it and turn it into something constructive: this is something that is possible in our era of history whereas other eras were about repression and denial (like no one cheated in history, paleeze, there were popes with mistresses). Sex isn't the issue for me, as much as I do see it as a pretty personal thing. CHEATING implies broken trust, and that's a bigger problem. Would I prefer to think that my wife reserves all of her passion for me? Well of course, who wouldn't. But if there's some wild nights with other people that I know about I'd be much less disturbed by that than to find out that I'd been lied to: it's a trust issue. So from my perspective, encouraging dishonesty like Ashley Madison does is pretty foul so I can't say I'm a fan.

Get busy living

3/11/13

UFOinsider:
Go out and do whatever the fucking hell you want, but when you marry do it right. If it's not for you, then don't bother. I personally think that too many people marry too young in life and are therefore too biochemically volatile, and would be better off to wait until sometime in their 30's as opposed to beginning to procreate as soon as it's biologically viable: our current incarnation of civilization makes this a better idea. Marriage is about FAMILY and I think people need to prioritize that first: love, lust, and all those other things can be had while single.

OR

Find a partner that's OK with some level of openness in the relationship, while always putting that primary relationship first: personally, I've come to appreciate bi-chicks because I'm not threatened by another woman and if they have some side action then I can too. In theory, three ways sound fun but I know jealousy will present itself, so I actually don't push that envelope for fear of undermining the primary relationship. I'm Catholic, but I'm also realistic, and given that people tend to live so long I know that both I and any woman would want some variety over time. Just as eating exactly the same meal every day would be tiresome no matter how delicious, sex is not so completely different and is a stronger biological urge, so this way it's possible to maintain a permanent relationship and family while not feel trapped, bored, or otherwise guilty for wanting to be fully expressed. Self control is one thing, a pattern of lifeless obedience is another. Plenty of people also swing, it's the same release minus the lies and guilt, but I don't know that I would be comfortable with that. My personal default is actually monogomous, but I'm not naive and pay attention to the words and actions of those who have come before me...

SO

Honestly, if people want to sleep with other people and there doesn't have to be relationship damage, then I say acknowledge it and turn it into something constructive: this is something that is possible in our era of history whereas other eras were about repression and denial (like no one cheated in history, paleeze, there were popes with mistresses). Sex isn't the issue for me, as much as I do see it as a pretty personal thing. CHEATING implies broken trust, and that's a bigger problem. Would I prefer to think that my wife reserves all of her passion for me? Well of course, who wouldn't. But if there's some wild nights with other people that I know about I'd be much less disturbed by that than to find out that I'd been lied to: it's a trust issue. So from my perspective, encouraging dishonesty like Ashley Madison does is pretty foul so I can't say I'm a fan.

Question- In what way are you a Catholic? Maybe its somewhere in the Apocrypha that the virtues of bisexuality and promiscuity are extolled, but I would be surprised to read about it. Everything you seemingly support is a complete mockery of Catholicism and its teaching. For their sake, don't associate their name with your ideas (I'm not a Catholic). I mean- you don't have to present yourself as a Catholic. You can just present yourself as some guy who has some opinions- rather than as an ambassador whose words are tangentially related to what a real Catholic would plausibly believe. Maybe that sounded harsh (not intended), but the self-labeling when you're about espouse something antithetical to the label (i.e. your second paragraph), is bothersome.

Bene qui latuit, bene vixit- Ovid

3/11/13

rls:
Question- In what way are you a Catholic? Maybe its somewhere in the Apocrypha that the virtues of bisexuality and promiscuity are extolled, but I would be surprised to read about it. Everything you seemingly support is a complete mockery of Catholicism and its teaching. For their sake, don't associate their name with your ideas (I'm not a Catholic). I mean- you don't have to present yourself as a Catholic. You can just present yourself as some guy who has some opinions- rather than as an ambassador whose words are tangentially related to what a real Catholic would plausibly believe. Maybe that sounded harsh (not intended), but the self-labeling when you're about espouse something antithetical to the label (i.e. your second paragraph), is bothersome.

LOL I'll interpret my holy book however I want, and I don't propose to be any type of ambassador, I'm just stating my thinking, that's all. Difference between me and some Catholics is that I actually like the tradition I was raised in but take serious issue with some very stupid decisions imposed upon us by a few grumpy old farts in the Curia who think they alone know the will of God: they're exactly the type that Christ took issue with. I am by no means the only practicing Catholic who challenges the authority of man.

The original definition of "catholic" means "all encompassing" as in: there's room here for everyone, literally, we'll work every belief into our system. Somewhere a few centuries ago, a bunch of dudes in Europe and then again in Vatican II, a few people decided to interpret sacred scripture according to their personal preferences. Not all Catholics agree with each point, any more than every America currently agrees with the Supreme Court's current interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. In a body of a BILLION people, there's going to be a multitude of disagreeing voices: current Church dogma is regressive and needs to be addressed before our religion becomes completely irrelevant, and I have no problem saying so openly. I've lost several friends who are priests, and gained the respect of others who agree. I don't care though, this is what I think. The Church caused its own schism by by pigheaded with the Lutherans, they cannot afford another civil war: my type will win this time around, it's just a matter of waiting it out.

I'm part of the faction in the Church that pushed for female alter servers, wants women priests, wants priests to be allowed to get married, supports birth control, questions papal infallability, and wants full disclosure and prosecution of pedophile priests etc etc etc basically common sense things that they fight for reasons they don't understand about themselves. I'm part of the 70% of the Catholic Church that WANTS REFORM and argues the system from within, as loyal members who want to make the organization better by challenging outmoded beliefs. If they throw me out, then I'll join the Episcopalian Church or the Lutherans, but until then I'll stay and speak my mind and to hell with anyone who thinks I'm going to shut up.

On a few key points, I'm very orthodox, but on a lot of scriptural interpretation I'm very progressive given that I don't agree with the worldview of 70 year old, chauvanist, senile, German and Italian theologians. If some crotchety moron in Rome can really tell Africans that condoms don't slow the spread of AIDS in the face of a continental health disaster, are ok with that, but don't want my wife spending time with the girl next door...I'd say their priorities are out of order. The church is in serious denial of HUMANITY and I'd be perfectly fine shoving reality in their face and down their throat until I see it change.

You don't like it, sue me.

Get busy living

3/21/13

UFOinsider:
Go out and do whatever the fucking hell you want, but when you marry do it right. If it's not for you, then don't bother. I personally think that too many people marry too young in life and are therefore too biochemically volatile, and would be better off to wait until sometime in their 30's as opposed to beginning to procreate as soon as it's biologically viable: our current incarnation of civilization makes this a better idea. Marriage is about FAMILY and I think people need to prioritize that first: love, lust, and all those other things can be had while single.

OR

Find a partner that's OK with some level of openness in the relationship, while always putting that primary relationship first: personally, I've come to appreciate bi-chicks because I'm not threatened by another woman and if they have some side action then I can too. In theory, three ways sound fun but I know jealousy will present itself, so I actually don't push that envelope for fear of undermining the primary relationship. I'm Catholic, but I'm also realistic, and given that people tend to live so long I know that both I and any woman would want some variety over time. Just as eating exactly the same meal every day would be tiresome no matter how delicious, sex is not so completely different and is a stronger biological urge, so this way it's possible to maintain a permanent relationship and family while not feel trapped, bored, or otherwise guilty for wanting to be fully expressed. Self control is one thing, a pattern of lifeless obedience is another. Plenty of people also swing, it's the same release minus the lies and guilt, but I don't know that I would be comfortable with that. My personal default is actually monogomous, but I'm not naive and pay attention to the words and actions of those who have come before me...

SO

Honestly, if people want to sleep with other people and there doesn't have to be relationship damage, then I say acknowledge it and turn it into something constructive: this is something that is possible in our era of history whereas other eras were about repression and denial (like no one cheated in history, paleeze, there were popes with mistresses). Sex isn't the issue for me, as much as I do see it as a pretty personal thing. CHEATING implies broken trust, and that's a bigger problem. Would I prefer to think that my wife reserves all of her passion for me? Well of course, who wouldn't. But if there's some wild nights with other people that I know about I'd be much less disturbed by that than to find out that I'd been lied to: it's a trust issue. So from my perspective, encouraging dishonesty like Ashley Madison does is pretty foul so I can't say I'm a fan.

perfectly said

3/9/13

Whoever wrote that Cheatmas poem just created a market for holiday-themed erotic novels and I'm ready to put down the capital to get it started

3/9/13

Relationships are for the birds.

3/10/13

honestly some of the comments are great - very intersting. having said that its been three hours and i havent heard from my GF...

3/10/13
3/11/13
3/11/13

Get busy living

3/11/13

Bene qui latuit, bene vixit- Ovid

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