Never thought I’d see the day where a company’s tagline would be: “Life is short. Have an affair.” Well, the day has come. There is actually a website that caterers to wannabe adulterers. Really? Really. Don’t take our word for it. Check out an interview with the website’s founder, Noel Biderman. Huffington Post’s Jill Brooke goes behind the scenes with the controversial website, AshleyMadison.com’s, CEO.
Excerpted From Huffington Post
Do affairs lead to divorce? Noel Biderman, the CEO of AshleyMadison.com, the web’s premier site for wannabe adulterers, doesn’t think so. With 8.5 million users and paying customers in over 10 countries including the U.S., Canada, Australia, England, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, New Zealand and Sweden, Biderman (a former sports agent turned Internet mogul), believes that if people were more flexible in allowing sexual encounters outside of marriage, there would be fewer divorces. “I didn’t invent infidelity,” says BIderman. “Or the desire for it.”
What he did invent–after learning that between 10 to 30 percent of people on traditional dating sites were married–is a company that is creating both controversy and cash, with $60 million in profits expected this year. Is he an agent of change, an agent provocateur, or both?
JB: Do you see why some are troubled that you are making money from infidelity? It appears as though you are encouraging it.
NB: Do you blame the divorce attorney for the divorce? By not having honest conversations about sex in relationships, you get divorces and then a large self-help business where they need to find a villain to sell their services and convince someone at $150 an hour how bad it is that someone cheated. AshleyMadison lets people have affairs without interrupting lives.
JB: You don’t know that. Haven’t some people hooked up and left their spouses?
NB: Yes, there was an example cited in a book where the couple met and then left their spouses. But then there are the other examples. I was on a radio show the other day and the wife said he could come to our site because with the kids and her work she was tired and only wanted sex once a week. We offered a solution. There are also cases where people are with spouses who are sick with cancer or other problems and cant’ have sex. Also with us, it’s not an office affair, which has more risk because your spouse or boss could find out about it.
JB: Do you think Americans are too provincial about how they handle monogamy in marriages?
NB: People who want to have an affair are made out to be sociopaths with character flaws. If you cheated, you must be bad, and therefore can’t run a country, state or corporation. Why is that the litmus test? There’s this marital industrial complex that someone who strays is considered evil and wrong and it’s all their fault. That’s ridiculous. Look at Eliot Spitzer. He’s no longer Governor of New York. He was a great Governor and now is on CNN. His wife forgave him. Why can’t everyone else?
JB: I think the issue there was also hypocrisy. He fought against prostitution, and considering his actions should have perhaps lobbied for it. What do you think of prostitution? You now have Harry Reid wanting to close brothels.
NB: You can’t suppress human sexuality. It’s once again this appalling cultural legacy of people judging someone’s sexual desires and the time has come for people to get their heads out of the sand. There’s a reason movies like Hall Pass or the marketing campaign of Las Vegas where “What Happens In Las Vegas Stays in Las Vegas” with bachelor parties and weekends away are popular. It’s out there in the culture that people want this and I would argue it’s been good for Las Vegas. Prohibition never works. I was a sports agent and saw how the wives of athletes had this 50 mile rule. As long as it’s not at home, they didn’t ask questions. When the guys came home off-season they were with their wives and families and no questions asked.
JB: Has anyone ever cheated on you? Have you ever felt that sense of betrayal?
NB: No, I haven’t.
JB: You are happily married with two children. Do you plan on having an affair?
NB: I’ve been married for eight years. But I would try that first before getting a divorce. Marriage is a marathon and has a great value. When I’m 80, I hope to be sitting with my spouse with my grandchildren and proud to have lived a life together. Great societies are built on tolerance. Ultimately, I’m hoping to let others see different perspectives.
So BLAM Family, weigh in. Is this just the craziest thing you have ever heard of or do you there’s value to this site and what it’s CEO is trying to provide?
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