The Ashley Madison data leak was notable for many reasons—its scale being one, its male-skewing demographic another. The site, some are saying, is both for men and full of men (and spammers), and it made me wonder just how easy it was for the average guy to get some Ashley Madison tail. After a little digging, I found an unhappily married dude who tried to find some side action on the website, only to give up and go back to winging it in the real world.

So why’d you go to Ashley Madison?

‪I had an unexpected affair three years ago. In the aftermath of that experience, I explored some issues with my therapist and did some research online, and realized that my marital sex life had made me unhappy for a long time and that it really went beyond a fixable thing. Part of it was unequal sexual chemistry between us, part of it unequal libido. Part of it is [me] not really having believed in the concept of monogamy entirely. And part of it just I think what any long term couple goes through, the need for something new that incites passion that the familiar can’t.

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So eventually I came to the conclusion that I needed a side thing to be happy and signed up on Ashley Madison. I considered divorce but there really wasn’t massive personal discord. I mean, we don’t connect anymore, not in the same way, but we don’t hate each other. And ultimately the role we play together as parents feels more important than my splitting us up so that I can seek out potential pussy options.

Can you describe what your ideal side thing would’ve been like, logistics-wise?

Someone married in a similar situation. Wanting sex and a relationship but not looking to find a new “one” because she was happy with her situation otherwise. Logistics-wise I would prefer someone closer to me but maybe not necessarily in my social circle, and also available during the day.

And how easy was it to find that?

Well, there are a lot of women on AM who do fit that scenario. They’re bored or miss the zing of touching someone new but aren’t looking to wreck their marriage. And some were available during the day and some weren’t. But there’s also some women on the site who are looking to be swept off their feet, and a surprising amount of single young women looking to be essentially a paid girlfriend on the side—looking for a sugar daddy, as it were.

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So tell me about the women who wanted to be swept off their feet. Doesn’t that go against the whole idea of what the site is for?

Yeah, exactly. There would be profiles where they would say they wanted to be “pampered” or treated like a “princess,” basically wanting to be wooed and pursued. They want to date. Which I get and, you know, might be willing to facilitate to a small extent, in terms of making some effort to charm or buying a drink or two.

But I didn’t come to an adultery website because I want to go through the rigmarole of dating. I understand why they want that; it’s part of what they’re missing in life. But when you’re trying to hook up with a married man, that guy already has enough on his plate without having to jump through the hoops of dating.

Some of the stories suggest the site is like 95 percent dudes, but you’re saying there were definitely women who were DTF and you interacted with them.

‪Depends on what you mean by DTF. There were a small percentage who were definitely made no bones about wanting some straight-up sex. But most want flirting or chemistry and the attention that comes with that. I didn’t have a problem with that; it was just the ones that were wanting to do the two-step of dating that I didn’t have time (or money) to deal with.

Another problem, though, is that some of the women looking for attention would get their fill of that and then just disappear from the site. I’ve read that this is common not just on AM but on regular dating sites as well. That married women who want to flirt and feel someone desire them will go on sites and soak up that attention, but then bail when it’s time to go to the next step. They’ll just delete their profile and then disappear. I had that happen a couple times.

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But sometimes it went further? Did you ever meet up, go out to dinner or drinks?

‪I never met anyone. There was one woman I had decent exchanges with but she didn’t have a clear picture of her on her profile and then, once she shared her pic, I just wasn’t attracted to her at all. That was unfortunate. I felt bad about that.

The only other woman I came close with was a nurse who had only ever had sex with her husband. And she was weird because she was fairly forward in the beginning and we started talking on email off AM, but then, after being lustful and dirty for awhile, she turned schoolmarm on me—scolded me for being too, I don’t know, dirty. She 180’d on me.

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But no, I never went out and met anyone. It’s entirely possible that if I had made a full court press with as many women as possible that I might have made something happen. In the end, I think [Ashley Madison] is no different than being single and dating. You want to click with someone and find some genuine chemistry and desire of some kind which is always hard. I might not be a player enough for the adultery game.

You mentioned at one point you’d had an interaction with a woman who wanted like, extreme degradation.

‪Oh, right. I liked her too. She was funny. In general there’s definitely a persistent theme of women on AM who want, not even necessarily BDSM, but for a guy to dominate them, to take charge and kind of use them. It’s like, the equanimity of modern marriage makes them long for someone to be a “man” to their “girl.”

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But there is also a small amount on there looking for master/slave situations of some kind. That girl you’re talking about was hardcore. She wanted like a ball hook in her ass while someone basically raped her. I tried to play along because she was funny and was charmingly frank and self-deprecating about her perversions. I like said something about spitting on her face while she was blowing me or something and she wrote back, “Haha. You’re adorable.” She could just tell I was trying too hard and my heart (or cock) wasn’t in it. I remember I asked her though if she couldn’t get her husband to do this kind of stuff and she said no, it wasn’t his kind of thing and a part of herself she’d only discovered later on after they got married.

I feel like that is the untold story of this data leak—how many people just aren’t getting a sexual connection they want. And rather than talk about how people could solve this problem, everyone is just moralizing.

Oh totally. I mean, how many users did they say there were, like 30 million? And those are just the ones with the balls or money to go on the site. It was clear to me that, more than anything, most of the women on there missed the spark and excitement of someone new because their husbands were too much like coworkers in life. Or as you say, they just aren’t getting some kind of kink met that they’ve discovered later in life. Given the number of people who have used the site, somebody should be looking at the reason behind those numbers.

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Are you a premium user on the site, like with a paid account? How long would you say you made a concerted effort to link up with someone? And are you sweating this leak at all?

‪Am I a premium user? Honestly, I can’t remember. I paid for credits, which you have to use to initiate contact with people, so maybe I was.

For the most part, if someone looked interesting to me, I would send them my pic and see if they responded with their own pic. Might as well start with the shallow do-we-find-each-other-hot. If there was something on their profile that I could use as a conversational entry point, I would send them a message to try and connect. But honestly a lot of these profiles are very bland, or say the same thing that basically every other profile says, which is a problem: a lot of the ladies want you to dazzle them with wit and charm, probably partially because they got bored with their husband’s jokes a long time ago, but it’s hard to do though with an online profile that doesn’t tell you much that’s significant or conveys a personality.

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That’s all I would do. If I got a response I would follow up and try to flirt or get to know them. But there’s no point in trying to pester someone into paying attention to you on that site.

I’m not worried about the leak. I signed up with an email that use for receiving potential spam that my wife doesn’t know, and I paid with Paypal, not a credit card, so I don’t think my name would pop up. I actually found a site that searches the database for emails and none of my emails showed up on it. I deleted my account about a month ago out of boredom with it, not because of the leak.

So what happens now? Back to the elementary school moms? What’s a married guy gotta do to get laid anyway?

Haha. We’re starting second grade this year, baby!

I don’t really know. I think we’re past the elementary school moms. Like I said before, my affair three years ago was totally unplanned and unexpected. And isn’t that way any love, sex, relationship always happens? Seeking it out on AM started to feel like a job in itself. Might as well just wait for magic to fall in my lap again someday.

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And what would you say to the inevitable haters who will read this and give you zero sympathy for not getting the sex or connection you want if you have to sneak around to do it?

I wouldn’t say anything because I’m not really concerned with anyone else’s judgments about the life they’re not living. I know everyone would like to believe that marriage and family can be perfect if you just work at it, but I think most adults when they get to a certain age find that it’s never that simple. I don’t expect anyone to give me sympathy for trying to improve my sex life (something that matters to me quite a bit) in a way they don’t approve. But it’s also none of their business, and nobody has the right to judge all the people exposed by this leak. They have no idea what those people’s situations are. They might be surprised to find themselves in the same situation some day.

Image via Warner Bros

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