Browsing through the website’s members’ pages, I see about 18,760 men in London aged 40-49 signed up to the site, compared with 4,730 women in the same age range. Some advertise themselves as religious; most are older men who know they are out of my preferred age range, but “just want to say hi anyway”.
It’s no wonder I’m being hounded as one of just 30 women under 30 years old with an active account – the ones messaging me know it too, trying to attract my attention with openers such as “pick me! Of course there are explicit messages but most are polite, friendly – verging on begging letters.
Why even get married if you're just going to be cruising around the dark online world of married dating sites?
Some commentators have rejoiced in what they see as a deserved comeuppance for those who have been indulging in digital infidelity, while others argue the users are victims of a grave breach of privacy.While it has been assumed that the scandal would sound the site’s death knell, it has also generated a vast amount of free publicity – and led even those of us who would never dream of cheating, less still giving away our personal details to a website to do so, wondering what it would be like to enter an online den of marital cheaters.One is old enough to be my mother and has a username that, without giving too much away, is an instruction to engage part of my mouth with a baked good she has in her possession.Another user says she’s looking for: “A passionate one-night stand like there is no tomorrow”.While we can't blame the online dating sites for creating this dilemma, these couples are aware of the choices they're making and the consequences that come with these decisions.
The fact that there's actually a market for married people in online dating baffles us a little.Rachael Pells Ashley Madison isn’t the only option for online cheaters.Within seconds of joining the 1.01 million “genuine” users of for “investigation”, I have nine new messages from potential suitors and 25 profile views.As a new user, my profile is given prime place in the gallery of fresh young meat for the taking. A few are from the same persistent man, who tells me he “just wants to talk to me” because “it’s refreshing to see a genuine person on here and not some troller”.He sounds lonely – his family is away in the countryside and he works in London Monday to Friday, longing for someone to “share a glass with”.” An unnerving number advertise themselves as “clean” and phrases such as “weekends are a no-go” are casually dropped in as a cold reminder of unknowing families who sit waiting for daddy to come home on Friday night.