“Cheating dirtbag.”
“Scumbag piece of lying shit.”
“Man whore.”
“Suck it up. Karma is a bitch.”
“Loser deserving of exposure and ridicule.”
Those are just a few of the insults that the 37 million registered users of Ashley Madison have endured since an anonymous hacker group threatened to expose personal and financial information about those who agreed with their motto: “Life is short. Have an affair.” 
Since making good on their threat, the hackers have exposed several high profile men who are now under a deluge of public scorn: a Duggar, politicians, doctors, lawyers, judges and other professionals.
Husbands, neighbours, fathers, friends, lovers, everyone seemed to know at least one man on the list. But what about the women of Ashley Madison? Were they all fake accounts, set up to lure men to sign up and pay for the site for a guaranteed affair as the hackers contested? Or were there real women also seeking extramarital activities and no-strings-attached fun? 
As a former registered, paying, female Ashley Madison user, I can assure you that it was not just men who wanted to escape the binds of matrimonial prison. I remember the first time that I encountered Ashley Madison a few years ago. It was summertime. I was sitting in my home office, reading Vanity Fair online, when I came across a story by Melanie Berliet about a site that was created to discreetly connect dissatisfied, horny married people with each other. As a writer, I was intrigued by the idea that such a site existed and began constructing a short story about a couple that met on this site, fell in love, and then suffered the consequences of their affair. I thought that death via flaming car off of a cliff in Malibu would be a fitting end for two such depraved souls. 

Little did I know that I would soon become one of those depraved souls myself. And I would ruin my marriage in the process.

I had recently celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary with my wonderful husband. We had two beautiful children, two demanding jobs, two mortgages – one on the family home, one on the vacation home – and sexual relations once every two months. On paper he was perfect, but I have to admit that I was neglected emotionally, sexually, and romantically. I craved something more and after a few solo glasses of red one night, I thought that a virtual affair on Ashley Madison might give me some excitement and one-handed release. 

After setting up a basic account, I wrote a cheeky, pun-fllled, sexy description of myself and my situation. No photos were visible, but I implied that that for the right man, they would be available upon request. I immediately received hundreds of messages from men around the world (this was back when Ashley Madison only had 4 million users and not 37 million) wanting to learn more about me, my interests, my hopes, my desires, and my fantasies. For someone who hadn’t been asked about my desires in quite some time, this wanton male attention was intoxicating. I breathed in their desire and responded to a few of the men who captured my imagination through their wit, their vocabulary, and their penis size. 

The first man I engaged with on Ashley Madison seemed like a perfect match for me: a small town English teacher in a long-term, sexless marriage with his high school sweetheart. Two small children that he loved more than anything. No desire to leave his frigid yet perfect wife. We began emailing each other, sending links to our favorite poets, songs and authors. He wooed me with Whitman, adored me with Adele, and fucked me (virtually) with Faulkner. We would text one another late at night after our respective spouses went to sleep, taunting each other with promises and poetry and engaging in epic sexting sessions. After weeks of online flirtation, we agreed to meet for drinks one night. I was pressed for time so I asked if he could meet for a quick beer before I met my husband downtown for a concert. He said that he would move heaven and earth to meet me.

I arrived for our date with sweaty hands and perfect hair. Once we recognized one another I was confused: did we shake hands or immediately start humping one another’s legs? I went in for a side hug and cheek kiss but also acknowledged his hard-on against my thigh.  I knew within minutes of sipping our first drink that he was not the man I’d hoped he would be: he was slight with a rodent-like face and his online bravado had masked a facial tic and skinny calves. Yet his interest in me was overwhelming. He looked at me in a way that I hadn’t been looked at in years: his hunger was palpable and I let my guard down. He walked me to the dock and I gave him access to my thong and bra-less breasts. Twenty minutes later, I arrived downtown to meet my husband for a pre-show nosh. I glowed from my recent orgasm and worried that I smelled of extramarital sex. My husband didn’t notice anything: not the extra effort I’d taken to make my eyes pop, my new dress, or the glow I wore like a a scarlet letter.

Later that night I initiated intense, deeply satisfying love making with my husband. We both went to sleep with huge smiles on our faces and I thought ‘Huh. Maybe that’s all I needed. Just a little excitement, attention from another man and a touch of danger. Now I can go back to my happy marriage.’

Except that I couldn’t and I didn’t. And that’s where my burning car crash story begins.

Come back tomorrow to find out what happens next in Part Two.


An amazing collection of bright women who somehow manage to work, play, parent and survive and write blog posts all at the same time. We are the BLUNTmoms, always honest, always direct and surprising hilarious.

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