News flash: More and more women are jumping outside their marriages in search of no-strings-attached sex. An Internet connection and an account on a site like Ashley
We sent writer and monogamist Teddy Wayne to meet the growing flock of lady Don Drapers *And not by their husbands My eyes are blurry from too many post-midnight hours in front of my laptop, trolling through scores of Internet-dating profiles of women.
What, exactly, is compelling these married women to set up "sexy dates" in droves, aside from easy Internet access?
For years, our collective narrative of the errant housewife has run thusly: Neglected by her aloof or abusive husband and dying a slow death from her suburban prison, she falls into the arms of a dashing, romantic gentleman.
She’s around 40, wearing casual, loose-fitting clothes and a pleasant smile. It is, though—if her identity were somehow unmasked, it could torpedo her high-powered career: She’s worked for one of the most prominent political figures in the country and nearly ended up in Obama’s administration.
In short, she doesn’t fit the portrait of the promiscuous, inconstant woman cast as the adulteress in Hollywood dramas. Over cold Cusqueña beers on a hot July afternoon, Megan drops the professional mien.
"Your glasses are so clouded, I need to clean them," she explains, wiping them on her shirt. I can smell fear; I want them to smell like they deserve me.Her friends (granted, a self-selecting cohort) are just as randy as she is, though not all seek out external solutions—to their detriment, she believes."They’re all unhappy with the amount of sex they’re getting—the ones who are still married," she says. The ones who’ve started playing around are much happier."But what about the guilt? My marriage would be in shambles if I wasn’t playing outside the marriage." Such playing is not without its risks; she’s fallen for men before, she admits, and says heartbreak is part of the game.Revenues in 2012 were 0 million—more than decent, but still far behind the titans of online dating like and e Harmony.While the overall membership skews 70 percent male, Biderman claims gender parity among people in their thirties (which translates to lots of lecherous 65-year-old men hitting on 30-year-old women).In myths, novels, and films, from Helen of Troy to Hester Prynne in to Diane Lane in 2002’s_ Unfaithful, _the affair of the rare philandering female is the centerpiece of the story, and its punishments are draconian (the Trojan War, ostracism and branding with an A, being cast in In the real world, with greater professional equality between the genders and third-wave-feminist sexual liberation, are women cheating for the same reason that men have throughout history, as Megan’s profile suggests—that is, to sate their sex drives and gratify their egos? "Megan has picked Coppelia, a Latin American diner at the border of Chelsea and the West Village in Manhattan, and she’s waiting in a booth when I arrive.In the spirit of this gender reversal, I invite you to picture me as Carrie Bradshaw, sprawled out on her bed with her Power Book G3, as she voice-overs, "I couldn’t help but wonder: Are unfaithful women the new adulterous men? She recognizes me from my profile photo, and I slide in across from her."The more financial independence women have, the more it correlates to how unfaithful they’ll be." When Biderman launched the site in 2001, he predicted "that the Internet would be the second massive jump and usher in an era where women would behave like men.Ten years later, having built a female brand, I think I was right."Ashley Madison now says it has approximately 6 million active members in thirty countries (about 4 million in the United States).I’ve met guys who are theoretically attractive, but they don’t smell right.""I haven’t really put my nose into your neck, which is where the smell holds," she says, and stands to the side of the table.I join her, expecting her to crane just her nostrils into me, but she embraces me in a hug, pulls me tightly into her expansive bosom, and burrows her face into the crook of my neck for a deep whiff."The women’s movement into the workplace was the first massive jump into unfaithfulness," says Noel Biderman, CEO of Ashley Madison.