Breaking news: People are still cheating, even in quarantine. Cheaters are gonna cheat. Duh. But the ability to start and have an affair while cooped up inside with your significant other 24/7 for months on end sounds like an art form not many can pull off. And honestly?? I don’t know if I’m more impressed or appalled. Ashley Madison, the leading married dating site that literally says “Life is short, get an affair” on their homepage, recently released its COVID-19 edition of Top 20 Cheating Cities Per Capita list, which compiles the US cities with the most accounts created since the beginning of March on a per person basis, and the results are… interesting. And weird.
Let’s kick things off with perhaps the wildest data of the bunch. If you’re wondering how many people are actually cheating during quarantine right now, buckle up because the answer is A LOT. The company saw a giant spike in the number of sign-ups between March 1 and April 25. How giant? Like, we’re talking more than 17,000 sign ups PER DAY. 17,000+. How TF is that even possible??? SO many people every. single. day. are successfully finding a way to sign up for a cheating site even though they’re constantly within 500 square feet of their partner. Imagine giving zero f*cks and having that level of audacity? Lmao. Unreal.
Anyway, without further ado, it’s time to
make fun of analyze this data with the help of Ashley Madison’s very own chief strategy officer, Paul Keable. So who TF made this VIP list?
- Miami, FL
- Orlando, FL
- Washington D.C.
- Cincinnati, OH
- Anchorage, AK
- Atlanta, GA
- St. Louis, MO
- Las Vegas, NV
- Tampa, FL
- Richmond, VA
- Minneapolis, MN
- Sacramento, CA
- St. Paul, MN
- Spokane, WA
- Buffalo, NY
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Denver, CO
- Baton Rouge, LA
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Cleveland, OH
Oooookay, this is a lot to take in. For starters, 15% of it is dominated by Florida, with Miami claiming the #1 spot, Orlando ranking #2, and Tampa #9. Classic Florida!
“With Florida, we found it interesting that they had such a dominant presence on the list considering they were antagonized by the media for not taking the lockdown seriously enough, and they’ve gone through with plans to reopen fairly early in comparison to some other areas,” says Keable. LOL. For real. Leave it to the Sunshine State, full of old people and bath salt-consuming cannibals, to ignore health and safety precautions and come in hot with three of the top 10 cheating cities on the list. Congrats! I should call my grandpa who lives down there to share the good news.
Next up, we have Washington, DC clocking in at #3, followed by unexpected Cincinnati, Ohio, Anchorage, Alaska, Atlanta, Georgia, and St. Louis, Missouri. Ugh, with the exception of Atlanta, the Sugar Daddy capital of the US, I’m so confused. Scroll a little bit further down the list and we have Buffalo, NY ranked as city #15. This one is worth mentioning because it hits near and dear to my heart as that’s where my ex, who kissed a dude right in front of me once (yep, long story for another day), is from. I guess it’s true that that city really is home to a bunch of cheating idiots. But I digress. I’m frankly both shocked and impressed that New York, NY did not make this list, but I guess when you share a shoebox with someone, there really is no room to cheat.
TBH, I feel like there’s no rhyme or reason to the places on this list. At all. Like, they’re all located somewhere in Bumblef*ck scattered across the country. I don’t get why, so I asked Keable for an explanation. “We ranked the top US cities list based on signups to our site from March 1 to April 25 on a per capita basis, which explains why you’re seeing smaller cities like Buffalo and Anchorage over bigger metropolitans. Had we based the list strictly on signups, cities like New York and Los Angeles would’ve been at the top.” So don’t get too cocky, New Yorkers—you’re no models of fidelity either.
For our next trick, here’s a sweet hypothesis that I think is designed to help bring us all together? “There’s quite a variety of cities on the list from across the country, and that just goes to show how ubiquitous cheating really is,” says Keable. “Infidelity can’t be pinpointed to one type of person, place, culture, etc.” Yeah, I feel like this data didn’t teach me anything except all of this boils down to the fact that cheating doesn’t discriminate against anyone. To prove that fact, the report shows that each of the top cities on this list voted Democrat in the 2016 Election, although the majority of Ashley Madison’s user base identifies as Republican. Aha! Finally. One thing the Right and the Left have in common. No matter your political affiliation, you, too, can cheat on your spouse during a pandemic! SMH. Hide your kids, hide your wives, friends.
But as a college Psych minor and ~hopeless romantic~ who believes that everyone has feelings deep down in their cold little hearts, I wanted to learn more about these cheaters’ intentions. What’s causing almost 20,000 people a day to resort to extramarital affairs during this temporary quarantine period? Does being around their partners this often right now truly suck so much that they need to sneak around behind—uhh, actually, wait, right in front of—their backs? Or is something more serious going on? I need answers. WE need answers.
According to Keable, the site sees a lot of new signups following long periods of family time and heightened stress, like during the December holiday season. “This is a more intense version of this scenario, in that people are completely confined to their houses with their spouse,” says Keable. “Whether they’re in a happy or unhappy marriage, there’s going to be tension and it’s going to be amplified. Marriage isn’t designed to be a 24/7 thing and truthfully, this is probably the most time some married couples have ever spent together.” I mean, I can’t help but think that you should still be faithful to your partner even through trying times like these (for better or for worse, anybody?), but to each their own.
He continues, “What was once your spouse’s tolerable quirk has likely now become an insufferable quality, and all this forced time together and the added stress of what’s going on outside is revealing cracks in monogamous relationships. Having someone to talk to who’s experiencing similar feelings is going to be a huge relief, whether or not that turns into a virtually sexual relationship or it’s just someone to talk to when you can’t or don’t want to talk to your spouse.” Basically, what he’s saying is that people are out here finding flaws in their marriage during quarantine and are trying to fill those voids in secret to avoid causing bigger issues. So instead of communicating with your partner, you can just go behind your spouse’s back and find someone better on the internet! Smart. That way you don’t risk destroying your relationship—except I feel like talking through your problems will probably result in a better chance of improving it? But you do you, boos. *stares in judgment*
Anddd behold, Keable must’ve known I’m judging hard, so he elaborated on that point. “When options like divorce or couples therapy exist, people wonder, and often judge, why so many turn to Ashley Madison,” he says. (Not sure if that was a personal attack, but I’ll pretend I’m not offended.) “We’ve asked our members about those potential solutions and they say they come to us because those conversations don’t result in action and they don’t want to part ways with their partner. These days when the going gets rough, you’re expected to either bow to fate or end your marriage, but we offer a third path.” Enter: Infidelity! The Ashley Madison team has found that their members consider cheating on their spouse before they consider leaving them. I mean, I guess that’s inspirational if you consider trying every possible way to fix your relationship before ending it.
“Outsourcing an unmet need to them is more viable than expecting to get every need met by one person, which is the current expectation placed upon modern marriage. And when you love your partner, you love your family, and you’re emotionally and financially invested in your marriage, why would you want to put yourself through a costly and strenuous divorce when it’s just one thing that isn’t working?” He notes that most of the time, that one darn thing that ain’t cuttin’ it is physical intimacy. Fair, but still. IDK. Whatever helps y’all sleep at night.
“Ultimately, we’re hoping when the dust settles, the divorce lines are a bit shorter than we’ve seen in other countries that have reopened, and we were able to provide our members with a discreet coping strategy to get through this, without completely upending their life,” says Keable. “Our site offers a unique, albeit controversial, option so people can have their needs met without sacrificing the home life they value.” Well, if you think about it like that, this news doesn’t seem thhhaatttttt tragic. These people are just cheating because they don’t want to “hurt their partner,” even though what they’re doing would absolutely 100% hurt their partner if they ever found out!
But I understand. Kinda. Not really, actually. I’d never cheat on my boyfriend so I can’t relate—and as someone who’s currently quarantined with their partner, I have no idea how TF these people are even pulling this sh*t off. HOW DO YOU FIND THE TIME OR SPACE? IDK. I’m not married with kids, so I don’t have to find a secret coping mechanism if I’m unhappy in my relationship. If you’re not as fortunate as I am, then godspeed. I hope everyone finds the outlet that works best for them and their relationship so we all get out of this quarantine alive and well, whether that means you gotta let go of the person you don’t love anymore or you gotta find someone on the internet to distract you from your problems until further notice. Tomayto, tomahto, I guess.
Images: Pexels, GIPHY (3)
In these trying times, when we can’t turn on the news without feeling like we’re living in a waking nightmare, it can be hard to feel anything other than a constant, impending sense of doom. Whether it’s the spread of coronavirus or our political landscape which seems to get bleaker by the millisecond, you may be wondering whether there’s any reason to keep going. Well, my friends, I’m here to tell you that there most certainly is, because the good folks over at Ashley Madison, the website for people looking to cheat on their partners, have released a list of the most common code words used by cheaters its users, and it’s all I can think about now. According to the Ashley Madison team, “introducing a secret language into the secret world of infidelity can result in even more discretion while navigating affairs.” Which, no sh*t. What I couldn’t have seen coming, however, was just how ridiculous some of these cheating code words are.
The Ashley Madison survey defines this as the avoidance of “catching or developing emotional feelings for an affair partner.” I’m confused. For a list that purports to aid users in carrying on their affairs discreetly, how is this a helpful term? It seems like more effort to use the word “tinmanning” than it does to just reference the concept of not catching feelings. I’m also struggling to think of an instance in which you’d even need to use this word. Not only is it a verb that no one would ever use in everyday conversation and that would immediately set off red flags to the unsuspecting, its meaning is totally conspicuous. If we’re speaking in Wizard of Oz-missing-attribute-parlance, are the users of Ashley Madison scarecrowing with this sh*t?
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what this one means, but for those a little slow on the uptake, this is a vacation taken with an affair partner. Subtle. I can just picture the poor schmuck texting his side piece saying, “Hey, u up 4 a straycation in April?” and chuckling to himself, thinking he’s really smooth, only to have his dreams nuts shattered by a baseball bat wielded by his wife who saw the text and immediately caught on. You can go shave your back now, Bill.
Actual footage of Bill after sending this text:
3. Silver Spoon
This term apparently refers to the act of beginning or engaging in an affair in which both parties are senior citizens. While slightly less obvious than the previous two terms, I find this one to be a bit ageist. Are we really to believe that seniors are only down to cuddle? Judging by the rising prevalence of STDs in nursing homes, I beg to differ. In fact, I think our older friends would prefer some silver forking over some silver spooning, if ya know what I mean. Get it, grandma.
4. Fling Bling
Seriously, Ashley Madison users? This is the best you could come up with to refer to jewelry exchanged by affair partners? It’s like you want to get caught or something. I’m not one to condone cheating, but if you’re going to do it, then at least try to be careful. According to Ashley Madison, using cheating code words like this is useful because “t’s covert, it’s relevant, and it’s sure to keep the people around you none the wiser.” Sure, if the people around you are Jax and Brittany from Vanderpump Rules not at all wise to begin with. Literally what else could “fling bling” possibly refer to? This isn’t even a euphemism. Anyone who uses this term and thinks they’re being clever deserves to get caught.
5. The First Coming
Continuing the theme of blatantly obvious cheating terms, this time with a side of may-make-you-lose-your-lunch-on-your-work-desk, is The First Coming, defined as “the first orgasm outside of one’s marriage.” Not only is this once again not fooling anybody, the religious undertones are…troubling. I’m a Jew, but I’m pretty sure that no one wants to evoke the image of the return of Jesus after his ascension to heaven while talking about their orgasm. Also, the capitalization is a little melodramatic for people who claim they just want to tinman.
6. Alarm Cock
This refers to “a person who enjoys waking their affair partner up with sex.” First of all, morning sex is a well-established concept, so I don’t see why it has to be reserved for cheaters. Second of all, again, I ask, HOW IS THIS COVERT? And more importantly, WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? If my husband so much as tried to poke me before I got my full 10.5 8 hours of sleep, he’d end up on the floor concussed (love ya, babe!). All I get from this is that cheaters are morning people, which is just one more reason not to associate with them. Enjoy your alarm cock, Karen!
I hope this absurd list of cheating code words brightened your week as much as it did mine. If you’re ever feeling low, just remember there are people out there cheating on their partners, using these terms and thinking they won’t get caught. LOL! What was your favorite “code word”? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Jae Park / Unsplash; Giphy (6)
Cuffing season is a lovely annual reminder that the weather is getting colder and you’re (I’m) still single AF. It’s common knowledge that you’re supposed to lock someone down in the winter months BUT APPARENTLY (!!) people who are already cuffed up ALSO seek new partners during this time. In other words, they cheat *stares blankly into the void*. Ashley Madison, the world’s leading married dating site, recently compiled last year’s winter signup data to release their Winter Wanderlust list, which has nothing to do with beautiful, snowy travel spots and everything to do with uncovering where the cheaters hide out (or come out to play?) in the US when the temperature starts to drop.
Okay, first off, we see that New Jersey, California, and Arizona clearly dominate the list. Like, WTF? I can understand Las Vegas, because it’s literally called Sin City and whatever happens there magically stays there. But why NJ, the smelliest place on earth?! And does California even have winter?? What’s y’all’s excuse?
Isabella Mise, Director of Member Relations at Ashley Madison, breaks it down for us. “New Jersey, which has two cities on the list, is a travel hub with a major airport in close proximity to New York City. Both Newark and Jersey City house many people commuting to and from Manhattan for work, meaning it’s easier to facilitate extramarital encounters,” she explains. “California saw the most cities on the list, and while they don’t see the frigid temperatures that the east coast does, temperatures still drop along with inhibitions.” Depressing and definitely contributing to my already high trust issues, but OK.
The busiest time of the year for Ashley Madison (in terms of highest global signups) is the month of January, which is shocking? I’d totally think summer is prime time for cheating because people go out more often, might be turned on by hot half-naked people at the beach, or are more likely to not give a sh*t about anything after drinking too many piña coladas at the bar… IDK. I don’t relate to this at all. But Mise has an answer as to why. “We forget that the colder months fuel the human desire for a warm body to sleep next to. It’s hard not to want someone to cozy up to while the temperature drops, especially when you’re in a sexless marriage.” So, essentially the reason cuffing season became a term in the first place. I guess the urge to cuff doesn’t stop when you get married? Bleak.
It actually is kind of sad, because as Mise explains, “In these instances where the physical intimacy you once shared with your spouse has vanished and you feel more like roommates than lovers, extramarital sex could give that surge in dopamine you need to heed off those winter blues.” I personally cuddle up with multiple blankets, my favorite sex toys, and way too many cups of Bailey’s hot chocolate in the winter, but to each their own.
January also follows a period of stressful holiday obligations and an OD amount of family time, which apparently motivates married people to find someone on the side to relieve that frustration with. “Things like entertaining in-laws and extended family, increased spending, and managing hectic calendars many of our members to see the cracks that exist in their monogamous relationships,” says Mise, adding that “these individuals are asserting a ‘new year, new me’ mentality.” I usually think of “new year, new me” as going to the gym once a week or not getting blackout drunk every weekend anymore, and not literally adopting a double life. But I guess I can’t come at them for being technically accurate?
OH! And if you’re thinking men are the main cheaters here, you’re sadly mistaken. Women are just as drawn to non-monogamy as men, and—wait for it—are actually even MORE drawn to it. F*ck. “Currently, the ratio on our site is 1.11 active females for every 1 active paid male,” says Mise. So chill out, men’s rights activists, it’s pretty balanced.
And, according to Ashley Madison’s recent female-focused infidelity study, “women are just as likely to get bored of having only one partner as men are. Many of them find themselves in either sexless or orgasmless relationships over time, which directly coincides with lowered attraction levels toward their spouse. When describing their marriage, these women used terms like ‘functional,’ ‘mundane,’ and ‘sexless.’” I’m no relationship therapist here, and I’m not married with kids so I have no idea what these people go through or what options they have, but hey, maybe break up with your partner if you’re unhappy with your relationship/sex life instead of cheating on them? Or if you can’t end it, propose having an open relationship to see what your partner says, because they’re probably just as unhappy with having no orgasms as you are? Just a thought. You do you, boo boos.
Anyway, that’s the tea on infidelity. Interpret this data however you want. Either stay far away from these unfaithful US cities during cuffing season… or go to them. Or realize that correlation does not equal causation! Pick your poison. Best of luck staying warm out here and finding a faithful partner in these ice cold streets.
Images: Unsplash, Ashley Madison
As I mention in my personal manifesto, and of course, every single article I write for this site, I believe that most men are cheating piles of trash just waiting for the chance to serenade their way into a new woman’s sparkly hotpants (looking at you, Jed). And today is the day I’ve been waiting for, because now I have the data to prove it. *cues evil laugh*. That’s right, the kind folks over at Ashley Madison, the world’s leading married dating website, have supplied me with a “Cheating Hotlist” which looks at last summer’s signup data, and then determined the top 20 most unfaithful cities in the USA. See, math can be fun!
Before we get to the goods, let me explain a little more. Ashley Madison created this list because, “Traditionally, we see our membership begin to swell as the warmer weather arrives and cuffing season is over.” They note, “It’s not unusual for people to be more uninhibited during the summer months since the energy feels more carefree and there are increased social opportunities that get people off their couch. The concept of a summer fling wasn’t created for no reason!” Cool. So to sum it up, in the summer, people like to get drunk and bang strangers while their spouses sit at home unaware. Got it. Now let’s take a look at the cities where people are the most “uninhibited,” or “carefree,” or any other euphemism we can come up for “f*cking around”.
Orlando, Florida, you saucy little minx! Who would have guessed it? Certainly not one single person that I posed this question to in my office. And believe me, these dudes know cheating. To be honest, I find the fact that Orlando is number one on the “Cheating Hotlist” to be disconcerting. Who even lives in Orlando other than people that work at Disney World? You are basically telling me that every single dude at your daughter’s birthday character breakfast just threw that suit on after an illicit rendezvous with his mistress at the local Holiday Inn. For shame, Mickey, for shame! (Also, please get that suit dry cleaned.)
I hope that you’ll notice that of the 20 cities in the “Cheating Hotlist,” FOUR of them are located in Florida. It’s Britney, Betch and I were just thinking we might have been too hard on Florida, and perhaps we should stop saying things like “It’s not a state, it’s just a cesspool filled with meth that has people floating around in it,” but now I know we spoke too soon. Florida, you’re back on my list, and you deserve all the publicity you get for those meme-able mugshots, bar fights with potatoes, residents kicking swans in the head, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.
The people over at Ashley Madison also kindly pointed out that, “While certain states like Florida stood out…, the variety we see on this list shows that infidelity can happen anywhere. It’s not just happening in booming metropolitan areas, it’s happening in towns big and small involving all walks of life.” Funny, that was also the voiceover at the beginning of last week’s Dateline episode. But if we really look at the map, to me, the midwest looks pretty safe, right? I say that as a question because my geography skills are subpar and for all I know the middle of this country could be called Hogsmeade. Whatever it’s called, I’m moving there because it appears no one is living that Tiger Woods life. Sure, it could be because no one actually lives there, but I made peace with the fact that I’ll be dying alone in my apartment while my body is feasted on by my dogs long ago.
The other cities that made the list include Newark, NJ (shout out to my fellow Jersey peeps, I always knew you were garbage! I still love you though, you overly tanned sons of bitches), St. Louis, MO; Pittsburgh, PA; Freemont, CA; Atlanta, GA; Cincinnati, OH; Las Vegas, NV; Tampa, FL; Gilbert, AZ; Hialeah, FL; Cleveland, OH; Garland, TX; St. Petersburg, FL; Plano, TX; Seattle, WA; Boston, MA; Sacramento, CA; Anaheim, CA; and Arlington, TX.
At first I was shocked that NYC wasn’t on this list, but then it occurred to me that this is a city where 53-year-old men say things like, “I’m ready to settle down, but I can’t date someone my age because they’re not fertile anymore, and THAT’s why I go for younger girls, you know?”. You can’t really be a cheater if your deep-seated commitment issues and impossible standards kept you from ever getting married in the first place.
Now that we’ve arrived at the end of this article, I have a confession to make. I used this data to fit my own “men are trash” agenda, and have kept something to myself. According to the data that Ashley Madison collected they said, “It’s also not just men cheating—another Hollywood narrative we’ve been sold time and time again. Women are cheating just as much as their male counterparts and this is evidenced by our current global sign up ratio of 1 active paid male for every 1.11 active females.” So it turns out that we are all trash. We are, in fact, a dumpster full of trash, sitting in a Walmart parking lot, in Orlando, Florida. I hope you all enjoy your summers, now go forth and philander!
Images: Ashley Madison; Giphy (2)