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”. Have An Affair.” That is what I have spent the last three days trying to do.Millions of adulterous users of the website Ashley Madison – which bills itself as a dating site for married people – have spent this week worrying about having their membership and their cheating secrets revealed after a group calling itself Impact Team hacked into their profiles.Aping a provincial nightclub, women are granted full use of the site free of charge, while men have to pay. I can’t help but wonder why he didn’t just sign up for the Affair Guarantee Package of 2,000 credits at a reasonable £229.80.
Testing if the experience is gender-specific, I coax a female colleague (see right) into signing up to a rival site. On a separate account, posing as a woman, I get chatting to a male user.But they are outnumbered by a second group of twentysomethings who are just as straightforward.