We met at a storied bar (think the Stork Club, if it still existed) and had a great time. He graciously picked up the tab and asked if he could see me again soon. He slipped me some cab fare, hailed me a taxi, and said goodnight. We met online, on Ashley Madison, a dating website for those who are married and looking to bag themselves an affair.I'm a college-educated woman in my early 30s from a solid family (no daddy issues here). I get the occasional bout of loneliness, but I'm not lonely enough to get myself tied up with an actual boyfriend.To them, if they order the right drink (an old fashioned) and say the right things ("I work in advertising/tech/fashion/finance"), women will give 'em their panties and bend over.None of them are all that charming, and they don't know how to talk to women (saying "LOL" out loud does not count as youthful wit).Once they start messaging you, prepare yourself for venting and impromptu therapy sessions: "My wife never wants to have sex! " It's exhausting, but there's an upside: When you're being compared with someone they've already lost interest in, it's impossible not to look great.I've got a career to build and don't have time to spend on someone else's needs/wants/feelings right now.Ashley Madison was an opportunity for me to meet people outside my immediate social circles, experience the best of the city (fine dining and drinks on someone else's dime), and best of all, I didn't have to put forth any commitment. If you're like me and thinking of taking the plunge into Ashley Madison, I would advise wading into this cesspool very carefully. Most of the men I've met on Ashley Madison seem to think they're Don Draper.
It was a tense meeting, not unlike a bizarre job interview: "Have you ever done this before? Later, as our "date" was winding down, he swiftly and firmly held my jaw in place and proceeded to kiss me. Squirming out of his greasy grasp, I hastily declined and (thankfully) never saw him again. In order to contact prospective "dates," these men have to shell out money.(Women, on the other hand, can sit back and wait for men to pay to message them.) Your reply to their message is like a flicker of hope in the dark and lonely abyss of the internet. You're meant to be everything that their significant other is not.After exchanging a few messages, he finally mustered up enough courage to ask me to dinner.I accepted and met him at a tacky little bar in Midtown East.
How any of them ever managed to land themselves wives is beyond me. He was one of the first men to message me on the site.He was looking for that "special someone" with whom he could "gaze at the stars with." John was your typical Ashley Madison customer: He was married, white, well-off, and a commuter—which is a bonus, because it allows them to keep their affairs separate from everything else.