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Just looking at the menu, honey

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Life is short, have an affair. Or cash out by recruiting people to do so. Seriously.

We all know sex sells. What you may not know is a website exists dedicated to making dinero by connecting “attached” people to other married or committed folk looking to stray and have an affair. Believe it or not. Oh, and the site is also looking for affiliates (shall we say cheating reps?) to sign up wannabe cheaters. The commission isn’t bad; last we checked it was $200.00 per membership, plus a $25 bonus for every woman you sign up. They boast an average monthly payout of $3,500. Are you envisioning yourself like a pimp already?

Canada-based www.ashleymadison.com bills itself alternately as the world’s premier married dating service and the world’s premier discreet dating service (same difference?), with over 7,300,000 anonymous members (it’s not a typo: seven million three-hundred-thousand horny people). Not bad for a dating site launched in 2002.

If you think the company’s mantra, “life is short, have an affair,” is pushing the envelope, check out their 100-percent Affair Guarantee. This must be a good option for the hopelessly desperate. According to the website, if after three months of purchasing the Affair Guarantee membership (for just $249) you have not had an affair, you are eligible for a full refund. The money-back guarantee only applies if participants: set up a profile on the website with a photo (which the site has to approve); send or reply to at least 18 site members every month; send at least five virtual gifts, and instant-message with members for at least 60 minutes through the so-called “affair” service. Sounds expensive. The site charges for sending messages, virtual gifts and to IM. If you’re not cheating after all this, you probably need serious help. That, or a makeover, marital counseling or antidepressants for sure.

Or perhaps you’ll feel so terrible about yourself, or your ego will be so bruised that you’ll want to go back to your honey and forget you ever wanted to stray to begin with – and never mind the time and money you invested in trying to find someone to cheat with, all to no avail. Híjole, qué feo, Mateo.

One thing for sure, we dare to assume, is if your partner were to find out you paid for a membership to hook up with a stranger, s/he’ll be less likely to forgive the “indiscretion” as the act itself would have been fully premeditated. There would be no extenuating circumstances (“I didn’t know what I was doing … one thing led to another”), just plain malicious intent.

For its part, Ashley Madison® (who is “she” anyway?) thinks it’s doing married or “attached” people a favor by providing the cheaters database service. “Our role is to keep them from taking unnecessary risks while they explore the feelings that got them to our website to begin with.” And no, they don’t see anything wrong with it. “Providing a service like ours does not make someone more likely to stray anymore than increasing the availability of glassware contributes to alcoholism.” Nice analogy.

If you’re curious and plan to check out the website from a shared computer at home or at work, you may want to tell your partner or coworkers about it. The last thing you want is to be accused of cheating for just looking at the menu.

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