AshleyMadison.com - a validation for singlehood?
It was Friday night, last night. That means I was drinking. That also means that I am now hungover. Luckily, prior to the onslaught of booze, I was told a short, hilarious tale from a good friend. He needed the aid of a female acquaintance of ours, and had texted her to request it earlier in the week. She was unavailable, however. She was engaging in a booty call. This was taking place in Colgate University. She lives in Ottawa.
Google Maps informs me that Colgate is 361 KM from Ottawa. The fastest route clocks in at four hours and twelve minutes. From my experiences, I’d estimate that means it probably took this lass anywhere from three to three hours and thirty minutes to drop on down to New York state to, well, drop on down on some guy. That’s dedication to – what I have to assmume is – a fine piece of salami.
Two days ago, thanks to an article in the Globe and Mail, I danced my way over to AshleyMadison.com. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the site, it’s yet another web-site for you to upload a picture of yourself and find someone to tickle your fancy. I realize that online dating is a very real craze right now, and that it has lead to no doubt numerous happy relationships, but from the experiences I have witnessed (I do not online date, by the way. I am referring to discussions I have had) it is just a means for someone to place a personal ad no better than the type you would still find in the paper under “escort.” But AshleyMadison.com does do well in distinguishing itself from the clan. Check out their recently banned Super Bowl commercial:
Not exactly an ad for Eharmony, is it?
While the generic online dating site promotes deep, intricate qualities that define “the perfect relationship,” I’d say AshleyMadison promotes a very important fact of the human condition that the rest of the dating sites choose to overlook – our sex drive. Yes, interests, one’s intelligence, goals, and any other monikers that can be dubbed as defining the successful human being are quite important when trying to find a mate, but if she doesn’t get you up, or if his gut doesn’t make your gym body all hot and bothered, (to use a Black Eyed Peas question) where is the love?
People need lovin’, and, from what I saw on AshleyMadison, the lovin’ some people need can be pretty specific. I could not even name names if I wanted to. AshleyMadison is littered with nicknames that scream “I’m not single, but I’m still horny and want to mingle.” A seemingly delightful looking dissatisfied customer of marriage describes her desire as such: “I have never done anal, but will not have the chance to with my husband. He’s too big. And he’s too busy. All I’m looking for is a well groomed man with good hygiene with a lifestyle that allows him to meet up for mid-day romps” (I paraphrased, by the way. Some of Mrs. Infidelity’s other desires got pretty damn detailed). Good hygiene – not good looking, fit, muscular, or juicehead – was the most common term I saw used under the “what I’m looking for” aspect of AshleyMadison profiles. An ailment of long-term relationships and marriage is you forget to bathe, apparently.
Now, I will be turning twenty-five in a little over a month. When this happens, I will be able to reflect on myself and state that I am healthy, am developing a successful career, am lucky enough to have an excellent family and great friends, and have started working towards financial stability. Should I be happy with these facts? I think so. Would other people be as happy as I will be? I don’t think so. Over the past two years, I have lost count of the number of times my bachelorhood has been politely shunned by others (I use the term politely because I’ve yet to be stoned to death for enjoying one night stands from time to time). My embracement of the dating scene seems to offend some people, to be completely honest. I am the black sheep of my wonderful group of coupled up friends. “You have no idea the amount of fun you will have when you meet someone,” is something I was just told. It would have been completely within my rights to become depressed over my apparent “loneliness.” Thank God I found AshleyMadison.com!
The creator of AshleyMadison - a good ol’ Canadian boy named Noel Biderman – has stated that he believes his web-site has, in fact, saved marriages. “Some people have desires that their partner can’t perform, or the other partner isn’t willing to bring them up. They’re happy with the marriage, but want more from a physical sense. We offer that avenue,” is what Biderman stated (Again, I paraphrased). OK. I’m going to generalize and use Richard Yates’ novel, Revolutionary Road, as my guideline for the average long-term relationship turn marriage. That was, after all, one of the points of the novel (Yes, I know it was also a movie, and I saw the movie. But, like always, the book was better, and I don’t think enough people know that it was even a book first). My generalization: Boy meets girl. Maybe it’s at a party. Maybe it’s a bar. Maybe it’s through a friend. Heck, maybe it’s through a dating site. They have similar interests, which pleases them. Both have dreams, and this pleases them even more. They start going on dates. These dates lead to sex. They plan a future together during pillow talk; because that’s all you can really talk about when you’re sucked into that. Boy and girl get married. They buy a house. Sex continues, and they have children. Children add to their responsibilities. The responsibilities add stress to the household. The sex stops. Boy and girl are too tired. Boy and girl grow as individuals, placing a void between them. The void leads to divorce.
Too harsh? Maybe. But when I’m told a story about someone that drove over three hours to sexually please someone, and stated, “he might be the one J” in a text message I become puzzled. Love, marriage, and all the gooey things in life are great. I do endorse them. I just don’t understand everyone’s need to find them so damn fast. Your lives are not less because you don’t have these things. A stay at home wedding costs $20,000-$30,000. Destination weddings are significantly less, but clearly still run into the thousands of dollars. A 100 credit membership on AshleyMadison.com runs for $50. Which one’s the better deal? A self-fulfilling act that lets you know you’ve done what society said, but may very well prove only beneficial for a divorce lawyer; or a membership to a web-site where you might just stumble across your partner and find out what he/she really wants?