Valentine's Day for cheaters

Everyone knows Valentine's Day is Feb. 14. Not quite as as many may know that Feb. 13 is Mistress Day, though, and that's probably a good thing. But we thought it might be a good time to learn a little more about cheating. So we went to AshleyMadison.com, a dating site primarily for married people looking to get lucky outside their marriages, to find out more.

"Seventy-nine percent of married men that we polled plan to spend Feb. 13 with their mistress," said Noel Biderman, the founder of AshleyMadison.com. "Since our launch in 2002, we've interviewed tens of thousands of women over the years and discovered there was a behavior pattern where people were making sure that around certain holidays, if you were leading a double life — you paid attention to those lives."

Biderman said, despite having a company slogan that states "Life is short — have an affair," he is not trying to convince people to cheat, but merely creating a community of discretion for those who do.

"Affairs were going on before I started this site, and they will continue to do so long after it's gone," he said. "But people were conducting them in dangerous circumstances — at the office, with a family friend, or going on the singles dating sites and posing as something you're not. I wanted to create a place where they could do it anonymously."

With nearly 13 million members throughout 17 countries, it seems like it's caught on. While the majority of the members are married men seeking women, Biderman said 22 percent are single women seeking married men. And Biderman said when you factor in hotels, jewelry and luxury travel, the infidelity economy is a trillion-dollar-a-year business.

"Men spend more money on their mistresses, guaranteed," he said. "Single women looking for married men will say they get all the upside and none of the stress of a traditional marriage. They get the benefits — travels, sex, romance, and they can get a lifestyle too. Men are attracted to beauty and age and women are attracted to power and influence. There might be a 24-year-old woman who is very bright, and a CEO taking them around the world is a lot more interesting than a guy with his hat on backward."

Biderman polled more than 2,000 married men on his website about Mistress Day. The most commonly used excuses of why they couldn't make it home on the 13th are staying late at work, going to the gym, and shopping for a Valentine's Day gift. As for where they planned to rendezvous, the majority said in a hotel (47 percent), while a large percentage admitted they would be going to a neighboring city or town (33 percent). Less popular options were the office (11 percent) and at home when the spouse is away (9 percent).

"I've heard a lot of stories of people having affairs and surviving," Biderman said. "It can actually make a relationship stronger sometimes. Hillary and Bill Clinton are an example of this. But it becomes difficult if you bring someone close to home. If you have a lover in your own bed, it's bound to end your relationship. If you are going to meet with your lover — don't do it at home."

jweigel@tribune.com

Twitter: @jenweigel

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Bold predictions for Lolla 2015

    Bold predictions for Lolla 2015

    The Lolla schedule is sort of like the NCAA tournament: there are millions of possible combinations, and it’s anyone’s guess what the winning picks will be. With that in mind, we make some bold predictions about how this year’s fest (returning to Grant Park Fri.-Sun.) will turn out. Breakout artist...

  • 2010 killing of Chicago cop detailed at trial; man claims self-defense

    2010 killing of Chicago cop detailed at trial; man claims self-defense

    The man on trial in the killing of Chicago police Officer Thor Soderberg hated police and surprised the officer as he changed out of his uniform at shift end and placed his duty belt down, a Cook County prosecutor alleged Monday.

  • Aldermen to hold hearing on untested rape kits

    Aldermen to hold hearing on untested rape kits

    Chicago aldermen on Monday called on police officials to provide information on how quickly rape kits are being tested by the state crime lab, part of a largely symbolic effort to determine whether a large backlog is hampering work to apprehend rapists.

  • Alderman's 'Chi-raq' criticism falls flat

    Alderman's 'Chi-raq' criticism falls flat

    A South Side alderman's effort to tweak filmmaker Spike Lee for using "Chi-raq" as the title for a movie about Chicago violence fell flat Monday with his colleagues.

  • ComEd to hold energy fairs to help low-income customers

    ComEd to hold energy fairs to help low-income customers

    Commonwealth Edison will hold energy fairs at satellite locations across the region Monday in order to get money to thousands of people struggling to pay their electricity bills in northern Illinois.

  • PAWS Chicago "Muttshots!"

    PAWS Chicago "Muttshots!"

    These adorable pups are on the loose looking for a place to call home. They have a warrant out for their arrest. Their crime? Being irresistibly cute and cuddly. If you're interested in adopting any of these dogs, please visit www.pawschicago.org for more information.

Comments
Loading

79°