What the Fuck of the Week: Ashley Madison

23 Jan

Has anyone but me seen a commercial for this dating agency Ashley Madison? Here’s the ad, but I’m warning you, watching this might make you puke and/or go out and start training for UFC. I know it made me mad enough to want to yell about some shit while pointing at the ground, which is, like, the ultimate expression of anger (at least according to people who are into the NFL). 

Yeah, dude. Ashley Madison is a dating agency for married people who want to have affairs but can’t find someone at the office or a neighbor to bang. The slogan: “Life is short. Have an affair.” You see, Ashley Madison offers the asshole who wants to fuck around on his wife the opportunity to do so anonymously with other guilty cheaters so as to increase his chances of getting away with it and continuing to fool his wife into hanging around. No worrying about an affair partner getting too attached and expecting him to leave his wife (because, although she’s not good enough to be faithful to, he still wants to keep her around for, like, emotional support and shit), no rumors around the office about trysts with underlings, no need to frequent prostitutes who expect to get paid for allowing themselves to be treated disrespectfully.

The website, which features a blurry picture set in a hotel room of a man in dress pants standing over a woman in a black slip who is gripping his belt as if she’s begging him for something (lovely), guarantees the customer will find someone to have an affair with, “or your money back.” Apparently women can join for free and men can view profiles for free, but if men want to contact potential pork partners they have to pay a fee. The service is aimed at men. Surprise. 

I wasn’t sure what to slap my forehead about first when I saw this commercial. The fact that there’s a business out there making a profit by destroying relationships and causing people serious emotional damage? The message that a woman who doesn’t look like a porn worker deserves to be cheated on? The fact that this company is urging people to exercise their most selfish desires without any regard for the feelings of the people they purportedly care about? The idea that this company of shitbags is sending men the message that they somehow deserve hot wives even if they look like Vietnamese pot-belly pigs with sports talk radio hosts’ faces and have no redeeming character traits? Seriously, is it just me, or is the dude in this commercial a 2 out of 15? I don’t see a real discrepancy in attractiveness here.

But who gives a shit? Men shouldn’t be getting married, getting divorced, deciding to cheat, or making lunch plans based on how porkable Maxim says someone is. Women shouldn’t be laboring under the fear that their mates will cheat on them should they commit the sin of becoming less “hawt” with age. I know I’m not dropping a new complaint on anyone here, but this is a fairly stark reminder of the old “be fuckable or die” mandate women in this country (and, really, world) face on a daily basis. If we’re absolutely terrified and insecure every second of our lives, do advertisers get some kind of a prize or something? Oh, yeah, they get us to constantly buy shit to try to “improve” ourselves. Ashley Madison should get in on a partner deal with a ring of plastic surgeons, L’Oreal, Wonderbra, Frederick’s of Hollywood, and Slim Fast so they can sell Affair Prevention Plans to the women who see their ads. Why only advertise to half the possible market? I’ve got a slogan for them: “If it doesn’t work to keep your man at home, at least it’ll help you land a new one!” Fuuuuck.

Oh, and people shouldn’t be frequenting websites where they can find someone to cheat on their spouses with. I’m not a big fan of “Christian values,” and hence I’m not that concerned with adultery qua adultery, but I am concerned with the glaring immorality of a company that can only make a profit by convincing its customers that it is OK to break promises and cause people emotional pain. Seriously, what the fuck?

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48 Responses to “What the Fuck of the Week: Ashley Madison”

  1. Zelda January 23, 2009 at 6:36 AM #

    I think this website is the symptom, not the cause, of the attitude that women are disposable if they are not hot.

    In a country that glorifies supermodels, promotes eating disorders, encourages plastic surgeries, looks up to scum like Donald Trump and denigrates ‘unattractive’ women like Hilary Clinton, can you really blame Ashley Madison for trying to make a quick buck? Remembering, of course, that this is also a country where wealth = power = status = respect.

    Ashley Madison is a small player in the big game of sexism/misogynism/homophobia/racism/classism and other hates that pervade most of our lives.

    • Mike September 3, 2009 at 8:34 PM #

      Why is it always our fault? I’m a 29 year old male and was living with a girl for 3 years and was 100% faithful and wasn’t planning on cheating, things got weird and the next thing i knew she broke up with me and i had siad something about her cheating and she tried to make me look like a jerk, i took her flowers to her work with a sappy card trying to get her back 3 days later and was trying to get her to meet me out so we could talk and she told me she needed space and could go out that night so i drove to her brother’s house (The only place besides mine that she could have stayed) at around 2 am and she wasnt there. i waited a week to bring it up and she still denied it , so like an ass i asked her to marry me and she quit responding to my texts (which was the only way she’d talk to me) and the next day i finally got her to admit she was seeing someone else. Then i went postal and hacked her myspace and found out she was banging people left and right waaaaayyy before we ever broke up and then i logged into her email and found out she was a member on Ashleymadison.com which i had never heard of until then and it did make me want to PUKE!

      • Nine Deuce September 3, 2009 at 8:39 PM #

        That sucks. I wasn’t saying that men are the ones who are always at fault, but rather pointing out that the commercial was terribly sexist and dehumanizing. The fact that Ashley Madison even exists makes me want to move to Mars, no matter whether it’s men or women using it.

        • Mike September 4, 2009 at 4:56 AM #

          yeah me 2 and id also like to punch that stupid bitch in her face its only ben 3 months on sept. 5 and i know what she did and i hate her for it but i can’t seem to stop missing her. If i ever met that asshole who started Ashley madison i’d personally pop a cap in his ass myself !

        • Mike September 4, 2009 at 5:13 AM #

          also that was just a figure of speach i would never hit a women for those of you that are going to butcher me for saying that . If anyone has advice for my situation I’m all ears….. oh and btw every chick i’ve EVER been in a serious relationship with has ended up cheating on me and I’ve always been faithful and sincere I’m begining to think that thats my problem.

          • berryblade September 4, 2009 at 6:34 AM #

            Don’t date.

            I’ve found so far it’s worked for me.

          • isme September 4, 2009 at 10:05 AM #

            “also that was just a figure of speach i would never hit a women for those of you that are going to butcher me for saying that . ”

            That’s ok, alot of very aggressive hyperboly is used around here…mostly variations on castrating people.

          • antiprincess September 4, 2009 at 10:06 PM #

            oh and btw every chick i’ve EVER been in a serious relationship with has ended up cheating on me and I’ve always been faithful and sincere I’m begining to think that thats my problem.

            oh, I don’t know… you sound like a Nice Guy to me… ;)

          • pbh May 30, 2014 at 11:06 AM #

            I am a woman. Believe me, I think the same about men too. I have had sex with only one man, my husband and completely changed my life, from a software engineer to a loving wife, mom, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law etc. etc. (I’m from India, just to clarify the roles). At last he thinks he is a stud and sleeping with other married women. He calls them ‘friends’ and just having new ‘experience’. He thinks those women have a high ‘sexual desire’. The reality is I cut down my desires (not just sexual) for the happiness and harmony of the whole family and he thinks he is born to satisfy the desires of other unsatisfied women. How ironic! When I confronted the bitch, her answer is – Why don’t you ask him, you are the one who is living with ‘that man’ for soooo many years? She is correct in the sense that my husband is the one who is answerable. But I’m really pissed off when people talk as if it is MY problem that I’m NOT ABLE to sleep around. It is like a new qualification or something!

  2. Rian January 23, 2009 at 9:13 AM #

    I read the other day that Ashley Madison’s Super Bowl ad had been rejected, but I had not seen that commercial until now. What a vile piece of sexist, fatphobic rubbish!

    I do not like infidelity as it tends to be heavily steeped in power structures and the culturally conditioned notions of gender roles, sex, attraction and love. Of course, it probably doesn’t help that every cheater I know is a narcissistic jerk overflowing with entitlement issues and misogyny. (That should not be taken as an indictment of non-monogamous relationships in general because those may or may not have the same problems; it just depends on the people involved.)

  3. Jim January 23, 2009 at 4:47 PM #

    Sweet baby jeebus, this is effing horrible.

  4. Octavia January 24, 2009 at 6:26 AM #

    Golly, I just puked in my mouth a little bit.

  5. Nine Deuce January 24, 2009 at 6:34 AM #

    Zelda – I agree that Ashley Madison is a symptom of the misogyny in our culture, but I think they can also be deemed a cause, and so I do think I can blame them for trying to make a quick buck when that quick buck comes at women’s expense. I know it’s easier for a company to resort to using women’s bodies or to misogynistic “jokes” at women’s expense to sell products than to come up with something clever and persuasive, but that doesn’t mean that I have to give every misogynist in the ad business a free pass.

  6. Debs January 25, 2009 at 3:17 AM #

    I found ashley madison after searching for affair tips in google. Yes I wanted to have an affair but not get caught. I realize that some might think its wrong but if you knew my life you would applaud me for having an affair!

    if you are going to cheat, do some research so you don’t get caught!

    • Nine Deuce January 25, 2009 at 3:40 AM #

      Uh, OK.

    • karinova June 24, 2009 at 1:04 AM #

      I wouldn’t normally go there, but you’re clearly inviting comment.

      “If you knew my life you would applaud me.”
      Yeah… no. If I knew you, I’d tell your wife. If you don’t like your partner, suck it up and get a fucking divorce, you coward.

      What, are you looking for a pat on the back?
      Un. Fucking. Believable.

    • pbh May 30, 2014 at 11:14 AM #

      Applaud you? Never ever! I would never applaud a killer, robber, rapist or cheater (yes, all in the same category – you will understand if you knew the pain). Even if you ask a killer, robber or rapist – they all will have their own ‘reasons’ of why they do it. That does not make it correct. And it certainly does not command an applause.

  7. Lily January 26, 2009 at 9:41 AM #

    The first time I saw this ad I thought it was a joke, albeit a very bad joke. Then I found out it was a real advertisement for an actual service and I was just horrified. I mean seriously, horrified.

  8. isme January 27, 2009 at 8:52 AM #

    “if you knew my life you would applaud me for having an affair!”

    Um, if it’s not too personal, why? I mean, I’m having trouble imagining someone I’d applaud for having an affair. Well, unless they were god’s gift to women, in which case it’d be unfair to restrict their use to only one person or something.

  9. Alderson Warm-Fork January 29, 2009 at 4:52 PM #

    Oh my god! Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs are so cute!

  10. Aileen Wuornos March 12, 2009 at 7:36 AM #

    I can’t think of anything else to say other than – totally fucking agree.

  11. Cymbolie July 5, 2009 at 2:30 AM #

    First, I agree. Ashley Madison is a steaming pile of shit. The whole concept is disgusting. However, I think your argument is extremely one sided. You state that this website targets men only… that the whole idea is to promote men cheating on their wives. So, here is a very simple question you can answer. Are there women posted on Ashley Madison or are all these cheating men banging other men? So, what of these women? Why are they immune from your scorn? Your argument is completely devoid of common sense. ANYONE who uses that website is gross. period.

    • Nine Deuce July 5, 2009 at 11:37 PM #

      I was talking about the commercial.

  12. jenny September 20, 2009 at 5:23 AM #

    okay. that commercial is so mean! wow. im shocked … i remember the women who would advertise for this website on tv. she was some ugly ass buck tooth *&*#&%… they should get some better looking people them-selves before trashing on other women. anyway… i just signed up for it to see what its like, and the first thing I got is a picture of a 44 year old mans cock. .. even though it says im 20 there. this isn’t just infedility, its molesting too! disgusting

  13. elaine December 29, 2009 at 11:24 PM #

    Ye gods…we are one sad, screwed-up nation. And if you can look at this without wanting to cry/gag/punch out your computer screen, you’re even sadder and more screwed-up than you realize.

    I wonder how many suicides/suicide attempts this “company” may possibly be responsible for…

  14. DawnAllen February 14, 2010 at 10:05 PM #

    It’s pretty creepy. They had a lot of radio commercials for Ashley Madison that are horrific to listen to. I thought I was beyond shock, shouldn’t this be illegal?

  15. Immir March 14, 2010 at 12:41 PM #

    That’s just fuckin’ awful. And they ARE totally suggesting the sleeping woman deserves to be cheated on because she isn’t a tanned, waxed teenager.

  16. burned April 7, 2010 at 9:03 AM #

    I found out a couple of weeks ago that my husband of 14 years cheated on me through Ashley Madison eight months ago. Yes he almost got away with it except he left his email up one night I noticed there was a message sitting in his draft email box. It was a disgusting email to some whore with Ashley Madison. Yes she’s a whore if you or some company you sign up with are getting paid for sex you are whore by definition. I found emails in his sent box containing emails of what they intended to do and pictures of the whore including a pic of her ass. So now I have that image burned in my brain. This all took place while he was on a business trip. Now I find myself running to the mailbox to get the cellphone bill, I check his emails and his cellphone on a daily basis. I haven’t confronted my husband yet because he has another business trip coming up this time I’m going with him. When we return I think I’ll let him know what I know because this is tearing me up inside. I can’t sleep, eat, or concentrate at work. I’m not a super model by any means but I do stay in shape & without bragging I’d say I’m attractive. I don’t know why my husband did what he did but I’m devestated and I don’t trust him anymore. I haven’t told anyone because I don’t want to start a hate club against my husband. I’m just struggling to figure out what I should do. I wish I could sue Ashley Madison for alienation of affection but our state does not have a law against that like other states.

  17. aquarianrabbit April 7, 2010 at 5:06 PM #

    @burned – I’m sorry for your situation. Definitely talk to your husband about it. I have a rule – one time and I might forgive you. Again, and we’re done. Best of luck.

  18. munkie June 17, 2010 at 11:35 AM #

    I first hear of Ashley Madison a couple weeks ago. The ad was a rebuttal and condemnation put out by furious folks of the Christian variety. I could hardly believe Ashley Madison exists.

    I’ve found venting does a feminist good. There was yelling and shock and dismay (I’m agreeing with patriarchal Christian values!!!? Sort of.).

    Well the Christian website is all about traditional family values, etc., etc., zzzzzzzz. It made me wonder though, are there feminist dating sites for heterosexual relationships? I know where to go to meet a level-headed lesbian or bi-woman, but the pro-feminist man seems like an elusive, mystical creature. I cannot imagine dating a man unless he were pro-feminist.

  19. Matt August 24, 2010 at 1:03 PM #

    I hate the commercials they have for this site on the radio. Talking about remembering all the firsts with your spouse and then that nothing lasts for ever so now you need to experience new first with someone new and exciting and remembering when it was “about you”…when you get married (especially if you have children) then things are no longer just about you and if you are so immature that you think that life should be all about you then you should have never gotten married in the first place…

  20. kristina August 25, 2010 at 12:52 PM #

    I’m married with two kids and I would love to give more attention to my husband, but HE insists I give it all to my children based on what society tells us about women being self-sacrificing mom-bots. Needless to say he didn’t physically cheat on me, but he did view porn which was his way of being selfish in response to my lack of self-sacrificing that HE enforced… Ridiculous isn’t it?

  21. brand September 14, 2010 at 9:45 AM #

    It happens to succesful, still gorgeous, still young women as well. It is an epidemic. I found my husband of 2 years had set up a profile – though deleted it later. The excuse being to fantasize. I am not so naive as to believe that it doesn’t lead to the real deal. You always put your toe in before you jump. We have a great relationship, (had), and the fact is simple- it will never be enough. No matter how attractive I am, fit, and stylish. No matter how funny, smart and strong I am. If you can be married for only 2 years before they start to dip their toe…something is wrong. I too find the advertisement vile. I get that it is not easy to be monogomous. Just don’t get married or stay in a relationship if you can’t take a dry spell or can’t be trustworthy. The site is an example of the selfish society America has become. It is all about the self, about me, making me happy, what is best for me. Personalization of everything in consumerism.
    This webiste promotes something that is not healthy. I too am not a conservative person in most regards, but if you want to step out. Get a divorce.

  22. kristina September 14, 2010 at 1:15 PM #

    I hate such a bullshit excuse as “fantasizing”…I fantasize about being a fucking millionaire…if the opportunity came up, would I turn it down??? FUCK NO!!! Fantasy is just another way of saying I feel bad about myself, but instead of making necessary changes to reach my goal I’m just going to wallow in my self-pity…. yeah…I do it too (remember the millionaire thing), but at least I can see it for what the fuck it is!!!

  23. kristina September 14, 2010 at 8:28 PM #

    To clarify by necessary changes..I don’t mean the shallow crap that the media shoves down our throats…but becoming a decent human being would be a great start…who knows…you may find you never really wanted that “goal” in the first place!

  24. Probablylucy June 11, 2011 at 5:56 PM #

    Not only is this a disguisting, sexist, relationship-ruining company, but think of the number of kids lives each year that are ruined because of divorced parents. These married men could have families, and it sickens me to even imagine why somebody would come up with this money-making pile of shit. My Parents went through a very turbulent divorce and it’s left me with some horrible childhood memories as well as emotional and relationship issues. I’m astounded that this company has not been shut down.

  25. joanne July 21, 2011 at 4:13 PM #

    Men over 50 are contracting Aids at an alarming rate. They don’t like to use condoms so women out their are going to get aids from their hubands too. Thanks guys!

  26. BoBBert August 9, 2012 at 8:35 AM #

    well, oon the flip side, its not just men. I just discovered my wife had an account with them. I know i’m not pretty to look at, but jeez, seriously?!? 10 years of marriage, i work hard, i provide for my family, i stay loyal, and loving, and this is my reward.
    In the end i copied all the pics, emails and profiles of the married guys contacting her. I’m wondering if there’s somewhere i could splatter their info all over the internet?

  27. AJ September 5, 2012 at 3:38 AM #

    This site is sickening beyond belief…truly I have been the victim of an office affair, my husband had and left me for his affair partner. That is bad enough but to know there is a site that facilitates this kind of sociopathic behavior is just disgusting. I have suffered enormously and my children as well, something that will truly damage them for years to come to know daddy has left for another woman. to know a company out there is profiting form adultery and the destruction of marriage to me is as bad as someone profiting from the sex slave industry or drug pushers. There is so little respect for the sanctity of marriage and here someone is making money off of another persons pain. the countless number of families destroyed by this, even if they happen to stay together the damage is astounding. I pray for all those who are hurt by this site .

  28. robboruski October 24, 2012 at 8:37 AM #

    This is absolutely disgusting. Personally, I do feel very strongly on adultery. And let’s not forget that this goes both ways. Yes, its true that men are most likely to cheat, but not all do. Its a 2 way street. I’m sure most of the women on this site are married themselves and looking to hook up. All because their guys dick doesn’t work as well as it used to, or he doesn’t make 1000 bucks an hour. This site should be shut down and its owners tied up and thrown screaming from a helicpter

  29. Kyle November 15, 2012 at 3:05 AM #

    I’m a single male and this company has disgusted me with its existence on airwaves and on the internet for a few years, but seriously – get off your high horse with this being a male-centric issue – you know who I’m talking to. For every male cheating there is a woman willing to cheat as well. Rather than break this garbage up into a “man=bad woman=persecuted” issue, let’s have a go at it from a united front, shall we?

    • Nine Deuce November 15, 2012 at 4:06 PM #

      The analysis of the commercial in question seems to have escaped you, Kyle.

  30. Elaine November 16, 2012 at 7:00 AM #

    Kyle, the commercial is clearly pitched to *men*, and men exclusively. Just as those ‘lad mag’ headlines which promise to show their male readership how to successfully cheat on their SO’s without getting caught are pitched to the same, exclusively masculine,

    audience. The question isn’t whether or no women will cheat (obviously there are tho
    se who do), but the simple ground-floor fact that our media culture pitches itself to the
    proposition that it is men who are ready, willing, and happy to cheat, and that it’s the near-obligation of a portion of male-centric media to help enable them to live out their ‘natural’ desires.

    (Sorry to over-elaborate on your pithiness, Nine, but Kyle’s seeming obliviousness to the main point here just annoyed me enough to prompt a response.)

  31. RealRelationshipsAreBest June 22, 2014 at 10:49 AM #

    I am just curious to know if the person who wrote this article is a male or female. I would love it to be a male. And YES I wholeheartedly agree with you!! The site Ashley Madison is for both men and women. And YES I agree both sexes have pathetic cheaters and many have very decent spouses. Sad. Just wish anyone wanting to fool around had enough balls (be it a male or female) to call it quits with their current mate!! Pretty cowardly otherwise.

    • RealRelationshipsAreBest June 22, 2014 at 10:56 AM #

      I’m the person who just wrote the above comment. I forgot to say that I dont think that this is “man thing” . I think both men and women are doing this and they are just advertising more males on the site. There are women (many) using this site too. I live in Toronto and this company hails from here (sad admission!) and it has always been for both men and women who somehow find it good to be cheaters and liars. Wierd. For years there have been many here who think this is a sick service website for sick people. And people who own the company excuse their behaviour and negative contribution simply by saying a weak statement like “we give people a safe opportunity to do something they would have anyway … and, we in no way condone anyone elses behaviour but it is their choice”. Meanwhile the company owners taking tons of cash to the bank! So you can see the people owning the site are as pathetic and cowardly as the people who use it. They do NOTHING to make the world a better place and only add to it’s decline.

  32. Alyssa October 23, 2014 at 10:52 PM #

    It’s like they’re begging to be catfished. Well if they’ve gone this far to have an affair maybe they should be catfished! Instead of just using someone else’s pictures though it could be similar to those dateline shows “how to catch a predator.” They could team up with cheaters and Jerry Springer and be in for a real karmic revolution….

  33. Leah October 28, 2014 at 5:39 PM #

    This is soo effing sad!! Like your right I cannot believe the owners of ashleymadison could even think of something like this-breaking families and hearts should be there slogans. Ive been a victim of a cheater and it hurts soo bad i cant belive they are promoting this!!!! seriously May they rot in hell or be cheated on soo bad themselves.

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