Time Magazine has a great article: Here it is….

Two-timing politicians, take note: cheating has never been
easier. AshleyMadison.com, a personals site designed to facilitate
extramarital affairs, now boasts slick iPhone and Blackberry versions
that help married horndogs find like-minded cheaters within minutes.
The new tools are aimed at tech-savvy adulterers wary of leaving tracks
on work or home computers. Because the apps are loaded up from phones’
browsers, they leave no electronic trail that suspicious spouses can

Even as public outrage boils up over the infidelity of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and Nevada Senator John Ensign, millions of Americans are sneaking online to do some surreptitious cheating of their own. (See the top iPhone applications.)

Unlike Craigslist’s plain-Jane listings, AshleyMadison lets cheaters
customize profiles, chat anonymously and trade messages about
adulterous preferences — all in an effort to make cheating as simple as
using Match.com.

The formula is working. AshleyMadison’s membership has doubled over
the past year to 4 million. The Toronto-based site, which takes its
name from the two most popular female names in 2001, the year it
launched, enjoyed another big boost this week, following Father’s Day,
when CEO Noel Biderman says men often feel underappreciated. Traffic to
the site tripled on Monday. (Biderman says there’s a similar boost in
interest from neglected wives and girlfriends after Valentine’s Day.)

the past month alone, 679,000 men and women have used the service to
contact a cheating partner. According to their profiles, 92% of males
on the site are married or otherwise attached, as are 60% of female
members. No word on how many politicians have signed on. (See the top 10 political sex scandals.)

Critics call AshleyMadison a cruel sex site that profits from
marital pain. “This is a business built on the back of broken hearts,
ruined marriages and damaged families,” says Trish McDermott, a
dating-industry consultant who helped found Match.com and Engage.com.
“It’s in the business of rebranding infidelity,” she says, “making it
not only monetizable, but adding a modicum of normalcy to it.
AshleyMadison is making bad choices, broken promises and faithlessness
look like something that’s trendy and hip and fun to talk about at a
cocktail party.”

“We’re just a platform,” responds Biderman. “No website or 30-second
ad is going to convince anyone to cheat,” he says. “People cheat
because their lives aren’t working for them.” Not everyone buys that
line of defense. The Las Vegas Review-Journal recently refused
to run an AshleyMadison ad referencing the Ensign scandal. But other
racy TV, billboard and radio ads have succeeded in raising the site’s
profile over the past year to the point where by some measures it’s in
the top tier of dating sites, with tens of millions of dollars in
annual profits. AshleyMadison charges members $49 for a package of
credits they can use to contact up to 20 members. Members don’t pay to
receive messages, just to initiate contact, so many women end up using
the site for free.

Maybe that’s why many of the site’s new members are female. Biderman
says the proportion of women on the site has grown from 15% — when the
service quietly launched in 2001 — to nearly 30% today. (See the 50 best websites of 2008.)

Dorothy, a 45-year-old Floridian whose screen name begins with
SexyMom, says she’s been married for 20 years but started using the
site four months ago because her husband constantly turned down sex and
refused marriage counseling. “It’s like the seven-year itch, but 20
years later,” she says. “My husband never throws me a compliment. Now I
meet guys who say, ‘You’re so hot,’ or ‘You have great eyes.'”

On a recent weekday, 38 men sent messages to Dorothy, who checks
these e-mails on her phone during breaks at work. “If I wanted to
schedule something for morning, noon and night, I could,” she says. She
ignores most inquiries, especially those from immature 20-somethings or
older men seeking a one-night stand. “I’m looking for a friend,
possibly with benefits,” she says, “but I’m not out there to shake
someone’s hand and open my legs.”

So far Dorothy has met seven men through the site, she says,
including a wealthy, 49-year-old divorced doctor with whom she hit it
off. Dorothy says her husband would be livid if he found out, but he
doesn’t know how to use a computer. “Now I don’t have to bug him for
intimacy,” she says.

AshleyMadison isn’t the only site aimed at under-the-radar
relationships. Sites like EstablishedMen.com and SeekingArrangement.com
all offer variations on the theme. But AshleyMadison is the most
successful site openly capitalizing on extramarital affairs.

And for that, Biderman offers no apologies. “Humans aren’t meant to
be monogamous,” he says. So would this free-thinking CEO mind if his
own wife used his site? “I would be devastated,” he says.