You’ll Never Guess Who Was on Ashley Madison

Judy Gerstel | September 1st, 2015

Of course most of the women on Ashley Madison were fakes.

Desirable women don’t need to play hide and go seek on a website in order to find sex partners. The challenge for women is finding a prince, not a penis.

The men who signed up for Ashley Madison just didn’t get that. They were seeking hot women hungry for sex with no strings attached. But women like that are few and far between and they sure aren’t lurking on dodgy sex sites. They don’t need to find men who want to have sex with them. They need to fend them off.

That said, I can say definitively that at least one woman who was on Ashley Madison was for real, sort of.


I joined Ashley Madison in 2003 after being assigned to write about the site. I didn’t use my real name. I used a nom de naughty but confessed to being over age 50 with a few extra pounds. Not exactly seductive but the men were lining up in a cyberqueue to contact me.

“Within a few days of registering,” I reported, “I was contacted by more than 50 men, most of them married, who want to engage in some form of intimacy with me, from fine dining to spanking, not necessarily in that order.”

One man wanted to massage me with champagne. That was subtle compared to one man’s graphic invitation: “Let’s do what nature wants us to do.” Another was geographic: “Let’s have some fun in Niagara.”

The second time I visited the site I was contacted by a man who said he was 36, going by the name of Chickenballs.

No, really.

We had such a nice online conversation that I started to feel guilty about pretending to be a potential partner. Then I remembered that he was on a site for adulterers, likely trying to cheat on his wife and I didn’t feel so guilty after all.

Around the time I signed on to Ashley Madison, there was a lot of discussion about marriage and adultery.

In her book, Against Love, Laura Kipnis called marriages “domestic gulags.” She wrote, “Adultery is one way of protesting the confines of coupled life; of course, there’s always murder.”

I contacted David Buss, psychology professor at the University of Texas and author of The Evolution Of Desire and The Dangerous Passion: Why Jealousy Is As Necessary As Love And Sex to ask him what he thought of Ashley Madison.

“Basically what you’re getting is man’s evolved desire for sexual variety playing out,” he said.

“Infidelity is part of human nature.”

So why aren’t we all doing what one of my Ashley Madison suitors invited me to do — “what nature wants us to do”?

“Men and women are both extremely sensitive to risks and costs involved in infidelity,” explained Buss. “Reputational damage as well as jeopardizing the primary relationship.”

That’s exactly what’s happening with the fall-out from the Ashley Madison hacking scandal. The cost and damage is enormous.

I kind of feel sorry for all the men who got seduced by their own fantasies into getting scammed on a site for adulterers and then were outed by hackers.

But in particular, I hope Chickenballs is okay.