Secret Valentines: Adulterers Rampant in Chicago

Membership on the international extramarital affairs website, Ashley Madison, soared last Valentine's Day, resulting in nearly 10 times its number of usual users. The site's Beverly presence is strong, according to reports.

Subscriber statistics for a renown international adultery website suggest that its motto, "Life is short, have an affair" is resonating with those in Beverly.

And if last year's post-Valentine's Day numbers are any indication of how activity on extramarital affairs site AshleyMadison.com will be affected this year, locals may be getting even busier. Membership on the site spiked a whopping 977 percent on Feb. 15, 2012, according to Business Insider report published at that time.

"It's even more evidence for the case that wives are most likely to cheat on their husbands the day after Valentine's Day," the report says, citing a statement by the company's CEO and founder Noel Biderman.

The report then lists the 10 cities with the most Ashley Madison members per capita. Washington D.C. came in first and Chicago ranked eighth.  A 2012 survey conducted by the decade-old dating site used geographic data associated with the site's more-than 210,000 Chicago area members to determine which neighborhoods had the most cheaters—at least the most using the website as a vehicle.

Some suburban communities were included in the roundup, but topping them all was Lincoln Park. Other notable mentions included Bucktown at No. 3 and Beverly, at No. 7. The Loop was close on Lincoln Park's heels and the Gold Coast came in fourth.

The full ranking is as follows:

  1. Lincoln Park
  2. The Loop
  3. Bucktown
  4. Gold Coast
  5. Armour Square
  6. Hyde Park
  7. Beverly
  8. Arlington Heights
  9. Oak Park
  10. Naperville

"Powerful men and women, particularly those in politics, tend to take multiple ‘risks’ on their way to the top," Biderman said, in his statement. "Taking a risk within their personal life, since they feel they are made of Teflon, is a natural extension. Simply put, the more successful you are, the more prone to cheating you are … "

A RedEye Chicago piece on last year's findings indicated that Chicago residents spend more time on the site than most of its other users. 

"Windy City members spend 60 percent more time—an average of 44 minutes—on the site seeking out affairs compared to the national average of 28 minutes …" the article said.

While perusing the site this week, Patch reporters still found a prominent Chicago presence. The site now boasts more than 17.5 million anonymous members; some post photos of themselves and others opt to remain invisible with the option of granting a fellow user an "access key" to their photos.

Those signing up for Ashley Madison's free membership option are asked to categorize their intentions in any of six ways—attached male seeking females, attached female seeking males, single male seeking females, single female seeking males, male seeking males or female seeking females.

They then describe preferences such as what they're looking for, or what "turns them on."

One Chicago "attached female seeking males" whose profile photo is a faceless shot of her bra-clad breasts, says, "I'm not looking to change my situation or yours. I am simply looking for a mutually beneficial relationship."

Another local 35-year-old says she's on the prowl for a man willing to engage in a Ménage à Trois with she and her husband.

"Still new here, and testing the waters," she writes. "Would love to find a man who is willing to threesome with me and my husband. … Currently married, and while we are happily married we have lost a bit of spark. Looking for someone to make use of my pent up sensuality."

Biderman attributes those with wandering eyes to a sense of adventure and a "no strings attached" commitment. He also stresses that the site is not just a female thing noting, "there are an increasing number of single men on AshleyMadison.com connecting with married women." He calls those users "MISTEResses."

“Not every woman is currently in pursuit of a white-picket fence lifestyle, relationship of permanence, children, mortgage and scheduled date nights," he says.


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