What happened when I used an affair website

Ever been tempted to use an affair website? Find out what happened when a relationship counsellor used one for research purposes. 

Long term relationships can be tough enough without the temptation of websites that make it easy for your partner to cheat on you.

As a Relate-trained therapist and manager of The Affair Clinic, Yvonne Filler is all too-familiar with the fall out from affairs – many of them a result of one partner using affair websites.

Curious to find out how these sites worked, Yvonne joined one for research. This is her experience.

What happened when I used an affair website

In the interests of research (but possibly not my marriage), I have to make a confession: I signed up to three of the ‘leading’ affair websites to get a female user’s perspective and find out what really makes people sign up.

I’m not sure what I was expecting to happen. I was nervous. I wasn’t sure I trusted the anonymity, and worried I was going to find a dad from the school run. But I pushed on through, made up my affair name and started to add my details.

Filling out my affair site profile

So, what DO you put on an affair site profile? My real name? No! What I enjoy? Not sure cooking and shopping is going to get much interest. What I’m looking for? Er……lots of feedback from real users, but I can’t write that. Photo? No chance.

Well, that’s not exactly the fullest profile in the world and the reviews tell me that’s what I need but I’ll stick with just height and weight for now and hope for the best.

What kind of responses did I get?

Well, it seems the men aren’t concerned by a lack of information and the messages start flooding in. Literally. I can’t keep up and I’m not even responding to any of them. I begin to subconsciously group them like they were choices at a car wash:

Basic – “Hi?”, “How are you?” or “Want to talk?”

Silver level – “Hello. How are you? Hope you are having a good day. Would love to chat and find out a little more about you. Hope my profile intrigues you enough to say hello”.

Gold standard – “Hi, Hope you’re well. Just came across your profile and wanted to get in touch and say hi as I thought your profile looked really interesting. I’m 42 years old, live in *** but work near *** and also spend quite a lot of time in London for work so my time can be quite flexible.

Story is quite familiar I guess, been married for ** years, got a couple of kids and although I’m not looking to change my circumstances, the passion in my life is completely missing. I’d like to meet a woman and rediscover the spark and that feeling of being wanted. I’m not into anything kinky, fairly conventional but a bit of exploration is always good and exciting.

Mutual pleasure is what I’m looking for I guess, and to meet someone who can hold a conversation and has a good sense of humour and wants to spend some quality time together. As a person I’m quite social and I like to keep fit.

Apart from the lack of passion in my life all is good, but looking to meet someone to hopefully change that. I’d love to hear more about you and what you’re looking for, so message me back if interested. All the best X”

They’ve burned through £100s just saying hello

Can’t say I’m more impressed by any particular level but I have to remind myself I’m not actually the target market. My favourite of all has to be the one whose first message said “Can you send me a photo soon as I’ve only got 9 credits left”. He really knows how to make a girl feel special!

A couple of things become very apparent in the messaging game. If you haven’t got a photo you’ll still get messages but most of them will be requesting a photo. I guess nobody is interested in my witty email banter then.

They are all very quick to want to take it offline. Credits are money and they’ve probably burned through a few hundred pounds just to get a quick hello so the sooner we can start using WhatsApp the better.

As a woman I don’t pay

Tentatively I send couple of messages back. I’m not going to get much research done without them. Immediately they reply like a tennis ball smashed straight back at me.

They send me a special online key straight away “unlocking” more photos, this time without a mask on and fairly routinely, some naked shots like that would seal the deal. None of my potential adulterers seem to have any idea that women need a bit of warming up first!

As a woman I don’t pay.  These sites are clearly so gender unbalanced that they are desperate for any woman to sign up. It keeps the men buying credits. From the men we spoke to this can really add up so you can’t blame them for trying to screw the system.

How did it make me feel?

So I wouldn’t be true counsellor if I didn’t sum up how these sites really “made me feel”. Well, I can’t lie, receiving 30 messages a day from men just wanting to know how I am is flattering. If you ignore the photos of man boobs, beer bellies and men old enough to be my grandad, then you can’t deny the frisson from the interest

However, as the messages continued I began to feel all sorts of other emotions. Sad. Disappointed. Amazed. Angry. Worried.

Not by the photos that were increasing in volume but by the lying and the total lack of understanding about the potential consequences. Commonly, I was told “I love my wife and kids”, “I don’t want to change my circumstances”, “I don’t want a relationship, just intimacy”.

I possibly wasn’t the average woman respondee. I asked “How you would feel if your wife found out?” “How would the kids be affected?” etc. But they weren’t shy to point out that they wouldn’t. Nobody need ever know.

Even the cleverest adulterers get found out

It is precisely this naivety that makes these companies so successful. But even the cleverest of adulterers get found out; if they didn’t, we wouldn’t have such a tragically long waiting list.

By the time I was ready to quit my little investigation I was ready to scream at my potential lovers:

“It’s not just your lives you’re playing with. Yes, you will lose all the things you’ve already told me you hold dearest. But I’m not bothered about you. I’m worried about those who didn’t choose to be in this situation.

Your heartbroken, devastated partner who will feel like her insides have been ripped out. Your innocent kids whose mental health will be turned upside down because daddy either isn’t around all the time anymore or isn’t the role model they’ve worshipped up until now.

I’m disappointed for your parents who start to question how they brought you up and fear the loss of their grandchildren. I’m sad for your friends who feel they have to choose between you and your wife but love you both. And I’m concerned about your kids’ teachers who now worry about a once happy and secure child.

So it’s not you, my cheating, naive friend. It’s not all about you.”

Unless you want to use this as particularly horrible way to end your marriage, I’d steer well clear.

The Affair Clinic provides specialised counselling to individuals and couples where an affair, or the suspicion of an affair, is affecting their lives or relationship.