Will Taking a Lover Become the New Normal?

Will Taking a Lover Become the New Normal?


The Ashley Madison scandal seems to have died down. While some Irish people were busted with their pants down and their credit cards out, there didn’t seem to be the same percentage of people in Ireland cheating as in the U.K. and in the U.S.A. 



Nicole Buckler reports.

First of all, what this scandal has shown us is that perhaps monogamy is an outdated idea. Like the church. And confession. And rising house prices.

Will taking a lover while married be the “new norm?” Who knows…it might.

But what do we know about people who have affairs? We don’t know much about Ireland. There are cheating sites here, but they aren’t as popular as in other countries and they don’t have PR teams to distribute stats. But we do know some stuff from the U.K.

While the U.K. is very different from Ireland (we have the whole Catholic legacy making us feel guilty about everything under the clouds) we can get a look at what has been going on across the Irish sea.

Every now and again, cheating website IllicitEncounters.com releases data from their membership base. And here is what it looks like, in the U.K. anyway:

Where and How

People who fall into affairs have some common behaviours. IllicitEncounters.com asked 3,000 UK spouses about their intimate consumer habits while conducting an affair.

The results show that the majority of cheating spouses meet their lovers after work (68%) – or during work (15%); they are least likely to meet at weekends and on Bank Holidays.

Illicit lovers are fans of red wine and Italian food, and on average spend £50 on a meal for two. Their favourite chain of hotels is Holiday Inn, and on average they see their lover twice a month. A typical extramarital tryst lasts 5 hours.

Adam Scott, CEO of IllicitEncounters.com, says the research marks a new era in the understanding of extramarital relationships; “Just like all relationships, affairs have distinctive patterns. We expected more disparate results, but the main details of our members’ dalliances remain the same from case to case; the pair meet after work, twice a month, for an evening date of red wine and carbonara.”

“We are, as always, expecting a huge surge in membership after the festive season, when Christmas cabin fever pushes more disgruntled spouses our way. According to our findings, those with shares in Holiday Inn or Pizza Express are likely to be reaping the benefits.”

The Holiday Inn isn’t the only favourite.

Top Cheating Hotel Hotspots

1) Metropole Hilton, Birmingham

2) Old Bank Hotel, Oxford

3) The Hide, London

4) Best Western Kings’ Manor Hotel, Edinburgh

5) Renaissance Hotel, Manchester City

6) Penta Hotel, Reading

7) Hotel Indigo, London

8) The Carousel, Blackpool

9) Lakeside Hotel, Lake Windermere, Lake District

10) Number Four, Stow, Cotswolds

Sara Hartley, spokesperson for IllicitEncounters.com, comments, “It is no surprise that traditional romantic destinations like The Cotswolds and Lake District feature here, but what this survey does show, is that affairs take place most commonly in cities. The Hilton, The Hide and many others on this list sit on main transport routes, which suggests, rather that stealing away to quiet, picturesque getaways, Britain’s cheating spouses simply want convenient, accessible meeting points – far more pragmatic a choice than people may expect.”

While the existence of cheating websites can be seen to be in bad taste and a part of society we wish didn’t exist, the behaviour of these websites can be fodder for even more uncomfortable reading.

In fact many of these websites “gift” top CEOs “mistresses for Christmas.” Top city professionals, including Marks and Spencer CEO Marc Bolland and Lloyd’s GCE J Eric Daniels received posted invites from a UK dating site, encouraging them to cheat online.

The executive employees of 60 FSTE 100 companies have been handpicked to receive free membership to IllicitEncounters.com. Invitations were also sent to the Board of Directors at RBS, and Andrew Witty of Glaxo Smith Kline, amongst others.

It is estimated that over 40,000+ executives and financial professionals across the UK are cheating on the site. IllicitEncounters.com have released statistics that show the average annual income on their site is £39,000 after tax, £10,000 higher than the national average, strongly suggesting that higher incomes equal a heightened desire to stray.

Adam Scott, MD of the company, explains there are already many high-earning city professionals using the website; “We have a solid reputation for discretion, and above all, this is what the big guns are looking for. These go-getters are predisposed to playing away; they have proven they are self-determined, and in their environment, affairs are rife. Men and women who strive for perfection in the professional life, are unlikely to endure anything less in other areas of their life – including their relationships.”

So before the Ashley Madison scandal broke, things were looking good for cheating websites. The new year marks a time for change and for thousands of women it marks a time for self-renovation. However in 2015, according to Illict Affairs there has been an unusual growing trend for over 3,500 women across the U.K… their New Year’s Resolution is to have an affair.

According to Illicit Affairs more and more women are seeking affairs online as a means for self-improvement. (Or is this just the company trying to attract women to the site?) Since the beginning of January, the site say they have gained over 3,500 female members – a record in the site’s 11 year history. These new female members are looking for short, passionate love affairs, which they hope will restore their self-worth and put their marriage or long-term relationship into perspective.

Spokesperson for IllicitEncounters.com Claire Page said, “There has been a clear change in attitudes toward adultery in the last few years, but 2015 indicates something much bigger. “Women are coming to us with more awareness about their needs than ever before. From their profiles, you can see that our new ladies are looking for something more than just a quick fumble – they are looking for fulfilment, they expect something life-altering.”

Claire said that celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow showing understanding towards people having affairs, rather than just condemning them, is part of a large change in society, in thinking an affair can be beneficial. Tiffany, 39, from West London, has been a member of the site for just over a week, “My decision to join was made out of frustration. Over Christmas, I spent over 3 weeks confined with my husband, who, after 12 years of marriage, only pays attention to me if I block his view of the television. I want to feel young and sexy again, I want to feel like a better woman. As my partner has made it clear he is incapable of helping me out, I have employed a more drastic measure.”

IllicitEncounters.com said they had taken on extra staff to deal with the record number of new sign-ups received in the last month, and now have nearly one million members across the UK. We’ll see what happens after the Ashely Madison scandal dies down.

But if history is anything to go by, maybe “taking a lover” will become normalised behaviour. Let’s see how Catholic Ireland rolls with this new sonic boom in society.


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