DatingScout: Did you expect the surge of new member registrations during the global pandemic? What were your initial expectations regarding member activity once the pandemic started?
Paul Keable: I would love to say that we knew that our membership would explode due to the pandemic, but we were not that prescient. That said, as we saw the daily numbers rise by 30% to more than 20,000 new members joining a day, we could see the impact the pandemic and the various lockdowns we’re having on marriages around the world. The trend is very similar to what we see at the beginning of each year; after spending extra time with your spouse over the holidays cracks in relationships are often exposed leading to infidelity for many people. The pandemic has exposed the shortcomings of monogamy to millions of people around the world, and our community of like-minded people is growing because of this.
DatingScout: With over 30 million new users, did you notice any differences with member activity /interaction pre-pandemic? Can you give examples?
Paul Keable: In fact, we have had more than 72 million members’ join Ashley Madison since our launch in 2002. While each member’s experience is unique to them, there is a universal aspect to what drives people to an adulterous lifestyle – an unhappy bedroom, especially for female members. That trend has continued throughout the pandemic, and we don’t foresee it changing any time soon.
DatingScout: We read your Love on Lockdown report – most of the findings seemed to direct to the point that the responders are not happy and fulfilled with their marriage. In your opinion, why do you think they stay married and have an affair instead of filing for a divorce?
Paul Keable: What most people misunderstand about infidelity is how the cheating spouse feels about their partner. For a significant portion of our membership, they very much love their spouse and family situation, but they are missing a key element (often intimate in nature) that prevents them from having a completely happy life. For these members, they’re not looking for a divorce – they’re looking to fill that missing element while maintaining their primary relationship.
DatingScout: Do you think that affairs can help solve marriage turmoil in the future? What good may come out from an affair that will benefit both the husband and the wife?
Paul Keable: Interestingly we hear from our membership consistently that an affair helps them become better mothers, lovers and partners because the stress of having an unsatisfactory love-life has been solved through their affairs, allowing them to enjoy all the other aspects of their primary relationship.
DatingScout: Any more features you have in store for Ashley Madison members in the future that can help them navigate affair dating after the pandemic?
Paul Keable: We are constantly looking at ways to improve our members ability to connect and communicate with one another discreetly. We expect to see new features and options being offered to members in the near future – stay tuned!