Interview With Noel Biderman, CEO Of Ashley Madison - Online Personals Watch: News on the Online Dating Industry and Business

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andii

Online dating websites are ten a penny these days, and sometimes there are just too many choices. That said, now that we’ve seen the niche and the niche within a niche sites popping up, there are some pretty good time saving options for like minded singles and the promiscuous among us. Gone are the days of ploughing through hundreds of profiles to find what you’re looking for.

Sam Moorcroft, ChristianCafe.com

Isn't it ironic how Mr. Biderman would be emotionally hurt "beyond belief" if his wife were cheating. Yet, his service specializes in causing emotional hurt and untold other damage to families (what will he tell his kids what he actually does for a living?).

Just because you may feel "trapped" or "unappreciated" or whatever, in a marriage, does not justify you devastating your spouse and/or kids. Sure, a lot of people shouldn't be married. But, there is a world of difference between that and helping them cheat!

Fast forward to your death bed and then look back at your life. What did you accomplish? You helped destroy marriages and families. Oh yeah, and made lots of cash doing it.

What a legacy.

Amanda Elizabeth Smith

I've been closely observing and following www.ashleymadison.com for about 3 years now. As the founder and CEO of an online dating site myself I have to say firstly that the member sign up growth rates for AM have been less than impressive over the last year or so and have in fact slowed considerably. I think that this site is noteworthy at best for its controversy value. As Noel has pointed out, and this is a well known fact, roughly 60% of folks cheat and I believe the stat is around 30% of online daters who are in relationships and hence cheating. Therefore, I don't see the cultural need for such a site and perceive it more of a "easy money" business model that is exploiting "unhealthy relationships", where a "healthy" relationship is defined by Noel in the article.

Taking all of this in sum it seems that perhaps the fact that AM doesn't seem to be enjoying much growth is the result of a combination of the "novelty effect" wearing off, the guilty stigma associated with being an AM member and the fact that users can get similar services, albeit with a bit more work, for less money on other sites.

Obviously Noel and Darren have taken quite a lot of flack for AM, and have made some money that likely softened the blow. However, ultimately they could have done better in terms of both morality and ROI's if they would've gone less niche and focused on the casual dating site.

As a side note, I'm always fascinated by folks who can work for a company that stands for something they personally aren't in line with.

Glenn Millar

I have, unfortunately, had too much experience with the aftermath of cheating. I've watched friends, and their children's lives, be destroyed by cheating. I have seen the long-term psychological effects; the inability to trust and the fear of loving again. This occurs in both adults and the children.

If Mr. Biderman knows the statistics, then he is also familiar with the aftermath.

Thus, I am trying to see how Mr. Biderman can justify his site. And then I realized it. His justifications sound an awful lot like the reasons cheaters give to justify their actions.

If I were Mrs. Biderman, I would hire a private detective and a good lawyer, cause anyone who thinks this guy can justify his site, but not be cheating on his own wife, is living in a dream world.

I'm not particularly religious, but God help your children Mr. Biderman and Mr. Morgenstern and the morals you are instilling in them.

Ross Williams

I think it's important to remember a critical point in all this - AM is for people who don't want to lie about it. Many other dating sites have people doing EXACTLY the same thing, but are less honest about it.

It's easy to criticize AM and on a personal level it's not something I'm enormously comfortable with - but anyone involved in running or promoting online dating sites is responsible in part for people cheating and having affairs.

No matter how much we try to stop it, people lie - even on christian dating sites people lie - they'll say they are single when quite frankly they're not. There's no much you can do to stop this.

It strikes me that the only difference on AM is that people aren't lying about it.

I rationalize that for every person that breaks up their relationship because of one of my sites, I help to create three or four more relationships. It's not great but it helps.

But I believe that anyone who believes that people don't use their dating sites for cheating is very misguided. AM is just open about it.

Ross

Sam Moorcroft, ChristianCafe.com

Ross, with respect, I think you are missing a major point: people on other dating sites (mine included) may lie and/or cheat; however, AM is designed *specifically* for people to cheat. Whether they are "open" about it or not is irrelevant.

We can't change human nature (e. g. those who are going to cheat, are going to cheat regardless), however, *enabling* cheaters to cheat – *that* is mine and other's big beef.

Ann

Cheating is not going to go away? Having many encounters is not about bedpost notching or bragging about your conquest. It’s about learning what you don’t like and wanting to meet the love of your life. According to Dr. Ryan Holybox at Jivelo.com, "dating" has a self-education component. Having various relationships doesn’t make you promiscuous, it makes you someone who doesn’t want to spend his or her life with the wrong person and who has hopes of finding the right one.

Sam Moorcroft, ChristianCafe.com

Umm, Ann, we are talking about people who are already married...

Markus

I wonder if they will cross promote with their latest aquisition hotornot.com. Supposidly they are looking to buy more sites.

Irena

Without the cheaters the site would not exist, alas. It might promote cheating and make it more easier but cheaters would cheat anyway, with or without sites like that. I agree with Ross. People lie about their status on Christian sites as well. Are we going to blame the Internet? No, it's a lack of morality.

Danny Hunter

I am not surprised when an apple tree produces an apple. Likewise, immoral people commit immoral actions ... it only reveals what they really are.

Danny Hunter

Noel Biderman

Thank you all for your comments. I will not attempt to argue or refute any of the specifics mentioned - other than to say that Ms. Amanda Elizabeth Smith is incorrect about AshleyMadison's growth rate which has seen the site grow by more than 250% in the last 12 months alone.

We can all step back and take a look at the institution of marriage and at least acknowledge the transformation it is currently undertaking. Premarital sex was once the taboo topic of the time, and the last generation became the first to embrace divorce; perhaps the notions around monogamy will become the next frontier that is tackled vis-à-vis marriage. People will continue to cheat on their partners, and in our opinion, that is better undertaken through our service than in the workplace, on a singles dating service or with sex trade worker.

We seem to be able to forgive the politicians, athletes and entertainers that we adore when they engage in behavior of this kind. Perhaps we should think about why we do that and at least attempt to acknowledge that “fault” is not always so black and white. Essentially, we are all human and if we are not fulfilled nor getting what we need to sustain us, then we will likely seek fulfillment somewhere else.

tricky

I wish I was a Jew. They can seperate they're morals from they're goals. Go on you !

brian

i agree with mr. sam moorcraft, great legacy to leave for you & your family. I exploited couples already having problems and increased them 100 fold! What a complete idiot, "we've actually preserved a number of relationships and marriages in the sense that many people suffer from a lack of physical or emotional intimacy", join our site so that we can increase the emotional, mental, and spiritual trauma for you, your spouse, your kids, and the other cheating partner, spouse & kids. We may even throw in an STD, some AIDS, or an unwanted pregnancy but don't worry we've got great abortion doctors to take care of that little problem! I would like to believe that conscience-seared men like this are the minority of America.

gumption

On the upside: It seems to me that when you have 2 marrieds looking for "something extra" but are happy and want to stay married, you lessen the potential trauma. Being open about the fact that there is no long term future for a relationship like this leaves noone with fantastic dreams of "forver". I think that it can be beneficial to use relationships like this for a supplement, but I don't advocate it. The reality is that people are complicated. Honesty isn't always the best policy. There are a thousand reasons why someone might engage in activitiy like this and a lot of times it can be the fact that the other spouse has been TOLD that there are additional needs and WILL NOT respond or take it seriously. So honesty might have even been part of the scenario before one gets to this point. I have considered it myself, but just can't bring myself to do it. Complicated or not, it is ultimatley too selfish an activitiy for me.
(is my halo bright enough?)

Mike Keisel

It is all well and good to vigorously wave the flag of righteousness, but as a previous poster opines, people are complicated. If you have a celibate marriage with children, there comes a certain point when the physical urge to share some passionate intimacy becomes too much to endure any longer.

You cannot very well march into the bedroom and demand immediate compliance with your physical needs because it just becomes an exercise in ejaculation through coercion. What is the point of that?

Some women and men simply lose all interest in their sex lives. I am certain that the vast majority of the "cheaters" on this site have tried and tried and tried, but come to the devastating conclusion that no amount of effort is going to reinspire their mate.

The choice at that point is to divorce, a painful and destructive process or AM. Pretending to be single on one of those dating websites is absurd and a guarantee of eventually being caught. That is because it becomes necessary to lie to two people instead of one.

DanaLou

I just seen the commercial for this website. It was very sexist. It showed a fat married couple and the commercial implied that the woman was the burden of the relationship even though the husband was just as bad. Well I am pretty sure women cheat too so why is it so one sided? That couldn't be very good for business.
Besides the fact that I thought the idea of the site was awful. It sounded like a cop out to make a hefty pay check at the end of the day. I can't say I am highly religious or anything, but man talk about selling out your soul and morals. The creator doesn't even want to believe its possible for his family and wife to give in to cheating. Is that why in the commercial its only the man that's thinking about cheating? Life imitating art or art imitating life? Either way I believe in Karma and this is one that will surely come biting back hard!

Isabel

All I can say is "If there is a will there is a way". If you register on these sites that cater to married adults you know EXACTLY what you want. No one is lying or a victim. I think it's an interesting approach to what people want and looking for today. It is interesting that a lot more men sign up for these websites than women, but let's face it, women cheat too. There are sites for all kinds of things, so why not cheating adults as well? After all, we do have a choice...Don't we?

Rebecca

Well, I did catch my spouse using Ashley Madison. He was emailing some chick through the site while I was cooking dinner! I was right in the other room! He got caught when he was frantically closing windows on MY laptop and I asked him what he was doing.

This has resulted in separation pending possible divorce.

He's begging me back. I am so upset with him and I think the woman he was communicating with is a skanky whore.

Jason

I am Active Duty Military and upon return from a deployment found out my wife was using AM to set up encounters in our new Duty Base. Since we have arrived she has met six men and slept with three of them. She has no idea I know about this. I am secretly documenting each person and have all of their contact info, to include their wives names and addresses. She proclaims that there is something missing from our relationship, and she wants to meet the one long term affair mate for when I am at sea. In the end she will be surprised on our anniversary with divorce papers and not only will I be forwarding all of this proof to her mother, siblings and minister, I will be notifying all of the wives of the men who she cheated with. Giving those recorded emails, times they talked on the phone so they can check their phone bills, dates and locations of the hotels they used to kill every word in our wedding vows. I am one who is not perfect, but I have never cheated, because we both came from relationships where we were cheated on. I continually ask what I can do better, if we are ok, but I guess both parties have to want the relationship to make it work. She has told me in the past that she hates the military wives around us because of their cheating ways, and how they can't wait for their men to return from harms way. I guess I was fooled. I think it’s ironic that she asked me before I deployed if I would ever leave her….I said no, because I never dreamed this to ever happen, but when she recalls my answer I will only say I am not leaving you, you left me when you went out the door that one sunny day with the intentions of cheating. I only wish the best for people, but I seriously wish that this AM CEO would get a taste of what he is dealing out from having this site, and now even more that there are more of them because of his money making idea!! I only wish those affected by spouses getting on AM could get together and sue this slime ball for wrecking our lives and families.

Rogue

Noel's recent battle with CTV is the subject of an entry in the sex-positive blog, Urban Roguery, listed above.

Some, like Sam, might argue that Noel is contributing to the collapse of Western civilization. Others might argue that he's an astute capitalist who's found a niche, knowing that the majority of monogamies fail. We might not always like it, but Noel's argument that healthy, happy monogamous relationships need not fear sites like his, and sites like his will not curb the trend toward infidelity even if it went away.

Polly Markham

Noel says he is not promoting affairs, but that he is providing a place to the people that are already thinking about cheating. Instead of enabling those people to do harm to others, and commit sins, we need to point them in a better direction, lead them to a website that has information on how to communicate and fix what is broken about their relationship.
This website is immoral and it is promoting immorality. Where will this kind of behavior stop? It is scary to think that something like this can even exist. Mr. Biderman is weakening the bond of marriage. His advertising strategies aren't just for the eyes of the people already thinking about adultery. "Life is short, have an affair" seems more like he is trying to suggest an idea to people that may not have considered this destructive path yet.
Why don't we contact his wife and tell her that life is short, she might as well cheat on her husband and ruin their marriage as well as their kids lives?

Rick

We are all born sinners. Every man and woman born after Adam and Eve are sinners. There is one man who was born and lived a perfect sinless life, and his name was Jesus. Now you have to decide what you believe about this man - Jesus. Was he a liar? Was he a lunatic? Or, was he who he said he was? If he was who he said he was, then we all have something pretty important to deal with. The only way we can deal with our sins is to confess them to HIM and ask HIM to forgive us. He will. Because he already died for you and me with the burden of all of our sins on his back. The only way we can beat death and keep from being cast into hell, is to ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior. Do it now. Do it before it's too late. Life is way to short (a blink of the eye), and the question of your salvation is too important to push aside, laugh at, or ignore. Ignore the question and you have complacently chosen hell. Take a stand against Jesus, because you are a smart person and have that right - then you have actively chosen hell. Think about it. Ask yourself the question - is this important or not. Is there a Heaven and a hell. It's time to chose. I hope and pray you chose correctly.

binushka

Jason, You must be thankful for the site. Otherwise how were you going to find out she was cheating on you!!
Every business is to make money. Noel Biderman is making money. I am glad i am not using his site and making him richer.

john

What do you say about hotels?
They have cheaters renting out rooms all the time.
Does the front desk ask couples for ID to see if they are married?

I rest my case.


Boomboomdog

I am really curious what happened to conclude this story, your organizational skills and calm demeanor to set her up for the fall are commendable considering the men who would be in jail right now for murder in some cases. I am curious, what has happened since this last post??

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