What did you do during the first deep freeze of 2010?
Seems AshleyMadison.com, a Web site designed for married people who wish to start dating outside of their marriage, says we (that's you, Lexington) were not exactly sledding with the kids all day. Seems we were busy signing up to do some extracurricular meetin'-n-greetin' at the unique dating site that they say now has 5 million members.
In fact, says company founder Noel Biderman, on a usual day, a crowd of 8,000 to 10,000 joins the, er, AshleyMadison.com party.
Last Thursday, when a lot of the country was snowed in, that number skyrocketed to 25,000 new, paying members. And, get this, 300 of those new members had Lexington area addresses.
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It gave us the distinction of being one of the "most active" addresses nationwide that day.
Add the 300 new members to the 16,987 previously enrolled from Lexington and the 50,178 from Louisville, and Biderman sees a trend he wants to pounce on. This response has put oomph in Biderman's recent decision to start marketing his novel concept to the Bluegrass state.
So, yeah, expect to see some local advertising from AshleyMadison.com in coming months.
"It's important to do a marketing campaign that is designed for the area," he says. "The South Florida market is different from the California market. You have to know how to appeal to your target market. We'll try more humor in the heartland."
And more of an appeal to women.
Seems Biderman's numbers also show that while women comprise 30 percent of the membership overall, 38 percent of the Lexington-based members are women.
Biderman calls it "an interesting disparity skew" but otherwise isn't sure what it says about married men here.
Truth is, Biderman is selling infidelity, and he isn't sorry. He says it beats the dishonesty visitors can get on other Internet dating sites when those who are married pretend not to be.
Further, says Biderman, again not apologizing, he'd rather a world where there was more infidelity and less divorce. Like in France.
"I'm not arguing against marriage," says the happily married father of two. "We've just made sex the essential major tenet in monogamy, and that is what is destroying marriages. Seventy percent of marriages survive infidelity."
He says it's just not in our DNA to be monogamous. That belief, he says, is the work of the "marital-industrial complex."
Biderman wasn't surprised, he says, by the recent big chill boost.
"I see it time and time again," he says. "People are trapped indoors, and they log on for a different kind of warmth and comfort."
He says January is always a big sign-up month. Other huge days for new members include the days after Valentine's Day, and Mother's and Father's Day.
"It's about expectation," Biderman says. "You didn't get flowers. You feel taken advantage of. Loneliness is a biological driver. You want to know you are still an object of desire."