Report: ‘Social Distancing’ leads to cyber affairs

(CREDIT: NJ Bourque)

During the past few months, Reel 360 and our sister publication, Reel Chicago, have reported many stories on those affected, and unfortunately laid off, in the film and advertising industries due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. But, it would seem the global pandemic has also led to a new situation at home where married couples are getting laid during social distancing.

Just not with each other.

Where social distancing has given many couples a chance to reboot their relationships both in and out of the bedroom, a new report from infidelity site, Ashley Madison, suggests that online cheating has gone up like… well you know.

Established in 2005, Ashley Madison was specifically designed to facilitate infidelity. Ordinarily, the site allows users to arrange in-person meetings so that they can have affairs. However, because of social distancing, users have had to get more creative to continue their infidelities.

Ashley Madison essentially functions the same way a normal dating site does. The only difference is the site’s clientele are looking to have affairs, and many of them are already married.

According to an interview in Venture Beat, Paul Keable, the site’s chief strategy officer, explained that there’s been a surge of 17,000 new sign-ups on the site daily during the pandemic, which is above the average of 15,500 new sign-ups the site reported last year.

Paul Keable

Keable explained to the outlet, “We’re continuing to see strong interest. If you step away from the initial shock of what’s come upon us, we see that places like us are likely to have value. The reason to join us is there are fractures, often, at home, and those are going to be amplified, dramatically. So, if you’re under quarantine or in working from home situations with your spouse and not having [the] respite [of] going into the office and being away, people are going to look at this as an outlet, even if it won’t be a physical interaction, at least in the short term.”

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Keable also noted that roughly 30 percent of female users were considering virtual sex with their cheating partners, while 14 percent of male users are having virtual sex with their partners.

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In addition, the site has polled users to see if they had tried to spice up their sex life with their spouse or significant other during the quarantine. More than than three-quarters of the respondents to the survey said that they had not.

Keable also added that the site had reached 65 million total users in 2019, which is cumulative since the company was launcher in 2002. He also said that the site had signed up 5.6 million new users last year, and he expected growth to continue into 2020.

The Reel 360 team does not judge, but this really brings a whole new meaning to #Stayhomestaysafe.

SOURCE: Venture Beat