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"I want it to be dramatic."Since then, she’s averaged one or two new men per year, with a few women sprinkled in, and in the digital age has supplemented her search with Ashley Madison, Craigslist, and Cougar Life.As is customary for women on Ashley Madison, she gets bombarded by suitors, then rejects about 90 percent of those she meets.But whatever is driving women to these infidelity sites, the one notion nearly everyone agrees with is that our understanding of female sexuality is outdated.As Dan Slater wrote in a op-ed this year, some studies have shown that women report more sexual partners than men, are less selective in certain contexts, and are nearly as likely to accept casual sex from a celebrity or from a close friend they’ve been told is good in the sack.TO BE TREATED LIKE I WAS THE LAST WOMAN ON EARTH BY A HUNGRY GROUP OF MEN, PREFERABLY ALL [ethnic group whose male members are often hypersexualized in American culture, due in part to a complex legacy of discrimination]!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!BIG THICK [rhyming masculine body part] NEED APPLY!!! My first e-mail blitz, which doesn’t specify that I’m a journalist hoping to interview subjects, nets me a grand total of zero replies. I change tack and name-drop and assure recipients that their anonymity will be preserved. (Identifying details have been obscured or altered slightly to ensure anonymity, and all names are fictitious.) She lists her weight at well over 200 pounds, her limits are "Anything Goes," and her tagline is "I’m too much for you." And what is she looking for? I’m not here at AM to meet someone for the opera, I assure you.""Just to be clear, is this a sexy date or a formal interview? "Ideally we could combine the two."What the hell is going on here?
I’m on Ashley Madison.com, the behemoth of extramarital-dating sites, whose controversial slogan is "Life is short. But you probably don’t know anyone on it—or at least anyone who admits to being on it.
"If you’re a 34-year-old woman successful in your career and you’ve got a great husband but you’re bored sexually, and you watch all your single friends run around town having sex, you think you should be able to have that, too."Gloria is a slender, pretty woman in her late forties whom I meet on a Friday night at The Bar Downstairs at the Andaz hotel in midtown.
She’s had two enjoyable long-term affairs with male colleagues.
She’s around 40, wearing casual, loose-fitting clothes and a pleasant smile. It is, though—if her identity were somehow unmasked, it could torpedo her high-powered career: She’s worked for one of the most prominent political figures in the country and nearly ended up in Obama’s administration.
In short, she doesn’t fit the portrait of the promiscuous, inconstant woman cast as the adulteress in Hollywood dramas. Over cold Cusqueña beers on a hot July afternoon, Megan drops the professional mien.
In myths, novels, and films, from Helen of Troy to Hester Prynne in to Diane Lane in 2002’s_ Unfaithful, _the affair of the rare philandering female is the centerpiece of the story, and its punishments are draconian (the Trojan War, ostracism and branding with an A, being cast in —and gotten away with it. In the real world, with greater professional equality between the genders and third-wave-feminist sexual liberation, are women cheating for the same reason that men have throughout history, as Megan’s profile suggests—that is, to sate their sex drives and gratify their egos? "Megan has picked Coppelia, a Latin American diner at the border of Chelsea and the West Village in Manhattan, and she’s waiting in a booth when I arrive.