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That's what the email subject line said.
Find Your Secret Romance.
Let's just say I get a wee bit of spam because I blog about sex. And by "wee bit" I mean ridiculously copious amounts.
I don't need any penis enhancement pills. And I'm really not in the market for cheap fake Viagra. And last time I checked, I'm all the wife that my Beloved can handle, so there's no room in our house for a mail order Russian bride.
Delete. Delete. Delete.
Yeah, I see all that and more.
But "Find Your Secret Romance" unnerves me a bit. It is one of the many marketing tactics of Ashley Madison.
Never heard of her?
Well, for starters you should know she's not a her, but rather is a website. No need to go check out the website yourself. I'll give you the low down of the depravity that abounds there.
Founded by Noel Biderman in 2001, AshleyMadison.com exists for the sole purpose of facilitating affairs for married people.
Yes, it's online dating for those hankering for some infidelity. Paid online adulterous dating. (You didn't actually think Noel was doing it out of the kindness of his heart, did you? No, the man is raking in the cash from people compromising their marriage covenant through his site. He is a multimillionaire many times over).
The site tag line is "Life is Short. Have an Affair." I kid you not. They even offer an "Affair Guarantee" package.
It would be all so… well…so comical. If it weren't so true. Which makes it so heartbreakingly sad.
Find Your Secret Romance?
Sex is full of ironies, and AshleyMadison.com just casts further light on how deep those ironies run.
For example, some wives (and a few husbands) try to argue to me that "sex does not matter" in marriage, all in an effort to justify their own avoidance of sex in their marriage. Their rant about "marriage being more than sex" really translates for them into "marriage is not sex at all."
They want so badly to convince me.
I mean really bad.
As if convincing me will soften the blow to their precarious argument when they actually open up their Bible and see what God says about sex in marriage.
So the irony is that try as some people may to say sex doesn't matter in a marriage -- that it is a negotiable, an extra, a "maybe when I get around to it" sort of thing -- the cries from the other side of the argument shout otherwise.
As well as the cha-ching from the virtual cash register.
If sex is no big deal to a marriage, then why are many married folk willing to pay for it elsewhere?
Think about that for a moment.
AshleyMadison.com's niche audience are married people. Who want to have sex. With people who are not their spouse. This is how AshelyMadison.com makes their money.
Basic principles of supply and demand tell us that if there is not a demand, then there is absolutely no financial incentive to provide a supply. AshleyMadison.com started in 2001, has millions upon millions of members and can be found in numerous countries.
And discreteness is their powerful hook.
Which brings me back to another irony.
If sex in marriage is really "no big deal," then why would the refusing spouse even care if the rejected spouse goes looking (and paying) elsewhere? Why would discretion even be necessary?
We should stop in our tracks when we see how incongruent it is for a spouse to say in one breath "sex is no big deal…certainly not worth my heart and effort" … and then in the next breath dig in their heels and say how angry and hurt they would be if their spouse goes looking for sex elsewhere.
There is a lot of irony brewing there, leading us right back to the truth: That sex does matter in marriage. It matters a lot. And adultery is indeed painful and devastating and wrong.
Before you think I'm being too black and white here, I do know that adulterous waters are much muddier. I know that some people have affairs even when they do have a great spouse and great sexual intimacy at home. I know.
But certainly we cannot ignore the number of people who would not sinfully choose to succumb to adulterous temptation if there was authentic and frequent intimacy on the home front.
Ponder with me for a moment what would happen if all married couples enjoyed, pursued, protected, treasured and held in high regard their sexual intimacy.
I am optimistically confident that nearly all of the cash flowing to AshleyMadison.com would grind to a halt.
For that matter, I think the porn industry would take quite a hit as well.
Not to mention the adult entertainment nightclubs.
I'm trying to further shed light on this painfully weak proclaim that sex does not matter in marriage.
All the evidence leans to the contrary, begging us to take to heart how much it really does matter to the strength and wellbeing of a marriage.
Want even more irony? (I mean, we are on a roll, we might as well continue). Noel Biderman, the man who started AshleyMadison.com, has said he would be devastated if he found out his wife used the site to have an affair.
Devastated to think about another man's hands on his wife (yet more than happy to help that same man put his hands on someone else's wife). I wonder what would happen if Noel tuned his conscience and heart more to what his possible devastation is telling him than to what his bank account is telling him.
Finding your secret romance should be all about looking into the eyes of your spouse and peering into the comfort of your marriage bed. It shouldn't be about chasing it down (and even paying for it) elsewhere.
How about you? What will it take for you to create a secret romance… with your spouse?
Copyright 2013, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.