Here the tranquility of a leafy Somerset village deep in the English countryside is being shattered by army helicopters from the local base flying training sorties overhead day and night. The last time this happened was just before the Iraq invasion. So unless the British army is burning fuel for fun, expect military action somewhere soon.
Meanwhile, back in Hong Kong I see the married cheats’ website ashleymadison.com is kicking up its own dust storm. Readers have reacted strongly to this subject, with few agreeing that “infidelity website saves marriages in Hong Kong,” as the site’s press release proclaims.
The “King of Infidelity” himself, Noel Biderman has now landed in Hong Kong to launch his adultery website, saying his company “totally underestimated the desire” for his services in Asia, especially in a highly stressful and competitive city like Hong Kong.
Rather than seeing his website as a sleazebags' charter, Biderman believes it’s a remedy to save marriages. “People living in cities with high socioeconomic pressure have a higher possibility to be dissatisfied with their marriage,” he says. “AshleyMadison provides these individuals a platform where they can get rid of their stress instead of taking it home.”
I have a better idea. Don’t get married if you doubt you can keep your vow to be faithful. And if you’re not sure, don’t. Save yourself the cost of a rock and a meaningless wedding, a bunch of promises you don’t intend to keep and then an expensive divorce.
Rooms by the hour
In the last blog on the subject, Biderman thought Hong Kong hotels would happily rent rooms by the hour for lunchtime trysts. While it’s old news that cheap scruffy love hotels offer hourly rates, how many posh places would oblige? I shall do a little homework and report back on just which upmarket dosshouses do this.
Adulterers be careful
But if you suspect your colleague of playing away instead of munching his or her Pret a Manger, it’s easy to check. Watch out for the suspicious spouse calling you, or the landline, concerned because their other half’s mobile is turned off. Another obvious sign is returning from “lunch”, only to gobble sandwiches at their desk. He or she might look a bit flushed and distracted. Men may check their hair and collar – for lipstick. Women may have smudged make-up and bolt to the bathroom to re-apply it, often putting on too much extra perfume at the same time.
The real giveaway
Pay attention to exactly how a man’s tie is knotted before he leaves for lunch. Check when he comes back. If the knot is even slightly fatter or thinner, or the two ends of the tie different lengths, he’s banged to rights. Of course, modern alley cats may be too smart to get caught this easily, but many of my cheating male colleagues ware rumbled this way. Girls, be careful too. One memorable afternoon a female colleague returned late from lunch looking slightly dishevelled. She flopped in her chair, stretched out an elegant leg and reached down to scratch her ankle. All eyes in the open-plan office followed her hand downwards, only to discover the cause of the itch at the same moment she did: a Durex condom wrapper trapped and clearly visible under her tights.
Biderman says that prior to its official launch, over 320,000 individual attempts to access the website within Hong Kong. So watch out for a cheater sitting near you.
It looks like humans are a pretty shallow bunch, with 54% of women and 57% of men admitting to cheating in any relationship they’ve had, according to Biderman. Apparently 41% of marriages involve at least one spouse who has cheated and 68% of women and 74% of men would have an affair if they knew they wouldn’t get caught. No surprises there.
And for those who think only westerners are unfaithful, here are the stats for the site’s cheating Asian users in North America: Toronto: 9.8% (33% female), Vancouver: 11.2% (44% female), San Francisco: 13.1% (36% female) and Los Angeles: 10.5% (38% female)
About Asian Affairs
For some reason, 71% of Asian women in North America specifically look for non-Asian affair partners, compared to only 26% of men. So if the cheating Asian women are looking for non-Asian partners, who are the Asian women cheating with the Asian men?
Koreans are biggest cheats
Japanese cheaters signed up to the site quickest - 320,000 in the month after launching, fastest in AshleyMadison.com’s history, while Hong Kong clocked the same number, 320,000 before lunch and Macau 33,000. Mainland China cheats numbered over 640,000, South Korea: 817,000, Taiwan: 255,000 and even in clean living Singapore over 209,000 signed up in the first month.
The real cost of cheating
Ironically, the arrival of this website may actually make existing philanderers pause for thought. All this chat about cheating may make previously trusting spouses question their partner’s absences and alibis. When Ireland got the 50-50 split divorce law, mistresses were dumped pronto and posh restaurants emptied. No sensible husband wants a judge to split his fortune down the middle, and increasingly that’s what happens in Hong Kong divorces.