Ashley Madison boss reveals “fascinating” reason men and women cheat

Daisy Phillipson
Sam and Nia Rader in the Ashley Madison documentary

Following the release of the Netflix documentary Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal, the company’s Chief Strategy Officer has revealed to us the “fascinating” reason men and women cheat.

The true story behind Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal centers on the divisive dating app for married people looking for affairs, and the 2015 hacking scandal that saw millions of users’ personal information leaked on the dark web.

The new documentary series has garnered a strong reaction, with many viewers criticizing those who cheat on their spouses and slamming Ashley Madison for its part to play. 

But Paul Keable, CSO for Ashley Madison’s parent company Ruby, believes people are too quick to make moral judgments without understanding the full situation. 

“What a lot of people come to Ashley Madison for are not the reasons they think,” Keable told Dexerto in an interview, pointing to an independent study led by Missouri State University professor Dr. Alicia Walker.

Rather than funding or controlling the study, Ashley Madison gave her access to its membership so she could come to an academic understanding of why men and women cheat. 

“It was quite different than what most people think,” Keable continued. “80% of the women using Ashley Madison were in sexless or orgasmless marriages.

“They were coming to Ashley Madison to outsource their intimate needs. Because — and this is the really important part — they do love their spouse. They often tell me that they very much love their partner, their husband, their family situation, but obviously their intimate needs aren’t being met. 

“And what society tells that woman is either compromise – i.e. live with a horrible sex life – or divorce, which is catastrophic for her, her family, and all sorts of others are going to be roped into that orbit.” 

Keable suggests Ashley Madison has the solution to this, adding, “What we offer is a path to what we call a successful affair, an undiscovered affair, which then helps that marriage stay intact. And people don’t really understand that.”

But what Keable found most “fascinating” about the study was why men cheat. Although some might assume it’s all about sex, the findings suggested that most male users were “seeking emotional validation.”

“That’s often what people ascribe to women, not to men. And so that really flips the script a little bit,” he continued. “So, before they judge, all I would say is try to understand a little bit more. And understand not everyone is built for monogamy.”

Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal is streaming on Netflix now. You can find out if the doc’s Sam and Nia Rader are still together. And if it’s true crime you’re interested in, why not find out what Pillowcase Murders is all about, how to watch the Alison Botha documentary, and the sinister true story behind Netflix’s The Asunta Case.