A good number of married Texans cheat or want to, according to an online dating service that specializes in extramarital affairs. AshleyMadison.com bills itself as "the world's leading married dating service for discreet encounters." The website issued a press release recently that places two Texas cities in their list of the top ten most adulterous metropolises in America.
Not only did Austin and Houston land on the list, but they led the pack at no. 2 and no. 3, respectively. The Texas towns were beaten only by Washington D.C., which scored the number one spot for the second year in a row.
The rankings were determined by the number of new users per capita who signed up for the service during 2012. The "Live Music Capital of the World" is now also the capitol of cheating hearts in Texas with over 20,000 new members in the past year. Houston also experienced a surge of scoundrels with 64,000 new users. The Bayou city moved up from the no. 8 spot in 2011, according to KHOU News.
The two cities combine to make Texas the fastest growing state in terms of infidelity, perhaps not a moniker you'll see in tourist brochures any time soon. If everything is bigger in Texas, then that must include libidos.
Noel Biderman, founder and CEO of AshleyMadison.com, had a very business-like philosophy to explain the phenomenon in Texas. "Though Austin and Houston are two very different cities culturally," he said, "infidelity is the thread that ties them together; transcending socio-economic, ethnic, age and obviously gender bias." That is marketing jargon that essentially means all kinds of people cheat. So in a way, the variety of philanderers we have in our state is yet another mark of our diversity.
Cheating might also be a sign of prosperity, according to Biderman. “It’s interesting to see which cities spike in membership year to year and clearly social and economic issues are factors," he said. "We have always found that independence and success make a person more likely to have an affair." So, betrayed husbands and wives can take comfort in knowing that at least their spouses are doing well financially.
And how does Valentine's Day affect all this? It drives up the desire for extramarital affairs. February 15th is Ashley Madison's biggest day in terms of the number of new users. Last year, the day after V-day saw a 439 percent increase in new memberships compared with the daily average. Husbands, pull out all the stops today! Apparently women represent the majority of new sign-ups on February 15.