Sexy Survey for Science

Friday May 10, 2013 

This morning I got an email from Ashley Madison! 
It had a link to a fascinating survey from the Univ. of Kentucky about married people dating.  I wish I had written down the questions… there were basic demographics (age, sex, state) then what I do in terms of dating and why and what I get out of it.  I found it was not written with me in mind, as it focused on “one other” and a spouse.  
It gave an email address and the name of the grad student running it if you wanted to volunteer to  be interviewed.  She and I have emailed all day.  So great to see “science” looking into our sexy corner of the world.  She is trying to prove that multiple relationships make life better.  🙂
She also told me about her early results.  Fascinating!

How would you answer her questions?


From: Ashley Madison
To: Sassy
Sent: May 10, 2013
Subject: Complete this anonymous survey and you could win $$$ from the University of Kentucky
Dear Sassy,
Researchers at the University of Kentucky have asked us to help them with an Internet dating survey. Your answers will be kept 100% confidential, and you will have the option to enter a drawing to win a $300 VISA check card. If you would like to participate, just click on the link below.
Noel Biderman
You are receiving this Email Notification because you or someone using
your email address has signed up as a member to our service.
The email address we have on file for profile number [redacted] is:
If you have received this email in error, or if you wish to delete your
account or unsubscribe from Email Notifications, please choose one of
the options below:
Unsubscribe from Email Notifications:
[url redacted]
Delete Account:

[url redacted]

Dear Professor (a woman), 
I just took the survey about internet dating.  If you need additional information, I would be willing to be interviewed via email. 
From: The graduate student (a woman)
To: Me
Thanks so much for contacting me! (You are referring to the Ashley Madison survey, right?)
Marital Status?
Location (country or U.S. state)?
Pseudonym? (Everyone gets a fake first name)
Please feel free to ask me any questions you have as we go along. If we were in person, there would’ve been much small talk ahead of time. 

Also, please know there is never any judgement on my part. This is my research area, and my own views on marriage, monogamy, intimacy, etc. are well outside the “norm.”
[Her name]
Ph.D. Student, Sociology
Graduate Teaching Assistant
“Anyone who cares a lot about something — for example, a baseball fan — is very critical in making judgments about it. Far from the opposite of caring, being critical is the very consequence of caring.”–Harvey C. Mansfield
“The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.”–Michel Foucault
“The challenge of modernity is to live without illusions and without becoming disillusioned.”–Antonio Gramsci
“My goal is to contribute to preventing people from being able to utter all kinds of nonsense about the social world.”–Pierre Bourdieu
“How is a man to find where he belongs in life? The more original he is, the less likely he is to find his place prepared for him.”–Charles H. Cooley
“Not all who wander are lost.”–J.R.R. Tolkein
from: Me
To the grad student
I am referring to the Ashley Madison survey.  Here are answers for you:
It is a pleasure to know someone is looking into this part of life and asking questions that might lead to more understanding and acceptance.
FYI – your questions don’t fit the pattern I see in my friends.  Many of us have no sex with our primary, a steady outside secondary, and several other partners who fill the gaps when we can’t see the secondary (either due to distance or scheduling issues).  So the “spouse and other” model is a narrow view.  It was odd to answer about my secondary and never mention the other men I’ve met from Ashley Madison. Perhaps it is a first step in process that may broaden out?
I am glad to help your research however I can. 

From the grad student
To Me
Hi Sassy!
Yes, I function much the same way as you described you and your friends do. 
The problem with developing a survey for thousands of people, is that you have to create questions that apply to the middle/norm of the group. PLUS… the original survey was more than 100 questions to try to include all of that. Ashley Madison wouldn’t go forward unless I shortened it. So, I’ve been getting at the stuff you’re talking about through interview. Although there is a portion of the population who function by having multiple outside partners, it’s a relatively small group; it’s only women. (Men in this study have ALL said they only have one woman and only want one woman.) And even among this small group of women–a lot of them so far just have one OP–many still do have sex with their spouse. 
So, what you’re talking about is really  just a limitation of survey methods in gathering data in general. 
• How did you come to the decision to pursue and participate in an outside partner relationship originally?
• How did you decide to come to Ashley Madison?
How did you decide to participate/utilize multiple outside partnerships?
From Me
To the grad student
Good to know you are coming at this work with some experience.  I’m in an online IRC group and read an online forum that allows “cheaters” to support each other, and I find that those who have not done it, even if they are well-read and sympathetic, don’t get the emotional issues and their consequences. 
I was guessing you were limited by something like that.  and 100 questions is too much.  Your survey was just the right length.  I would have thought Ashley Madison would want to discover and promote people having lots of partners.  🙂 
It is not only women, in my crowd, who are living this way.  I wonder if there is some reason the men would not fess up.  They may want only one woman at a time, but they are going through a lot of women to find her and most have 3-4 in the pipeline at any given time.  The men I meet fall into three general categories –
a. nothing at home,
b. something at home but they want something different (the “fresh flesh” phenomenon) or
c. the fine at home but want MORE!  
• How did you come to the decision to pursue and participate in an outside partner relationship originally?

The last time my husband touched me was 1999.  I gave up on that part of my life.  I am a demure, curvy, older woman that no man looks at twice, so I assumed no one else wanted me.  I did not miss sex – it had always been “something a man did to me” and I waited for it to be over.
In August 2010, an old flame I dated for three weeks in high school when he was 16 and I was 14 (dating consisted of holding hands at lunch and kissing at the dance) tracked me down online through the Classmates site after 35 years.  I remembered his name and that he broke my heart, but nothing else.  He apologized for hurting me and said he was interested in seeing if the chemistry was still there.  He wanted to finish what we started and came at me at 100 mph.   Neither of us had cheated before.  We had an intense conversation online for 6 weeks, then I flew to meet him in a city far away.  He resurrected me sexually, taught me that it can be an equal partnership, and I finally understood what all the fuss is about!  
He is miles away,  married and military, so we’ve only seen each other three times, but we correspond daily and look for a chance to be together again. 
    2. How did you decide to come to Ashley Madison?
I have read a lot of sexy blogs online about people’s Ashley Madison adventures, and heard people talk about them in the forums and IRC chat rooms.  So I knew it was an option and how it worked, but didn’t think it was a viable option for me. 
I fought breast cancer from December 2010 – August 2011.  Surviving all that gave me a keen sense of “Life is short.  Live to the fullest!” so I did not want to go back to foregoing such an important part of life.  
There was a rainy night in September 2012 when both my husband and my man forgot my birthday, and it had been a year since I’d been able to see my old flame.  Both of them encouraged me to find someone local to have sex with.

I was in the IRC chat room with people who had great success on Ashley Madison and encouraged me to post a profile to enjoy the attention, even if I did not meet anyone.  I told them no man would write to me due to my age and size.  They bet me someone would.  So I tossed up a profile.  I was not overwhelmed with responses, as many women report, but I heard from enough men to keep life interesting. 

    3. How did you decide to participate/utilize multiple outside partnerships?
I went on AM looking for one man to be a regular local partner.  I found several very well-educated, handsome, charming men who tempted me to meet them for lunch or dinner.  Some of those meetings turned into wonderful afternoons in a hotel.  Sadly, none of them have worked out.   
I’ve run into all the types – 
email kings, 
guilt kings, 
one-and-done liars (who said they wanted long term and never wrote again after sex), 
traveling men, 
men who use old photos and understate their age by more than 10 years,
men who want to but are too busy working, 
men who don’t know what they want, 
men with severe physical deformities and 
the men with kinks beyond my boundaries such as Mr. Scat who wanted to listen to me um… on the toilet, and Panties Man who wore women’s underwear!  I could have dealt with silky fabric and lace, but he wanted to be humiliated and punished for it… mean is not my style!  
I enjoyed poking around in their heads, and learned something from each one, but feel mostly ill-used, lied to and still lonely.  I have been turned down by most, turned down a few, and have a few I am still talking to, hoping to meet someday.

Who would think that a woman who flies the “I want sex!” flag would have trouble giving it away?  So I figure out their quirks and perks, hoping the latter are enough to make it worth dealing with the former.  And keep dreaming of a guy who would meet me now and then for fun and passion. 

You have wonderful quotes! 

From the grad student
To Me

Sorry, another follow up: How many outside partners have you had?
[her name]
Ph.D. Student, Sociology
Graduate Teaching Assistant
From me
To the grad student
No worries.  I am enjoying this! 
How many outside partners have you had?
    What counts?  
I’ve met 10 men.  
Had intercourse with 5, 
exchanged oral sex with the 6th. 
Hope this has helped!  
Is there a way to see your findings?  Put me on the list if there is one! 
From the grad student 
To Me
Lol. Love all your categories. Some you may have to explain to me. 
How do you juggle your outside partner(s) and your spouse?

How does your outside partner relationship(s) work alongside your marriage or primary relationship? 

[Her name]
Ph.D. Student, Sociology
Graduate Teaching Assistant
From Me
To the grad student
Glad I got you laughing.  Might as well!  Ask anything you want.  
How do you juggle your outside partner(s) and your spouse? How does your outside partner relationship(s) work alongside your marriage or primary relationship? 
Not quite sure what you mean by this… I don’t have to worry about stealth so it relatively easy.  Hubby and I each do our own thing, and talk about it.  We are good friends, make a good team, he just won’t touch me or let me touch him.  
My main man far away so mostly online – Facebook messages – so I can get to those when I have time.  We also have sexier chats late evenings after H is asleep.  
My AM meets I plan ahead so I can use the car and not interfere with something Hubby is doing.  
From the grad student 
To Me
Yes, everyone will see all of the resulting articles.
Whatever counts to YOU counts. 
• How did you come to the decision to pursue and participate in an outside partner relationship? How did you wind up on AM?

From the grad student 
To Me
So your marriage is open? 
• How do OP(s) help you remain in your primary partnership?
From the grad student 
To Me
Also, as to the men not fessing up… We’re not counting ppl you’re considering/emailing in the OP count. 
Men sleep with one at a time. Or the men in this study report this. 
The women tend to have 3-4 partners they rotate. They even have names for their practice: one calls it a “roster”–as do I. Another says it’s her “stable.” Another says it’s a “herd.”
From Me
To the grad student
Ah… I see.  Very interesting.  I have seen the serial monogomishers (Dan Savage term) but also the men with their harems.  
Great terms!  I had not heard those!  Women I know call it their “mentourage” (a play on the show Entourage) or “the platoon” or the “man harem.”

I have a gaggle of about two dozen online friends – bloggers, IRC chatters, forum buddies and AM men, who talk sexy with me, but I know fewer in person.  Several of those online relationships are more “real” than the face-to-face ones, but I can see why you can’t go there.  Some men are very clear that they can not meet – too risky – but want to fulfill their needs online.  Others are always “going to meet you sometime” but it never quite happens.  

Wow… you are going to have to write a book!  or a blog.  Get this stuff out there!  
From me
To the grad student
Open marriage?  – Yes.  My husband considers himself polyamorous but can’t quite make it reality.  
There is never any question of leaving him.  He is ill, unable to deal with the basics of life.  Most days he is a creative, sweet, wonderful man.  Other days he can’t get out bed.  and I am never sure which will happen on any given day.  I made a promise to take care of him and keep him alive, and I’ve done it for 19 years.  I will keep on.  
I need to take care of my needs somehow, get recharged to back in and deal with him, and not place the burden of supporting me emotionally on him.  My main man and affair partners help immensely with that.  They have made me know that I am desirable and provide so much under the radar of the “real world” I inhabit.  I do it all anonymously, so I am able to keep it separate.  Leading a double life is tough, even in an open marriage, but it makes me feel much safer. 

From the Grad Student
To Me
Oh, yes, the online only ppl ALL have multiples, yes. 
This study is looking at people who get naked in person together. 🙂
• How does it help you remain in your primary partnership?

From the grad student
To Me
So you’re “don’t ask/don’t tell”?
What are all the ways an outside partnership enhances your life? 

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Sassy Girl

It's the gal you knew in high school that you've wondered about. And she's got something to say! Time to heat up old flames!

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