Why are Japanese women flocking to this adultery website?

Over the past year or so, we’ve been seeing an awful lot of trend stories about how Japanese youngsters are abstaining from sex. That could be having a deleterious effect on married Japanese women, who are flocking to the adultery website Ashley Madison in record numbers.

The Daily Beast reports that when Ashley Madison’s Japanese website launched in June 2013, it attracted more than 120,000 members in just 10 days, with women outranking men by nearly two to one.

Today, Ashley Madison, whose slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair,” has more than a million members in Japan. If growth continues at this rate, nearly 1 percent of Japan will have an account on the site pretty soon.

So why, then, are so many Japanese women rushing to have extramarital affairs? Most likely, because the celibacy trend has done little to quench women’s libidos. A recent Ashley Madison survey indicates that nearly 55 percent of Japanese women have affairs because they don’t have enough sex in their marriages, a result that jibes with a survey by the condom maker Sagami that determined 55 percent of couples considered their marriages sexless.

Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman (whose informal moniker is “the King of Infidelity,” which is a pretty good reason to take what he says with a grain of salt) also surmises that there simply isn’t as much of a stigma attached to infidelity in Japan as there in the United States.

“In America lots of women use Ashley Madison, but I don’t think they tell their friends about it. I think they’re telling their friends about it [in Japan],” Biderman told the Daily Beast. “I think there’s some ‘virality’ going on. Not only are they unashamed, they are, in a sense, proud.”

H/T Daily Beast | Photo by mrhayata/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

EJ Dickson

EJ Dickson

EJ Dickson is a writer and editor who primarily covers sex, dating, and relationships, with a special focus on the intersection of intimacy and technology. She served as the Daily Dot’s IRL editor from January 2014 to July 2015. Her work has since appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Mic, Bustle, Romper, and Men’s Health.