Melbourne, April 12: It seems that Australians are eager to have an affair, as a dating website, where married couples are encouraged to cheat, has revealed that thousands of them have already signed up.
The founder of ashleymadison.com boasted on April 11 that spouses would never learn of their partner's infidelity, and prided himself on discretion.
Noel Biderman said that more than 18,000 Australians - 30 per cent of them women - had registered at ashleymadison.com before the site had even been advertised in Australia.
"Cheaters still love their partners, but they're terrified to tell them they need something else in the bedroom," News.com.au quoted him as saying.
"Cheating is sometimes easier than saying they want to bring another person into the bedroom, or have a night off to be with someone else," he stated.
Family groups have described the website as "scurrilous" and "low".
"It's a means to make money, so he's effectively getting rich by undermining people's marriages," Bill Muehlenberg, secretary of the Family Council of Victoria, said.
"How many more kids are going to be left with a broken family, all because one guy wants to make money?" he stated.
Biderman defended his site, arguing that infidelity could save relationships.
"We are always viewed as a home-wrecking service but we're actually preserving many marriages," he said.
"Having sex with a like-minded person is better than starting a relationship with a friend or someone in the workplace, or going on to singles sites or bars to meet people. No one has to get hurt this way," he explained.
The American entrepreneur and happily married father of two says he's made millions through his website.
Based on the numbers it is already attracting, Biderman believes Australia is shaping up to be one of the most unfaithful countries in the world.
Biderman developed the website, with his wife's reluctant approval, some years ago after discovering the 20 percent of people using online dating services and singles sites were actually married.
Biderman said Tiger Woods and Jesse James might still be happily married if they had used his website to meet "like-minded" women who weren't going to kiss and tell.
"Lipstick on the collar has been replaced by text messages and emails," he said.
"Using a service like ours protects people. There are probably many athletes, celebrities and politicians already using it, but I wouldn't know because people's identities are protected," he dded.