Saturday, April 26, 2014

For So Many Years I've Wondered Who You Are

or When Ryan Met Shannon

I really thought of just using "When Ryan Met Shannon" as the title today.  It sounded so "When Harry Met Sally!"  But as so often happens I hear a song and then realize that is the title for the post.  So of course on the way to work the other day I heard this song on XM Radio's First Wave and thought hmmm.

OMG, I'd like some of that sister love!
Btw who doesn't like a Swedish super group.  This song, "The Sign" made Ace of Base famous along with two other tracks from their debut album.  An interesting footnote is that Ace of Base is/was comprised of Ulf Ekberg and the three Berggren siblings (two of whom are smoking hot sisters one blond, one red headed; just like I like it).  They are the third most successful band ever from Sweden after Abba and Roxette.  Sure it's pop sugar but it has a catchy beat and who can resist two hot chics like that!  It's like having your blond and eating your red-head too!  My only question is why do those hot Euro girls always surround themselves with those dorky Euro guys!

But another footnote that might be overlooked is that that song, "the Sign," was the #1 hit in the US way back in spring, 1994 when a successful young entrepreneurial go-getter by the name of Ryan met a young, naive, incredibly hot, slightly grunge'ish/industrial techno rave girl named Shannon in a mid-sized mid-Atlantic southern town.

Yeah, back in April, 1994 surely nobody would have seen "the sign."  Two people could have been no more different.  We were like Wynona Ryder and Ben Stiller in Reality Bites.  Except this time dorky Ben wins out over that dirty, grungy, goeted Ethan Hawke-like dude and Wynona ends up running the company.

Looking back I was such a guy.  You see, I was a late bloomer/perverbial "nice guy."  I'm not sure which came first but the bottom line was I didn't get laid much in my early college days.  Something changed in me around 20 and I decided I was too good looking and funny to go around horny without prospects any longer.  I got some courage and later some confidence and sort of took off in my last few years of college.  And you guessed it, I started to become a guy.

Knowing Shannon then and certainly now you would never see her as falling for "a guy" like the guy I was back then.  And back in spring, 1994 I surely was not looking for a relationship; I was too interested in enjoying the fruits of my new found confidence.  But it's just when you ain't looking for "it" that "it" so often happens.  It's probably the fact that you are not looking for "it" that makes you confident, laid back, and thus more yourself.  And then it's all those things together that end up making you all the more attractive and of course making "it" find you just when you are not looking for "it."

Looking back I surely didn't deserve her at the time.  I ended up doing everything possible to screw things up.  I remember she would stop by every day to see me at work.  We always spent a few moments chatting over morning coffee about anything and everything.  But my politeness mixed with nonchalance I believe had her curious and curiosity is always what gets the girl even when you are not trying.  She had her own work related reasons for seeing me but it didn't take long for my best work friend (Greg the hipster nouveau Elvis fan) to say "dang dude she's into you, when you goin' to snang that thang!"  See we were totally guys!

Eventually I decide why not?  So I asked Shannon to join me and the boys for a night of local minor league hockey (wow, what a romantic you say).  Well that was my little "dip the toes in the water" ploy.  If things went well I'd ditch the boys and go elsewhere.  If not?  Well there was always beer and hockey fights!  Ladies, this is what you call guy logic.

Things did go well at the hockey game.  Shannon seemed into me and she was certainly WAY hot.  She was cute at work but now completely dressed to impress, I was in fact - impressed.  Enough impressed to say to the group, "hey we should go check out the **** at **** after the game (note - local band at local club)."  Shannon said "sure."  The guys, on cue of course, said they needed to make it an early night.  This is what's called bro-code, we were such guys.

We had a great time at the bar and in fact closed it down.  I took her home.  Nothing happened that night but we made plans for the next weekend.

That next weekend we made plans to see a band at the ***** *****.  We were going to meet around 9 pm.  Problem is a side bar happened.  The type of side bar that only happens to guys.

Kelly II looked like this Melissa
You see about this time that Shannon was chasing me and I was considering being caught I had been contemplating chasing Kelly II.  You see Kelly II was this hot girl from my company's office the next town over.  She was friends with my college friend, Meredith, who I had gotten a job for at this office (I'm telling you Ryan is a great friend to have).  I still liked Meredith but Kelly II had really nice tits and I was pretty sure she was into me.  Now you are probably asking, "why call her Kelly II Ryan?"  See that's because there was a new girl in my office, who I referred affectionately to as Kelly I (because you know there were two Kelly's I knew).  Kelly I had even better tits and about the most awesome ass I'd ever seen.  Btw, both Kelly's were blond, were the proverbial flirty sorority chics, and had just graduated from college; Kelly 2 from ACC Football State U and Kelly I from Carolina Party School State U.  Kelly I was married (her college sweetie) to a very handsome guy who had exactly ZERO personality.  The old boss had asked Ryan, the young gun, to help train Kelly I, an assignment I most certainly desired to complete earnestly.  Kelly I and I had a habit of working into the early evening and sometimes I gave her a ride home.  Her husband worked late and I'd keep her company because I was a gentleman.  We got to be very good friends.  I'd love to say we got to be "those" type of friends but that didn't quite happen.  Unfortunately back in 1994 I'd yet to discover the joys of having sex with married women.  Anyway, both Kelly I and Kelly II were both
hot, kind of like dueling Melissa Joan Harts.  But I'm digressing now, but again you see - total guy!

Kelly I looked like this Melissa
Anyway, the side bar that happened is that Kelly I asked me to go to one of those "Friday After 5" things after work.  This didn't seem to be a problem, I wasn't going to see Shannon until 9 pm.  I'd hang with Kelly I at the big outdoor party (which btw Hooty and the Blowfish were playing at, this before they became Jock Rock celebs).  Kelly I and I had a great time.  It was now about 7 pm and Kelly I wanted to go to dinner.  How could I say no.  So we sat down to dinner at a place close by.  The place was (as my granddad would say) "slow as smoke off a turd."  See guy talk!

Long story short - I didn't leave the restaurant until about 9:05 pm and it was about a 20 minute drive to the bar where I was supposed to meet Shannon.  Geez, guys get into the most trouble when all we want to do is get laid!

Actually, give me credit for being considerate.  I had called my roommate Joey around 8:55 realizing my predicament and had asked him to go to the bar where I was supposed to meet Shannon and cover for me for a few minutes.  He was on the couch drinking beer and watching the Rangers and wouldn't budge!  It's a real shame when a guy won't cover for another guy isn't it!

Which by the way, Joey, it's been 20 years but FU!  Hey, I really shouldn't say that, Joe is a great guy despite his Jersey mullet.  He was so Jersey, I remember spending about an hour one night trying to explain the meaning to him of the saying "as a crow flies."  Ladies, these are the types of intellectual conversations guys have when we are not chasing women.

Anyway, I rushed to the bar!

When I got to the bar it was so crowded I couldn't get in.  I waited for about 30 minutes, the line didn't move.  Somewhere in there was the girl I was supposed to have sex with later tonight and I couldn't get to her.  See, this is how guys think.

I hung out at a bar across the street which was a combination sleezy bar/laundromat; pathetic, I know.  I watched to see if she left or if I could get in.  The line never moved, nobody was leaving.  In desperation I called her at home.  I know you millennials out there are saying "why didn't you just text her dipshit!"  Well, my young friends if you can believe it Al Gore hadn't invented the internet yet and mobile phones were things only Gordon Gekko had and we certainly hadn't heard of a smart phone.  Luckily, I caught Shannon at home.  She had left a long time ago when I didn't show.  She seemed like she appreciated the phone call but I was sure I had screwed up.  No guy deserves any good will after that you know!

To add insult to injury I had to work the next day (Saturday).  I was miserable, not only hung over but suffering from lack of sex that was oh so close and yet, sadly now, so far away.

I'll let slide this time, you'll pay later!
And yet to my utter amazement about mid-day as I was wandering aimlessly about the store, the front door swung open and an angel walked through.  It was like one of those scenes in Forest Gump when Jenny walks in.  It was Shannon and she had that devilish smile on her face that now gripped me and would end up gripping me for many years.  I didn't deserve this but here she was.  Apparently she was there to give me some grief about the previous night but I knew it was code for "you screwed up buddy but you're lucky, I like you.  You have one more chance, you better make it count!"

Well, when you phrase thoughts like that a guy understands.  The next weekend we took a day trip up to the mountains for a hike and a nice dinner at a country inn. It was a gorgeous day and Shannon enjoyed it and the ride in my fancy sports car with the good sound system and sun roof.  I had her now.  When we got back to her place I remember we watched the Stand.  For the next few nights our new habit would be to watch the Stand and then have sex.  The first night it was getting to know you sex.  By the time Trash Man blew up Las Vegas I was lifting her onto the kitchen counter and screwing her as hard as I could with her legs wrapped around me.  I remember as I grabbed her ass I knocked over a wine glass and cut myself.  I didn't care I was so into it.  I remember after I had blood running down my arm and it was on her back.  It just made us hornier and we had sex again on the couch after she patched me up a bit (which was also hot).

She had red hair back then
A few weeks later I took her to the beach.  Back then she was still the naive girl impressed that a guy had a credit limit large enough to front an Ocean View room and dinner to boot.  I had never had so much sex and looking back never as much sense probably.

Looking back it's so hard to imagine that such a typical guy could have won the interest of such a brainy, cerebral, girl.  And now looking back it's even harder to imagine that the smart, savy, world traveling women that girl became has decided to keep that same guy around for so many years.

Oh well, 20 years later and I don't think either of us have really seen the sign!  But here we are nonetheless.   :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

FFF - Voyeur

It's a Good Friday
to Hop Over to Three Spelling Mistakes
and join in!

I'm so glad I found my men and I love seeing them happy.  Even now I watch over them to make sure they are going to be OK.

But a few years ago Wisteria Lane was not so happy.  It makes me feel good to know I changed all of that.

Take Larry over there on the mower.  It's Saturday and he's at home.  He'll finish the yard and then he'll actually spend some time with the kids, maybe cook out on the grill, and then make love to his wife later this evening.  But when I met Larry he had a really bad 108 hole a week golf habit.  He focused more on his backswing than his family's dreams.  I taught him how much fun a woman could be.  A few rounds with me and he realized using his driver on a lady was much more stimulating than using it at Pebble Beach.  When he took those lessons home his wife was happy enough to keep him off the course.

I see Jim too.  Jim is a really good guy, smart too.  But as a landscaper working with his hands he didn't feel the intellectual equal of his History teaching wife.  But after maneuvering his firm hands all over my body we read the classics and learned French together.  That summer he took his wife to the South of France and they came back lovers again.

Oh that's Jeff, my busy accountant there bringing in the groceries.  Yeah poor April used to say she was a tax widow named after the worst month of the year; the end of tax season.  But late at night when Jeff was exhausted and could think no more he would just lean back in his chair and I would stroke him until his mind was free.  In those moments of freedom he found that taxes would get done when they got done but you could only enjoy today, today.  His wife was only too happy to welcome him back into her bed on those April nights.

And yes I even see Harry putting out the trash there.  Such a sweet guy, wouldn't hurt a flea and would do anything you tell him.  The one thing he couldn't do is say what he wanted.  Let's face it his wife pushed him around.  But I asked him to take my body and demand what he desired.  In surrendering to him I taught him how to guide a woman to what she and he wants.  In doing so he was able to give his wife what she wanted - confidence.  There sex life was never better after.

Yeah sure all those wives looked at me and would gossip to one another about "that bitch" that lives over there on the corner of Rosemont.   "Why can't she get a husband of her own," I know they would say.  If they only knew what I did for them.  But thanks is not why I was chosen to do this, it's revealing the happiness.

Oh why am I wet and in heels?  That's 'cause Jerry just loves to do it in water.  The heels you ask?  Well I'm a lady, if I'm going to be seen in public, I'm going to be in heels if nothing else!

I don't know what's worse about Jerry's wife that she's jealous or that she is closed off to anything new and erotic.  Which are both turn-offs, you know.  Poor Jerry had to sneak me in while she was getting her monthly wax treatment.  Too bad she got her days mixed up.  Not only did she miss her appointment yesterday but she found out why Jerry had worked so hard to get the pool ready by Memorial Day!  If she would only let go she would find out she was the one Jerry wanted to go skinny dipping with all along.

Too bad I had to get discovered by the one chick with the worst temper on Wisteria Lane and didn't mind doing something about it.

Oh well, this did end up being a wonderful place to keep watch over my guys.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ryan's Repeats - Try to Remember the Kind of September

"These are the times that try men's souls."

I bet you are a bad tipper too!
Yep, this time of year is very tough on a left of center guy like me.  Sure, I'd like to think the government will spend well the money I just sent them.  And as someone that has been off the tax tables for a few years now I think us 10 or so %'ers could afford to pay just a bit more even if we don't quite have that yacht or jet to write off.  But then again that quote above kind of makes me want to go all Tea Party on them.  You know if an old coot in Utah can knock his old lady up 14 times and graze his cattle for free for like 30 years then why am I making such as effort to pay!  Maybe I need some militia to help me out!  Heck all I'd like is to get a little mileage reimbursement for my travels with Sandee, a little business write-off for that hotel room, or perhaps even an educator credit for that new move I tried out last July.  Isn't that really kind of the same as grazing your cattle for free on Federal land set aside to protect turtles?  I promise I thought about work a little bit even if the thought was how glad I was to be there instead of work.  But none the less I think I deserve as much of a free pass on taxes as that Bundy dude out in Utah!

But if I don't like tax day I sure love writing about it.

Here are my past year's returns Tax Day rants from prior years.

April, 2013

But today is not really about taxes, it's about the time of year.  Last year I reflected on the cycle of the year and how my feelings have changed over the years.  As a kid April used to be a time of renewal for me, a time to start looking forward to the summer.  I still enjoy seeing the flowers come out for the first time.  If you live around here those Cherry and Apple Blossoms are spectacular!  But April does mean those pesky taxes and for Ryan (who actually, though I kid a lot, is still a bit of a work-a-holic in real life) this is the busiest time of year.  So I'll leave you with my reflections from last year of how each season of the year affects my psyche.

Knowing my psyche hopefully what affects it is entertaining to you if not silly!

Ryan's Repeat
from April 24th, 2013......

Buddy, ain't that the truth!
Just so you know I'm a very cerebral person.  I think a lot.  The dif
ference between me and say Einstein is not how much we think it's more about what we think about.  He thought about stuff like time and space and the universe.  Me, I'm the kind of guy that wonders why people all line up at one end of the buffet even though they could go straight to the salad bar and avoid the lines.  I had a roommate in college that thought like me.  We used to talk about a lot of weighty topics.  I remember he once said he was allergic to mint and we had a whole discussion one night about if one could in fact be allergic to mint.  I held that you couldn't because mint was a flavor and thus contained no matter with which to be allergic too.  He countered with "so you're saying mint flavoring is anti-matter?"  He said that mint did have a leaf so it did have matter.  I think he won because oils really can cause allergic reactions (e.g. nutes).  We also used to talk about other things like our desire to be "bubble guys" at sporting events.  You know the guys that used to hold up that satellite disc that uploaded the camera feed.  I know shallow, but that is the stupid stuff I used to think about in college and sometimes still do.  In many cases I'm still that cerebral person on issues of no consequence!  :)

Along those lines I never quite understood that song above (Try to Remember).  To me September never really seemed very mellow at all.  It meant that I was back to school and things in fact seemed really hectic.  I never looked forward to September at all, it certainly was not mellow.  Through my career Septembers have remained very hectic, it just tends to be a very busy time at work.

Over the past 20 or so years, much as I did growing up, I always looked forward to the holidays and to May and then into summer.  I also always dreaded the gloom and doom of January.  It was back to school or back to work and those long winter months seemed an eternity to the longed for relaxation and relative easy of May and June.

But over the past five years I have kind of evolved and changed my tune.  September is still hectic but the excitement of fall and back to school is invigorating after the long summer months.  Summer can be inconsistent and off-schedule.  By the time September gets here I tend to be glad it's on it's way.  The holidays are still great.  Seeing the joy of children is always exciting.  But for an adult, the inconsistency can be exhausting in it's own way.  In fact the dread of Winter is now something I look forward too.  January and February tend to be months when we do NOTHING.  And I like it.  No camps, no performances, no vacations, no big events at work just the same old, same old which can be very relaxing.  At least until I get bored and start looking forward to Spring and the excitement of those end of year activities and the joy of planning for Spring Break and summer vacations.

I guess what I'm getting at is that as I get older I've evolved and I enjoy the pace of the entire year.  I tend to want to savor everything and enjoy each moment as if I were sampling a fine Merlot.

Is it really 3 months to thong season?
Yeah, that is what I want to talk about today the evolutionary process.  That's a weighty topic I can really sink my teeth into in my own way.  Another thing we used to talk about back in college is how all the hot girls disappeared over the winter.  In early September and late April the bikinis came out as the girls layed out in from of ****** ******* Hall at Big State U.  But in January and February it was as if they disappeared.  Big State U was a frozen wasteland; a veritable Land North of the Wall with nothing to look at but fellow male Night's Watchmen.  Depressing.

But as with my evolution in finding satisfaction with all seasons of the year so society evolves.  And so my evolutionary hypothesis is that the female species is advancing faster than their male counterpart.  How do I come to this conclusion you ask.  By natural selection of course.  Females are evolving and us poor guys are just getting left in the dust.

My evolutionary evidence and I guess you could say "tribute" of the day is to Yoga pants.  People like Einstein might celebrate the Theory of Relativity. I celebrate the invention of Yoga pants and the evolutionary tract that yoga pants have created for womankind.  For with Yoga pants those "Hotties" no longer have to hibernate over the winter.  Now they can flash those nice round ass cheeks in public 12 months a year in warmth and comfort.  This is truly an evolutionary step forward.  I know this because there is even a website for Women in Yoga Pants.

Guys?  We just look even more fat in that gigantic North Face jacket. The stocking cap doesn't hide the fact that you are bald.  That Ravens hoodie you are wearing just makes you look like a big black tent with a stupid bird emblem on the side.  Let's face it unless you are still able to keep up that ex-swimmer figure or you're one of those Metro-sexual European dudes, no matter what you do you are still a middle aged guy with no style.

But if you are a lady just slip on a sleek black pair of yoga pants and Badonga-donk!  Yep, we're looking at ya'!  Yes those yoga pants are oh so good at keeping things curving just right; framing those cheeks perfectly.  Who'd of thought that the next great invention would be a way for a woman to just roll out of bed, tie her hair up in a scrunchie, pull on some pants, and then turn heads like Beyonce!  Nobody is going to call the cops on you for public indecency and yet in them we can tell just what it's going to look like when we are in front of the mirror (us behind you).  And that is a beautiful mental image.  And yes, stay with the scrunchie, it's hot knowing just what you are going to look like tomorrow morning when I wake up next to you!  Because you know that evolutionary thing means don't make it too complicated for us to figure it out (we're only about 2 genomes away from Neanderthals you know).

OMG, and you have to check out this article.  Apparently you don't have to bend over and prove your yoga pants are too sheer at Luluemon boutique in NYC!  But if you are with me you are still welcome too!

So ladies, congratulations (as if you didn't know it already) you win the evolution game.  I quit, I need to get back to my twinkie and NASCAR!  :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

My Interview with Ashley Madison

You know part of the allure of Ashley Madison is the excitement one gets in learning about someone new.  Of course you get that in blogging as well as you learn about other bloggers.  I guess in that vein blogging about Ashley Madison is the best of both worlds.

In preparing my questions I spent a lot of time watching videos of Noel Biderman.  Say what you will about his service but time after time in every venue he is always a gentleman even when his questioners, be they Dr. Phil or the View, were rather snarky.  I tend to be curious so I did more google searching of Noel Biderman.  I was curious what this guy was all about; what might daily life be for him.  The most interesting thing I found out about him was his involvement in youth football in his hometown of Toronto.  Google his name and you'll find a lot of interviews but what you won't find is him screwing around with girl x or y.  Take a look into his personality and you find he actually does "walk the walk" when he says he's a family man.  I don't know if that makes you feel better about his service but at least you know who he is at the end of the day when he gets home from work.  When I asked him about the importance of balance he replied and his interest in coaching.

"That is absolutely a cornerstone to my happiness if not success – my entrepreneurial success has not changed me – I am still the family man I have always strived to be, I still have the same group of friends from before high school and I still love the platform that sports provided to both coach and be coached."

While Noel did respond to my e-mail in the end it was mostly Ashley (I suspect) who answered my questions.  Sure the answers were somewhat "boilerplate."  But you do have to hand it to her, she knows her "talking points."  I would, however, like to think I refined a little more out of the discussion.  I like to understand how things work.  A lot has been said about the morality of Ashley Madison but not everyone thinks about why this thing works.  Hopefully this will give you a little understanding of the ingredients that make Ashley Madison such a success.

I certainly do want to thank Noel and Ashley for spending a little time with a crazy blogger, they certainly didn't have to.  But I guess that is the great thing about the information age, it has become fairly easy to get connected.

So here are the answers to the questions that had bothered my soul.  Well, they really hadn't bothered my soul but I do like that Jimmy Buffet song.  I think the most interesting comment is the one about women and Ashley Madison.  As I have always know, and have read, the success of Ashley Madison is due to the comfort zone it builds for women on the site thus allow them to control the dynamic of the site.

The intro to this interview is (here).

Hi Ryan,

Please see the answers to your questions below:

1)  Ryan - I remember an episode of "All in the Family" where Archie and Edith have an evening out with a couple they just met.  Later in the episode it is discovered that this other couple are "swingers" and into "wife swapping."  The episode is so funny because of the contrast between what was (at the time) regarded as a very traditional marriage against what was considered an off the radar "deviant" relationship.  Fast forward almost 40 years now and that type of interaction doesn't seem so odd.  Thinking of that episode (if you remember) what do you feel has been the role of Ashley Madison in transitioning society's view of how we define a "traditional" relationship?

Ashley - is a platform for like-minded adults who are already in relationships and who are looking to have affairs. People have been unfaithful since the dawn of time, however, the site wouldn’t be as successful as it is today if it weren’t for some key events. In particular, the rise in female infidelity has had a dramatic effect on our success –something that we wouldn’t have seen 50 years ago.  This change has been fueled by two key ingredients.

Infidelity was once believed to be an activity reserved exclusively for men. Now, as women have more financial independence, and achieve higher education and enter the workforce, females now find themselves in situations where they’re able to actively seek out a way to have their physical desires met that are often left unfulfilled at home.

Technology is the second factor, changing how people pursue affairs. Prior to current technologies, committing infidelity was a far riskier behavior and people put a lot more time and energy into having an undiscovered affair. Prior to smartphones and the Internet, there was no private way of communicating with a lover. Writing down or memorizing phone numbers, using a home landline, sending secret love letters, or making excuses to “take the dog for a walk” to use the nearest payphone, have now been replaced by discreet messages sent through password protected phones, emails and online dating sites.

2)  Ryan - Is Ashley Madison where you thought it would be 10 years ago?  What has turned out as you hoped?  What hasn't?  What is good and bad about how Ashley Madison has turned out?

Ashley - We always knew that would fulfill a need that, prior to us, wasn’t being serviced. The site has been very successful and now has over 24 million members in 36 countries – we just recently launched in South Korea.

3)  Ryan - I read you had a "light bulb moment" when you read an article about married people on dating websites.  But more than that initial idea, what were the original core tenets that Ashley Madison was found on.  By that I (personally) believe that the success of the site is driven by the empowerment of women and how they can control the dynamic of interaction.  This creates a safe zone for them to operate successfully and thus provide the platform for men and women to meet.  Is this the case?  Was this intentional?  How did you arrive at this realization?

*   As an aside it occurs to me that men, when living in all-male residence halls in college, are basically animals.  When you add females and turn those residence halls into co-ed dorms a better society evolves.  Women when empowered and with the ability to shape social mores make men better.  Do you think Ashley Madison fosters this paradigm and was this your aspiration?

Ashley - When we started we built our branding and service around women, as I firmly believed that female infidelity was a trend that was just getting started.

Previously, if women decided to pursue an affair, they usually looked in their workplace or in their circle of friends, where – if discovered - they would lose not only their partner and their lover, but also their friends. So we decided to build the service for women,  from the color palette we chose, the name AshleyMadison, the choice of word “affair” instead of cheating, were all chosen to appeal to women.

4)  Ryan - As I said above so much has been written from people that were pre-disposed to dislike Ashley Madison and were using your interview for validation purposes.  And I must add that in all of these cases Noel (you) acted in such a professional/gentlemanly way in responding to so many loaded questions.  Given that, what questions about Ashley Madison have you NOT been asked that you wish you had been asked?  Let me have you ask yourself those questions and hear your answer.

Ashley - How has helped millions of marriages across the globe?
We provide a platform for people to have undiscovered affairs – a way to fulfill needs while keeping marriages intact.

5)  Ryan - I have one blogging friend who is on Ashley Madison who was approached by a survey by an academic entity that mentioned they were funded by Ashley Madison.  Does Ashley Madison sponsor/support any relationship research that affirms benefits of the site (or refutes)?

Ashley - often partners with academic institutions that are interested in having access to our large member database to conduct research about relationships and infidelity. has worked with Duke University, Columbia University and the University of Michigan.

6)  Ryan - Are you aware of the impact Ashley Madison has had on blogging culture?  There have been several fascinating blogs such as "Ashley and Me" written by a Riff Dog that have achieved almost "cult like" fame.  Have you followed them, embraced them?  What are your thoughts on these blogs and have they shaped Ashley Madison in any way?

Ashley - These blogs gives us a way to see the positive impact has had in the lives of so many people. Blogs are a great outlet for people to share their experiences and stories, and are perhaps a way to prompt others to pursue their own discreet affairs.

7)  Ryan - If that is not too much and you still have time to answer then I'll ask - where to from here?  Do you see Ashley Madison as part of society when you are a grandfather?

Ashley - Infidelity has always been and always will be around. I believe that the future is bright for

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

He Went to Paris Looking for Answers to Questions that Had Bothered Him So

It's an Intergalactic Convergence!
Ryan's 400th Post and the 4th Anniversary of Signing Up for Ashley Madison

In life we are all expected to grow and hopefully evolve.  Yet I believe life is a constant struggle between personal evolution and the fight to find again or regain that space where we were most comfortable.  In that vein I am not sure we evolve as much as we revolve; growing and yet often striving to return to that comfort zone.

Yes these are the philosophical concepts I have been considering as I have been contemplating this 400th post and looking back upon 4 years on Ashley Madison.

I thought of many themes for this post "a fond look back," "the state of Ashley Madison," "a bloggers reunion," etc.  I sought the wise counsel of some of those bloggers of days gone by.  While one old friend did reply and said they were doing well they could not join in this venture.  In their case **** has truly left the building.

So then I thought "what if I tried to consult the really big guy?"  No I'm not talking about anything spiritual, this is me you know!

No I'm talking about the guy who started this whole thing after all.  Perhaps Noel could fill me in on what all this means.  In fact Ashley Madison itself has just recently gone past a decade in life.  In that regard perhaps we could look back together.

So in truth I didn't go to Paris looking for (these) answers to (the) questions that (were) bother(ing) (my) soul.  I went to Ashley!

I first sent my most professional and respectful e-mail to the media address listed on the website.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write a blog about experiences both personal and in the media with Ashley Madison.  I have been blogging for about 4 years and have a small following including several other bloggers who share Ashley Madison experiences with their readers.

In my case I've had a generally positive experience and enjoy sharing that with others as best or worse case practices as they may be.  I do so to help my readers gauge their experiences and help them achieve whatever realizations they may be seeking. 

I would like the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Mr. Biderman asking him a few questions about Ashley Madison.  I am fairly well versed in the interviews he has done on the View et al.  I would like to take a different angle in my interview with Mr. Biderman.  Now that Ashley Madison has been in operation for just over a decade I would like to explore with Mr. Biderman how his idea has evolved, has it achieved it's mission, what has surprised him about it's evolution, and is he surprised how the site has affected pop culture.  This interview would be part of a 4th anniversary of signing up with Ashley Madison post for myself.  While my blog tends to be "tongue in cheek," I do want this post to be somewhat reverent as I contemplate my past four years as others do over assessing their experiences with Ashley Madison.

How may I schedule an interview with Mr. Biderman?

Many thanks for your consideration,


Ryan Beaumont

Much like Ashley Madison itself the generic rarely works.  I got no response.  I suppose that letter was analogous to the archetypal "shirtless selfie in the mirror."  I decided I needed to really connect and to call the phone number listed for media contacts on the web page.

So on a Friday afternoon I picked up my phone and called the 866 media number for Ashley Madison and after a few rings I hear a very vibrant and professional female voice "this is Ashley with Avid Media, how can I help you."  I'm thrown already did she say she was "Ashley?"  Does Ashley really exist or is that just something they all say when they answer?

I think to myself hmmm, then I shake it off and proceed.

The rest goes like this:

Ryan:   ur uh, I am a blogger who writes about experiences on Ashley Madison, how might I get an interview with Mr. Biderman or anyone else who can tell me a little about the evolution of Ashley Madison?

Ashley:  Mr. Biderman is not available right now but if you send me an e-mail outlining what you need I'll make sure you get your answers.

Ryan:  Uh OK, I did send an e-mail to and didn't get a response how can I make that happen.

Ashley:  Let me give you my direct e-mail.  Send me your questions and I'll make sure you get your answers.

Ryan:  OK, I'm ready

Ashley: It's Ashley dot ****** at avid media dot com.

Ryan:  Oh hold on let me write that down, did you say Ashley?

Ashley:  Yes

Ryan:  (giggling) Is your name really Ashley?   That's odd?

Ashley:  Actually it's a fairly common name.

Ryan:   Uh, err, uh.... yeah, I guess you are right.  I guess it's just odd that, you know, you work for Ashley Madison and your name is Ashley.  That's why they named the company Ashley right!?  Because it's so common!

Ashley:  Yes that's right

Ryan:  OK!  Thanks!  You've been a big help, I'll get those questions right to you.


Are you serious "your name is really Ashley, that's odd?"  Really!

So in fact it is true that I ended up REVOLVING and returning to who I was so many years ago.  At once I had gone from suave, sophisticated, debonair, blogger extraordinaire and successful Ashley Madison navigator to some shy dude on the phone mumbling as he attempts to ask the proverbial head cheerleader out for a date.  And you know what, it felt great.  So I began thinking about those questions to Ashley in hopes that I would get some of those philosophical questions answered.  As always I love laughing at myself and I was already thinking how that little dooface incident would play out on the blog.

That night I formulated those questions along with a letter to Noel as well, though really I had been thinking about them for a few days now whilst on the elliptical at the gym (for once my mind had been focused on intellectual advances at the gym rather than that nice looking ladies posterior)!  Don't worry, eventually I looked!  See, revolving!

I also found a link to Noel's direct e-mail, though I was sure someone managed that mail for him.  I sent my questions off to Noel and Ashley and awaited my reply.

To my surprise a day later I got a reply from that note I did in fact send to Mr. Biderman,

"Ryan has someone from my organization contacted you about a call"

Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Wow, might this actually work?  That actually appears to be in a form that might indicate Noel Biderman actually did in fact respond.  Who knows?

But that response did get me back to that whole evolution - revolution paradigm.

Wow, four years and 400 posts really is a long time.  It's a Presidential election cycle.  It's the amount of time a political party can ruin itself, re-make itself, rebound and succeed, and then re-wreck itself. It's the amount of time a social media site went from something the stars did to something every frickin' person in the world is "tweeting" about.  That's the time it took me to graduate college.  It's the time over which my daughters were born, learned to walk and talk, and started kindergarden.  It's the amount of time it took me to learn that I wanted to be wanted, learned how to be wanted, learned how to be successful with women, and then learned that perhaps being happy with one woman might actually be what I wanted all along.  It's the time it took me to wreck a career.  It's the amount of time it took me to revive my career and open the door to success I scarcely could have conceived of four years prior.  It's the time over which I've gotten to know people I've never met and may never meet yet develop a closeness that I have perhaps never experienced with another person in my "real" world.

So let's just say it's a lot of time.  A lot to think about.

Which was why I was so anxious to see what Noel would say about this whole Ashley Madison evolution - revolution thing.  I was truly excited to see if I might be able to gain some wisdom or if nothing else give him the chance to talk about something other than how much Dr. Phil thinks he's a sleeze!

But now I'm thinking it is late in the day and as I ponder further thoughts, as is so often the case with me, this will necessarily be a "two-parter."  Again, Ryan with the (r)evolution.

So tune in tomorrow, next week, next month - oh some time down the road and let's see if Ryan does get those answers from Ashley to the questions that are bothering his shallow and warped soul!  :)

But, you know, I did come across a link to Ashley's blog and she apparently makes one awesome Vegan Chili!  So I'm counting myself ahead already!

So folks I'll conclude this anniversary post with this:

"some of it's tragic, some of it's magic, but I had a good life all the way..."

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Do You Think It'd Be Alright, if I Could Just Crash Here Tonight

The Daily Ry-onion

April 1st, 2014 - Crimea, Russia

Reports out of Russia indicate that Ashley Madison has made a bold move towards moving occupational forces onto the peer website OK Cupid for an assumed attempt at annexation and "hot wi-fi'ing" the adultery cultures on both sites together.

A spokesperson for Ashley Madison, stated -

  "This is not a hostile take-over. We know that there is a significant population of 'cheat-speaking' members on OK Cupid that have found themselves onto that site due to the lack of dearth in infidelity opportunities.  These people who choose to live within the sphere of infidelity only wish the validation of being connected with like minded peoples.  We will not stand for them to be criticized and humiliated on a dating website just because they are married and yet want to chase hot young members of the opposite sex."

Apparently Ashley Madison is asserting that they are simply preserving age-old allegiances that were arbitrarily torn apart.  As geo-political theorist Dr. Ryan Beaumont said "you must understand that the cheater is a prowler who is prone to seek satisfaction in many environments but will be most happy when navigating within the spectrum of homologous individuals.  In the case of those cheaters on OK Cupid they are likely to wish they were on Ashley Madison and given a freedom of choice they will certainly do so.  Left alone on the OK Cupid site they will be prone to mischief and both cultures will suffer.  I predict that if given the opportunity for a referendum those adulterers will choose to align with Ashley Madison and leave OK Cupid.  I think America should stand aside on this one and let them go.  As for me I just want to have the opportunity to put a puck past one of those cute Russian goalies!"

OK Cupid released a statement after the incursion "OK Cupid vigorously protests Ashley Madison's usurpation of our sovereign web property that has justly been assigned to our company.  This company was formed in post-information age freedom and Ashley Madison's renegade seizure is in sharp contrast to that spirit."

A referendum has been scheduled for next Sunday to determine where OK Cupid will remain.  Preliminary indications are that the adultery population within OK Cupid has enough weight to move the vote in favor of annexation by Ashley Madison thus moving the site from singles to cheaters at the ballot box.

Vladi's main side-squeeze!
Never lacking for relevant commentary, Russian President Vladimir Putin added to the dialogue "peoples of a certain population should be allowed to exist freely where they feel most comfortable to get it on.  I myself would never have been found by my mistresses looking for the strong powerful man who likes to wear no shirts were it not for the heroic efforts of my friends Ashley Madison.  I fully support and recognize Ashley Madison's endeavors and independence from tyranny and look forward to a rich and rewarding relationship with them for may year's to come.  OK Cupid is just a front for meddlesome Western 'goody-goody's' who would not know what to do with a MILF if she was making vodka naked in front on them.  They need to take their warmongering and puritanical ideas back to the West and leave Russia to us prowlers who appreciate a Russian girl who just wants an ex-KGB guy who likes to show off his massive 'GUNS.'"

In response to Putin's support of the Ashley Madison incursion, the Borowitz Report reports that OK Cupid has recently lobbied US and European Union governments to freeze Arrangement Finder and memberships of Senior Russian officials.

Hey young lady do you speak sexy!
As OK Cupid Chris Coyne said "and you know it might not be that bad, you were the best I ever had.  If I hadn't blown the whole thing years ago, I might not be alone.  We just won't expect too much from the Russians and we might not be let down.  I guess what that Beaumont guy was saying if you can't beat 'em join 'em.  What's the worst that could happen, we actually meet a real Russian bride!"

Happy April Fools Day!