Unfortunately that didn’t work, so I resorted to a combination of begging and promising them that their faces would be pixelated beyond recognition.
Once they were on board and I had nice natural shots of 10 attractive men and women, I allocated them in pairs to five American cities. I wanted my bait to have the best possible chance of cheating on their nonexistent wives, husbands, girlfriends and boyfriends.
I therefore placed them in the five most ‘unfaithful cities’ in America, according to Ashley Madison.com, a dating site that's marketed to people who are already in relationships.
I now had 40 people (five men and five women, duplicated and shuffled four times) assigned to different cities around the country. I wanted to place each male and female pair along a cheating continuum, ranging from undeniably adulterous to totally innocent.
Here’s how it worked: I put a copy of each pair into four different categories.
The ten people in this category were my extreme cheaters.
For the last month, I’ve posed as 40 fake people to find out how the Internet makes infidelity easier to commit and harder to detect.
I’ve brushed shoulders with total creeps, hopeless romantics, probable sex addicts, and everyone in between.
So just how easy is cheating online for men compared to women?To what abysmal lows will people stoop to steal another person’s partner?And how can you uncover a cheater without tumbling down the rabbit hole of morbid, life-consuming paranoia?Four weeks before the smooth operator above offered to turn my feet into a trifle, I was creating 40 phony profiles on the world’s fastest growing dating site: OKCupid.It wasn’t the first time I’d done it: about a year before, I’d created 10 accounts, five male and five female, to test whether women have an easier time dating online than men. This time, my fictitious daters weren’t listed as single: they were all married or ‘seeing someone.’ And they weren’t on the site to simply date: they were there because they wanted to cheat.My goal was to find out how much easier or harder it is for a man to cheat on his girlfriend or wife using an online dating site than vice versa. First, I had to use all of my charm to persuade 10 real people to let me use their photos.