Items filtered by date: August 2015

My name is probably in the Ashley Madison data dump, but I'm one of the lucky ones, because my wife knows all about it.

So, as divorce lawyers' phones ring off the hooks, spouses give their partners the Donald Trump treatment with forced deportation from the bedroom, and the internet gives birth to searchable data bases of Ashley Madison info, here's how I got caught up in the web's most humiliating hack:

Soon after Inside Jersey magazine's inception, when I was on the staff of The Star-Ledger, editor Rosemary Parrillo began nudging me for a story exploring the sex lives of New Jerseyans, especially those who lived on the edge: swingers.

"Come on," she said. "Let's see what you can find out."

After covers that had lauded the state's best doctors, schools, roller coasters and hot dogs, the magazine wanted something sexier. Literally.

Munchmobile, meet Bunchmobile.

A cursory investigation revealed that while New Jersey probably wasn't Hedonism by the Hudson, swinging was a lot more prevalent than most of us (particularly sheltered 50-something suburbanites) thought. Websites that catered to all sorts of sexual preferences boasted memberships in the tens of millions.

Even if those numbers were overinflated, and they probably were, swinging was still prevalent.

"There are thousands and thousands of swinging couples in New Jersey," one veteran swinger told me, "and it's even bigger in New York and Pennsylvania."

So, after each story I filed for the magazine – on Gov. Chris Christie, or Frank DiPiscali, the Bridgewater Township guy who helped Bernie Madoff pull off the world's biggest con, or Ann Mara, the charming matriarch of the New York Giants who since has passed -- Rosemary would prod me:

"When are you going to do that swingers story?"

Eventually, I got a green light at home from my wife and off I went. But where do you find swingers? Trust me, it ain't at the cucumber display of the local Stop & Shop. I decided to cast a wide net.

I placed and answered ads on Craigslist and found couples who were swingers and other couples who didn't swing but, with large secluded homes outfitted with hot tubs, pools and "a mattress room," hosted parties for a second income.

In 2011 and 2012, despite a hangover from the Great Recession, swinging was lucrative. People found money for sex-- maybe in the couch cushions, dropped by previous lovers.

To search, I joined several websites: Adult Friend Finder, Ashley Madison, Plenty of Fish, Swinging Lifestyle and others, including a few internet communities whose raw names I can't print here.

Back then, Ashley Madison, while mostly a site for people looking to have affairs, also included profiles of men also looking for couples, and couples soliciting men and women.

Many of those profiles, I came to learn, were bogus.

Still, through those sites, I found people willing to share their sexual experiences with me, if I protected their identities. The magazine piece was born.

In 2014, I flirted with the idea of a "Where are they now?" story – a look back at those people who had appeared in the original story -- and I rejoined some of the sites. For almost all of the them, I never asked for last names or phone numbers. We had arranged interviews via the websites and anonymous email addresses.

Where they still swinging? Were they still married? What happened to a woman whose marriage crumbled under the weight of swinging: Did she find love?"

But as I returned to the websites and those anonymous emails, I couldn't find them. For many swingers, the lifestyle apparently has a shelf life.

"You do it until you get tired of it," I remember one swinger told me. "The problem occurs when only the wife or the husband gets tired of it and the other wants to keep going."

When the Ashley Madison hack was first made public recently and I waited for the other stiletto to drop (along with my address and credit card info), a frightened swinger from the magazine story found me through LinkedIn. She and her husband were no longer swinging. We discussed the hack.

"I'm terrified that someone will hack into old information on some of the swinging sites my husband and I were on," she wrote. "There were photos. We deleted the pictures and profiles. But are they really gone? This is scary. Back then, we didn't even think about hacking."

She wondered if all of her skeletons would come tumbling out of the closet one day.

Maybe so, I told her.

Because now, too late, we realize: People with bad intentions can get a key.

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Istanbul: Turkish prosecutors have demanded jail sentences of up to 177 years for 29 people in the southeastern province of Adana suspected of setting up swingers’ clubs, local media reported on Monday.

Turkish police arrested 53 people in May on suspicion of pimping and prostitution in raids on 25 addresses in five provinces across the south and southeast, after receiving reports that patrons of swinger clubs were bringing prostitutes to the sex parties.

Of the 53 people taken in for questioning, 29 were brought to court to face charges, with 15 placed under arrest and others released pending trial.

The suspects are facing jail terms ranging from three to 177 years each for “setting up a criminal organisation with the aim of engaging in criminal activity”, “prostitution,” “human trafficking” and “obscenity,” Dogan news agency reported.

Dogan said that the ringleader couple - a 25-year-old university student and his girlfriend - initially used social media to organise wife-swapping parties for married couples free of charge.

They later rented a luxury villa to host customers, including single men from the neighbouring provinces of Mersin, Kayseri, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa.

The couple, who did not accept customers from Adana for security reasons, charged the single men 1,000 Turkish Liras ($360 U.S.) for each swingers’ party, Dogan said.

The suspects include a married woman, who told the police she accepted money for sex in order to support her destitute father.


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