While the dating website Ashley Madison, which calls itself a “married dating company,” is struggling to overcome deep seated morale conservatism in Asia Pacific, the Asian Escort business appears to be thriving in the same region and also among Asian men in general.
Singapore and South Korea have previously banned Ashley Madison, citing that it threatened family values, and the Canada-based firm, which has the slogan: "Life is short. Have an affair," is now coming under fire from another Asian Pacific region after recently launching their website in the Philippines, where the population is largely Roman Catholic and divorce is illegal.
In other markets that are conservative such as Switzerland, Ashley Madison does extremely well. In Catholic countries, they do extremely well, like in Brazil, Spain and Italy. But in the Philippines, despite uniting all of those factors, there is strong opposition, although at the time of writing approximately 3,000 Filipino’s have signed up for the service.
What is even more interesting is the acceptance of the use of Escorts by Asian men. The Asian escort business in Singapore and South Korea, for example is thriving, and in London, a high percentage of escort clients are Korean, Chinese and Japanese men.
What does this tell you? It seems to say that, from a morale perspective, it is more acceptable to use an Escort service than have an affair. On Ashley Madison, which aids in facilitating “discreet encounters,” users must first indicate what they’re looking for, and may also specify if they are attached or single, though the site is primarily geared towards married people. One can also chat with other members online at the same time, and find individuals who are nearby or in the same area.
Despite their business model, Ashley Madison claims it doesn’t want people to divorce. They and the Asian escort business actually share that “common goal,” although when it comes to actually helping marriages, we doubt that a service that encourages extra marital affairs could help save marriages in the way we do. Married men who frequently use the services of Asian escorts, for example, are more likely to stay married.