Founder of Ashley Madison:

“Where we planted our flag was around female infidelity,” he explains. “We believed that the internet was going to foster a whole new era in that regard.” The site is organised like a ladies’ night in a town-centre disco: women can join free, men need to pay to register. This spring it passed the 25 million member mark.”

To be sexually intimate is to be properly known – and yet one of the most powerful drivers of online sexual activity is the promise of anonymity. The word that came up again and again, while I talked to people about a deeper, better connectedness, was “loneliness”.

Read more: