It's September, which means one thing: time to have an affair! Who's game? I say this because the following subject line darkened my inbox recently: 'Back to school sends exhausted parents back to bed'. Firstly – eww. Secondly – I must open this email immediately (a big well done to the copywriter).
According to Illicit Encounters, 'the UK's leading extramarital dating site' who were responsible for the email, there has been a 58 per cent increase in new female members signing up to the site this month. For why? According to the spokesperson: "With the holidays over, many people are finding their houses eerily quiet, and have more time on their hands". I love how 'readers' wives' this sounds, or Confessions of a Window Cleaner – randy women up and down the country gagging for more action before the 3.30pm school bell.
Once I'd removed certain images from my head, there might be something in the September effect. It's a funny old month. Summer's still teasing us with the odd sunny day and final-fling festivals, but then the reality of cold weather and the work grind up to Christmas hits. Where's the excitement in that? I know – I'll have an affair! That'll spice things up as the dark nights draw in. The shops are all screaming 'Back to School' too – dangling shiny new pencil cases under our noses, and groovy new gel pens in a variety of snazzy colours. It's time for an upgrade!
A friend of mine did actually have an affair in September, last year. (Conveniently for me.) She said that post-summer feeling made her re-evaluate various areas of her life and though she's not proud of having an affair, did concede: "I think I started sleeping with this other guy because I needed to do something to kickstart a change. It made me realise I should break up with my boyfriend."
The subject line from Illicit Encounters doesn't half stick in the throat though, so to speak. It's very tacky – although not entirely surprising, I guess, with a name like Illicit Encounters, which reeks of Red Shoe Diaries (RIP) or the title of a dog-eared Eighties Jackie Collins-a-like novel somebody's kindly left you to read in a seaside B&B.
To continue the marketing push, I've got an idea for them. Why don't they offer special discounted rates for this month, in the vein of Stoptober or Movember, and call it 'Scratch that itch September'? You could even get sponsored as an extra incentive. Though good luck explaining that in the global email to your colleagues asking for cash.