Spousally-distanced daters looking to 'Zoom Boom'

With permissions from Ashley Madison.


Every year new dating terms enter the pop culture lexicon and prove just how complex modern relationships have become. The world of infidelity is no exception so Ashley Madison, the world’s leading married dating website, has released its annual discreet dictionary defining the current state of extramarital affairs.


Cheating Zoom

The confidential collection of code words narrating the secret lives of cheating husbands and wives took a different turn this year with a global pandemic upending our lives and stay-at-home orders in full effect. Yet with the steady pursuance of covert Covid-connections and uptick in virtual hookups, discreet communication has never been so vital.


On the heels of the company’s 2020 list, these new terms are specific to Covid-19 and the unique situations married daters may have found themselves in as a result. Spousally-distanced, for example, is the state of being a safe distance from your spouse in order to text, call, or have a video chat with an affair partner and not be caught – something most Ashley Madison members have had to keep in mind while stuck at home 24/7.


“When we released our first list of cheating terms at the beginning of 2020, we didn’t realise how much more complicated relationships would soon become,” says Isabella Mise, Director of Communications for Ashley Madison. “The pandemic has changed basic human interaction as we know it and introduced a whole new set of realities. Despite many connections going virtual for the time being, discretion still remains the top priority for our members, so we decided to make relevant additions to the language of infidelity.”


Cheating Zoom

The full list includes 10 new and timely terms for cheaters and spells out the current state of extramarital affairs during the pandemic.


  1. Spousally-Distanced – the state of being a safe distance away from your spouse in order to virtually communicate with an affair partner

  2. Zoom Boom – to engage in virtual sex with an affair partner, specifically over Zoom

  3. Mutual Maskerbation – in which two people masturbate together while wearing face masks

  4. Vaccidating – to date only those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine

  5. Lifting the Veil – to see your affair partner without a face mask for the first time

  6. Apocalust – brought on by the pandemic, the desire to engage in an in-person affair with a neighbor or coworker and thus increase the chances of being caught and ending a marriage/career

  7. Smoke Signals – discreet virtual methods of communication between affair partners

  8. Stockpiling – to assemble a selection of sex partners for after the pandemic

  9. Masked Rider – one who engages in numerous affairs or “gets around” despite COVID-19

  10. Stray-At-Home Order – the urge to have a virtual affair while confined to the home during lockdown

In its Love Beyond Lockdown report, Ashley Madison found that married people often seek support from someone other than their spouse in times of high stress. So far that stress has continued into 2021 with the coronavirus pandemic still an ongoing concern impacting every facet of life.


“This new list of terms not only offers a glimpse into the world of extramarital affairs during isolation, but it’s also something we hope our members will be able to relate to and know they are not alone in their quest for connection.”