By Sally Taranto, VICE
If you’re sending pics of your O-ring to the Patty Ding-Dong you met at Applebee’s, do you really think your boyfriend or girlfriend or spouse isn’t going to find out? Nine times out of ten, it’s the cell phone that blows up your spot, yet idiots keep making the same stupid mistakes. According to Darrin, the first sign of an affair is when people start getting weird with their phones. If you’ve suddenly got a passcode lock, or insist on taking calls in the bathroom, or are cagey every time a call comes in, that’s a sure sign you’ve got a hot piece on the side.
Your first step is to buy a secret, pre-paid phone like you’re Walter White at the end of season two. These usually run about $10, and a monthly plan will set you back maybe $45. It’s a small price to pay for security, and not having a lock on your primary phone is a terrific expression to your partner that you’ve got nothing to hide… on that phone.
Do not change your appearance. Do not suddenly drop a few hundos at the Gap. Do not decide to lose weight and open a gym membership and start rocking cologne all of a sudden. Your partner knows you better than anyone on earth, and this is bound to raise some serious suspicion.
Darrin told me that, 90 percent of the time, gut instinct is the best indicator of whether someone is cheating—if someone actually gets it together enough to call a private investigator, it’s almost guaranteed that their suspicions are true. So don’t suddenly start changing how you look or smell, because that’s a dead giveaway.
A survey from August 2012 found that 66 percent of people think infidelity is most likely to happen at a work event, and 94 percent believed that bad things happen at conferences and trade shows. Another study showed that, among spouses who cheated, 46 percent of women and 62 percent of men did so with someone they met through work. This is exactly where your partner is going to be looking, so make sure never to dip your pen in the company ink, no matter how smokin’ hot Bobby Stock Boy is.
PAY IN CASH
This is a big one: Learn to love cash. Use it to pay for everything in your affair: flowers, hotel bills, jewelry, anything. If there’s a paper trail in your bank account, your partner can very easily snag the info and get a statement. Then they’ll start wondering why you charged a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and a mysterious order from Asian Amour Outcall when you were supposedly on a fishing trip.
This raises a bigger concern: Learn to think about the money you spend on your partner in slime. Don’t leave receipts crumpled up in your pocket—throw that shit away. If you must, open up a second, secret bank account so your partner doesn’t see you’re using your money to buy butt plugs and lingerie.
“LIPSTICK ON THE COLLAR”
After nailing a stranger or acquaintance, it’s definitely advisable to check your junk and face for visible signs of intimacy—just don’t give yourself away in the process. Amateur sleazebags returning from a midday boink sesh will immediately head to the shower to rinse off the filth of sin, arousing suspicion in their partners. Clean your face, hands, and genitals, but do it before you leave the scene of the bone.
You may not realize it, but your transportation habits are pretty set in stone. Your partner knows exactly how many miles it takes for you to get to work and back each day, and if they start noticing mileage racking up on the odometer they’re bound to get suspicious. Then, if they call a PI, the first thing he’ll do is tag your car with a tracking device, and you’ll be up pigshit creek.
The trick here is to start thinking of your car as a decoy, or what’s known as a “dummy car.” Drive to the mall, leave it in the parking lot, walk in one door, and walk out the other. Then go rent a car for the day (in cash) and go meet your trashy sexy-time friend. This is what’s described in the industry as a “dump job.”
Darrin told me stories of people who go to great lengths to establish their alibi through dump jobs, including one idiot who would cheat while pretending to be on business trips. He’d leave his car in the airport’s long-term parking, and then he would charter a helicopter back to the roof of his own apartment building, where he would proceed to give his neighbor the power hour. Obviously this didn’t work, but the effort was there.
DON’T TELL YOUR SEX FRIEND TOO MUC
In last week’s episode of True Detective, Woody Harrelson (spoiler alert!) got caught porking his hot courtroom stenographer. What happened? She got understandably pissed off, and told his wife about their sexcapades. When Harrelson went to Matthew McConaughey for advice, his response was perfect, and a key tip for men and women interested in getting away with cheating: “With all the dick swagger you roll, you can’t spot crazy pussy?”
If you’ve actually found someone dumb enough to hump the bed with you while you’re in a relationship, it’s important to remember that person is a serious wild card that could turn into a nightmare at any moment.
It’s way smarter to cheat with a total stranger, using a fake name and lying about your work and where you live. The last thing you want (especially after you’ve come to your senses and broken off the affair) is some wacko busting into your work and cursing you out.
This is especially likely if you’re playing mind games with this person, stringing him or her along with the promise that eventually you’ll leave your partner and/or children. You might think this will create a false sense of security, but very often these people will get upset and send anonymous letters or emails from dummy accounts designed to break up your marriage or relationship. They see this technique as a quick and dirty way to end your extant union so you two can be together. This is Fatal Attraction territory, and it’s horrifying.
Here’s a dumb thing that cheaters do around holidays—they spend the day with their boyfriend or girlfriend, and the day after or before with their illicit fuck buddy. This goes for Valentine’s Day and Christmas, but also for birthdays. These are times when you should be on high alert, spending all your time with your partner, so don’t fuck it up by doing the nasty at your local go-kart track.
This last tip should go without saying, but one sure way to rat yourself out is by giving your partner a painful and embarrassing dick or vagina infection. If you’re going to scrump a stranger, make sure you wrap it up first, or use a dental dam. This goes for single people too.
The only problem here is that using condoms feels weird and gross, and it’s much better to go raw dog with the man or woman you love. But like everything else on this list, if you’re going to have an affair, you need to be prepared to turn your life into a living nightmare just to get away with it. If for some reason that’s worth it to you, then by all means, go crash the custard truck with some stupid rando.