Sex, lies and online affairs: why Croydon is the adultery capital of London


By - Monday 9th April, 2018

What are the consequences of a society where adultery is viewed as ‘just a bit of fun’?


Photo public domain.

An interesting and desperately sad article in the Croydon Advertiser last month revealed that over 18,000 Croydonians are currently signed up to Illicit Encounters, a self-described ‘discreet and confidential extra-marital dating service for men and women’.

None of this is surprising, when you consider that Croydon is the adultery capital of London, a place where infidelity is cited in 14% of divorce petitions in the borough.

For the longest time, we’ve had a culture that idolises sex. It has become a modern ‘god’ – we venerate it in our pop songs, and we serve it with our bodies.

Sex is no longer viewed as a precious gift to be enjoyed between two people

Maintaining a Biblical view of sex – that it’s a precious, fun and powerful gift, to be exclusively enjoyed between two people, as a means for bonding and procreation, across the lifetime of their marriage – has lost its meaning in a world that no longer understands sex acts as part of a deeper spiritual order. We’re saturated in a moribund, secular culture that says if you’re not sexually attractive, you have no value, if you’re not sexually active, you’re weird, and if you’re not sexually affirming, you’re a bigot.

As such, you can’t fault the logic of those Croydonians on Illicit Encounters: we’re all going to cease to exist, there are no everlasting consequences for our actions, and people are fundamentally animated carbon with no transcendent value – so what does it matter if anyone gets hurt in the pursuit of self-pleasure? As the apostle Paul once put it succinctly, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”.

Extra-marital affairs have a serious implication for Croydon

“Follow your heart!” “If they don’t know, it can’t hurt them.” “Life’s too short for regrets.”

Whatever your particular philosophy when it comes to fidelity and monogamy, the enablement of extra-marital affairs has serious implications for Croydon. Far from the mischievous picture painted by glossy lifestyle magazines and TV soaps, adultery has huge individual and societal repercussions.

On an individual level, there is the guilt and shame, loss of trust and intimacy, loneliness and mental and physical illness caused by stress and sexually transmitted diseases. On a societal level, family units fractured by divorce continue to rise in numbers, and any children involved carry the damage caused for a lifetime.

Sex outside of marriage is not liberation

Despite the popular narrative that what goes on in the privacy of consenting adults’ bedrooms is nobody’s business, and pursuing sex outside of marriage is ‘liberation’, the reality is quite the opposite. It’s led to further abuse in Croydon, as anyone working at Croydon Community Against Trafficking or the Albanian prostitutes at my church who were dumped on the roadside by their pimp as soon as they became pregnant, will tell you.

No matter how ‘discreet’ sites like Illicit Encounters profess to be, it’s in the public realm that the problems manifest. Private behaviours have public repercussions; something that 18,000 Croydonians would do well to consider next time they think about visiting the website.

Jonny Rose

Jonny Rose

Jonny Rose is a committed Christian who has lived in the Croydon area for nearly twenty years. He is an active participant in his local community, serving at Grace Vineyard Church and organising Purley Breakfast Club, and was ranked "Croydon's 37th most powerful person" by the Croydon Advertiser (much to his amusement). He is the Head of Content at marketing technology company Idio, the founder of the Croydon Tech City movement, a LinkedIn coach, and creator of Croydon's first fashion label, Croydon Vs The World. Working on Instagram training. Views are his own, but it would be best for all concerned if you shared them. Please send your fanmail to: jonnyrose1 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  • Anne Giles

    I wonder who all these unfaithful people in Croydon are? I have never come across them! They obviously don’t mix in our circles!

  • nmakwana

    I’m not sure at all that aligning extra-marital affairs with condoning people trafficking is the same thing at all. Are you suggesting having an extramarital affair means you ok with brutalisation of women ? Even if the person engaging in then affair is an attached woman?

    The reasons why people do it vary considerably and it probably makes sense to focus on relationship advice than religious sanction in this case.

    • http://idioplatform.com/ Jonny Rose

      Thanks for the comment!

      “I’m not sure at all that aligning extra-marital affairs with condoning people trafficking is the same thing at all”. You’re right – they’re not the same thing. However, one reason the latter is so prominent is absolutely because of the prevalence of the former.

      Sure, not every person who indulges in extra-marital affairs does so with sex workers (willing or trafficked). However a significant amount do.

  • Allen Williams

    This piece of sanctimonious claptrap is so riddled with nonsense that it it is not worth detailed rebuttal.

    • http://idioplatform.com/ Jonny Rose

      Or, more likely: you’re incapable of providing a detailed rebuttal.

  • dannymomo

    There is absolutely nothing in this article about ‘why Croydon is the adultery capital of London’ as the title suggests. It’s instead an excuse to misrepresent societal attitudes toward sex, conflate consensual sex with adultery with human trafficking and promote the author’s Christian viewpoint. What does this have to do with your average Croydon? I expect better from this publication.

    • http://idioplatform.com/ Jonny Rose

      Hey Danny,

      I’m always open to being corrected when in the wrong: In what way do you think I have misrepresented societal attitudes to sex? :)

      With regards to conflating “consensual sex with adultery with human trafficking”…they’re absolutely not the same thing and perhaps I could have been clearer in my segue. That said, one reason the latter is so prominent is absolutely because of the prevalence of the former. Sure, not every person who indulges in extra-marital affairs does so with sex workers (willing or trafficked). However *a significant amount do*, this is both borne out by hard data and anecdote.

      The above might not be relevant for the average Croydon citizen – I’m glad if it’s not for you – but for those involved in 14% of the borough’s divorce petitions and the 18,000 users of Illicit Encounters, it’s, unfortunately, very relevant!