This week I have had two people ask me to sleep with their spouses – which, as a reasonably attractive female PI, is definitely an occupational hazard. It’s also a constant cocktail party punchline: “So you try to hit on men, trap them and take pictures, right?” I usually make a joke like “Of course. Just add three zeros to the end of my hourly rate,” or “I think you’re confusing me with Craigslist,” which tends to get the message across.
Seriously, enough already. I’m an investigator. Not a hooker. I will not seduce your spouse. I can get what I want through careful planning, intelligence and hard work–I don’t need to take my top off.
Yes, there are agencies (whom I will not name) who use women – usually unlicensed, inexperienced women – that act as ‘decoys’ to hit on men and ‘honeytrap them’. I am not one of them – and in almost all cases, I believe that this practice is a bad idea. Here’s why:
Surveillance is expensive, and cheating usually doesn’t matter in court. I work in mostly no-fault divorce states. That means that, in most cases – barring a pre-nup that spells out specific consequences for bad behavior (which I don’t recommend) – the judge will not give you a better settlement if you walk in on your wife having a three-way with her cousin and a circus midget.
Of course, I do my share of following cheaters. If someone already knows but just wants closure, or is worried about child custody issues, it could make sense to get intel on a new paramour.
For example, I had a recent case involving a husband who became suspicious about his ex-wife’s new boyfriend, and needed to see if he was doing drugs on a regular basis. In this instance, hours of surveillance absolutely made sense – especially since she was planning to move him in with the couple’s two young children.
Sometimes the infidelity is the ‘gateway’ to the subject’s double life, and can lead to intelligence about criminal activity, cons, fraud, drug dealing, money laundering and even murder.
I don’t believe in entrapment. Relationships are rarely black and white. Honestly, when someone is in a rocky relationship (which, if the client has come to me, they are) talking to, flirting with, and even planning a night out with an attractive member of the opposite sex proves nothing.
To truly find out if they would go all the way, I would have to kiss/touch/sleep with them. Which brings me to my next point…
I NEVER cross physical lines with subjects. I’ve spent more than a decade deconstructing human behavior, and developing skills that make people want to talk to me. Would I flirt to get information? Probably. To me that is no more emotionally manipulative than a cop who makes the suspect believe that he is sympathetic in order to get a confession.
But getting physical would cross a MAJOR moral and ethical line for me. Also, many of my subjects are wealthy, powerful and handsome. If I enjoyed the hookup, it would be a major conflict of interest – not to mention the fact that if the case ever did make it to court, my professional reputation would be seriously tarnished.
So to all you suspicious spouses out there – I would love to help you with your case. But for all the reasons listed above, please remember that only organ on offer is my brain!