Standing outside the fancy city bar I took a deep breath and sauntered in sliding onto an empty seat next to a tanned man, with a blue shirt, a few years older than me.
I already knew his name, age, address and even the beer he preferred.
But to him, I was a complete stranger.
You see I’d been hired a few weeks prior by a suspicious wife who had a hunch he’d been cheating and I was a honeytrap.
A honeytrap is an investigative technique that tests the fidelity of a spouse or significant other by attempting to lure them into a romantic situation while simultaneously gathering evidence.
Watch: The Mamamia team talks about the difference between physical and emotional affair. Post continues after video.
I’d fallen into it by chance through a PI (private investigator) friend telling me that I was offering an essential service to give women peace of mind or concrete evidence that their man was a scum bag.
I didn’t actually have any physical contact with the men I trapped. It was more flirting, swapping numbers and then later texts that provided all the proof the fretting partner needed.
But to be honest life as a honey trapper was not what you’d expect.
It usually starts with a wife giving their specific details of why they want to honeytrap their other half and then we decide on the strategy we will take and the location it will take place at.
A bar is an obvious choice, and probably the easiest, but I have honey trapped at the gym, the workplace and even knocked on someone’s door under the guise of “market research” to check his loyalty.
I’m no temptress. The flirting is light and the outfits are suitable for the venue. There is no need to make situations unrealistic. If he is going to ask for my number and text me later, it needs to be initiated by him.
And while all that sounds genuine on paper in reality most of my clients were just paranoid. Maybe they’d been burned by a previous relationship or spurred on by their own insecurities, but it was actually really sad.
I guess I still hoped I was giving them reassurance to trust and move on.
Then one day I got a job I will never forget. One so crazy it ended up with a private investigator hiding in my garden, snapping photos as I did the daycare run.
The job itself seemed standard to start with. The wife had a hunch her man was up to no good. He’d come home late, was being secretive around his phone and had suspicious scratches up his back that he’d said he got gardening.
The target, let’s call him James*, didn’t live in the city so we decided an upcoming appointment at the passport office would work.
I picked him straight away. Shorts, t-shirt and thongs. A bit of stubble, and dark hair and was around 10 years older than me.
Listen to Sealed Section where sexologist Chantelle shares why someone has cheated can help you move forward in the relationship. Post continues after podcast.
I took my seat beside him with a smile. We made small talk and eventually, after his appointment ended we had a coffee. Swapping numbers I bid him farewell and headed home in time for daycare pick-up.
That night I slid the new SIM card into my phone and sure enough it pinged with a new message. James said he felt a “connection” and wanted to get to know me better.
We texted back and forth and then I finished up the extensive report to send back to his wife.
Weirdly it wasn’t enough for her. She wanted me to go on a second date. Wanted my replies to get more steamy. Insisted we hire a photographer for the next date to record the lot.
I started to feel uncomfortable and I ended the job.
It was around six months later I caught the PI loitering in my bushes and while he refused to tell me why he was there, a day later I figured it out when a letter from a law firm arrived asking me to appear in court on behalf of James.
It turns out James was indeed having an affair and it was his mistress who had hired me. She wanted evidence to send to his wife without implicating herself. In her mind once the wife found out the truth she would kick him out and James would be all hers.
And it gets worse. After me, she’d hired a photographer to follow her and James while they did the deed at an alfresco location.
She then sent the photos, along with my report, which had been completely falsified, to his poor wife.
Worse still, when the wife didn’t kick James out, the mistress printed the photos and plastered them all over their small town.
I didn’t appear in court, but I did write a statement to say that my report had been tampered with and falsified. I'm not sure why they went to court my guess is it was some sort of restraining order.
I stopped honeytrapping after that and I still think of James’s wife from time to time. She didn’t deserve any of that and I hope she is happy. As for James. I’m not sure the punishment matched the crime but you’d hope he learned a lesson.
*Name has been changed for privacy.
You can follow Jonica Bray on Instagram @the.wandertwins.
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