The Honeytrappers 

Cheating spouse? For a price, Butler & Associates will ping 'em and sting 'em.

Page 5 of 7

Her voice is soft but urgent: "He's obviously totally into you. Is it too much?" I says I'm fine, and it's true. I later ask if she felt conspicuous dragging me off to the bathroom. "Girls totally do that," she says. "That's the thing — it's not like I do anything on stings as a control girl that I don't normally do. I always check in with my girlfriends to make sure they're comfortable with the attention they're getting."

Back at the table, the client's husband is utterly entranced by Andrea, who manages to keep him on the side of the pool table directly across from the camera. He weaves his hand through hers. Plays with her hair. When Butler and Lisa slip out to pop in a fresh videocassette, the guys don't even notice they're gone.

I decide to quiz the target's buddy. "Is there anything we should know about your friend, considering that it looks like he and Andrea are about to elope?" I ask.

The man doesn't hesitate. "He's a great guy. He treats women really well," he says.

"Is she his type?"

He looks across the table. The client's husband stands behind Andrea with his arms around her waist. He pulls her close, and she's acting like she's having the time of her life. "She's totally his type," the friend says. "He hasn't changed since high school."

After three hours, Lisa announces that she needs to relieve her babysitter. We skedaddle, but not before the target asks Andrea for her number. She whips out a pen and jots the number on his palm. "Andrea would write it on his forehead if she could," Butler says later. "That's just Andrea."

I say goodbye to the friend, who's been trying to convince me that human beings are not, by nature, monogamous, and that it's okay to cheat so long as you don't tell your spouse about it. "Walk double time!" Butler commands softly as we cross the gravel parking lot, climb into the car, and speed away.

The debriefing

Back at the office, Butler gives us all Breathalyzer tests since we have to drive home. We're good. I ask how the sting measured up. "He was mild," Butler replies.

"Some guys can be really assertive," Andrea says. "Things were pretty mellow with him." Her voice arches. "Straight out of the gate, he told me, 'My wife — she's gone. She's been gone for six months.'"

Everyone groans.

"Eventually it came out that she left him," Andrea says. "Yeah, right. She's at home!"

"Was he wearing a ring?" Butler asks.

"Not on his ring finger. It was on his third finger," Andrea says.

I wonder aloud if the filming was really necessary.

"Most women, in my experience, they want that irrefutable proof," Andrea explains. Butler had said previously that more than 95 percent of his clients confront their spouses prior to seeking his help — most are rebuffed, told they're wrong, or simply crazy. So the tapes prove to the wife that she isn't just being paranoid. "Put your feet in her shoes," Butler had said. "You're going to divorce him without knowing for sure?"

Each decoy determines her own comfort zone during a sting. Andrea has a no-kiss policy. Lisa, meanwhile, once sat in a guy's lap at a crowded bar and didn't flinch when he initiated a full-on makeout session. "If I were the wife," she says. "I would want to know exactly how far he's willing to take it."

We watch a few minutes of the black-and-white sting video.

"So, Kill Bill, huh?" Butler jokes.

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