Overcome with guilt about a sordid affair or a secret facelift? A new interactive Web site is giving people an opportunity to anonymously confess their sins online.
Harlequin Enterprises, one of the world's largest publishers of romantic fiction, launched the site for people to post their guilty pleasures, and for others to peruse them.
It is also encouraging those who have confessed their indiscretions to take part in an interactive survey that will form the basis of its annual Romance Report which will be published in January.
It really spawned from the reality shows and the talk shows and people opening up their lives and crying, not necessarily with the people they love but with strangers because it makes you feel better or it somehow cleanses you of your demons, said Marleah Stout, a spokeswoman for the company.
The Internet already offers a variety of confessional sites ranging from mysecret.tv, launched by a U.S. evangelical network, to postsecret.blogspot.com, a blog and art project in which people write their secrets on hand-made postcards.
But Stout said the site is more geared towards romance.
Although sometimes shocking and unexpected, confessions are also extremely romantic, bringing us closer to the people we love by revealing ourselves to them, said Stout.
But Stout admitted the site is sure to draw plenty of cheating confessions and material that is much racier than most of the material in its romance novels.
The site, www.harlequinromancereport.com, is divided into eight sections -- one for each of the seven deadly sins and another for those hard-to-categorize indiscretions, secrets and fantasies.
Stout said the idea for the confessions site came after the Toronto-based company's highly-publicized casting call last spring for average men, not models, to pose for their book covers.
It's all about real people and real feelings.