It’s now easier than ever to find a hookup online, as long as you pick the right website and do the right things.
Like you, I wasn’t looking for an ordinary online dating service. I needed something a bit – shall we say, different – to satisfy the needs that my partner wasn’t satisfying anymore.
This is when I came across Ashley Madison, a hookup site that prides itself on being different from the crowd. It’s discreet, it’s sexual and it’s for anyone with voracious sexual appetites who are looking for open, monogamous or polyamorous relationships.
It’s also for adulterous couples in need of a fling.
But how good is it really? Moreover, how safe is it to use?
Why Use Ashley Madison?
Whereas Ashley Madison boasts of a membership base of over 50 million users, 46.99% of them are from the USA. While women can enjoy the service for free, men are required to pay $70 to be able to respond to potential dates. The site has a 1:1 ratio of men to women, making it ideal for affairs dating.
Should females alone be allowed to use every feature on Ashley Madison for free?
Guys need to pay for the services, which is a little sexist, to be honest; but it does help to attract females to the site – a win-win for everybody.
Ashley Madison had a large data breach in 2015 where the full list of members was stolen and posted on the internet. Nonetheless, since this incident, security has been expanded exponentially, so you can be sure that you are using a safe and secure website.
It also has excellent features for finding women in your area while you’re traveling.
It is true, business trips get lonely, so finding a companion becomes important and this is made easy with the search options available. You can toggle your whereabouts within an area or city so that others can be alerted of your presence.
The search results feature is always super easy to use, so if you don’t want the site tracking you, there’s are easy options and filters for browsing to find the perfect date.
You can also plan ahead and send custom priority messages before you get to your destination, so everything is in order when you arrive.
Is Ashley Madison Easy to Use?
The interface is extremely easy to use, even if you aren’t super internet savvy. Using the app, – which you can download on Google Play and the Apple Store – is also easy but can be a huge pain to deal with. You can read more about the app below.
Members have consistently praised Ashley Madison for the ease of use and improvements made recently. Using a service that actually works all the time is a big deal for everyone, especially if you are on a monthly membership.
The good part is that it is extremely rare to find the website down or having issues.
In this review of Ashley Madison, any sort of praise will be directed towards the website and the service itself, because the Ashley Madison app is one of the worst apps available.
It has nothing but negative reviews and certainly doesn’t even work most of the time.
There aren’t any statements from Ashley Madison on whether they plan to change or fix any of the problems that most of their users complain about.
Check out the current design of the Ashley Madison site right here.
How Does it Work?
It works just like most other dating sites, where you can browse through local people looking for their version of a relationship. You can search for people in your local area, and you may find some interesting people there.
Over 50 million people use Ashley Madison at any given time. There is plenty of local talent to browse through.
- Sign Up
- Create an account
- Start Searching for a Companion
- Make Contact
- Shake your Groove Thing
The profile that you create doesn’t need to have a ton of information on it. That’s a good thing since you want to be discreet about the entire process. The less information on your profile, the more you need to brush up on your communication skills in other to get that affair with that person you truly want it with.
It doesn’t take long to find the ones you’re looking for since there are so many people that use the site every day. If you live in a big city, you’ll have no problems with connecting with someone a couple of times.
If you are very rural, you’ll probably have to look in the next city over, or you’ll have to stick with the neighbor and keep jumping out of the window when their other significant other comes home.
Locations and user demographics are essential information to know when it comes to a dating site.
It is especially important for Ashley Madison because it is intended for hookups, extra-marital affairs, one-night-stands, and other types of romping.
The information below is from similarweb.com, which tracks demographic data and ranks websites according to user analysis.
Audience Geography by Percentage of Users:
United States – 46.99%
Brazil – 14.81%
Spain – 4.99%
United Kingdom – 4.07%
The above information is a rough estimate that change daily. However, it is safe to say that about half of the active users are from the United States.
About half of the users are women, and the other half are men, which makes for a great ratio that is much better than many other dating sites.
Most other dating sites have a high percentage of just men who use them.
Ashley Madison gives women the ability to use all the features of the site for free, which does a wonderful job of bringing in women to help with the ratio.
What Kind of People Use Ashley Madison?
The website advertises that its services are for people that want to have a side affair. Which means that they are already in a relationship.
However, there are many single people who use the site to attract a mate (some people just like partners who are married) and there are plenty of reviews and accounts of singles hooking up with singles that find one another through Ashley Madison.
Truly, quite a few use the site for what it is intended for, but others use the site as a single person looking for love because the site is secure and discreet.
Plus, if they feel like getting rowdy, there is the option available to them, at any time.
For the attractive young female users, the site is completely free even though the men must pay up.
As such, there are, of course, those that complain about this policy. But it presents opportunities too – if you ask me.
Since it is free for females, it means you should step up your flirting games and avoid those things that can ruin your profile. It means you need to be at your best to attract the perfect fling. It is an advantage in disguise if you ask me.
This factor, in turn, makes the ratio perfect.
That is why a vast majority who use Ashley Madison have remarkable success when they evaluate what they aimed to achieve when signing up.
They record remarkable success by following this guide that helps them to secure that long-term relationship. Some found a mate, some found love, some found a friend, and others found something more.
Don’t be afraid to take that plunge with that person far away, it can work out.
You just don’t know what you’ll find when you use Ashley Madison to its full potential, which is why it is so fun, and popular among millions.
How Does it Compare?
What do we even compare it to? Ashley Madison is the only site that promotes having affairs.
Ashley Madison is considered a “dating site.” So, compared to all the other huge dating sites, like Match.com, Zoosk, OKCupid, and eHarmony, it ranks just as high as all of them.
While the idea of the dating services it renders may be different than a regular dating site, it is still essentially the same thing they provide; Ashley Madison just isn’t afraid to get into the taboo. The flirting-with-another-person’s-partner kind of taboo.
If you intend to do that, at least do it right and get amazing results.
Ashley Madison has courted controversy over the years for being a go-to site for unhappy spouses seeking fun and excitement away from their relationship. It’s also courted a bit of controversy for its pricing structure.
Basically, while men have to pay in order to message women, everyone else gets access to the dating site’s features for free. This means if you’re a man looking for a man, a woman looking for a man or a woman looking for a woman, you don’t have to pay a cent.
Moreover, whereas rivals like Adult Friend Finder base their fees on monthly subscriptions, It goes down the route of credits that you purchase per package.
There are 3 packages on offer:
- Elite – 1,000 credits
- Classic – 500 credits
- Basic – 100 credits
Credits get you to access to different features, but some features require more credits than others. I purchased the Classic package to get me rolling and found that initiating an email costs five credits, which didn’t seem so bad at all. Opening a message also requires 5 credits.
Of course, the more messages you send, the more credits you need. Honestly, though, this isn’t something to worry about as AshleyMadison isn’t the type of dating website where you’ll be messaging a million people. Moreover, you only need to use credits up once per person. In other words, if you start sending regular messages to someone, you won’t need to use more than your initial 5 credits.
Gifts, meanwhile, can cost as much as 50 credits.
Payment options include PayPal, debit, and credit card. No other e-wallets are accepted.
And if you’re wondering what you can do for free if you’re a man seeking women? Not a lot. You can open an account and view profiles, and you can send winks. But you can’t do much else. You can’t, for example, boost your profile, message someone, or even open a message.
It’s, therefore, the opinion of this reviewer that AM is only worthwhile if you purchase a credit plan.
Audience Quality – Are The Profiles Real?
When Ashley Madison was breached in mid-2015, millions of real profiles were exposed … and lots of fake profiles were exposed, too.
As you can expect, Ashley Madison has subsequently had to work hard to regain the public’s trust. What’s the point in signing up (and paying) to a hookup site if the profiles are fake anyway?
I’m not going to lie to you: I’ve been on the website for a few weeks now and I know there are fake profiles on there.
But there are also lots of real and genuine profiles, too. In fact, there are more real profiles than fake ones now, with reports showing that Ashley Madison has wiped out most – if not all – the female bots.
How can you tell the difference?
It’s not always easy, and one of the things that makes it harder is that – in a bid to keep things discreet – Ashley Madison actually lets you blur your picture. The reason for this is that a lot of married people use Ashley Madison to cheat on their partners. Thus, they don’t want to get caught.
That said, if a man is to message a woman (as I did), they have to send their photos first. At that point, it’s a good idea to always send your best pics, as well as more than one. This gives the recipient a good idea that you’re not fake. Send pics of you smiling, looking sexy, and maybe even doing some sort of activity, even if it’s just drinking in a bar.
It’s also not a bad idea to send pics of you enjoying the company of the opposite sex as it increases your sexual market value while also showing that you’re a real profile.
Secondly, the fake profiles tend to send very short messages – sometimes they’ll send just one word. I got a few messages that simply said ‘Sex?’
If you’re merely interested in a hookup, you might prefer short messages like that. Personally, I used Ashley Madison more as a friend with benefits would, and so I was looking to start proper conversations with people. If you do this, and if you even display a sense of humor, you’ll have a much better chance of convincing people you’re real.
Another thing that’s worth pointing out is that there’s been a lot of research carried out into the realness of Ashley Madison profiles, and whilst millions of them are real, a large percentage of members are inactive.
This can be tough to take for men because women don’t have to pay for anything on AshleyMadison, which means they can sign up and leave without any incentive to keep using the dating site. Men, on the other hand, have to pay in order to message women and so they’ll want to get their money’s worth.
Moreover, it’s even stipulated in the terms and conditions that some users are on the website purely for entertainment purposes. They may not have any intentions of actually meeting up.
Interface, Usability, and Features
One of the best things about Ashley Madison is how easy the website is to use. The signup process is super simple and, as the website itself tells you, should take less than a minute. You can upload some pics and some information for your bio, but you can also skip these steps and fill them in later on.
Other than that, searching for users is also a convenient and simple process. You just click on the search bar at the top of the homepage and scroll down to view members. You can also amend your search at the top of the page so that you can find new members that are located near you and of any age range. You can also tweak your search according to when someone was last online.
There are lots of features on Ashley Madison for you to take advantage of. Here are some of the best ones:
One of the problems I’ve always had with dating sites is curating a list of women I might like to message. You know the type: You’re not sure whether you should message them or not but you’d like to be able to save their profile so that you can shoot them an email at a later date, should you wish.
Ashley Madison allows you to do this via a Favourites List. You can add as many as 100 profiles to this list and it’s free to use (even for men).
There’s also a blocked list, too, which helps you to separate the real profiles from the fake ones as you go along.
If you’re a premium, fully paid-up member, you get access to private photos. These are photos a man or woman sends to you that only you can see. They’re obviously more intimate than public photos, and they’re a great way to get close to someone on the site. Basically, they turn up the heat, which is exactly what you want.
Personally? Private photos is one of my favorite features as I get to see more of the woman I’m chatting to, and even if we don’t eventually meet it’s a lot of fun.
As mentioned earlier, you can upload blurred pics of yourself so that your partner (or anyone else who you don’t want to see you on AM) can see you. Your image will be blurred or you can add a fake mask instead.
Below is an example of a user who added a face mask to protect their identity:
Don’t worry – you can hand someone a key whenever you want to see their proper pictures. This key should be used when you start chatting to someone you’re interested in.
Anyone can send winks for free and they’re a pretty cool feature. A wink is basically a way of telling someone you’re interested in their profile, and you can see it on their page. Like this:
I’d suggest only using winks when you’re genuinely interested in a profile, as it could lead to you getting messaged by fake profiles if you’re not careful.
Also, if you’re a man looking for a woman, you can only see the person who’s winked at you if you subscribe.
Gifts cost credits and some can cost as many as 50 credits. All gifts are, of course, virtual, but they’re a great way to let someone know you really like them and would possibly like to take this further.
It’s really easy to send a gift. You just click on their profile and click the gift tab. Then, you need to select your gift:
Gifts are a premium feature. As you can see from the pic, you need credits to use them. I used them a couple of times but you have to be super selective regarding which man or woman you send them too as they are a tad on the expensive side.
But they’re also a great way to start a conversation as you can include a message along with your gift. I sent gifts with and without messages, and got way responses when I sent a message.
It’s a real bummer when you’re on a hookup site with millions of other men who are – like you – fighting to get the attention of women. Or vice versa. You know you look good in your pics and your bio is ultra sexy. But no one is viewing your profile. It sucks.
This is where – for men – Priority Man proves useful. You have to use credits to get it, but it’s a feature that boosts your profile so that more members see it.
If you’re the type of man who’s always traveling for work and loves nothing more than a hookup in a new city, the Travelling Man feature is well worth a closer look.
Essentially, it lets you message 30 women in a city you’ll be visiting soon. You get a chance to chat to them and finesse them before landing in their area and – hopefully – meeting up.
This is a premium feature that I’ve personally had no cause to use yet. But when I fly over to France next month, I’m definitely giving it a shot. It’s simple to use, too, and all you need to do is fill in a few details:
The design element of any site is important. And, believe me, I’ve joined dating sites that are so hard to use that I’ve had to bail out pretty quickly.
As you can see from the image below, Ashley Madison has a pretty basic design layout. On the homepage, your most recent messages are collected so that you can get stuck right in at the click of a button. Perfect.
Everything else is just a click away, too. The key pages are all listed neatly on the tab at the top, and you can jump from searching for profiles to buying more credits without any hassle at all.
There’s not a lot to Ashley Madison but I think this is for the best. Users are here for one thing only – sex – and the design complements that.
Plus, the electric pink colours (used for all the important stuff) contrast nicely with the white background and put you in the mood for sex.
Once slight thing that goes against Ashley Madison is that the site can be a glitchy sometimes, as per the image below. Occasionally, menus overlap and it looks uneasy on the eyes.
Privacy and Security
One of the biggest concerns I had when signing up for Ashley Madison was site security. Like many, I’m a married man who doesn’t want certain people finding out that I’m on this website
It suffered a massive data breach a few years ago when millions of its new members were left exposed. It wasn’t cool and, worse still, the site was breached again just twelve months later.
It’s a tad worrying that users can still create numerous accounts from the same email address, which means more fake profiles, as well as more opportunities for hackers to steal your photos.
Experts and analysts also suggest that it’s not difficult for hackers to then use your photos for other means and identify who you are exactly. That’s not exactly good for privacy and it’s the last thing you want if you’re married.
On the flip side, Ashley Madison is well aware of these issues and has made efforts to regain our trust.
To that extent, security has been strengthened, and – as mentioned earlier – the female bots that were plaguing the site have been removed.
In terms of the aforementioned security, it was formerly very loose on this front, and there was no written information security policy. However, an FTC settlement now means that a ‘comprehensive data-security program’ is in place, as well as ‘third-party assessments.’
You can be sure that they are now taking your privacy very seriously for once.
Okay, let’s get to the main point here: Does Ashley Madison actually work as a hookup website? What are your chances of success?
Like many who use this site, I’m an unhappily married man. I used to be happy but the light has faded in my relationship. Do I think it’s gone forever? Maybe not. But I’m a sexually aware and active man who needs physical contact.
And I just wasn’t getting that in my loveless marriage. My wife has barely put out since she had our second child three years ago.
So I turned to AM in the hope that putting some excitement back into my sex life might even reignite the spark in my marriage somehow. I certainly needed something to make me feel wanted again – to feel alive again.
So I signed up, bought some credits, filled out my profile – and started messaging women.
I suppose like many who use the site I was a bit disconcerted at first by the obvious fake profiles. Moreover, a lot of women messaged once and I never heard from them again.
But this happens on all dating sites.
In any case, I decided to use the Priority Man feature to boost my profile.
And it wasn’t long before I was making proper connections with sexy women in my area who were looking for what I was – a no strings attached hookup.
The great thing about the site is that you can find women who have the exact same sexual interests as you, as they put this in their profile. Like this:
So I found someone who had the same sexual interests as me and we arranged to meet up.
Overall, I managed to have sex with 2 women off Ashley Madison in a short space of time. Is it worth it? Absolutely. I didn’t spend that much and I wasted very little time with the time-wasters.
It works if you know what you want and finds someone genuine who’s looking for exactly what you want. As long as you both find each other attractive, there’s no reason not to meet.
Be Aware of Potential Dangers
There are also the general dangers of using online platforms that use personal information. Especially online dating sites, where scammers and others with nefarious purposes lurk. Be sure to detect those kinds of people with the words they use and get out fast.
There is always the danger of being found out by your significant other as well. If you aren’t honest with your hubby or wife, then you are running the risk of betraying their trust.
This situation isn’t complicated, though.
It is simple: If you don’t wish to hurt the one you’re with, betray their trust, or otherwise engage in something they wouldn’t approve of, then don’t do it.
Honesty is always the best policy.
Avoid Dangers with Spouses
Another sensitive topic that needs to be discussed is when you use Ashley Madison and your spouse tends to show an extreme level of jealousy and views you as property. These situations can become dangerous if your spouse finds out you are having an affair.
Take extra caution when dealing with a jealous or possessive spouse. If you need help getting away from your spouse, or to find help in a dangerous situation, check the link at the bottom on how to stay safe online.
How Can I Use Ashley Madison For Free?
If you’re a man looking for a woman, you have to pay to use Ashley Madison’s dating services. Everyone else can send and receive messages for free.
Is Ashley Madison Now Safe?
Ashley Madison has worked had to restore its reputation after the data breach a few years back. The company is now so confident about its security that it’s reintroduced its controversial tagline: “Life is short, have an affair.”
In other words, it’s once again aimed at adulterous couples, with the company confident that their data and personal information won’t be compromised so that their partners won’t find out.
How Do Credits Work?
A man can’t message a woman until he pays for credits. Credits are also used to purchase gifts and a few other site features. The exact cost of a gift depends on what it is.
It’s one of the unique hookup dating sites in that it targets unhappily married couples who are looking for sex elsewhere. Signing up isn’t risky, though – Ashley Madison has tightened its security so that you’re free to register and message other horny spouses who want the same thing you do: A no strings attached hookup.
It has its downsides for men, of course, with women able to use it for free. That said, it has enough features and sexy singles (and couples) that make it well worth your time if you’re looking for sex ASAP.