You may have already heard of Ashley Madison -- it was the dating site that got into hot water a few years ago because of a huge data breach, which revealed the personal details of their members.
Since then they’ve worked hard to rebuild their image and gain the trust of their members by improving the security and privacy of its site.
Ashley Madison’s motto is “Life is short. Have an affair®”, so they openly encourage extra marital affairs and open mindedness.
Ashley Madison member structure
Ashley Madison is most popular with people from the US, Brazil and Spain. There’s a wide mix of members, but all are seeking some kind of affair. Most members are middle aged.
- Members: There are over 54 million members worldwide. Around 1.5 million are from the UK alone.
- Member activity: Ashley Madison gets new members signing up every day and approximately 220,000 new members each month.
- Gender proportion: Exact numbers are unknown, but Ashley Madison has worked hard to attract genuine women (instead of bots) to the dating site to make the gender split more even.
- 18-24 (19%)
- 25-34 (27%)
- 35-44 (17%)
- 45-54 (15%)
- 55+ (22%)
How does AshleyMadison.com work?
According to Ashley Madison, the dating site is about so much more than just infidelity. Instead, couples can explore polyamory together.
The website is all about offering a discreet place for members to explore other avenues to their marriage, and allows you to find like-minded people in a secure environment where your spouse can’t find out.
Most people on the site are married or in a relationship, so it’s a place that connects these people together.
Sign up process
How can you join AshleyMadison.com? During sign up, you’re not really asked for any personal details in order to keep your identity safe.
You’re instead asked to specify your marital status, details about your appearance, and your limits when it comes to what you’re willing to do.
It only takes around five minutes to complete, and in this time you can add a profile picture -- which you can blur out if you prefer to stay anonymous. You can go back in to your profile at any time to make edits.
Ease of use
Ashley Madison’s user experience is really strong and well considered. Everything is clear, well thought out and easy to use.
All the main pages are grouped in one place along the navigation bar, but the one downside is that you have to scroll down the page to find it, which might not be that obvious at first.
Chat, messages and notifications
If you’re a woman, you can message other members for free. For men, you’ll need to buy credits to be able to send messages.
There’s a chat feature and also a chat room, where you can meet and get to know other people.
You can also add favourite profiles to your list. And you can send winks if you prefer to break the ice before you send someone a bespoke message. Virtual gifts are an option too, but you need to pay for credits to send these.
Profile quality is a bit of a mixed bag. You’ll find that some profiles don’t fill out any information, but others are very detailed. Because many people are looking for an affair, they tend not to give too much away.
Many people also blur out their photos -- choosing to keep themselves anonymous until they gain other members’ trust.
Ashley Madison mobile app
The Ashley Madison app is available to download on both Android and iOS, and offers all the same features as the desktop version.
It’s not really that much different to the online site, but the navigation works very well and it’s great for dating on the move.
Real life reviews for AshleyMadison.com
Repeat the next week and hopefully repeat next week.
My head is still spinning. This man knew what to say in his profile and his first text to me. After that it was lust at first bite.
We are both are enjoying a no holds bar intimate relationship that is impossible with our respective spouses.
It is so mind blowing that I have found a man so loving, vulnerable yet a risk taker that loves me as I love him.
My advice is be your real self and if you get a response, don’t wait too long to meet.
Side note, I am 63 and my lover is 70 – age makes no difference, but do tell the truth.
I did have some men who I thought looked older, lie on their profile about their age. I never replied to them once they admitted the truth. So, tell the truth.
Also, if your picture is good, women will probably respond, if it is not, they probably won’t. Take the time to standout with a nice picture and explain exactly what you are looking for.
For those men who think sites like Ashleymadison or Saphrina are all fake because women don’t answer their messages: I was contacted by many men and most of them were very unattractive.
In some cases they were rude, boring or even both and of course I did not even waste one minute answering their messages.
But of course I met some handsome and intelligent men as well and it was sure worth the wait.
Key features for AshleyMadison.com
Travelling Man. If you travel a lot then you can send messages to up to 30 females who live in the area you’re visiting, ready for your arrival.
Priority Man. This is a paid feature that makes your profile stand out to other members.
Message Plus. Message anyone you’ve had contact with as a free trial for 30 days.
Is Ashley Madison safe?
Since the data breach, Ashley Madison has taken steps to improve safety across the site with a number of different features.
Not only are you never asked to share your personal details, but you can browse anonymously and billing is also kept discreet.
You can keep your photos discreet too, by blurring them out or adding face masks so you can’t be seen. You can give complete access to your photos once you find someone you trust.
As standard, Ashley Madison has a page dedicated to online safety tips that you can read through at your own leisure.
How much does AshleyMadison.com cost?
What are the prices for membership? Ashley Madison works on a credit system in order for you to be able to send virtual gifts, open, read and send messages, boost your profile and initiate chats. Women get this for free (unless you’re seeking other women) but men must pay.
- 100 credits: 0.47p per credit (£46.90)
- 500 credits: 0.26p per credit (£130.80)
- 1,000 credits: 0.21p per credit (£214.80)
Discounts, offers and promo codes
We didn’t find any discounts when trying to purchase credits on Ashley Madison, but it does work out cheaper the more credits you buy in bulk.
With Message Plus, you get a free 30 day trial after purchasing credits and allows you to read and reply to messages without using any of them.
Pros and Cons
✓ Pros of Ashley Madison
- They’ve really improved safety and security across the site.
- It’s great for browsing anonymously and keeping your details hidden.
- The site feels very premium.
- You don’t need to subscribe but can purchase credits at any time.
X Cons of Ashley Madison
- There’s nothing new to explore with the app.
- There are still some questions around whether some of the female profiles are bots to boost numbers.
- Men have to pay for credits while women don’t.
If you’re looking to have an affair or explore outside of your marriage then Ashley Madison is probably the best place to do it.
The website is incredibly premium, with loads of fun features and plenty of members to choose from.
The data breach could be enough to put anyone off and we totally understand why if this is the case, but since 2015 Ashley Madison has worked really hard to improve safety and security across the site and they’ve managed to pull it off really well. 4.2/5.
Join Ashley Madison Today
Is messaging on Ashley Madison free?
Messaging is free for women who are seeking men on Ashley Madison. For other users on the site, they will need to use credits to read, send or start messaging other members.
What control does Ashley Madison give me over my profile?
You have lots of control over your profile, personal details and account information. Whatever you want to disclose to the public is up to you. Simply adjust your profile settings and go to your manage/edit profile page.
Can I upload a discreet display photo?
Yes, Ashley Madison encourages people to upload a discreet photo. The site even offers a feature to allow you to blur out your image or add a mask on your photo to keep things completely anonymous. By adding a discreet photo, you increase your chances of finding a match.
What is ‘Automatic Private Key Exchange’ on Ashley Madison?
This is a feature available to Ashley Madison members that allows them to share their private photos with anyone they like.
By enabling this feature, you get a clear view of what used to be hidden or blurred image of the member.
You have the option to enable or disable this feature whenever you want by going to the ‘Profile Options’ page.
How long does the profile approval process take?
After completing the registration process, your profile will be automatically activated and you can enjoy the site immediately.
How can I delete my Ashley Madison profile?
You are able to deactivate or fully delete your account.
When you deactivate your account, your profile is removed from the search results and your profile is hidden from the site.
Once you deactivate your profile, you can always restore it by getting in touch with the customer service team.
If you fully delete your Ashley Madison profile, this will completely erase all data you have on your profile. This includes messages, photos, gifts and any other information that was there.
How does the ‘Priority Man’ feature work?
The Priority Man on Ashley Madison is an individual who has paid to have his profile highlighted in the search results.
Any profiles who have this feature are given prominence so that they standout and become more noticeable to other members.
How to use the ‘Travelling Man’ feature on Ashley Madison?
This features gives you the opportunity to send custom priority messages to up to 30 women int he city or place you are travelling to.
TO use this feature, find the ‘Travelling?’ option on the menu bar. Click it and answer the form that appears.
What is ‘Priority Mail’ on Ashley Madison?
When you message another person on the site, you can choose to send it as ‘Priority’. This means the message will appear highlighted at the top of the recipient’s inbox.
If you use a system based on credits, then you can send a message with priority with an additional credit cost. Subscription users purchase packages that include priority messaging.
What is ‘Message Plus’ on Ashley Madison?
This feature allows you to read, reply and receive messages without the use of any credits.
It also gives you the opportunity to message anyone you have previously contacted even if you no longer have any credits available.
The Message Plus feature is free for the first 30 days after buying a credit package. After the free trial period, if you haven’t cancelled the subscription then you will be automatically billed.
What is Member Initiated Contact?
Member Initiated Contact is only available if you are using the service based on the credits payment system.
The subscription service is the most affordable way to send messages without the requirement to purchase more credit packages.
With this feature, you are able to send and receive messages initiated by female members for free. Credits are only used when you make the first move and initiate contact.
If you run out of credits, you can continue messaging members you have previously contacted with no additional cost.
When you purchase your Ashley Madison subscription, you are given the option to try a 30-day free trial of Member Initiated Contact.
If you don’t cancel your subscription by the end of this free trial, then you will be billed monthly for the continued use of this feature.
If you would like to cancel the feature, just go to the ‘Manage Profile’ page on your account to cancel it. This feature can be cancelled at any time you want.
What can I do to keep my Ashley Madison account safe?
To ensure safety when creating your account, make sure to use a different email.
Your email should not include any of your personal details and should only be used for entering sites like Ashley Madison.
Is it possible to use the Ashley Madison site anonymously?
Yes, the site allows you to browse through its members’ profiles anonymously. Users are registered under a chosen username.
It is up to you how much personal information you want to add to the username you use with the site.
How can I create a strong password for my account?
To create a strong and secure password, the site offers a password meter that can give you an indication of the strength of the password you choose.
A strong password usually includes a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.
How to keep my browsing history private?
You can keep your browsing private by using the incognito window in your Google Chrome browser when you visit the site.
If you are using Safari or another browser, make sure to delete cookies and browsing history after each visit to Ashley Madison.
If you are in a public location like coffee shops or airports then it’s recommended to use extra caution.
Even though it may be tempting, don’t use the auto-remember password feature and especially if you share your computer with family or friends.
How can I protect myself from spammers and malicious emails (phishing)?
Ashley Madison will never ask you for personal information via email or instant message.
With most popular websites, spammers will sometimes send fake emails posing as customer service. This is called a ‘phishing’ scam and is how fraudsters attempt to collect personal information.
You should be suspicious whenever you receive:
-- An email message, text or phone call asking for your personal or financial details
-- An email requesting you to ‘click here’. Hover your cursor over the link without clicking. If the domain is legitimate, then it will match the company name ‘https://www.ashleymadison.com’.
If the URL link doesn’t match, then it’s a phishing email from a scammer. It’s recommended to delete or block the sender.
Keep in mind, any emails received from Ashley Madison asking for personal information are scams. They will never ask for personal information via email or text.
What’s included in the free membership on Ashley Madison?
If you are a woman seeking men, then full membership on Ashley Madison is free. All other users can sign up as Guest Members to view profiles, send winks, share photos -- all for free.
When Guest Members are ready to start messaging other members, there is a range of credit and subscription package available.
Other users include -- men seeking women, men seeking men, women seeking women. These individuals must purchase a credit package to enjoy the full membership status on Ashley Madison.
What payment methods are available on Ashley Madison?
The site accepts payments with credit cards, Paypal and other discreet options based on where you are located.
They also redeem gift cards from major retailers which allows you to pay for credit anonymously.
Payments that are made with credit or debit cards are encrypted and securely transmitted to the payment processor.
How will my purchase appear on my credit card bill?
Ashley Madison offers you a discreet and anonymous billing. To see how it will appear on your account, visit the ‘Buy Credits’ or ‘Subscribe’ section.
You can also get in touch with the Ashley Madison team to confirm how it will appear at [email protected]
How much does it cost to use Ashley Madison?
Using the site and its features is completely free for female members who are looking for a male match.
If you are a woman who is seeking a woman, man seeking a woman, or man seeking a man -- registration is free but you will need to purchase credit packages to enjoy most of the site’s features.
What is a Full Member on Ashley Madison?
As a Full Member, you have positive amounts of credit in your account or an active subscription.
With credits or a subscription, you are able to message other members on the site, receive messages, chat with other members, send gifts and also send priority messages.
How can I stop automatic billing for credits?
Automatic billing will update your credits when they are running low so that you can continue using the features on the site.
It’s very simple to turn this feature off. Go to the ‘Profile Options’ page and uncheck the option ‘Check here to top up your credits when you run out so that you are ready for any encounter’.
How can I cancel my subscription on Ashley Madison?
If you are using the site based on credits and have a Member Initiated Contact (MIC) or Priority Man subscription, head to the ‘Credit History’ page and select the subscription package you would like to cancel.
With a subscription based membership, go to the ‘Manage Subscriptions’ page and select the subscription package you would like to cancel.
In the case that you don’t cancel a subscription prior to it’s renewal date, you will not be entitled to a refund. This will only keep the subscription from auto renewing. You are able to use your cancelled subscription until the expiration date.
What is the mobile fee? Is this mandatory? How can I deselect this option?
The mobile access fee will only apply to you if you are using the service based on credits.
This isn’t a mandatory charge and is only required if you want to use Ashley Madison on your mobile for discretion on the go.
If you aren’t interested in mobile access, you can remove the charge from your subtotal by selecting the ‘Discreet Mobil Access’ banner found on your Buy Credits page found directly beneath the ‘Select a Package’ section.