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Our Full Ashley Madison Review, Is This Discreet Married Dating Site Worth It in 2021? The Pros, Cons, and Updated Pricing Plans

Since launching in 2001, Ashley Madison claims to have helped millions of married people (and singles) add some much-needed spark to their otherwise dull bedroom affairs.

Ashley Madison is not your typical dating site as it doesn’t focus on creating long-term friendships or relationships that can lead to marriage.

Instead, the hookup site cuts to the chase and helps members blow some sexual steam without the risk of being found out or judged.

But despite its reputation as a haven for extramarital affairs –

Is Ashley Madison the right online hookup site for you?

To help you out, we’ve conducted an in-depth Ashley Madison review that focuses on its ease of use, main features, member quality, pricing, and even main competitors.

Ready? Then let’s get straight to business.

What Is Ashley Madison?

Ashley Madison is an online dating site that targets married couples, people in serious relationships, and singles in search of discreet casual hookups.

It’s a no-strings-attached kind of website that prioritizes user security and privacy over everything else.

Boasting a massive member pool of over 60 million users, AM is the go-to place for people who feel stuck in their marriages (or serious relationships) but don’t want to give up just yet.

Once you register on the Ashley Madison website, you get to choose your preferred match based on profile photos, user preferences, and bios.

However – Ashley Madison is more than just an affairs website.

It’s a platform that allows members to tap into their sexual desires without feeling judged. Besides finding tons of married people, you’ll also spot several single profiles in search of casual, non-judgmental fun.

What We Loved…

  • Many active members
  • Disappearing chats
  • Panic button
  • Prioritizes user security
  • Tons of communication features
  • Free for all women
  • Anonymous payment
  • Intuitive interface
  • More women members

What We Didn’t Like…

  • Not suitable for long term relationships
  • No auto-matchmaking features
  • Pricing can get a bit confusing

Pricing

  • Basic – 100 credits for $59
  • Classic – 500 credits for $169
  • Elite – 1000 credits for $289

What’s The Sign Up Process Like?

Signing up on Ashley Madison is a breeze and won’t take you more than 5 minutes.

You’ll need to provide your gender details and preferences before choosing your preferred username and password.

AM will also require you to provide your location, weight, height, and body type.

But you won’t need to provide your phone number during signup!

While a short bio and profile photo aren’t mandatory – providing them can boost your chances of standing out from other members.

You can also blur your Ashley Madison profile picture if you want to stay completely anonymous.

The casual dating site requires all members to verify their respective email addresses. So you might want to provide an email address without your real names to remain anonymous.

While Ashley Madison advises its members to answer all questions during sign-up, you can prioritize the important ones like location and preferences and complete the rest later.

This makes the sign-up process relatively easy and stress-free!

Female members can start browsing potential matches immediately after sign-up, while men will be required to purchase credits to access premium features.

Quality of Members On Ashley Madison

Ashley Madison is an undisputed industry leader when it comes to casual hookups.

Not only do you get access to millions of other married people (or singles) looking for one-night stands, but you also get to interact with active members that rarely shy from naughty conversations.

Ashley Madison’s member activity is second to none in the online hookup industry.

And although the majority of Ashley Madison’s members are married people looking for extramarital fun, you’ll also find swinger couples and kinky singles registered on the site.

Member Profiles

Unfortunately, member profiles on Ashley Madison aren’t detailed, as most users prefer remaining anonymous. However, you can still learn a thing or two about a user’s sexual preferences by checking out their profiles.

Profile Pictures

As expected, most Ashley Madison profiles have a limited number of photos.

Married users prioritize anonymity over everything, which explains why a majority of profiles have blurred photos. But you can get lucky and stumble on a couple of profiles with clear profile pictures.

Gender Balance

Of Ashley Madison’s 60 million-plus users, the majority are women (both married and single) seeking short-term flings. Most of the male members on the website are married or in serious relationships.

Member Activity

Ashley Madison owes its success to its active member base.

Millions of members log in monthly, making AM one of the best hunting grounds for one-night stands and discreet casual relationships.

Most of the women members don’t shy away from kick-starting conversations while male members are highly responsive.

Age

While Ashley Madison has members in different age groups, the majority of its members are aged between 25-45 years. You can also stumble on thousands of senior profiles as well as members in their early twenties.

Ashley Madison: How Much Does It Cost?

Ashley Madison takes a unique approach to pricing.

While female users can access all interactive features with FREE accounts, male members must purchase credits in order to communicate with other members.

The Ashley Madison site appears to move away from the subscription model in favor of the credit system. Under the credit system, members get to buy either basic, classic, or elite credits, as explained below.

Basic Plan

The basic plan allows you to spend $59 in exchange for 100 credits.

While you’ll get to fork out a small initial amount, your savings will be the lowest since you’ll be spending an average of $0.59 for a single credit under this plan.

Classic Plan

The classic plan is arguably Ashley Madison’s most popular pricing plan.

Under this plan, you’ll spend $169 in exchange for 500 credits, which trickles down to approximately $0.34 per credit. The classic plan is highly recommended if you plan to be interactive and initiate multiple conversations.

Elite Plan

If your plan is to chat with as many singles or married people on the platform, then you might want to consider the elite plan.

You’ll receive 1000 credits at an affordable price of $289, which translates to around $0.29 per credit.

The Elite Plan will give you the coveted priority man status, a feature that ranks your Ashley Madison account higher in conducted searches, making it a lot easier to find hookups.

Free Guest Membership

All-female members can start conversations and use premium features FREE of charge!

The free Ashley Madison membership has made the affair site a popular option for women looking for extramarital affairs without spending money.

However, male members using free accounts must contend with limited features as they can neither initiate conversations nor keep up with threads.

If you’re a male looking for a quick hookup, then you must upgrade to either the basic, classic, or elite plans on Ashley Madison.

How to Message on Ashley Madison Without Paying?

The only way you can message someone without paying on Ashley Madison is if you’re a woman – since women can join for free! Otherwise, you can take advantage of the various different plans you can choose from – for the best experience on the platform.

Ashley Madison: Features We Love

Favorites List – To Keep Tabs On Your Favorite Profiles

Ashley Madison allows its members to create favorite lists comprising up to 100 members.

Creating a favorites list doesn’t require any credits and gives you easy access to your favorite Ashley Madison profiles.

The favorite list is especially useful if you prefer chatting with several profiles simultaneously.

Did we mention that no credits are required to add or remove profiles to your favorite lists?

Discreet Photos – For Selective Anonymity

Browsing through hundreds (if not thousands) of blurred profiles can get tiring and eventually overwhelming.

However, Ashley Madison’s discreet photos feature allows you to upload discreet photos and determine who gets to see the clear versions.

When uploading a photo, AM will give you the option to add masks or blur the image to protect your identity.

You can give someone you like access to your original profile photo by sharing your key. This feature puts you firmly in control of who gets to view your clear photos, allowing you to interact with other members discreetly.

Send Wink – For A Smooth Ice Breaker

Starting conversations with strangers isn’t as straightforward as most of us perceive.

The send a wink feature eliminates the guesswork by helping members initiate contact in the easiest possible way.

Sending a wink is a great way to notify another Ashley Madison user that you’re interested and willing to know them better.

Traveling Man – To Link Up With Hot Dates While On the Go

The traveling man feature allows you to connect with ladies from an area you plan to visit.

This feature works well if you travel frequently and want to link up with one or more female companions for some casual fun.

The feature ensures you have access to Ashley Madison’s real women to keep you company throughout your vacation or work trip.

Priority Man – To Stand Out From The Rest

Ashley Madison’s priority man feature allows male members to stand out from the competition.

Your profile will be highlighted and listed higher up the search results in your area to give you an edge over others.

Priority man is recommended if you’re desperate for a hookup!

Priority Mail – To Get That Extra Boost

For extra credits, you can have your message to a potential interest labeled as a priority.

A priority message will appear highlighted in a recipient’s mailbox, giving you that extra boost over other Ashley Madison members.

Member Initiated Contact- To Reduce the Cost of Communication

If you don’t want to spend all credits on messages, then you can subscribe to the Member Initiated Contact plan.

This feature allows you to read and reply to texts initiated by ladies at no extra cost. The plan also allows you to maintain interaction with previously contacted members even when your credits run out.

All Ashley Madison members are eligible for a 30-day free trial of this feature upon purchasing credits.

However, you will then need to pay a $29.99 monthly fee to remain subscribed to the Member Initiated Contact plan.

Ashley Madison App Review

The Ashley Madison app is available on both android and iOS play stores.

Some users claim the app version loads a lot faster and is easier to use than the desktop version, but there’s really not much of a difference as both versions are designed to provide a smooth, ad-free browsing experience.

The Ashley Madison app boasts a stealthy design that ensures it blends seamlessly with other universal apps.

You can easily convert the app icon into game or fitness app icons, which allows you to browse safely without the risk of blowing your cover.

Is Ashley Madison Safe And Secure?

In 2015, the infamous Ashley Madison data breach caught the online dating world by surprise. Hackers obtained sensitive and potentially damaging contact details of Ashley Madison’s many members.

While the data breach was damaging to Ashley Madison’s reputation, it helped the firm bolster its security features.

This has allowed the casual dating site to re-establish itself as one of the most secure casual dating sites around.

Below are some of the security measures Ashley Madison undertook to safeguard its members.

Two Factor Authentication

The two-factor authentication feature was designed to make Ashley Madison’s streets a lot safer. Unlike before, all members must provide additional information during sign-up as proof of account ownership.

Bug Bounty Program

Ashley Madison launched a bug bounty program to help in the fight against data theft.

The bug bounty program seeks to compensate members that can identify system vulnerabilities and notify Ashley Madison’s security team for immediate action.

The bug bounty program has helped avert data-related crises, making Ashley Madison one of the safest online dating sites around.

Updated Security Program

Following the 2015 data breach, Ashley Madison partnered with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and developed a comprehensive online security program.

The data security program involves a third-party security agency that conducts regular assessments to check for online risks and potential points of attack.

As can be observed from the several measures put in place to boost user security, Ashley Madison is among the safest online dating platforms.

The risk of data breaches has reduced significantly since the 2015 scandal. And if expert reports are anything to go by – Ashley Madison is a lot safer than most dating sites.

However, you’ll still need to be extra careful about the type of information you share with other Ashley Madison members. It is also advisable to sign up with an email address that doesn’t contain your real names or contact details.

What Is the Automatic Private Key Exchange Feature?

The Automatic Private Key Exchange feature allows you to view blurred images of members you choose.

Activating this feature means you’ll permit members you like to view your original photos without any blur.

This feature is ideal if you’re chatting with a potential match and would love to have a better view of his or her profile.

How Will My Credit Card Bill Appear?

Ashley Madison offers anonymous billing to all its clients.

The casual dating platform also redeems gift cards (by major retailers) to allow members to pay without sharing too many personal details.

When you make credit card payments, all the transaction details will be encrypted before being securely transmitted to Ashley Madison’s payment processors.

Ashley Madison makes discreet charges on user accounts, allowing you to pay for services and remain anonymous.

A Few Tips To Get You Started On Ashley Madison

Work On Your Profile

Not too many people are after long-term hookups on Ashley Madison.

And with millions of active members, the competition on the casual dating website can be overwhelming.

To boost your chances of securing a hot hookup, you’ll need to create a striking profile. This means explicitly stating your sexual preferences and what you’re looking for in a woman or man.

It would also help if you uploaded attractive photos, especially if you plan to give potential dates keys to your profile.

Make the Most Of Interactive Features

Not too many casual hookup sites compare to Ashley Madison when it comes to features.

You can use free features like winks and favorites or choose to make the most of premium ones like traveling man and priority man.

Whichever option you prefer, using AM’s advanced features will make the casual dating process a lot easier (and enjoyable), more so if you’re serious about making a good impression.

You can also redeem credits for virtual gifts to show you mean business.

Communicate Actively

1000 Ashley Madison credits won’t do you much good if you fail to put them to good use.

Put simply, you’ll need to initiate conversations and respond quickly enough to new messages if you’re to make meaningful connections on Ashley Madison.

The good news is most members are active and prefer interacting with members in nearby locations.

So don’t hesitate to shoot your shot!

Keep an Eye On Credits

Dealing with credits can be confusing, especially if you’re yet to get used to the credit system. And as your reliance on premium features increases, so too will your need for credits.

Keeping an eye on how you spend your credits will help you save more cash in the long run, especially if you plan to be an active member.

For instance, you can subscribe to the Member Initiated Contact program if you don’t want to use your credits to respond to messages. This allows you to use your Ashley Madison credits for other things like accessing advanced features.

Beware Of Fake Profiles

Although Ashley Madison’s admin team regularly monitors all profiles, it’s not unusual to spot a few fake accounts on the website.

Reporting such accounts is highly recommended, but you can choose to cut communication with suspicious profiles altogether.

To be on the safe side, it is advisable to keep things discreet by revealing only what is necessary. Avoid sharing too many personal details with potential dates if your plan is to remain anonymous on Ashley Madison.

Cut The Foreplay

Almost all Ashley Madison dating site members are after discreet flings.

And since most people aren’t interested in serious relationships on Ashley Madison, it’s best to make your intentions clear right from the start!

This means telling a potential match that you’re attracted to their profile and would like to have them as your discreet partner.

Remember to keep things interesting as you’ll be up against hundreds, if not thousands, of other physically attractive parties.

What Other Alternatives To Ashley Madison Are There?

Adult Friend Finder – For Discreet & Kinky Hookups

Adult Friend Finder is one of the best dating sites in the world.

Boasting over 80 million members, you can join Adult Friend Finder if you’re interested in swinging, polygamy, video sex chats, erotic adventures, and short-term hookups.

It’s the perfect hub for threesomes and swinging couples!

However, unlike Ashley Madison, most of the members on Adult Friend Finder are men aged 23-45 years. You’re also likely to stumble on more fake users on Adult Friend Finder than on AM.

Creating a profile on Adult Friend Finder is FREE, but you’ll need to upgrade to premium to access messaging and video chat features.

Most members post steamy photos and upload explicit videos, which makes AFF one of the least SFW casual dating sites in the industry.

So be mindful of where you launch your app.

Tinder – Most Popular Dating App Around

Tinder needs no introduction when it comes to online dating. The dating platform boasts a large user base of over 50 million users, 40% of which login actively every month.

Signing up on Tinder is a breeze as you won’t need to provide tons of personal information as you can even sign up via Facebook.

Tinder’s large (and active) user base makes it an excellent place for young people searching for short-term flings, extramarital affairs, and long-term relationships.

Over the years, however, Tinder has become synonymous with casual flings, which explains its enormous popularity with the younger population.

You’ll also enjoy Tinder if you’re big on in-app features. The dating platform has advanced features like boost, super like, super boost, rewind, and top picks, which add some much-needed buzz to the online dating adventure.

Alt.com – For Bondage, BDSM, & More

If you’re into bondage, submission, and dominance, then you need not look further than Alt.com, the ultimate fetish, kink, and BDSM dating site.

Although Alt.com doesn’t have many active users, you can easily find like-minded singles and couples if you’re into alternative sex.

It’s the perfect hub for BDSM chat and bondage fetishes.

And while you can join chat rooms and upload photos with a free Alt.com account, you’ll need to upgrade to premium to read and reply messages, send virtual gifts, and access members’ live and recorded videos.

If you’re uncertain about your virtues and sexual limits, then you can take Alt.com’s famed Purity Test, a simple examination that reveals your level of naughtiness.

You’ll enjoy Alt.com if you’re into kinky sex.

However, you’re better off trying other sites if you are sexually reserved.

You’re also likely to stumble on several fake profiles on Alt.com. So be sure to keep a close eye on suspicious accounts and report them whenever you get the chance.

Victoria Milan – Best Alternative to Ashley Madison

Victoria Milan describes itself as an affair dating site for married and attached people looking to revive lost passion.

The platform also opens its door to divorcees and single people in search of sexual excitement.

Similar to Ashley Madison, members can blur their profiles to stay anonymous when dating on Victoria Milan. You can also choose to keep your photos private and only allow trusted members to view them.

It’s also great that Victoria Milan will bill your credit card as a restaurant.

60% of Victoria Milan’s members are men aged between 25-45 years, while most females are between 22-40 years – making it slightly harder to find instant hookups.

The website is a great hunting ground for people in search of erotic adventures.

The no-judgment vibe and insistence on discretion makes Victoria Milan one of the best platforms for discreet, short-term affairs.

Is Ashley Madison a Good Site in 2021 – The Takeaway

As can be seen from our Ashley Madison review, the dating platform stands out from other casual dating sites mainly due to its approach to customer privacy.

Not only does Ashley Madison allow members to post blurred photos, but it also bills credit cards anonymously – features that allow members to maintain discreet relationships.

And although Ashley Madison has tons of active members, the competition for short-term flings is usually stiff. Due to this, you’ll need to create an attractive profile and try to come off as a charming individual to stay ahead of the competition.

Using features like priority man, priority mail, and traveling man can also help you move ahead of the queue and boost your chance of securing that much-needed discreet hookup.

The news and editorial staff of Sound Publishing, Inc. had no role in the preparation of this post. The views and opinions expressed in this sponsored post are those of the advertiser and do not reflect those of Sound Publishing, Inc.

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