Editor choice

Ashley Madison Review: A Former Hookup App Founder’s Honest Take (Updated in 2024)

This is the only Ashley Madison review you will ever need to read.

Using my experience in the adult dating industry, I’ll judge every aspect of the site, including its features, quality of members, pricing, hookup success rates and my overall recommendation in 2024.

There are dating sites. There are hookup sites. There are cheating sites. And then, there’s Ashley Madison. It’s all of the above. If I have to describe this website in a single sentence, it would be…

“An oasis of sexual opportunities for men and women of all kinds, of all tastes and all backgrounds.”

This is a site that I recommend wholeheartedly. No matter what your social status or relationship status is, Ashley Madison will help you find a match for casual fun.

Want to find out for yourself? Follow this link if you want to sign up for free.

Is it perfect? Of course not. No hookup site is. But you won’t find a better place on the internet to find like-minded partners.

Did I mention they have over 60 millions users?

Ashley Madison has something for everyone when it comes to discreetly hooking up, so if you’re looking for great sex, a quiet affair or kink that needs fulfilling, this is the place to be.

In this article, I’ll answer all of your questions about Ashley Madison, so you can decide if it’s the right hookup site for you.

And if you’d like to see how they compare to the competition, be sure to check out our guide on the best hookup sites we personally recommend.

Why You Should Trust Me

Hi. I’m Matt Manes, and I have worked in the adult dating industry for more than 15 years.

I created the popular hookup app Mixxxer.com, which subsequently went viral just after launching it.

From my years of being a founder, I have gained valuable insights into how hookup sites really work and have helped millions of people find satisfaction in their sexual endeavors.

With my and my staff’s expertise, I aim to thorough and honest reviews of various dating & hookup services so that you can make an informed decision when picking a hookup site to try.

How do I rate Ashley Madison?

Finding casual sex partners is a numbers game. I can’t stress that enough.

And if there’s only one thing you get out of this Ashley Madison review, it’s that you’ve got to go where the most fish are!

That being said, below I have handpicked the essential elements I’ve deemed crucial in judging the overall experience a casual sex site like Ashley Madison provides.

9.4Expert Score
I highly recommend Ashley Madison

Based on my review of Ashley Madison, I think it gives you the best odds of hooking up with one or many women, but there's no guarantee.

FeaturesAshley Madison is the queen of adult dating websites. They offer simple but effective features.
10
Cost / ValueFor a man, dating costs money and so does Ashley Madison. There's no free meals unless you're Brad Pitt. Just sayin.
8.5
Quality of MembersNo one can beat Ashley Madison here! Their free-for-use policy for females keeps the ratio of men to women balanced.
10
Ease of UseSuper simple UI but a newbie user might be tricked into spending more than he requires.
9
User ExperienceWith over an 80% satisfaction rate amongst its user base, Ashley Madison steals the show
9
Naughty FactorOh it's naughty. You'll see the first time you view someone's private photos
10
PROS
  • Good reputation in the industry
  • User friendly UX
  • 60 million members!
  • Tough on scammers
  • Higher ratio of women to men than most hookup sites
  • After the hack, they take your privacy more seriously
CONS
  • The credit system can be confusing
  • It's not the cheapest option
  • There's a lot of competition for men

Mixxxer readers sign up for free today!

What is Ashley Madison?

Ashley Madison is a hookup site (some use it as a dating website) that is known best for helping people engage in extramarital affairs, hence the iconic brand image of an attractive woman holding her finger to her lips.

The website is discreet, more trustworthy now than it used to be, and popular among users who are looking for a casual hookup.

Ad for Ashley Madison

Although the website has generated some negative press for its promotion of discreet affairs, Ashley Madison remains the #1 choice for users seeking to explore outside of their relationship.

Not only that, Ashley Madison has become a go to spot for just about any type of person (not just married couples) looking for no-strings hookups. This includes singles, couples looking for threesomes and more!

The website offers a huge buffet of “available” users, meaning there is always someone new to talk to or meet up with.

Considering what you get, prices for using the service are almost negligible compared the time and cost it would take to find sex partners offline.

This makes it one of the more affordable options for anyone interested in having some adult fun.

How Does Ashley Madison work?

Before going into more detail in the rest of this review, here’s a quick rundown of how Ashley Madison works.

Ashley Madison is location based hookup service. That means that they will show you other users based your location and their proximity to you. Pretty simple, but this was ground breaking less than 10 years ago.

Women gain access to all premium features for free. This is great because it helps with the imbalance of men to women that most hookup sites have to deal with.

Men, on the other hand, are more limited as to what they can do for free. They can search and view profiles. And men are also given a daily allotment of free winks and private key requests. But if you want to message someone, that will cost you credits.

There different types of messages which cost more or less credits (regular vs priority messages). But, after you’ve sent a “first contact” message, if you get a reply then the rest of your conversation is free.

That’s it in a nutshell.

What countries is Ashley Madison available in?

Too many to list here. Ashley Madison is available in over 50 countries worldwide including:

  • United States
  • Most of Europe
  • Most of South America
  • Australia

They even have a presence in some Asian countries like Japan and South Korea.

Not many hookup sites can claim that large of a global footprint.

How are the member profiles on Ashley Madison?

Even though it falls under the premium category of hookup sites owing to its costs, it hasn’t slowed down the growth of their membership.

As expected with any adult dating site, the gender ratio of its users skews towards men.

However, due to its female-friendly policies, Ashley Madison has the most female users actively using its service compared to any of its competitors.

Profile picture of woman on Ashley Madison

Even though most of the profiles on this platform come for short term sexual gratification, a large percentage also seek long term companionship either in terms of a polyamorous relationship, threesome partners or “otherwise”.

Whatever you seek, you shall certainly find here. I found there was also a large swinger niche prospering within their community. That’s always a good sign.

When I started Mixxxer, our primary goals was to capture the swingers! They just know how to have fun. And it looks as though Ashley Madison had the same goal in mind.

When browsing, I found a wide range of women to choose from. Women of different ages, ethnicities, educational backgrounds and all different body types.

I saw Moms, college students and everything in between! You’re sure to find someone you like here.

Ashley Madison Profiles

And I have to admit that scrolling through the endless profiles of many attractive women (and even some unattractive) was a huge turn on.

It’s also worth noting that, that since this website offers services at a slightly premium rate, it filters out the riff raff and “looky loos”. Good or bad? That’s for you to decide.

See also  Fling.com Review: A Former Hookup App Founder’s Honest Take (Updated in 2024)

Does Ashley Madison allow nude photos?

Yes. They do. But only if you have enabled the option to “view explicit photos” or someone shares their private photos with you. Their “public photos” (profile photos, etc) are always PG. Let me explain:

First, Ashley Madison reviews every photo that is uploaded, and that’s no BS. They do this so they can:

  1. Spot scammers, prostitutes and spam profiles
  2. Decide if the photo is adult rated or sexually explicit
  3. Move your photo to either your private photos or your adult rated photos if its not PG rated

They have to be really strict with this because, unlike all other hookup sites out there, Ashley Madison actually has a mobile app in the app stores.

But they’re very strict on adult content, so this was there way of getting around that.

How many members does Ashley Madison have?

Ashley Madison has over 60 million users worldwide!

Let me put that into context for you, that’s more than the population of many countries, such as the UK, Canada, and Australia.

What are Ashley Madison’s best features?

Ashley Madison has just the right balance of features that set it apart from the hundreds of other adult dating platforms. Here are the 7 best features that I believe, as an expert in this business, define them:

Women get in for free

Ashley Madison is a completely free app for women. They can message and view profiles free of charge.

This is one of the reasons they been able to maintain a higher girl to guy ratio than any other hookup site out there.

No ads

Ashley Madison has no notorious 3rd party advertisements like most other platforms.

No geographical limits

What does that mean? It means, if you’re in the US and you want to chat with someone in the UK, Ashley Madison allows it. Typically, most hookup sites restrict your communications to within your own geographical area.

This has proven to be a great feature for travelers, as they can find and build rapport with local women in the area they’ll be traveling too before starting their trip! A very well-thought out feature indeed.

Private photos

Screenshot of Ashley Madison profile with privacy turned on

Honestly, I think they stole this idea from me, but Ashley Madison allows their users to put up “privacy screens” over their photos.

It’s kind of like staring through a shower door. You can make out their body but that’s about it.

I personally love this feature. For one, I think it helps validate whether a user is real or not, as they are concerned about their privacy.

And it’s also a huge turn on. Humans are more turned on by what they can’t see, which forces them to use their imaginations.

Priority messages

This is a premium feature but it’s my favorite one out of them all. With this activated, your messages stay on top in the recipients inbox.

I can’t tell you how valuable that can be, always being at the top of their minds.

Women get inundated with messages. Their inboxes are constantly flooded with message and dick pics from a insane amount of guys. Which is why this little feature is so good!

Great customer service

Ashley Madison a big company, and with that, I have found comes better customer support.

Let’s be honest, customer service is not a priority for 95% of the hookup sites out there. If anything, its non-existent. But Ashley Madison recognized that and really stepped up their game.

Stealth mode

Worried about snooping eyes? The app can be completely hidden on your phone by disguising the app icon!

Ashley Madison Mobile Privacy Settings Stealth Mode

You can change the appearance of the icon into several types of unrelated images.

A Brief Walkthrough of Ashley Madison

The Sign-Up and Profile Setup:

With a very simple and straightforward procedure, the whole signing up procedure takes only a few minutes.

Screenshot of sign up process on Ashley Madison

First things first, you put in your sexual orientation, sexual identity and what you’re looking for. You’re then asked to choose a username and a password for logging in.

This is followed by an entry of your basic details such as your name, age, height, weight etc.

It’s optional to upload a photo of yourself but if you’re planning to meet someone seriously then yes, you should post a good shot of your beautiful self.

Screenshot of ashley madison upload a photo

I’d also advise you to use a separate email ID for your Ashley Madison account, that, for obvious reasons does not have your details on it.

It’s also noteworthy that signing up is free. You can even look around the website and explore your “options” without any additional fee.

However, if you’re a man, you will need some credits to communicate with other users.

Buy a package that feels best suited to your needs, I’d recommend the 500 credits pack as that feels the best-value one with more than enough credits to know the crowd.

Messaging on Ashley Madison

If you’re a woman using Ashley Madison, then it’s definitely a lot cheap for you to use! Without needing to spend a single penny you can enjoy all the premium features unavailable to your male counterparts!

At first glance, it does seem sexist. But if you really think about it, you’ll realize that this is a smart move.

Not only does this feature help draw more women to the website, but it also lets women message the man first, thereby decreasing the amount of message women tend to receive on adult dating sites.

It’s a win-win scenario for everyone. Women get in for free and me get more of their attention…at least in theory.

How to message for free on Ashley Madison

There actually is a way! If you’re not a woman, and you don’t want to buy credits, you can try sending a “collect message“.

A Collect Message is sent to a premium member from a guest member who wants to engage with them. It works just like a collect call, where the fee is paid by the member being contacted.

If you receive a Collect Message, the cost is five credits to view the message, plus additional credits to reply to it. Once paid, all other regular messages exchanged between you and that member are free.

How to search on Ashley Madison

Ashley Madison Search Filter Button

Probably one of the best search features amongst dating profiles, Ashley Madison provides you with a plethora of filters.

With filters such as age, online status, distance, relationship status, physical features etc you can narrow your preferences right down to your perfect match.

Screenshot of search filters on Ashley Madison

Safety

Without a doubt, Ashley Madison falls in the premium segment of adult dating sites. And that is, in no small part, due to their attention to safety.

Obviously, you always need to be careful about who you share your private information with and also know how to spot scammers on hookup sites.

There was one data breach back in 2015 that publicly leaked the personal information of thousands of users.

Since then, the company has taken data privacy to a whole new level by hiring third-party cyber security companies with major investments.

User Experience

Ashley Madison Mobile App User Experience

In regards to the overall design and flow of the site, the user experience is great.

The mobile app is even better! It has a clean design, it’s easy to navigate and it’s very easy to browse through profiles.

With no annoying advertisements popping up you can enjoy a seamless distraction-free environment.

Equipped with great search features and filtering tools, you can surely expect to find someone of your taste.

They’ve had nearly 2 decades to perfect the UX and UI of the site and they’ve done it well. They’ve embraced simplicity, introducing just the right amount of features and keeping the focus on the members.

Is Ashley Madison free?

Kind of but not exactly. This goes for men only as women are always free.

It’s free to join. It’s also free to search and view profiles. Men also receive a daily allotment of free winks and private key requests that they can use. It’s not many, maybe 2 or 3 of each. But it’s enough to wet your appetite! 😉

Men can send free messages using they “collect call” feature.

How Much Does Ashley Madison Cost?

This is a little complicated and as I said, you might end up spending more than what you had anticipated.

So instead of a subscription model, the website runs on a credit system where you purchase a certain number of credits that let you do whatever you wanna do.

Screenshot of Ashley Madison pricing

The pricing can vary depending on the country you’re in, for US residents in 2024, the pricing is as follows:

Membership TypePricing
Basic – 100 Credits$69 (69 cents per credit)
Classic – 500 Credits$189 (38 cents per credit)
Elite – 1,000 Credits [Most Popular]$309 (31 cents per credit)

After you purchase a package, Ashley Madison prompts you to sign up for their Member Initiated Contact Fee.

It’s a subscription-based service where you can see and respond to the messages sent to you by others without using any credits. The first month is free and is priced at $29.99/month after that.

See also  Our Review of Match.com: Our Experience & Thoughts (Updated for 2024)

This “MIC” fee can save you a lot of money in the long run if you’re an active user.

If you ask me, I’d say on average a user should expect to shell out around $100-200 if they want to get laid.

This cost is barely anything when you compare it to the reward you’re getting!

How much does each feature cost?

Here’s a break down on feature costs at the time of writing this Ashley Madison review:

  • Sending or replying the first time to a message = 5 credits
  • Sending a message after a conversation has started = Free
  • Send a priority message = 14 credits
  • Sending a wink = 1 credit

How can I pay on Ashley Madison?

It depends on the region you are in, but as of writing this Ashley Madison review, they currently accept:

  • Credit cards (just about any kind including prepaid cards)
  • Paypal
  • You can even mail them a check!
  • Sadly, they don’t support crypto

How does Ashley Madison appear on my billing statement?

Ashley Madison provides discreet billing. The charge typically shows up as “AMDA” on bank or credit card statements.

Does Ashley Madison have a mobile app?

Yes. They have an app in both the Apple and Android app stores. That’s very uncommon for adult hookup sites so kudos to them for pulling it off.

BUT, I would recommend signing up and using their website and not their mobile app. Why? Privacy.

Their website works really well on phones. Just as good as the app. And, while the tech companies know just about everything about you already, do you really want them knowing about this?

Not me. The less people that no, the better!

Has Ashley Madison been in the news recently?

The fact that you don’t really see Ashley Madison flashing in the news and yet is so popular amongst the masses proves how discreet it tends to be. You rarely hear about them.

In 2015, there was a massive data breach that leaked an alleged database of over 20 million users including private details such as their email addresses, and several personal email conversations of Noel Biderman, the CEO of the company.

But after that, they announced a partnership with Deloitte’s top cyber security team to enhance the data policies and security strategies.

What is the history of Ashley Madison?

Ashley Madison Rebranded Ad

Ashley Madison is based in Canada. Founded in 2002 by Darren J. Morgenstern, this website started with the slogan:

“Life is short. Have an affair”

Darren had his ambitions pretty clear from day one. He wanted this website primarily for extra-marital affairs as he believed “discreet affairs help preserve marriages”.

It has since been criticized by many including Trish McDermott, a consultant who helped found Match.com, accusing Ashley Madison of being a “business built on the back of broken hearts, ruined marriages, and damaged families”. Boo hoo.

In 2016, the platform did try to re-brand itself by not only changing its famous signature tagline to “Find your moment” but also updating its logo to a red gem-shaped symbol from the image of a woman wearing a wedding ring.

However this change was short-lived as in 2017, both the changes were undone and Ashley Madison regained its former “glory”!

What are the Alternatives to Ashley Madison?

To be fairly honest, these alternatives have come and gone as Ashley Madison held her place.

However if you still ask me to point out another website that can serve as an alternative to this giant, it would be:

AdultFriendFinder
The developers of this website were wary of Ashley Madison’s popularity and hence did try to steer clear by changing the target group to swingers and fetish enthusiasts. But yes, it is probably one of the few places where you can enjoy the pie regardless of your relationship status.

AdultFriendFinder Review (2024): A Former Hookup App Founder’s Honest Take Editor choice

Our review of AdultFriendFinder will include our own exclusive ratings based on features, cost, quality and other ...

Is Ashley Madison worth it? My 2 cents

Without a doubt, if you’re looking for a quick fling or an under-the-radar hookup, I’d recommend you to try out this website.

Sure, it’s not free (at least if you’re a man). But what in life really is free? You get what you pay for. And if you want to get laid, don’t be cheap!

They have 60 million users, so you’re more than likely going to find your match here than anywhere else. I’ve said it many time, hooking up is a numbers game!

Life is short, have an affair!

-Ashley Madison

Sign up for free today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a private key request on Ashley Madison?

A private key request allows users to request access to another user’s private photos on the site. This feature is typically used to share explicit photos with other members.

Is it free for women to use the Ashley Madison service?

Yes, Ashley Madison offers free access to all premium features for women. They can message and view profiles without any charges, which helps maintain a balanced ratio of men to women on the site.

How can I delete my profile on Ashley Madison?

To delete your profile on Ashley Madison, log into your account and go to the “Manage Profile” section. From there, you can find the option to deactivate or delete your profile permanently.

Does Ashley Madison have a satisfaction guarantee policy?

Ashley Madison does not have a satisfaction guarantee policy.

Can I use Ashley Madison anonymously?

Ashley Madison prioritizes user privacy and allows members to use the site discreetly. They offer a “Stealth Mode” feature that can hide the app on your phone and even change the app icon to avoid snooping eyes. We also recommend the use of a good VPN service.

How does messaging work on Ashley Madison?

For men, sending messages on Ashley Madison requires credits. However, women can send and receive messages for free. Men have a daily allotment of free winks and private key requests, and they can also send “collect messages” to Premium members.

How secure is Ashley Madison after the 2015 data breach?

After the 2015 data breach, Ashley Madison invested heavily in data privacy and security. They hired third-party cybersecurity companies to enhance their policies and protect user information.

The site now prioritizes user privacy and strives to maintain a safe and discreet environment.

How to increase your chances of getting laid on Ashley Madison (Bonus Tips)

One thing is for sure, there are countless profiles of men vying for attention on sites like Ashley Madison. So it pays to stand out and enhances your chances of connecting with someone compatible.

As a bonus, here’s my most effective strategies to increase your odds of hooking up on Ashley Madison.

Create a Captivating Profile:

Your profile is your first opportunity to capture attention and make a lasting impression. To stand out from the competition, here are some key tips:

  • Be Authentic: Present yourself honestly, highlighting your interests, preferences, and what you’re looking for. Authenticity is attractive and helps ensure you attract like-minded individuals.
  • Use High-Quality Photos: Choose well-composed, attractive photos that accurately represent you. Showcase different aspects of your personality and lifestyle, displaying confidence and enthusiasm.
  • Craft an Engaging Bio: While keeping it concise, share a glimpse of your personality and interests. Use some humor or wit to differentiate yourself from the generic profiles. Be clear about your desires, ensuring you communicate what you’re seeking without being too explicit.

Send Irresistible Opening Messages

Once you’ve caught someone’s attention with your profile, the next step is making a memorable first impression through your opening message. Consider the following tips to spark interest:

  • Personalize Your Approach: Avoid generic messages and take the time to read their profile. Reference something specific about their interests or preferences to show you’ve taken an interest in them.
  • Inject Humor and Wit: Crafting a funny or clever opening line can leave a lasting impression and make you stand out. A playful, light-hearted approach can set a flirtatious and enjoyable tone for the conversation.
  • Maintain Confidence: Display confidence in your messages while remaining respectful and genuine. Confidence can be a highly attractive trait, and it helps create a sense of reassurance and trust in potential partners.

Master the Art of Conversation

Once you’ve initiated a conversation, it’s crucial to keep it engaging and maintain the interest of your potential partner. Use these pointers to enhance your communication skills:

  • Be Fun and Flirty: Keep the conversation light-hearted, enjoyable, and flirtatious. Show genuine interest in the person you’re chatting with and make them feel appreciated.
  • Seek to Understand: People appreciate when you show a genuine interest in them. Ask open-ended questions to delve deeper into their interests, desires, and experiences. This helps establish a connection and builds rapport.
  • Build Sexual Tension: Use playful innuendos or references to keep the conversation exciting. Be subtle yet suggestive, allowing their imagination to run wild and creating a sense of anticipation.
  • Plan a Meeting in Person: While maintaining a connection online, try to transition to an in-person meeting within a reasonable timeframe. This step is essential to prevent unrealistic expectations and ensure compatibility beyond the virtual realm.

Sign up for free today!

Matt Manes

Matt Manes

I am the original creator of the Mixxxer hookup app which became one of the most popular hookup services on the web.

Over the years, I've observed and learned a great deal about what works and what doesn't when it comes to dating and hooking up online.

While most guys learn through trial and error, I learned through analyzing the data from the millions of Mixxxer members we catered too.

Mixxxer

Real Women. Real Wives.

Keeping it discreet and ready to play