Ashley Madison Review: How Effective is This Dating App at Arranging Extramarital Affairs?

People have different opinions about adultery, but there’s one thing we can all agree on…

If you do cheat on your spouse, you probably don’t want to get caught.

Ashley Madison is the dating app designed to help you have discreet affairs with your dream sex partner.

You can supposedly experience your deepest sexual desires without ruining your marriage by using this app.

In this review, we’ll explore what technology Ashley Madison uses to pair up adulterous couples and how effective it really is.

Ashley Madison is The World’s Number One Website for Extramarital Affairs

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This review won’t go into the ethics of extramarital affairs. I’ll only focus on how Ashley Madison facilitates them. If you hate the idea of cheating on one’s spouse, this review isn’t for you.

The first thing to know is that Ashley Madison has around 60 million users across the world, according to recent reports. An estimated three quarters of these are based in the United States and Canada.

This is important to know because no dating website is worth your time without a sizeable user base.

It’s the number one website for people seeking extramarital affairs. Having tested out the website for several weeks, I can confirm real people are looking for real connections on this website. The women I messaged on this app were more responsive than on mainstream apps like Tinder or Bumble, although their average age is far older than on these apps.

There is no evidence of this website trying to scam you, although you should always be on your guard against disingenuous users when online dating.

There was a significant security breach in 2015 where millions of users had their data stolen, but there are no signs that your data remains unsafe in Ashley Madison’s hands now.

You Can Search for Your Ideal Affair Partner With Ease

Ashley Madison is available on desktop, iOS or Android. But it’s not like your typical mainstream dating app, where you swipe on profiles one-by-one.

Instead, you’ll use Ashley Madison’s dynamic search tool to seek out your ideal affair partner. You can filter your search by age and location, which is pretty standard for a dating app.

However, the tool also allows you to disqualify anyone who hasn’t been online in the last 24 or 48 hours. This is a feature that mainstream apps could do with implementing to stop people from wasting their time trying to communicate with inactive users.

Ashley Madison Focuses on Privacy and Discretion More Than any Other Dating App

You can also filter out anyone without public photos from your searches, although this might eliminate a significant portion of the AM user base.

Discretion is the name of the game when cheating on your spouse, you see.

So, many users don’t want to show their faces on an adultery website where anyone could find them.

Thankfully, Ashley Madison has implemented a number of ways for you to share your photos discreetly.

When you upload a photo, you’ll be given the option to crop it, blur it or add a selection of images to hide your face. Technically, this feature is no more impressive than the image editor in a basic smartphone, but it’s useful to have it embedded into this app.

There’s also the option to upload photos to your private album. This can only be viewed by individual users who request to unlock it. The idea is that you’re given the power to reveal your photos to certain people while hiding them from the general public. This allows you to keep your anonymity, so there’s little chance of your spouse or their acquaintances spotting you on the app.

The Ashley Madison app has a discreet logo and is titled “AM”. Screenshots and push notifications are disabled, so there’s less chance of a nosey spouse outing you while you’re fiddling with your phone. Technically, these are basic features to add to an app, but they’re thoughtful all the same.

Ashley Madison Operates a Pay-As-You-Go Credits System – And the Costs Can Pile Up

Women seeking men can use Ashley Madison for free. Everyone else will have to buy credits to send messages.

These are available in the following batches

  • $69 to buy 100 credits ($0.69 per credit)
  • $179 to buy 500 credits ($0.36 per credit)
  • $299 to buy 1,000 credits ($0.30 per credit)

It costs nine credits to start a conversation with someone new, or 14 credits if you want to send a Priority Message that appears at the top of their inbox and comes with a read receipt. That’s probably worth the extra spend, especially if you’re in a big city where you suspect that a woman might be getting a lot of attention on this website.

Still, that means it could cost up to $6.21 to start a new conversation, or $9.66 if it’s started as a priority message.

After the first message has been sent, you can continue to message this person for free or send another Priority Message for five credits.

The good news is: Ashley Madison users are generally happy to move to another messaging platform once you’ve earned their trust and built some basic rapport.

A cheaper strategy is to send winks or private photo album key requests to women for free, in the hope that they’ll message you first.

However, this proved ineffective during my tests, probably because most women on the app are overwhelmed with this type of outreach.

Most Reviewers Agree That Ashley Madison is The Real Deal

Here are some notable verdicts on Ashley Madison published in mainstream publications.

Ashley Madison stands out as the best network for people who want a secret affair, according to They caution it's a bit pricey, especially for men, but it's unbeatable if you're searching for what it offers. 

The agrees, labeling it a top-notch dating site for secret relationships and affairs. They assure it's a safe and legit place to use with lots of active users. Plus, it's loaded with new security features. highlights its unique features. You can post "discreet" photos and clearly state your dating preferences. They praise it as a place that lets you express what you want clearly and comfortably.

Alternatives to Ashley Madison

Not sold on Ashley Madison?

Here are some alternatives that you might find more suitable.

Adult Friend Finder

Adult friend finder homepage
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Adult Friend Finder is the largest and most effective hook-up website on the internet.

It’s built like a social media website, where you can post status updates, photos and videos onto your profile for other users to view and comment on.

It has an intelligent search function that allows you to seek out potential fuckbuddies by age, location, body size, kinks, fetishes and more.

The AFF community is very sex-positive and most members are keen to find users to hook up with in the real world.

There’s nothing stopping you from creating an anonymous account though. Indeed, AFF has the same private photo album feature as Ashley Madison.

So, it’s absolutely possible to arrange an extramarital affair on this website. In fact, you’re sure to find plenty of swingers, cucks and polyamorous couples looking to make connections. Anything goes on AFF.

You won’t have to deal with spending credits every time you want to send a message either.

With a monthly subscription, you can send unlimited messages to as many members as you want.

You can learn more about how this website works in our Adult Friend Finder review.

Seeking has recently rebranded to try and persuade people it’s not a sugar dating website.

Its marketing now focuses on “luxury dating” between successful men and attractive women.

But the website is still packed with sugar babies and features that support their desires.

Women can post a “wish list” on their profile for men to send them gifts, while it’s compulsory for male users to reveal their annual income.

Still, if you’re willing to pay for an extramarital affair with a hot young babe, there’s no better website to do it.

Seeking has over 46 million members across the world. It’s a secure website that provides all you need for a successful sugar relationship – even if it won’t admit it anymore.

Is Ashley Madison Worth the Money?

There are a lot of people in loveless marriages who are desperate to enjoy some intimacy or wild sexual experiences. Having never been in that position, I can’t estimate what that’s worth to you.

But I can confirm that Ashley Madison is a website that can turn this fantasy into reality.

And it’s free for women to use!

Men can browse the nearby profiles for free too.

So, if you’re curious, why not create an anonymous account just to see who’s on the market?

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Joe Elvin
Joe Elvin is a dating and relationships writer with a background in tech journalism. His sex toy reviews are based on real experiences with his ravenous partners.