Ashley Madison
Adult content
107 Ratings 2.8 / 5
Ease Of Use
Quick Facts
Cost 100 Credits - Introductory $49.00
Popularity 938,000 active users
Very popular
Gender make-up More men
(6 to 1)       
Better for women

Ashley Madison offers a discreet online service for those considering dating outside of their existing relationship. Those wishing to use the site's messaging system (the only way to communicate) must purchase credits to do so. Access is free for women.

There are basically two types of people on Ashley Madison; those who are married or in a long-term relationship (attached), and those who are single, but for whatever reason want to date someone who’s involved with someone else.

Women can use the site for free, whilst men who wish to communicate either via the onsite email or instant chat must purchase credits to do so. The credit system means that men only pay for those services that they use - there are no recurring monthly fees. However men will be re-billed once they spend their existing credits, unless they choose to cancel the service beforehand.

Being the largest extra-marital site, Ashley Madison is a viable choice for attached people wishing to date outside of their main relationship -- they offer a good range of privacy options, allowing people to connect with one-another in relative anonymity.

Setting-up a Profile

Joining the site and setting up a picture profile is free for both men and women. There are five main sections to the profile, however if you are in a rush, it’s possible to skip some of the less important questions.

You can say on your profile whether you are attached or not and the type of relationship you are looking for, and whether you are seeking a same-sex or opposite-sex relationship.

The "Intimate Desires" and "Perfect Match" sections let you express your personal sexual preferences, and the type of person you are seeking. I would advise completing these sections as it allows others to see why you are there.

Under "Profile Options" there’s a setting which lets you opt-out of market research. What does this mean exactly? Well if you take a look at the Terms and Conditions, it tells you that if you opt-into market research (the start-up setting) you may receive messages, gifts, chat requests and so on which are part of a "market research program" rather than being from real users. Market research is not identified as such, so you won’t be able to tell the difference from normal messages or contacts.


Adding a photo to your profile will greatly enhance its appeal and increase your chances of finding a date. Profiles without photos tend to be ignored. However, not surprisingly, many people are cautious about adding photos that may reveal their presence on the site. Most members avoid this problem as follows:

  • Upload a photo in which your face is hidden, or
  • Create a private photo showcase

The site forbids uploading of images containing nudity or sexual content; however you are allowed to include body-shot photos providing they are not too explicit. This is a good option for those who don’t want to reveal their identity.

In addition, if you want to add a pass-code to your photos, simply put the photos into a private showcase (private album). You can then decide which members can see your pictures. When other people view your profile, they can easily request your pass code. You will then be able to grant or deny them access to your pictures as you choose.

Finding People

There aren’t any matchmaking tools on Ashley Madison as such. What they do have is quick search (located at the top of every page), which allows you to find compatible people anywhere from 20 to 500 miles away. By compatible, I mean it will show you people who "most closely" match the preferences as stated on your profile.

search options

If the quick search isn’t enough, just click the "advanced search" button and you’ll see a list of other options that will allow you to refine your matches further. One handy setting here is the "Status / Login" which allows you to filter-out people who haven’t been active recently.


Communicating with other members is straightforward and self-explanatory. The site provides a basic email system, as well as an instant messenger for talking directly with members who are online (see "fantasy date").

There’s also an option to create a list of your favorites. However one thing to keep in mind is that anyone you add to your favorites list will receive a notification email. This is not really ideal if you want to keep your admirer a secret.

Women can always communicate for free. This includes email, instant messaging, sending flirts and so on. Men can only communicate if they’ve purchased credits. However, on the plus side the credit system does mean you only pay for what you use.

Once you’ve been in contact with someone, you have the ability to add feedback to their profile. The feedback is anonymous, but it is useful as it gives you some idea of that person’s reputation and their activity level on the site.

Fantasy Date

Ashley Madison offers something called "Fantasy Date". It’s basically a simple chat tool that allows you to communicate one-on-one with a chosen date partner. One nice twist is that it lets you set different back-drops to set the mood for your date - there’s a yacht, a coffee lounge, or a bedroom to choose from (you get the idea).

fantasy date

The chat system allows you to display a photo or part of a photo, which will be visible to your "date". There’s also an option to add a mask. For those who are really shy, a cartoon-like avatar can be used. Fantasy date is explained in more detail in their onsite video tutorial.

Upgrades & Credits

For men, there are three credit packages on offer, ranging from the starter 100 credits, up to something called "Affair Guarantee". Credits are "spent" on activities such as emailing or fantasy dates (see above). In addition, men must also pay what’s called an "account activation" fee. This is a one-time fee which will enable your account for the first time.

Those wishing to cancel their account permanently will find there's also a one-time cancellation fee of $19. Those who opt for the permanent cancellation (instead of the regular free cancellation) will have their entire history removed from the site, including messages delivered to other members' inboxes. Women must also pay the cancellation fee if they wish to have their entire activity on the site erased.


Whether you agree with the ethics of Ashley Madison or not, one thing is clear. They've established that there is a strong demand for extra-marital dating for a variety of reasons.

There are around 938,000 active on the site, with several thousand more joining each day.

Not surprisingly, Ashley Madison has had a lot of criticism from various organizations from pro-marriage groups to religious bodies. But ultimately, this negative publicity only seems to have enhanced people’s awareness of the site and those like it.

In Summary

If you've thought it through and have decided you want to date outside of marriage or a long-term relationship for whatever reason, Ashley Madison does let you do that in a relatively safe and anonymous way.

While women can use most things for free, men should keep in mind that the credit system can work out expensive, especially if you’re using the messenger frequently.

By Tara Miller

The good

  • Very large, active membership base
  • Advanced privacy features
  • Totally free for women
  • Profile feedback lets you figure who is real

The bad

  • Credits can work out expensive in the long-run
  • High ratio of men to women (a plus for women though)
Rating from 108 customers

5 Star: (32)

4 Star: (12)

3 Star: (15)

2 Star: (5)

1 Star: (42)

Total 108 Ratings
6 Reviews
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  • Avatar

    carlmeMay 26th, 2014


    WARNING! Sleazy

    It's easy to register, but you have to pay to completely remove your profile. It will cost you $50 to contact even one person. It is OK place if you want to hook up with married women, and if you are a sex star.

    Realize that most are married and every cheating person will eventually get caught. If you like to bring her over to your place or pay for a hotel, and you realize that it is an will only be sex, then I guess that this place is OK.
  • Avatar

    lucylApril 3rd, 2014


    Ashley Madison is like a city of Gomorrah and Sodom. As how God judged those sinful cities, God will judge you too Noel Biderman. You are a trash and virus for the society for making this road for those who want to cheat on their spouse. Be ashame of yourself for being born as human but living like a trash. For you all you need is just money and don´t care which family will be destroyed.
  • Avatar

    terryhNovember 18th, 2013


    I don't know why they need a website that is based on the goal of cheating on your better half. Do they not think there is enough infidelity going on already? I can understand that those in a bad domestic situation might get help here but there are other ways to go about it.
  • Avatar

    alice83May 12th, 2013

    Just average

    It sounds like you get a lot using this site specially that you get to set the mood of the date you want to have, that is like an extra, not every site has that kind of service.
  • Avatar

    Joycem9May 12th, 2013

    Just average

    Call me square but I don't really like these kind of sites, I'm not a religious fanatic but I believe that long lasting faithful relationships are good in the society we live, and extra marital relationships can lead to many problems and cause lots of suffering. However I am not surprised that this kind of publicity only brings more and more people to join.
  • Avatar

    ShastaOctober 4th, 2012


    I used it years ago...three approximately. I went back on the website recently and found pics of many of the women I saw three years ago. Only this time, their faces were slightly obscured. I once paid $50.00...crazy to send messages. The next thing I know the same profile is changed from my City to Dallas. Look closely at the fine print and you will see that if you do not elect out of their "active" marketing plan you will get all of these women eager to meet you. AM calls a marketing test where they send you fake requests by needy women!
  • Avatar

    GrantTaylorApril 21st, 2012


    AM is a total scam. I paid and all I got were collect messages. To quit, you have to pay to delete your profile. As sketchy as it is, invest your time in AFF, people.

    Dana8May 15th, 2013

    Just average

    Replied to GrantTaylor Been meaning to create a profile at ashleymadison, but after reading a few comments like yours I have my doubts, I mean, I am just curious about it since I really think it is messed up looking for a married man.
  • Avatar

    claudejoseMarch 13th, 2012

    Just average

    What is a smooth & funny way to find out if a female friend has a boyfriend??
  • Avatar

    mongoDecember 28th, 2011

    Below average

    So, I have a love-hate relationship with AM. I've been a paying member for about 2 years and have hooked up with a few other like-minded women in that time.

    There are two things I really dislike about this site.

    First, the male to female ratio is quite high. I ran an experiment whereby I created a female profile that contained absolutely no information at all other than some modest physical dimensions. No check boxes, no text, nada. In the course of about a month, I must've received on the order of 500 or so messages, winks, etc. It was truly amazing. I turned it off after about a month... My apologies to those guys who wasted money sending messages to this fake profile. As a male subscriber, I'd say that maybe 1 or 2 in 10 messages I send results in the female having a look at my profile. Maybe 1 in 20 messages produces some form of response, like a return email. Maybe 1 in 100 messages will result in a f2f meeting. Bottom line, there are a boatload of horny guys on that site, females have their pick. So, good luck getting someone's attention. It is possible, but requires patience.

    Second, I really dislike their process for censoring profile content. All text you write for your profile goes to some anonymous censor somewhere. I can see censoring out phone numbers and stuff, but jeesh, it requires a 24 hour turnaround for them to read and approve or reject your stuff.

    Third, there are some subtle details of how they've implemented their site that leave me with a little concern about security/discretion. I'd like to be able to specify a generic location, like "SF North Bay Area", but instead they force you to enter a town/zip code thing, which kind of sucks. An earlier version of the site used to let you enter more generic geographic location information.

    On the positive side, I like the fact that most people on the site are there because they are married and want to find a like-minded person. There are some fake profiles, ranging from those like mine (sorry, again!) to what seem to be obvious "flypaper" or "moneymakers" designed to attract lots of messages. You just have to get a feel for the site to learn how to spot these and avoid them.

    Hope this helps!
  • Avatar

    Melissa_4629December 15th, 2011


    Have any of you men considered that your wives are possibly sick of having sex with you? You get old. You never want to go out anymore, never express any interest in foreplay, and some of you lose the ability to even get it up. You stop treating your wives like women. So in truth, a lot of them would rather have sex with someone besides you. Women just have better control over our sex organs. Most of the men I met on AM were pathetic old losers. I'm 22. They were in their forties and fifties. Old enough to be my father. Gross. If a woman my age wants to have sex with a guy that old, she is either mentally retarded, or he has a lot of money. So advice for the men on that site. Don't send young women pictures of your private parts. We'll show our friends, and point and laugh at it <3.
Ashley Madison 2.8 107 A review of Ashley Madison. Ashley Madison offers a discreet online service for those considering dating outside of their existing relationship. Those wishing to use the site's messaging system (the only way to communicate) must purchase credits to do so.