If you're in a loveless relationship, or simply want to spice up your love live, IllicitEncounters.com is a UK site that offers a confidential online service where you can meet women or men who are seeking a discreet extra-marital relationship.
While the likes of Match.com and eHarmony cater to those individuals seeking long-term relationships or marriage, there's a growing alternative online dating community, served by sites like IllicitEncounters and AshleyMadison.com who's members are seeking extra-marital affairs.
While this may be morally questionable, the owners of the site point out that many of the people who use their services are not necessarily looking for a sexual partner.
Instead they are seeking a companion that can offer something that's missing from the existing relationship, such as appreciation, understanding, and respect.
While AshleyMadison.com serves the US and International community, IllicitEncounters serves the needs of people in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The site also goes by the name IllicitEncounters.co.uk or simply IE. Joining the site is free, straightforward, and completely anonymous. To register as a new member, one simply completes a four page questionnaire.
You won't be asked for your name or address, and any information you enter, such as your email is kept strictly confidential. On the first page, enter your chosen username, password, your email address, and your country of residence.
On the next page, you can enter details about your physical appearance, while the following page allows you to select from a list of hobbies and interests. Finally you can use your creativity to enter a few words about yourself, your appearance, and exactly what type of person you are hoping to meet.
Once you've completed the registration, the site moderators will review your profile and, if approved, you'll receive a welcoming email confirming your membership. Until your profile is approved, it won't be visible to other members. However you can still browse profiles on the site and check out the range of available tools and features. Profiles are typically approved quickly (mine was approved after around 10 minutes) though it can take up to 24 hours.
What you can do for free
After gaining access to the site, the free (standard) membership will allow you to browse profiles and photos, do searches, and send winks and flirts to other members. When doing a search, the most active profiles are shown first, that is profiles of those members who've logged in most recently.
Understandably, on a site like this, most members are reluctant to display photos that are visible to anyone. However, finding dates without displaying a decent photo is challenging. For this reason, members can easily password-protect their photos so that they are in complete control of who sees their pictures.
The Matchfinder tool will automatically notify you when a new member, matching your criteria, joins the site. Simply fill in the form, entering your desired age range, and preferred location. Matches will then be sent each day directly to your inbox.
Alternatively, you can just click the “Show me my matches” button for an instant heads-up of who's available to meet in your area. Your own personal “Address Book” is automatically updated and shows you members you've been in contact with recently, either through the internal mail, or virtual flirts.
A handy online help system is available, which will tell you how to use the various tools and features on the site. It also has some tips on “not getting caught”. Staying discreet is an important issue for many, and the site discusses steps like using a "throwaway" email address, clearing your browser history, and how to keep your personal details private.
Unrestricted communication with other members, including the use of the instant chat tool will require upgrading to a paid (Gold) membership plan. Like AshleyMadison.com, it's the men on the site who pay. It's free for women to join and use the site.
You can upgrade to Gold membership through the site's secure and discreet billing system. There's no auto-billing, so once your membership lapses, you will automatically revert back to a standard (free) member unless you choose to upgrade.
Is it Worth It?
IllicitEncounters.com has been featured in a number of national media channels, including the BBC and the Independent newspaper, and while many question the morality and motives behind these sites, nobody can deny their popularity and the fact that their services do seem to be in demand.
Recent media attacks, by pro-marriage and religious groups, only seems to have fuelled the interest and popularity of these sites for cheaters.
- Fast and easy to use
- Good, informative profiles
- Privacy protection features
- No auto-billing
- It's too expensive
- Relatively small user base
- No good if you aren't in the UK