Hookup potential: 3/5 Features: 5/5 Design: 2/5 Content: 4/5
- Interface is cluttered and ugly.
- Does have a lot of active members, even if they’re not all going to be the sex partner of your dreams.
- There’s a lot to do and see, if you can get past the initial christmas tree effect.
- Expect to encounter fake profiles and persistent (though ignorable) upsell advertising.
The Full Story:
Welcome to the first in a series of Casual Encounters Blog Paid Adult Dating site reviews.
You’ve probably already seen any number of advertisements online for paid “adult dating” websites; you’ll probably notice some on here, actually. Haven’t you ever thought it’d be great if someone else would pay the money, join them for you, check the site out, and come back with an honest, detailed appraisal of the service? So you could make your own mind up about whether the expense could be justified?
I thought so, too.
And after all, I figured, who better to review a paid dating site than someone who already has a hand in running free ones? Someone already in the business, who already has a set of baseline assumptions about the industry and what kinds of services you should be able to expect? NO ONE BETTER, THAT’S WHO. PICK JANAK. GO ON, PICK HIM. HE WANTS TO DO IT. LOOK AT HIM JUMPING UP AND DOWN. HE’S SO EXCITED. THIS IS HIS BIG BREAK.
Anyway. Having now convinced myself of the awesomeness of the idea by dint of theatrical emotional hysterics accompanied by capslock abuse, let’s get into the review.
First, some disclosure. Yes, our company does promote Adult Friend Finder on this website. However my commitment to you is that I won’t let myself be unduly swayed by this relationship; I’d urge you to read through this review and let me know in the comments if you think I’m going too easy on them. Honestly, I’m more worried about overcorrecting for bias and basically severing the hand which (indirectly?) feeds me.
The only reason I’m reviewing AFF first is that I get a discount on their membership fee. Rest assured, when we get to the other reviews in this series you’ll see the same lack of fear and favor.
So. Having set up the account, I entered a few details and logged in. This procedure was all pretty straightforward. However, once I logged in I was confronted by this.
My opinion? Looks like a fucking Christmas tree. What the hell are they thinking? I mean it’s obvious that there are a lot of features, but there’s a ton of stupid distracting crap on the page too, and they’re still trying to upsell me on their “VIP” program and to their other sites (ALT.com, Bondage.com, OutPersonals.com, Hotbox.com, etc, etc.)
Anyway, rocking on. I uploaded an appropriately studly picture of myself and clicked on one of the “Live Model Chat” links down the bottom. Why not, right? Basically (and unsurprisingly) what this amounts to is a few minutes typing at a fully-clothed model (along with a dozen other guys) while being spammed with ads to start paying her for a “private one-on-one chat”, which can be cam-to-cam. Presumably in this chat she’ll take her clothes off and stick stuff in herself for your amusement – I didn’t feel like paying $4.50 a minute to find out. You can also pay $3.50/minute to watch someone else’s private chat with her (uh, not really still “private” then, is it?) which I guess at least means you get to see her naked and what have you. But without having her screaming your name when she comes (or you know, pretends to.)
Well “Live Model Chat” is a bust. I decide to try the “Live Webcams” and “Hottest Member Videos” links.
I have to say, they were more like it. Turns out there’s no shortage of average-looking chicks who are quite happy to have you watch them surf naked or check out their home-made masturbation videos. And there are thousands of videos, with full ability to search for them by age range, what’s going on in the video, etc. Certainly the most impressive feature so far.
Next I checked out the chat rooms. I found one for people in my local area, seemed to be about 20 people in there. The first thing I noticed was that they all seemed to know each other quite well; from the references people were making there had obviously been a lot of real-life hooking up in this little group (which I can only assume to be typical). The second thing I noticed after glancing at the bar on my left was the average age of the room was early 40s.
After making with some chitchat (revolving almost entirely around variations of OH LA LA), I moved on to have a look at the blogs. It looks like AFF allow members to create their own blogs on the site, which then are rated by users. Unsurprisingly, the top blogs are those written by women who enjoy uploading naked pictures of themselves. Don’t get your hopes up too high, though. Most of the women are 40+ and borderline attractive at best. Sort of seems to be a theme developing, doesn’t there?
At this point I sort of felt like I’d seen enough to break it down for you all. So here it is:
The site is HUGE. I mean really, REALLY big. Unfortunately the interface to this wonderland of perversion is hideous and poorly put-together, but I guess if you persist you’ll get comfortable with it. The couple of days trolling around that I spent there wasn’t enough time for me, but you know. I’m a bit slow and stuff.
Despite some implicit assertions to the contrary, AFF is not full of attractive, nubile 20-somethings hungry for action. Think more late-30s-or-older-averagely-attractive-and-possibly-with-kids-or-weight-issues.
Will you get laid through the site? Yeah, probably–but just be aware you’re likely to be looking at post-prime puss, and it might take a little work. The chicks who are giving it up are likely to have an inflated sense of self-worth too, on account of all the male attention they’re used to getting. Men pursuing them are also likely to experience a lot of competition from those selfsame snatchhounds.
Expect AFF to continue with the attempts to upsell even once you’ve bought a membership. Upsells, for example, for paid model cams, paid porn film downloads, a higher level of membership than you have, etc. The ads aren’t misleading and you won’t be tricked into clicking stuff, but you will see them on your screen plenty.
On balance? I’ll give them a soft A-. I can’t complain about the size of their database (nearly 32 million people as of when I’m writing this), or with the fact that there ARE a boatload of people on there at any one time, looking for casual sex, or with the huge amount of what-amounts-to-amateur-porn available, but the design of the site is ass, and true site hotties are in short supply.