ALT.com review

Quick Summary:


Hookup potential: 3/5 Features: 5/5 Design: 3/5 Content: 4/5

  • An active and engaged community of fetish-lovers
  • Slightly more tailored and attractive design and features than AFF
  • Exercise more caution about meeting members than you would for a “vanilla” adult dating site

The Full Story:

ALT.com is AFF’s kink/fetish “adult dating” site. Despite being owned by AFF and representing a subset of their database they do seem to have made a reasonable effort with ALT to tailor the website to the targeted demographic. As the interface and features are largely the same as AFF’s, I’ll try to concentrate this review on the points of difference. (If you want to read the AFF review to learn more about the generic shared features, it’s over here.)

I made my account a while ago, and finally got it upgraded it to GOLD status the other day. I logged in. This is what the home page looks like. Yes, another Christmas tree. However to my eyes it’s a Christmas tree with a slightly cooler color scheme than this one, though I obviously can’t speak to everybody’s aesthetic of web palette.

The first thing I noticed once my eyes adjusted to all the visual clutter was that there was a banner ad for Penthouse  staring me in the face (Penthouse? Really? On a FETISH site?) I think the site just rotates the banners through the various FF properties, but it was still a bit of a “lolwut?” moment.

ALT does have several offerings that distinguish it from the regular AFF site. For example, in your profile there’s an extensive list of fetishes that you can classify yourself using. Doing so will make it easier for other people into similar kinks to find you, and will advertise your kink/s to the other members. To see for yourself what I mean by “extensive”, look at the full list  here. The site also provides members with a “Fetish consent worksheet” and the ALT.com toolbar, which is an IE plugin that lets you know when you have mail in your alt.com account, when your ALT friends are online, etcetera.

Figuring at this point that the best way to find out about the site is to chat to some of the people who use it, I logged into the “newbie” chat room. You can see a list of the chatrooms here. I’m thinking that the “Topical” rooms’ relative popularity gives an indication as to the levels of the site’s patronage amongst the various fetish groups and subcultures.

The chat rooms seemed active and full of genuine and intelligent people. The half-dozen or so I spoke to told stories tinged with ambivalence. Most had met people from the site, some had had good experiences, some had not. Those who had experienced both regarded the ALT.com “culture” as quite different to AFF’s. For one thing, they said, people on ALT.com tend to meet in public and socialize with others from the site first, before getting into anything sexual or kink-related. Because a lot of them enjoy inflicting or receiving pain of some sort, it’s important  for all parties to be confident that they haven’t just hooked up with a Patrick Bateman-style serial killer. This “feeling out” process can (and should) take longer in this sort of environment than in one that’s just about the quickie “vanilla” sex hook-ups.

Some of the women also talked to me about having been lied to and misled by men masquerading as women, doms masquerading as subs, unemployed bums masquerading as high-flying corporate executives, etc. As elsewhere on the Internet, people on the site are sometimes less than honest about their desires, appearances, financial statuses, etc. It does seem to be the case from what I was told, however, that it’s a site with a real community and one through which you will have no great difficulty meeting and interacting with people in the real world.

Overall I decided that I’d rate this site a little higher than the main Adult Friend Finder one due to its superior design and stronger community feel-though it’s obviously only going to work for you if you actually have some fetish or kink in the first place to explore.

How about the rest of you? Any experiences at ALT you’d like to share? Comment away!

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29 Responses to “ALT.com review”

  1. Tom
    April 29, 2009 at 2:02 am #

    You…You didn’t actually *use* Alt.com, did you. You didn’t use AFF, either. Say it! I know you didn’t, because if you had, you would have bumped up against all the features of those sites that don’t work worth crap. And instead of your very generous ratings, you would have given these sites what they deserve, which is a recommendation to the local authorities that they be investigated for false advertising, or unethical business practices at best. Why so harsh? Because pay-or-don’t pay, the sites don’t work as advertised. I don’t mean “work” as in getting you laid. I’m talking about this in the purely technical sense.

    Let’s start with surely the most popular subsystem: webcams and chat/IM. Did you actually try to use their IM system? How did it work for you? How long did it take from when you typed something in the conversation window, to when the other person saw it at their end. (Note I’m not talking about the chat rooms, I’m talking about the IM system.) Did you page someone and try to send them a cam invite? Did it work? Has it ever worked, in the last 2+ years? (hint, the answer is NO.) Did you try to page someone at all? Did you successfully receive pages from others? Did you go to their customer support forums and see what people complain about?

    It pains me to say that the AFF “family” of websites are designed and implemented by the most outrageously incompetent buffoons who ever tried to program computers. They implement feature after unrequested feature, and when they roll them out they break 3 other things. As you noted, these sites are gigantic, and they frequently roll out a feature that is incompletely implemented. For example, the “flirt” system sat for a looong time in some weird two-state world of old-style “winks”, and new fangled “flirts”, where a flirt can be a “spank”, “wave”, “wink”, “hug”, etc. In some places you could select from a flirt, but it still sent only a “wink”. In other places the new flirt system worked properly. The “kudos” system? Nobody asked for it. It took them *months* to implement it properly.

    Even more common are the constant regressions. They fix one feature, and the fix breaks 5 features that got fixed the day before. Database regressions? They have ‘em by the boatload. You never know when your friend list is going to revert back to what it was 3 weeks ago. One day I logged in and suddenly had 23 testimonials, all blank, from people who were on my blocked member list. Next day? Gone. Who knows man, who knows.

    BUt the best snafu by far was when I logged into my AFF account, and I swear to all that is Holy I was taken to the account page of another user. I had access to all that user’s email, and if I had been thinking clearly I could have also snagged their CC info. Great, huh? It happened more than once, for a period of some hours – I could log in, and each time I went to the account of a different user. The times that it did actually take me to my account, after a few minutes it would kick me out. Why do you suppose it did that? Because somebody else had logged into *MY* account, using their own user name and password!!

    Now. Are you going to meet someone on these sites? A simple look at the web cam broadcasting numbers will tell the tale. On any given day, there are literally hundreds, sometimes thousands of male cam broadcasters. On Alt.com, the number of female broadcasters usually numbers in the 10′s and 20′s. It is much higher on AFF but still nowhere even approaching that of men. Factor in that a great many of the female AFF broadcasters are just recorded cam sessions that eventually throw up an ad for the girl’s yahoo address. I estimate that men outnumber women on these sites by 50-1 easily. I think it is actually higher, probably more like 125 to 1.

    Fake profiles abound on both Alt and AFF. That’s because there is absolutely no safeguard whatsoever to prevent them. That’s why I think the actual male-to-female numbers are actually worse (for men), because *many* female accounts are fake, and by fake I mean they are men masquerading as women. FOr what purpose, who knows.

    In my experience, the ones who stand to get the most bang for the buck on these sites are couples. The majority of couples profiles seem authentic, even the standard (free) ones. So for couples who like to play with other couples (or single men), the odds are pretty good you’ll find someone real.

    Finally, both ALt and AFF engage in dubious business practices to entice you to sign up for paid memberships. Take the front page for example — the login page. You are presented with a couple rows of gorgeous looking women, all of which say they are in your area. Except whoops, the information associated with those photos is “for illustrative purposes only,” i.e. those women really aren’t in your area. Who knows where they are. They might not even be members of the site anymore for all we know.

    Both AFF and ALt restrict new male accounts from reading email for 30 days (note I am talking about free, “standard” member accounts, not paid accounts). During your 30 day period, you cannot open email even if it was sent to you by a legitimate user. During the 30 day period, both AFF and Alt will send you occasional emails that look legit, but which you can’t open unless you pay. I know from firsthand experience these emails are fake and are simply meant to tease you into upgrading to a paid membership.

    So there you have it. This is the tip of the iceberg. I think you should spend a lot more time actually using these sites before you attempt to write a review.

    • eric
      May 17, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

      on alt in tucson there are hardly any female dom’s that have been there in the last month. most haven’t been there in over 3 months. as a matter of fact, when i checked last, there was only one that had been there in the last several days. the rest hadn’t been there in over 3 months. it also seems that a lot of the guys have dropped off too. it seemed like there were a lot more several years ago in tucson. it seems like there are more in phoenix but still not as many as several years ago. so kind of the same thing there. also if you go to the chat rooms on alt, they are almost empty. is it the economy or have tucson and phoenix seen the light?

  2. admin
    April 29, 2009 at 3:48 pm #

    Hey Tom,

    Well, obviously a lot to respond to. First off, let me make it clear that I was reviewing the SITE, not the advertising practices of the site’s owner. I agree that some of AFF’s marketing practices are borderline deceptive, but i think they do probably still fall within the bounds of legality, and as you stated yourself, they include disclaimers, etc.

    All the sites I review I use fairly intensely for some period of time. Admittedly not *months*. I also make a point of talking with other site users and getting their views and criticisms, which I take into account when I write the review.

    I do also go to customer support forums and see what people complain about. And honestly? It generally looks to me like the permanently-sour whining about trivialities. People seem to lose sight of what these sites are FOR, and stop seeing the forest for the trees. (Hint: the purpose of such sites is not “to have the most robust system of cutesy animated flirt widgets in the whole wide Internets.”)

    All of the features I used (and I used nearly all of them, on both sites) worked fine, though admittedly paging people to watch me jerk off on webcam was not one I tested. I’m glad you brought this up in your comments; hopefully others will read this and be made aware of the “unfeature”.

    The 125 to 1 male/female ratio you suggest sounds closer to being correct to me than 1 to 50. This isn’t at all an uncommon ratio for “adult dating” sites and has nothing to do with the websites themselves; it’s the nature of the beast. Single hetero chicks just aren’t so up for casual sex, or at least aren’t so up for joining a site to meet partners.

    Thanks for your criticism and comments, though. This is certainly the longest and most thoughtful response I’ve yet had to one of my posts. If you’d like to write a review of your own for either of the sites you mention, or any other adult dating website, I would be happy to publish it here, uncensored.

    Take care,

    -Janak.

    • Shellfac1
      September 11, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

      I am a female heterosexual user of alt. com. I use it only to play online, use an alias and have no interest in actually meeting people. I am a standard member and have been very happy wth the site. I mostly use the blog and the chatroom features. The email and the IM don’t seem to work very well.

      I have not noticed a 5:1 M:F ratio. That may be true of members overall but the chatrooms for “Scening” or, creting online fantasy scenes, seeto be the most attractive feature for female members. I often have to check out several rooms o find one with a majoirty of males.

      Shellfac1

  3. SK
    May 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    Disclaimer: these are generalities and some of the commentary is based on (rather consistent) feedback from men that I have encountered.

    Alt.com has changed a lot since Penthouse (sorry, got my porn publishers confused!) took over the site.

    Guys are more likely to pay for sex/nakedness – be it prostitutes, strippers, phone sex, webcam sex, porn flicks etc.

    Women realize it and (God bless capitalism) they capitalize on it (and some men’s utter stupidity).

    In reality, who cares about the functionality of the site and features? In the end, isn’t it about meeting quality women that are interested in the same pursuits as you?

    In contrast to AFF, the BDSM sites are not exclusively about the casual fuck. (Can I say that?) Tom’s wrong about that. Of course there are those that are looking for casual play, but there are others (like myself) that are looking for a more normal relationship with a twist of kink. I admit, that when I first discovered BDSM and the sites, I was like a kid in a candy store. And I had some rather adventurous experiences (you linked to my blog, so go back the the very beginning if you want the juicy stuff.)

    But then again, you don’t typically disclose on a first date that you like nipple clamps – either he’s going to run screaming or he’s going to think you’re a ‘sure thing’.

    The problem with many of these sites is that there are a lot of opportunists. (And Janak, that is something that I can write about sometime.)

    • admin
      May 4, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

      All good points, SK. Certainly interested in hearing any horror stories from you regarding opportunists.

      I read through a lot of your blog and there are certainly some what-might-indeed-aptly-be-described-as “adventurous” stories at the beginning of it. Half the time I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, cringe, or some tortured combination of the three. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone, though.

    • OP
      August 29, 2009 at 4:01 am #

      Does SK or anyone else have a link to her blog? I’m really interested in reading more as I’m contemplating if I should sign up for alt.com

      • admin
        November 17, 2009 at 3:24 pm #

        Click her name.

  4. SK
    May 8, 2009 at 8:09 pm #

    Thanks for removing the link. I’ll let you know if I want to have the connections to my own blog. Reality is – I blog for myself – I am not concerned with others feedback etc.

    I wonder if my horror stories are really the best representation of the sites. I consider myself a pretty savvy female – and fortunately, I have a sense of humor about some of the nightmarish experiences – I always kept in mind that “this is great writing material!”

    Being more sexually-aware, adventurous, whatever you want to label me – leads to challenges. It’s damn hard enough to find a guy that is honest, stable, intelligent and can deal with the likes of me. Add to it, “Oh by the way, I love nipple clamps and being restrained and…” I wonder if I’m doomed to singlehood?

    I get that there are a lot of fish in the sea, but damn, can’t I hook something that is worthy of not throwing back? (As I have three dates this weekend that I’m not really that thrilled about ANY of them?)

    Sigh.

    • admin
      May 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm #

      I doubt you’re doomed, SK, though your proclivities do mean that you’re fishing in a lake rather than deep-trawling the Pacific ocean. But I hear that’s where the best sportfish live, anyway. I’m sure your honest, stable, intelligent, and totally dealing rainbow trout is out there, calmly hoovering up crustaceans as it runs the course of its iteroparous and anadromous life cycle.

      And hey, even if you are doomed to singlehood, at least all the great stories and experiences that you’ve shared with the world.

      Shauriya.

  5. KeHoeff
    May 28, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    hey this is a very interesting article!

  6. exsena
    June 3, 2009 at 9:23 pm #

    Great post in here. Calm down people. Just my 2 cents ;)

  7. Adult Dating
    June 17, 2009 at 10:59 am #

    Thank you for that informative post.

    I can personally say that I have used Internet Dating and believe it or not, I found my current girl friend through online dating.

    It is thanks to posts like yours that I was able to succeed.

    Thank you for the tips, they DO HELP.

    • Chris
      June 30, 2009 at 8:04 pm #

      Wow. I wish I could find my girl thru sites like this. Can’t wait!

    • tstuts
      July 16, 2009 at 2:44 pm #

      The best site for hooking up with women used to be Yahoo personals. Before they changed everything and don’t allow sex ads, I used to hook up with lots of women for one nighters around my area. I did do a couple of weekend things and a couple of short term (6mos or less). It was free to all users and everyone was real. Damn ! I miss those days. Now all of these sites say free but then you have to join and pay to either see the whole profile, be able to email the person, or to even read any emails you may have received. Thanks for the reviews and have a great one !

      • admin
        July 16, 2009 at 3:58 pm #

        Yeah. There are still some free sites, but the problem of fake profiles and scammers is only worsening. Nice to see Yahoo Personals get a mention, though. I might chuck it into our review schedule. Take it easy.

  8. Adult Fling
    June 24, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    Great post,

    Very interesting – proves a good point!

  9. notb4now
    July 6, 2009 at 1:53 pm #

    Very informative and accurate review of a site that I have some experience with. I have experienced some of the issues referred to in your review and by those posting comments. My experience with Alt.com has been generally very good because my wife and I are listed as a couple and receive winks etc. from other couples. I would recommend Alt.com to couples and single women as long as they follow the excellent guidelines you mentioned. However, there are so many single men in this sea the chances of success are quite slim.

  10. Evero
    July 15, 2009 at 10:11 pm #

    I’m one of the members here. So far, I’m very satisfied!

  11. William
    July 18, 2009 at 12:55 pm #

    I like the way you write! Nice blog.

  12. Craig
    July 29, 2009 at 10:06 pm #

    Very accurate review. Looking forward to reading more of your reviews.

  13. mark
    September 7, 2009 at 9:26 am #

    Apart from the “borderline legal” practices mentioned here there are a few more talked about by a former employee of aff and alt on the ripoff report website. And I have one to add myself; actually it’s 2 in one. About 7-9 months ago i noticed that at certain days or times of day my searches on women bring up too many results, more then usual for a given criteria. I am very pattern oriented and so it didn’t take much effort for me to pin point the numerous “extra” profiles that possessed the same attributes: they all were standard, had one picture which wasn’t always xxx or necessarily pro but just too good you know, the user names were always unreal but had recognizable pattern (ex: ruhkanan, xranbiban) and they all had 2 to 3 line profiles written in identically terrible English, and no responses from these “people” were ever received. WHen i first noticed the aforementioned my first thought was that alt got hacked and injected with all these fake profiles. But I kept witnessing this month after month and i just refused to believe that, if it was a hack, alt is not responding … unless … and this preposterous thing occurred to me – they are doing themselves; of course! – what better way to keep me subscribed and busy on the site then to make me spend time clicking though countless profiles, reading them, masturbating, writing to them and waiting for replies that never come. and then at one point these profiles disappeared off of alt. I don’t know why. the 2 in 1 is because after a few months of a break they started again: only this time half of these profiles are gold members and they now have more then one picture, the user names are little less ambiguous too and the profile text is now 5 to 7 lines but always with at least a few clear grammatical mistakes, as if written by a robot and always bogus without clear objective.
    So now you tell me if that is borderline legal or borderline illegal. DO they have the right to waste ones time and effort and emotions? Can it be compared to misrepresenting a product, which is indeed illegal (i think)???

  14. Paula jones
    November 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    Don’t do it! I know you are falling in love with someone because you want someone to do things with or to cuddle, etc. I fell in love with a girl in Cuba. I thought of bringing her here but the following year I went back to see her. She treated me like s***. She even cheated on me when I went out partying with my friend because she wanted to stay in. It does not work, she wants to get out of her country and when she gets here she will take off on you to find her culture here. (This happened to my friend who married a Cuban girl and brought her here). Six months later, they got into an argument, she packed and left. Now she lives in the country and he spent over $45,000. Think about it! You can meet someone who lives in your city, it’s cheaper. Good luck!

  15. Tease Inc.
    February 1, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    Grateful for the article and the discussion.

    I used Yahoo! Personals seven years ago for ‘bootie calls’. I’m not sure how relevant it is now, as I’m currently in a ‘mono’ relationship. Even still, AFF just seemed too cheesy … and it sounds like it’s just become worse.

  16. oawi4
    February 13, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    I found Yahoo Personals absolutely worthless for meeting anyone. I had a nice profile and am good looking, but that made no difference. Virtually zero hits. I’ll never bother with it again.

  17. Arturo Whitbeck
    August 30, 2010 at 5:59 am #

    The only spray I recommend is a plain water spray in a bottle that has a stream setting. Spray the dog when it is doing something you do not want it to do, but follow it up with a stern no. The best thing to do is to physically remove the animal from the situation. At no time should you use pepper or lemon or vinegar. Not only could you harm your dog, but you are setting yourself up for a bug infestation. Plain water only!

  18. scene porn
    October 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    I feel naughty

    • D. Meredith
      February 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

      call me: 678-488-7919

      • LOL
        September 29, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

        Lol … I will

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