Ashley Madison Review

Quick Summary:


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

  • Straight-up dating agency for people looking for affairs and casual relationships
  • Direct and to the point. You get a slew of profiles when you search according to proximity, and none of them seem fake.
  • Simple, functional design. Just what you need and nothing else.

The Full Story:

This is a nice, easy website for people looking to hook up locally, particularly if it’s for an extra-marital tryst. Ashley Madison’s concept is “a dating agency online”. After logging in, the main options presented are to: open your mail, update your profile, or search for profiles. There are no bothersome ads, no link to this and that. There isn’t even any of the harping cams and videos upsell advertising that many adult dating websites have.

What you see is what you get. Take the search for example. You can do a simple or advanced search. With advanced search, you can filter for fields. You can remove the “attached” people from your results page, if you are only looking for singles, or you can search for them exclusively, if you’re after the thrill of a fling.

Your search results in a list of profiles. You will see the basics elements of the profiles there, such as picture, location, age, what they’re looking for, and their current relationship status. For each result, you’ll see if the person’s online or not. You have an option to immediately chat with those online, if the person isn’t online you can message her or send her an online gift using credit points, which you purchase—a slightly different model than the subscription one used by most site. (A good model, we think—you only pay for what you use.) Profiles also have a private “showcase” link; you will only see the photos in here if you have permission from the showcase owner.

And that’s it. That’s basically the website.

Ashley Madison boasts a higher success rate in terms of hookups and affairs instigated than most other sites; the lack of community chat, webcams, and porn may be the main reasons why. Contact here is one-on-one, focused, personal, and direct. People here know what they want and are determined to get it.

For example, when you send a gift, there’s a standard flirty note there, and a field where you can add your own message. You are discouraged from sending random gifts to random people, because every gift you send costs you credits. When you “wink” at someone, you need to let them know what your wink means. There’s practically no way to avoid getting straight to the point. When you find someone and contact them you’re almost forced to let them know right away what you’re after. To me, that’s how an adult dating site should work. No games.

As for the design, the website is easy to navigate. Your standard links are those to your email, the profile search, and the links to update your profile or account. There’s no confusion as to where you’d need to go.

When you need to contact someone on your search results, you just go into their profiles, and chat, message, or give a gift. These are the only interaction allowed within this dating service, and it’s enough.

Like the site itself, the design is functional, straightforward, and clean – the only thing that bugged me visually was the “100% Affair Guaranteed” banner.

This banner promotes a paid service of the site (it’s an upsell). For almost $300, Ashley Madison Agency guarantees that you’ll hook up with someone when you use their website – so long as you undertake to chat with someone, message someone, and give gifts to someone a certain number of times per month for three months. Failure to do so voids the guarantee. You don’t get anything extra with this – it’s just a guarantee. Unless you’re a real troglodyte I’m pretty sure you’d be able to achieve the same result without the guarantee.

The thing is the banner is shoved in your face every time you load a page. Literally, they show the banner every time they get a chance. And it’s not like you can just click on the banner to close it, or choose to hide it. It stays there until you move to another page. It starts to feel irritating and intrusive.

I guess nothing’s perfect. Overall however, the Ashley Madison Agency seems on to a winner, though, and represents real innovation in the space. You might not be able to do better for your buck.

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14 Responses to “Ashley Madison Review”

  1. Anonymous
    August 4, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    I signed up for Ashley Madison (AM) a couple of months ago so I think I can provide some insight from a man’s perspective.

    Signing up and browsing is free but contacting anyone costs credits. The nice part about this is you control how long your money lasts rather than haveing a running clock like on most sites. When I joined you got 100 credits for $50 and you use 5 credits for initiating contact with someone. Subsequent contacts of the same type are free. There is the ability to send collect messages but I have disallowed them in my preferences, since they cost 5 credits to accept and another 5 to reply.

    You can send “winks” to any member for free. Winks are short pre-written messages. an example is “Please check out my profile to see if you might be interested in connecting with me. If you are interested, “wink” me back and I will initiate contact!” For men, sending winks is a bit like fishing. You cast and cast and then every so often you get a nibble. This is because the women get flooded with winks and messages and simply don’t have the time to look into each one. I my case, I have sent dozens and dozens of winks and have gotten a few dozen responses. Of those, perhaps half have resulted in further interest such as exchanging photos and 9 or 10 progressed to chat. From there I had the offer to meet with 6 of them but only met 2 in person, mainly because one of the two is perfect for me and we’ve started a relationship. :-)

    A couple of things you should know:
    Chat is a rip-off on AM. They charge something like 30 credits for 30 minutes. With free services such as yahoo and gmail there is no reason to pay for this. Spend the 5 credits for the initial contact and then take it off AM
    Blank profiles limit interest, as do those where you simply check the boxes, so it’s best to write up a few paragraphs that might attract some attention.
    Be patient when contacting the women. The better ones get swamped with hundreds of messages a day, so it might take a week or two to hear back from them.

    In the end, I spent $50 and found a perfect match for me. It might not happen like that for everyone but it can happen.

    • admin
      August 4, 2009 at 5:50 pm #

      Thanks Anonymous, I really appreciate your comments. $50 for a perfect match sounds like a good deal, and your experience sounds a lot more positive than many I’ve heard about on other sites in the genre.

  2. Dave'
    August 31, 2009 at 11:55 am #

    im not at all pleased with Ashley Madison,i think that there are a few legit’s on there as i actually did talk to one lady i met,before she decided not to pursue it further,however i have been enticed by ‘fake chat invitations,in order to burn credits and the woman will like act that she is interested in you,only to find out that she is trying to sign you up on another website,and like many others,i have sent out ‘WINKS’ many ,many of them to both on/offline and not one ever even say’s ‘no thank you’ most of these sites have just way too many red flags!! for sure there is a lot of funny and suspicious activity.the more genuine and honest you are the more likely you are to ‘get screwed’ and i mean with the driver!

  3. admin
    August 31, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    Interesting comments. The “getting scammed by AM employees to burn credits” seems a pretty common thread. I didn’t experience it myself, but enough of you have mentioned it here that, you know. No smoke without fire.

    There have been some positive experiences shared as well, though, so I can’t say the site is a complete fraud. I guess the answer is just to be very wary of people approaching you on the site to chat. Perhaps especially people with nicks like “hornymilf4u”, or people with “glamor” photos that have clearly been professionally taken — i.e. pictures of models that AM have purchased the rights to.

    Caveat Emptor?

  4. Alyssa
    September 22, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

    I’m a woman, aged 35, 125 lbs, and I’ve never lacked for male attention…and I signed up for AM. Why? Because, I like sex and while I get hit on all the time, I like the idea of finding someone on a site where we both know what we’re there for. Why play the game and do the dating dance with some guy I met in line at Starbucks when I “shop” for a compatible guy online?

    The only problem with AM is that I get slammed with about 50 emails a day from guys and I don’t have time to read them all every day. And honestly, if I don’t answer yours, that doesn’t mean my profile is fake. It means that I’m not interested. Honestly, if you’re fat, or balding, or don’t take care of yourself, why you think that AM would give you a better shot than you’d have at a hot girl in real life?

    • Patrick
      January 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

      I am with Alyssa on this one I got the smallest package offered to check it out i figured what is $20. I found 2 fun females to play around with one of them is still a regular thing. You have to do something to stand out from the crowd. I understand that a good number of profiles are fakes but it should be fairly easy to decide which ones are which. If the age and H/W info doesn’t match pictures or if there is only one pic (you have a good chance at a fake profile). It is very possible to find playmate but you can’t look like a troll and have no game at all.

  5. Duke Ellington
    October 2, 2009 at 2:59 am #

    Joined this site and had three meet ups of which the last one I am having a full time affair with (the first two were just lunch meetings and never progressed beyond that – my decision both times). If you are somewhat attractive and keep yourself in good shape you will find someone especially if you are about having an exclusive one on one affair. Lots of men are looking for one night stands and sadly that is a turnoff to most women on here.

  6. rthornhill
    October 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm #

    I’ve used the AM site for a while and can tell you the volume of real women is fairly high. I’ve been on dates with a couple of women and emailed with many more. All of them real, actual people. I have had three suspicious emails from much younger women (I’m 35) but I don’t ‘collect’ those messages so it’s not a problem.

    The ‘collect’ messages are a rip off, because you have to pay 5 credits to get a personalized message plus another 5 credits if you want to reply. Much better to just initiate contact for 5 credits if you think it might be worthwhile.

    The unfilled profiles, generally women just browsing, I assume, is irritating, but it doesn’t cost you anything to find that out. Decent search capabilities when compared to Pof or Fling which are really terrible.

    All in all, I think it’s a pretty decent site as long as you don’t answer collect messages and don’t instigate chat.

  7. DocDave
    February 3, 2010 at 1:11 am #

    I’ve met many Woman on Ashley Madison.

    It costs money, but it’s Very Effective.

    Chat is the only way to go. Don’t Message as it is a waste of money.

  8. axelrod3
    February 13, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    I’ve been a member of AM.com a couple times and have had a few dates as a result, but will definitely agree with some of the above comments – many profiles are indeed fake. It’s a mixed bag. If you’re patient and have a good BS detector, you can probably do pretty well on this site.

    Search functions are pretty primitive and could use a lot more filtering options.

  9. Intrigued
    February 17, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    From what I was reading on their site, only the initial message (not counting collect messages) is charged, and additional correspondence is not. Only chat seems to be a waste of credits.

  10. Shannon
    May 16, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    I dunno, i mean you have a site dedicated to a bunch of cheaters, how legit could it be. Then again with all the celebrity affairs going on, shouldnt be to hard to believe right. I love hearing people’s real dealings with the site, the good the bad the ugly.

  11. Bear
    June 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    I found two gals on AM. One was just up the street from me. We met on a Wednesday and had Sex that Friday. she only lasted a few months on account of her personal life got in the way.

    the other gal I met in person but never has the opportunity to do her. Id sure like to!

    I have found though that most of the profiles of the ladies in my area are not active any longer on the site. they exist but haven’t been active. This holds true for most sites. I just want a site to find a gal who wants a good sexual relationship.

  12. jake3_14
    February 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    I’m old and bald, but I have had success on AM. Recently, I’ve had a couple of brief exchanges with women who appeared very compatible and interested.

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