ashley madison

Ashley Madison Dating: A Guide to Using the Married Dating Site

Interested in the Ashley Madison dating site?

Whether we like it or not, cheating and extramarital affairs have become commonplace in modern society.

To meet this two-timing demand, Ashley Madison was born. And guess what… There’s no judgement here. The site is open to anyone looking to have some on-the-side fun.

In this Ashley Madison dating site review, we’re going to discuss what the Ashley Madison dating site is all about and how to use it to find an affair.

>>Go straight to Ashley Madison

Ashley Madison Dating Review 2023

Here’s what our Ashley Madison dating site review uncovered – a great site for discretion, privacy, and security. 


  • Designed for discreet affairs
  • 100% free for women
  • Solid guy/girl ratio
  • No monthly subscription required
  • Privacy tools to maintain anonymity
  • Over 70 million members


  • Men must pay to send messages
  • Some escorts
  • No video chat

Special Deals

  • 1000 free credits with purchase of 1000*
  • Regular 50 credits for $9.95 deals

Overall Rating: 4.7/5

Ashley Madison is truly one of a kind. A provocative site that encourages people to reach out and take what they want. 

The Ashley Madison website offers features that are useful and yet not too flashy or reckless. Anonymity and security is key here, so it will never feel as “open” and warm as a hookup dating site.

>>Related Reading: Best Adult Dating Sites

Is it safe to say that people are using the Ashley Madison dating site more than ever? 

Hell yes! 

All efforts to publicly shame the website (even an attack by a hacker group called “The Impact Team” back in 2015) have failed to stop the growth of the Ashley Madison website. 

In fact, the site has since grown to over 70 million members and now arranges over one million affairs each month across 53 countries worldwide. 

Needless to say, that’s a lot of extramarital sex going on!

Ashley Madison Dating App: Quick Overview

The Ashley Madison dating website was founded back in 2002 as an affair dating website for married people looking to sneak around.

For a time, the company rebranded and the original slogan of “Life is short” became “Find your moment.” 

Even the imagery of a married woman with a wedding ring was replaced back in 2016. But the site has since unretired the “Life is short, have an affair!”.

Maybe people figured out we’re interested in marriage dating specifically and not general hookups! 

Signing Up with Ashley Madison

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That’s about all there is to know about the glorious history of the Ashley Madison dating website

Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty: how does it work and how can you have an affair using the Ashley Madison dating website? 

Ashley Madison Dating Site Review Step 1: Register for the first time.

Let’s start by looking at how you create an account with or the Ashley Madison app (available for both iOS and Android).

Luckily, the process is simple. All you have to do is enter an email address, username and password to begin. 

Ashley Madison Dating Site Review Step 2: Enter your sexual preferences.

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Once you register, it’s time to identify your gender, sexual orientation, and birthdate.

Unfortunately, the Ashley Madison website is not the most progressive we’ve seen and there aren’t any options for Trans or Non-binary users.

In fact, you can really only choose basic options like single and married and whether you prefer men or women. 

Ashley Madison Dating Site Review Step 3: Fill out your profile.

At least you can get more specific when it comes time to fill out your profile.

To start, enter your location information then choose an introductory headline for your Ashley Madison dating app profile. Next, Create a profile description and upload a few profile photos.

The field for “My Interest and Desires” lets you tag a number of sexual desires and interests. 

While these are not as specific or niche as other sex sites we’ve reviewed, you’ll find options like “Games”, “Foreplay” and “One-Night Stands” available.

ashley maddison

Ashley Madison Dating Site Review Step 4: Make a connection.

One of the best features of the Ashley Madison website is just how anonymous and discreet all communication is – you never have to know anything about the other person. 

You can bond purely over physical attraction or a shared kink. You don’t have to explain yourself or apologize for what you want. 

It’s a judgment-free zone with many nice features that can quickly locate someone nearby who’s feeling just as amorous.

Start a conversation by doing one of the following: 

  • Winking
  • Liking a profile
  • Sharing photos
  • Or sending a message directly

Ashley Madison Dating Site Review Step 4: Arrange to meet in person.

One sure way to lose the “game” is to keep all your conversations on the Ashley Madison website – and to chicken out from meeting in person. 

While some people may only want “online affairs”, most people are looking for a IRL sneaky link – so don’t be afraid to set up a meeting with someone you hit it off with.  

Test the chemistry and see if you want to pursue an affair. It’s that simple. 

What Can I Do for Free on Ashley Madison?

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One of the Ashley Madison dating website’s best features is the extended free preview. Just by joining, you can browse profiles, search multiple cities, and view public photo galleries. 

You can definitely “look but not touch” if you’re a man. 

Men can browse profiles and use search filters but cannot communicate with any potential partners until they buy credits.

Women, on the other hand, can search, browse and message for free.

Yes, women are given the royal treatment at the Ashley Madison dating site. While it might be tempting to say men are devalued at the affair site, the truth is, this ‘women message free’ feature gives AF a solid male/female ratio.

Using Search Filters

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The Ashley Madison dating website gives all users free access to the “Discover” section, letting you browse an unlimited number of profiles. 

You can use search filters to find partners best suited to you using criteria like: 

  • Body type
  • Age
  • Location
  • Gay or straight orientation
  • Type of relationship desires
  • Limits
  • Photos
  • Online Now
  • New
  • Last Seen
  • Private and public photos
  • Languages spoken

How Do Ashley Madison Credits Work?

Any thorough Ashley Madison dating site review needs to cover the cost of using the platform, which we’ll do next.

Unlike other adult dating sites, Ashley Madison doesn’t require a monthly subscription. Instead, the platform uses a credit system.

Everything you do on the site costs a number of credits, such as sending messages, opening chat sessions, requesting access to galleries, and so on.

For example, sending a message to another user can cost up to 5 credits, while opening a chat session can cost up to 20 credits. 

How Much Does Ashley Madison Cost?

The Ashley Madison website lets you purchase credits in batches of: 

  • 100 credits for $59.99
  • 500 credits for $179.99
  • 1000 credits for $289.99

Sometimes the Ashley Madison dating website also runs special deals for purchasing more credits at certain times, as indicated in the above “promotions” section. 

>>Check for Credit Promotions

Ashley Madison Dating App: Top Features

When it comes to determining if the Ashley Madison dating app is worth the price of admission, we must first examine its top features.

After all, no one can force anyone to have an affair!But does the Ashley Madison dating website make it easy? Is the site a good wing-man? Is it helping you build an attractive profile?

Most of all, is the Ashley Madison dating app helping you to keep this affair discreet? 

After all, even if you’re in an open marriage, you really don’t want your picture and real name shared online for the world to see. 

That brings us to the top two features of this Ashley Madison dating site review. 

Private/Public Photo Albums

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First, let’s discuss photo albums on the Ashley Madison dating app.

Every user has a public and private gallery to share with other users. When you upload photos you can choose whether the photo is public (and automatically shared with people when they click on your profile) or private. 

Unlike public photo albums, private albums require permission to access (which users must request directly). And yes, private photos can be nudes

That means there’s 0 chance of any Pam and Tommy Lee sex tape scandal happening here!

Public photos are not only PG-13 rated but about 50% of them are obscured in some way. 

Why? That brings us to the next cool feature…

Privacy Tools

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Naturally, most people don’t want to show their real face on the Ashley Madison dating site, especially if they’re after something super discreet. 

Let’s face it, only two types of people ever show nudes with faces online: sex workers and self-employed exhibitionists. 

It feels good to strip in public – but not so good when people start harassing you and discriminating against you!

No wonder the Ashley Madison dating website makes it easier to be discreet with anonymous photo editing tools

You don’t have to download any special software. Just edit your photos directly on the Ashley Madison website.

The Ashley Madison website lets you: 

  • Block out your face with a black bar
  • Blur out your face
  • Apply a virtual mask (kind of like a Snapchat filter)
  • Use body-only photos
  • Or use an anonymous avatar

Men are advised to use real photos as much as possible, perhaps body shots or an obscured face. Women are more inclined to interact with men who share real photos. 

Of course, women using the Ashley Madison app can get a similar response from men even if they use the generic avatar. 

There is no verification system. 

However, profiles are sometimes moderated, so obvious fakes are usually removed entirely. 

Priority Man

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Priority Man is a feature on the Ashley Madison dating site that lets you boost your profile and increase your overall site visibility. 

It gives you a higher ranking in search results and makes your profile stand above most other non-priority members. 

With the Priority Man package, you also get the ability to send Priority Messages. That means your messages are highlighted in the recipient’s inbox and are more likely to be read first. 

You also get to hang out at the Priority Man Lounge, which lets you see new profiles before non-priority members.

Message Plus

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Message Plus is basically unlimited messaging, and it’s a feature you may not fully appreciate until you realize just how costly it can be to pay for individual messages. 

Message Plus on the Ashley Madison website lets you send extra-large messages, add attachments, and send messages to multiple users at once. 

You can also use Message Plus to continue to chat with a new Ashley Madison app friend without having to pay for each new message. You actually get Message Plus automatically whenever you purchase a large number of credits. 

Member Initiated Contact

The Member Initiated Contact feature allows men to respond to messages from women for free without spending any credits. 

However, certain conditions apply. You cannot have previously contacted someone, since that invalidates the MIC feature. No previous contact – not even a “wink”! 

This feature is offered as a free trial every time you buy a large number of credits. 

Incognito Mode 

Incognito Mode is a feature on the Ashley Madison dating website that lets you browse “invisibly” – that is, without being tracked or seen by others. 

You are not shown as “Online” when you have enabled this surfing mode. 

You can also disappear from search results and your profile will not show up when other users view your messages. 

This is an ideal feature if you’re trying to lay low and not get caught in a compromising position. 

Ashley Madison Alternatives

How does the Ashley Madison dating app compare to other marriage dating sites? 

Generally speaking, the Ashley Madison dating app is hands-down the most popular affair-focused dating site out there.

But some other affair sites offer unique features that the Ashley Madison app does not.

Adult Friend Finder vs. Ashley Madison Dating Site Review

Adult Friend Finder is more of an adults-only social network, whereas the Ashley Madison app is a more traditional dating site. 

Adult Friend Finder is a site to waste lots of time on, whether you like tipping sexy models, reading erotic fiction, or liking random nudes. The Ashley Madison dating website concentrates more on filtered searching and finding a real life affair as soon as possible. 

>>Read my in depth Adult Friend Finder review

AFF is the more fun site, but the Ashley Madison dating app might actually get you laid sooner. 

  • Adult Friend Finder has a much friendlier interface and community
  • Adult Friend Finder has streaming video and video intros
  • Adult Friend Finder has chatrooms and forum groups
  • Adult Friend Finder has more verification options
  • The Ashley Madison website has more married dating members
  • The Ashley Madison website has more security/privacy features
  • The Ashley Madison website lets women join for free. 
  • The Ashley Madison website gives a much better free preview

Visit AdultFriendFinder

Victoria Milan vs. Ashley Madison Dating Site Review

Victoria Milan is very similar to the Ashley Madison app, as it was designed to be direct competition. The two sites share many of the same features, such as anonymity tools. 

On the other hand, the Ashley Madison dating website offers some special features such as Priority Man and Message Plus, which are not available on Victoria Milan. 

Overall, Victoria Milan stresses membership, whereas the Ashley Madison dating website stresses transactions. Both sites let women join for free. 

  • Victoria Milan lets you send virtual gifts
  • Victoria Milan claims to have superior security features
  • Victoria Milan has a panic button emergency exit
  • Victoria Milan also offers anonymity tools like virtual masks
  • The Ashley Madison dating app has more members than Victoria Milan
  • The Ashley Madison dating app lets you buy credits, not a membership
  • The Ashley Madison dating app lets you search and browse for free
  • The Ashley Madison app has a Travel mode of free city searches

Join Victoria Milan

Secret Benefits vs Ashley Madison Dating Site Review

Secret Benefits is a website commonly associated with “sugar dating.” Because of this, the site is more expensive than Ashley Madison, AFF, or Victoria Milan. 

Although the Ashley Madison dating site allows sugar dating, it is more of a marriage dating site. There is not as much emphasis on gifts and ‘wealthy-meets-attractive’ arrangements. 

  • Secret Benefits has a highly advanced search tool
  • Secret Benefits lets users post events to connect with people in person
  • Secret Benefits has better verification options
  • Secret Benefits lets you purchase real-life gifts for users
  • The Ashley Madison app has a much higher member count
  • The Ashley Madison app is far better for mobile than Secret Benefits
  • The Ashley Madison app is more anonymous than SB. 
  • The Ashley Madison app has more subscription services like Message Plus

Ashley Madison Dating App FAQs

Is Ashley Madison good for couples?

No, Ashley Madison is not good for couples. In fact, the site is designed for people looking to date outside of their marriage or relationship.

What are the benefits of Ashley Madison?

The benefits of Ashley Madison include free filtered searches, unlimited profile browsing, and the ability to change locations. Users can also hide their face using Ashley Madison dating online tools. 

Is the Ashley Madison dating app free?

Yes, many features of the Ashley Madison dating app are free, including travel mode, profile browsing, online masking, and filtered searches

An Ashley Madison dating site review suggests that you can surf for hours without spending any credits. 

However, interacting with other members on the Ashley Madison app does require purchasing credits. 

Are there any other dating sites like Ashley Madison?

Yes, there are other hookup sites like Ashley Madison, some of which even mirror the theme of married dating. These include Victoria Milan, Secret Benefits, and Adult Friend Finder.

What is an AM Pass on Ashley Madison?

The AM Pass on Ashley Madison refers to an older profile verification system that no longer exists on the Ashley Madison website. 

The Ashley Madison app no longer encourages profile verification since the very idea is contrary to discreet and anonymous encounters.

What does a Red Dot on Ashley Madison Mean?

A red dot on Ashley Madison means you have a new unread message. Simply click on the new message, read it, and then watch as the red dot goes away.

How do I know if someone on Ashley Madison is fake? 

Some Ashley Madison dating profiles are obviously fake and you can usually tell after just a quick glance.  

Though the Ashley Madison app doesn’t have a verification system, look for these “Too Good to Be True” red flags. 

  • The profile is basically empty
  • The profile seems over-the-top horny
  • The profile shows someone’s face in clear view (Think about it…)
  • The profile mentions compensation
  • The profile In private chat, the other person only wants to talk money
  • The other person seems to be instantly in love with you
  • I mean, I’m sure you’re great…but come on, how often does that happen?

How many people are unfaithful on the Ashley Madison dating website?

The Ashley Madison dating website has about 70 million unfaithful and looking members. However, the site doesn’t publish much information about its member base. 

This would be a violation of its users’ trust.

What we do know is that the majority of Ashley Madison app users are male. 

However, this coincides with general infidelity statistics, which suggest men are more likely to cheat than women. 

One interesting development is that younger women (ages 18-29) on the Ashley Madison dating website are slightly more likely to cheat than men of the same age.

Conclusion – A Five-Star Ashley Madison Dating Site Review 

Ashley Madison dating remains popular because many people are not looking for hookup sites where singles meet other singles. 

These are married people seeking married sex with someone other than their partner…

But without the strain of an emotionally charged relationship!

Ashley Madison app users are happy to visit the site because they are not required to define their current relationship or justify what they are doing. 

The Ashley Madison dating website is the opposite of the modern social network – the choice of the sophisticated person who needs to keep things discreet, classy, and hopefully as anonymous as possible.

Find your next affair on Ashley Madison today

About the Author thepleasureseeker