You will have to leave some of your ethics at the door before signing up for this dating site. Ashley Madison is specifically designed for people in long-term relationships looking for casual hook-ups and affairs. Fortunately, or unfortunately, that is up to you to decide, the site has attracted a significant members base during its almost 20-year run. Discretion is nevertheless still a top priority for a site that promotes so many indiscretions.
How Does Ashley Madison Work?
Ashley Madison’s brief registration process is faithful to its respect for its users’ privacy. It is not surprising that only the most basic personal information like your age, gender and location is actually required to sign up. The only specific details you fill have to submit are your relationship status and the type of relationship you are looking for. All the information you submit whilst creating your account will be displayed on your profile but only be related to you through the username you have invented. Similarly, with the site requiring you to log in with an email address, it might be best to use a secondary address, unlinked to any of your social media accounts. During registration, you will also be asked to pick out a profile picture that you can edit through the site’s blur and sticker effects to hide as much of your identity as you wish.
With the quick and free registration complete, Ashley Madison lets you post up to a dozen pictures and includes two sections to input any additional information you would like to share with other members. The first lets you detail any interests you have and what your favorite activities are. The second gives you the chance to make your intentions clear about what type of person you are looking for. The more meticulous and precise you are, the higher will be your chances of meeting your perfect match. After all, if you are going to have an affair, Ashley Madison wants you to at least pursue one worth the risk.
Navigating the Platform
You can then start browsing through profiles and if you see anything you like you can add the profile, along with a hundred others, to a favorites list for easy access. If you are a woman, Ashley Madison has made life easy for you. You can strike up as many conversations as you want, and all of them completely free of charge. On the other hand, as a man, you will have to get your wallet out to buy credits to access the chat feature.
Once you are ready to make contact, you can start with a ‘wink’ to let any member know you are interested. At any time, and you establish more and more contact with users, you can choose to send specific members a private key to view your unedited pictures. This will allow them, or anyone has shared their private key with you, to see past the blur or sticker they might have chosen to put on their profile pictures. This ensures that you have total control over your privacy and lets your mind stay at peace when you are looking through potential discreet hook-up material.
Although this has already been mentioned, this is an essential feature that allows Ashley Madison to run successfully despite the precarious business domain it operates in. Since it is practically impossible to assess the potential of a member without actually seeing the site attempts to bypass this predicament by letting its users blur their pictures as much they want.
With the fee restrictions on the common chat feature, ‘winks’ are an ideal way of catching someone’s attention without any limits on quantity available to use.
This is effectively a starred message which another user can receive from you and get a sense of how serious you are in wanting to know them better. This is basically at the opposite of ‘winks’ on the attention spectrum.
If you have just booked your next holiday destination, then this feature is sure to make your trip even more fun-packed. This paid feature lets you send out messages to 30 girls as a pre-warning to your imminent arrival and availability for that time period.
This feature is common to most conventional dating sites. It also almost always requires you to pay for it, Ashley Madison is no exception to that rule. If your profile is getting drowned by the thousands of others, all competing for their mutual attention, Priority Man lets you boost your profile to the top of members’ search page. If patience is not your main virtue, or you just feel like your potential is not fulfilled entirely, then this can be an efficient way to connect you with more people, more quickly.
If you are in a rush, or not one to be particularly articulate with words, this feature lets you get straight to the point when contacting a member of interest. Much shorter than the traditional chat, this lets you pack in all your magic within a handful of sentences.
Show your appreciation by sending paid gifts to other members. Keep in mind that the selection varies according to price.
Costs and Prices
Ashley Madison membership system is centered around its credit packages. These come in three sizes, corresponding to three distinctive statuses and most importantly three different costs.
- Basic: 100 Credits for $49
- Classic: 500 Credits for $149
- Elite: 1000 Credits for $249
Depending on the function you are interested in, the amount of credits needed to unlock it will vary significantly. To access the chat system, the cost will come to average one credit per minute, usually 30 for half an hour or 60 for one hour. To initially contact a member or open a message, you will have to make a one-time expenditure of 5 credits. A variety of online gifts are available at a range of prices from 20 to 50 credits.
Is Ashley Madison Safe?
The first steps in protecting your privacy should come from you, making sure to use a special email, a random username and not oversharing private information. With those in mind, Ashley Madison does have a couple of safety features put in place to ensure their members’ security.
Any transaction made through Ashley Madison is claimed to be anonymous, with the option of using PayPal. The site also contains a password analyzer which assesses the strength of your chosen password during registration, so as long as it is one which you haven’t previously used on any other site, your login should be well protected.
It must be said, however, that Ashley Madison suffered a disastrous hack of their membership list and user data which was publicly leaked online. In the five years which have elapsed since, the site did reinforce its security measures, but it still remains something to keep in mind that nothing is ever 100% safe.
- Large members base
- Multiple privacy options
- Straightforward layout
- Recent boost in security measures
- No matching service
- Messaging comes at a cost
- Potential fake profiles
- Recent security breach