My Honest Ashley Madison Review: (After Using For Months)

Are you one of the many couples who are feeling unsatisfied in their marriages and considering an extramarital affair?

If so, you're not alone, and you may be wondering how to find a hookup online while keeping things discreet and safe.

This is where Ashley Madison comes into the scene.

But with so many options out there, how do you know if Ashley Madison is the right choice for you?

In this review, I'll be sharing my personal experiences and diving into the features that make Ashley Madison stand out from the crowd. From safety measures to ease of use, I'll give you an honest and detailed look at what this dating site has to offer. So, whether you're looking for a discreet fling or something more, read on to discover everything you need to know about Ashley Madison.

What's Ashley Madison?

Ashley Madison is a popular and controversial site designed for adulterous couples seeking a fling. It also offers a unique experience for those with a voracious sexual appetite, whether you're looking for an open, monogamous, or polyamorous relationship.

Pros & Cons of Ashley Madison


  • Popularity: Ashely Madison hit more than 70 million members in 2002 and since then their user base has only grown.
  • Ratio: For the USA, there are 6 women available for every 10 men
  • Hookups: If you're looking for hookups then Ashley Madison is the best option after AdultFriendFinder.
  • Mobile Friendly App: The app is very well-designed and full of useful features.
  • Safety: Ashley Madison users can keep their profiles anonymous and billing system and details discreet as well.


  • Pricing: Ashley Madison uses an inconvenient credit system. This means that you'll have to keep credit usage in mind every time you use premium features. , Ashley Madison is also relatively expensive to its main competition AdultFriendFinder.
  • Controversial: Ashley Madison gets a lot of criticism and hate for their business model. You'll meet a lot of married women there who are looking for side action. If that's something that doesn't bother you, it shouldn't be a problem.
  • Though Ashley Madison claims to be completely free of fake profiles or inactive profiles, that's simply untrue based on our experience and other Ashley Madison reviews on the internet.

My Real Life Ashley Madison Review

Okay, let’s get to the main point here:

  • Does Ashley Madison work?
  • Is Ashley Madison legit?
  • What are your chances of success? 

I turned to AM in the hope that putting some excitement back into my sex life might even reignite the spark in my marriage somehow. I certainly needed something to make me feel wanted again – to feel alive again. 

So I signed up, bought some credits, completed my Ashley madison profile – and started messaging women. 

I was also a bit disconcerted at first by the obvious artificial profiles. Moreover, a lot of women messaged me once and I never heard from them again.

But this happens on all online dating sites. In any case, I decided to use the Priority Man feature to boost my profile.  And it wasn’t long before I was making proper connections with sexy women in my area who were looking for what I was – a no-strings-attached hookup.

The great thing about the site is that you can find women who have the exact same sexual interests as you, as they put this in their profile. This: So I found someone who had the same sexual interests as me and we arranged to meet up. Overall, I managed to have sex with 2 women off Ashley Madison in a short space of time.

So, Is Ashley Madison worth it?

Absolutely. I didn’t spend that much and I wasted very little time with the time-wasters. It works if you know what you want and finds someone genuine who’s looking for exactly what you want. Also, if you're from a metropolitan area then your chances of success will be on the higher side. As long as you both find each other attractive, there’s no reason not to meet. 

Wasn't Ashley Madison Hacked? Is It Safe to Use Ashley Madison Safe?

One of the biggest concerns I had when signing up for Ashley Madison was the site's security. You don’t want people to find out that you're on this website. It suffered a massive data breach a few years ago when millions of its new members were left exposed. It wasn’t cool and, worse still, the site was breached again just twelve months later. 

It’s still a tad worrying that Ashely Madison users can still create numerous accounts from the same email address, which means more fake accounts, as well as more opportunities for hackers to steal your photos. Experts and analysts also suggest that it’s not difficult for hackers to then use your photos for other means and identify who you are exactly. That’s not exactly good for privacy and it’s the last thing you want if you’re married. 

On the flip side, Ashley Madison is well aware of these issues and has made efforts to regain our trust. To that extent, security has been strengthened, and – as mentioned earlier – the female bots that were plaguing the site have been removed. In terms of the aforementioned security, it was formerly very loose on this front, and there was no written information security policy. However, an FTC settlement now means that a ‘comprehensive data-security program’ is in place, as well as ‘third-party assessments.’ You can be sure that they are now taking your privacy very seriously for once. 

Signing up on Ashley Madison

One of the best things about Ashley Madison is how easy the website is to use. The signup process is super simple and takes less than a minute. All you need to do is enter a username, email address, relationship status, and ethnicity to create the account. After that, you can upload your photos and some information for your bio, but you can also skip these steps and fill them in later on. You can choose not to share your ethnicity but other fields are mandatory.

Are Ashley Madison Profiles Real?

When Ashley Madison was breached in mid-2015, millions of real profiles were exposed … and lots of fake profiles were exposed, too. 

As you can expect, Ashley Madison has subsequently had to work hard to regain the public’s trust. What’s the point in signing up (and paying) to a hookup site with fake users anyway? 

screenshot of ashleymadison profile

I’m not going to lie to you: I’ve been on the website for a few weeks now and I know there are still fake ones on there.

But there are also lots of real woman profiles, too. In fact, there are more real profiles than fake ones now, with reports showing that Ashley Madison has wiped out most – if not all – the female bots. 

How can you tell the difference?

So, how to spot bots on Ashley madison? It’s not always easy, and one of the things that makes it harder is that – in a bid to keep things discreet – Ashley Madison actually lets you blur your profile picture to stay anonymous. The reason for this is that a lot of married people use Ashley Madison to cheat on their partners. Thus, they don’t want to get caught. 

screenshot of ashleymadison

That said, if a man is to message a woman (as I did), they have to send their photos first. At that point, it’s a good idea to always send your best pics, as well as more than one. This gives the recipient a good idea that you’re not fake. Send pics of you smiling, looking sexy, and maybe even doing some sort of activity, even if it’s just drinking in a bar.

It’s also not a bad idea to send pics of you enjoying the company of the opposite sex as it increases your sexual market value while also showing that you’re a real profile. 

Secondly, these profiles tend to send very short messages – sometimes they’ll send just one word. I got a few messages that simply said ‘Sex?’ 

If you’re merely interested in a hookup, you might prefer short messages like that. Personally, I used Ashley Madison more as a friend with benefits would, and so I was looking to start proper conversations with people. If you do this, and if you even display a sense of humor, you’ll have a much better chance of convincing people you’re real. 

Another thing that’s worth pointing out is that there’s been a lot of research carried out into the realness of Ashley Madison profiles, and whilst millions of them are real, a large percentage of members are inactive

This can be tough to take for men because women don’t have to pay for anything on Ashley Madison's account, which means they can sign up and leave without any incentive to keep using the dating site. Men, on the other hand, have to pay in order to message women and so they’ll want to get their money’s worth. 

Moreover, it’s even stipulated in the terms and conditions that some users are on the website purely for entertainment purposes. They may not have any intentions of actually meeting up. 

terms and conditions of Ashley madison

Design & Interface

The design element of any extramarital affair site is important. And, believe me, I’ve joined hookup sites that are so hard to use that I’ve had to bail out pretty quickly.

As you can see from the image below, Ashley Madison has a pretty basic design layout. On the homepage, your most recent messages are collected so that you can get stuck right in at the click of a button. Perfect.

screenshot of ashleymadison design

Everything else is just a click away, too. The key pages are all listed neatly on the tab at the top, and you can jump from searching for profiles to buying more credits without any hassle at all.

Searching for users is also a convenient and simple process. You just click on the search bar at the top of the homepage and scroll down to view ashley madison members. You can also amend your search at the top of the page so that you can find new members that are located near you and of any age range. You can also tweak your search results according to when someone was last online.

There’s not a lot to Ashley Madison but I think this is for the best. Users are here for one thing only – sex – and the design complements that. 

Plus, the electric pink colors (used for all the important stuff) contrast nicely with the white background and put you in the mood for sex. 

One slight thing that goes against Ashley Madison is that the site can be glitchy sometimes, as per the image below. Occasionally, menus overlap and it looks uneasy to the eyes. 

And, yes, the Ashley Madison app is also available for mobile users. Though their desktop version itself is mobile-friendly the Ashley Madison app makes things more convenient.

messaging on ashleymadison

Is Ashley Madison Free?

Ashley Madison is free to sign-up for everyone. However, your options will be very limited in the free plan. Men can't send messages to women in the free plan; but they can look at profiles and use filters like age range, distance range, private photos, public photos, and sort by new members. Women, on other hand, get all the Ashley Madison premium features for free. They can initiate a conversation with anyone without paying. This is how Ashley Madison maintains a good percentage of women.

What Does Ashley Madison Cost?

Men have to pay to message women, everyone else gets access to the dating site’s features for free. This means if you’re a man looking for a man, a woman looking for a man, or a woman looking for a woman, you don’t have to pay a cent. Moreover, whereas rivals like Adult Friend Finder base their fees on monthly subscriptions, It goes down the route of credits that you purchase per package.

There are 3 packages on offer: 

membership price of ashley madison
  • Elite – 1,000 credits 
  • Classic – 500 credits
  • Basic – 100 credits 

How do Ashley Madison Credits work?

Credits get you access to different features, but some features require more credits than others. The Classic package gives you 500 credits to get me rolling. However, the credit system isn't simple. I found out that initiating an email costs five credits, which didn’t seem so bad at all. Opening a message also requires 5 credits. 

Of course, the more messages you send, the more credits you need. Honestly, though, this isn’t something to worry about as Ashley Madison isn’t the type of dating website where you’ll be messaging a million people. Moreover, you only need to use credits up once per person. In other words, if you start sending regular messages to someone, you won’t need to use more than your initial 5 credits. Gifts, meanwhile, can cost as much as 50 credits. 

Ashley Madison Features:

There are lots of features on Ashley Madison for you to take advantage of. Here are some of the best ones:

  • Favorites List 

One of the problems I’ve always had with dating sites is curating a list of women I might like to message. You know the type: You’re not sure whether you should message them or not but you’d like to be able to save their profile so that you can shoot them an email at a later date, should you wish. Ashley Madison allows you to do this via a Favourites List. You can add as many as 100 profiles to this list and it’s a completely free Ashley Madison feature to use (even for men). There’s also a blocked list, too, which helps you to separate the real profiles from the fake accounts as you go along. 

  • Private Photos

If you’re a premium, fully paid-up member, you get access to private photos. These are photos a man or woman sends to you that only you can see. They’re obviously more intimate than public photos, and they’re a great way to get close to someone on the site. Basically, they turn up the heat, which is exactly what you want. 

screenshot of ashleymadison Private Photos
  • Blurred Pics 

As mentioned earlier, you can upload blurred pics of yourself so that your partner (or anyone else who you don’t want to see you on AM) can see you. Your image will be blurred or you can add a face mask instead. Below is an example of a user who added a face mask to protect their identity:

screenshot of ashleymadison blurred  profile picture
  • Winks 

Anyone can send winks for free and they’re a pretty cool feature. A wink is basically a way of telling someone you’re interested in their profile, and you can see it on their page. Like this:

real female profile example 2

I’d suggest only using winks when you’re genuinely interested in a profile, as it could lead to you getting messaged by bot profiles if you’re not careful. Also, if you’re a man looking for a woman, you can only see the person who’s winked at you if you subscribe. 

sending Winks on ashley madison
  • Send Virtual Gifts

Gifts cost credits and some can cost as many as 50 credits. All gifts are, of course, virtual, but they’re a great way to let someone know you really like them and would possibly like to take this further. It’s really easy to send a gift. You just click on their profile and click the gift tab. Then, you need to select your virtual gift:

Send Gifts

They’re also a great way to start a conversation as you can include a message along with your gift. I sent gifts with and without messages and got way responses when I sent a message. 

  • Priority Man

It’s a real bummer when you’re on an online dating site with millions of other men who are – like you – fighting to get the attention of women. Or vice versa. You know you look good in your pics and your bio is ultra sexy. But no one is viewing your profile. It sucks. This is where – for men – Priority Man proves useful. You have to buy credits to get it, but it’s a feature that boosts your profile so that more ashley madison members see it. 

  • Travelling Man

If you’re the type of man who’s always traveling for work and loves nothing more than a hookup in a new city, the Travelling Man feature is well worth a closer look. Essentially, it lets you message 30 women in a city you’ll be visiting soon. You get a chance to chat to them and finesse them before landing in their area and – hopefully – meeting up. 

Travelling Man feature
Travelling Man feature 2

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Can You Message on Ashley Madison For Free Without Paying?

If you’re a man looking for a woman, you have to purchase credits to use Ashley Madison’s services. Women can send and receive messages for free. You can register for free but a lot of features are locked in free guest membership

About Will Titterington

Will is a writer, coach and life lover who enjoys helping people reach their potential. Will has plenty of experience with Online Dating. He loves to test different apps and sites and share his experience on DatingXP. He loves art, sports, connecting with new people from all over the world, and making people laugh.