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When it comes to casual hookups, I don’t need people from work, my neighbors or my aunt all up in my business. ESPECIALLY not my aunt. Heck, sometimes I don’t even need my friends to know what I’m up to.
So, when I heard of Ashley Madison and how touted it is for discreet affairs, I had to try it.
Head straight to Ashley Madison here
Usually, I’m not the one to leave reviews. But I’ll share my first-hand experience with all willing to listen/read. So, here’s my honest, no-BS Ashley Madison review you should read before joining the hookup site.
First Thoughts About AshleyMadison
The TikTokization of the new generations is a real thing, and we all have the attention span of a goldfish nowadays. So here’s the bottom line on the Ashley Madison app upfront for all of you skim readers out there.
- 100% free for women
- Enjoy the discretion features
- No ads on the free version
- No auto-renewal payments
- Good for couples
- Easy-to-use interface
- No free messages for men
- Expensive credit system
- More men than women
- 100% free for women
- May pay for messages via credits
- 100 credits—$49
- 500 credits—$149
- 1,000 credits—$249
Promotions and Overall Rating
The Ashley Madison app often offers all kinds of promo codes and coupons you can use to save a buck (or more). Here are some active promotions as of this time of writing:
- Free unlimited inbox messaging
- 50% off 1,000 credits
- Appear first in search results
- 20% off any purchase
Ashley Madison was founded in 2002 as a hookup site for MBA relationships (affairs), and it has been going strong ever since. Today, it counts over 80 million members, 32 million of those in the United States alone.
This did sound promising to me, and I was happy to discover that the user base is pretty vibrant and active, too. Now, I am not married, but I do appreciate some discretion when it comes to casual encounters, like many other unmarried people on the Ashley Madison app.
The site does have more men than women, which is a yay for me, but the male readers may not be as happy about it. But, hey, they say that competition builds character!
Another huuuge plus for me is that the site is 100% free for women.
Men, on the other hand, aren’t so lucky, and they have to pay for messages and other features through Ashley Madison’s credit system. Depending on how big of a player you are, it can get a bit pricey.
But, there’s a way around it—and a way to use the Ashley Madison app and hook up with gorgeous women for cheaper.
Overall, Ashley Madison is one of our top best hookup sites and here’s why:
A Detailed AshleyMadison Review—My Experience
All right, let’s waste no time and space and delve into my own experience with AshleyMadison.com.
Signing Up to Ashley Madison.com
Most Ashley Madison reviews agree that signing up for the site is pretty easy and straightforward, and that’s how I found it.
You need to provide the site with your basic information, like your age, marital status, what kind of hookup you’re up for, height, weight and location—all so you can get suggested local matches. You also get to choose your username and password.
The act of signing up for the Ashley Madison app itself is completely free, and you won’t need to insert your credit card information at this point. The site will, however, ask for your email. I used a separate account just so the Ashley Madison messages don’t come to my main one.
Though, Ashley Madison hasn’t spammed me much thus far.
All that was left was to spruce up my profile. I uploaded a body shot and chose to blur it for anonymity (you can do that). But you don’t have to upload a photo at all if you don’t want to.
I also added some stuff to better present myself, like my hobbies and interests. When you finish completing your profile with how many details you see fit, it’s off to the matches!
How Matching Works
Let’s just preface this by reiterating that I am a woman. If you are a woman living in a metropolitan area, you can expect your inbox to be swamped with messages and virtual gifts right off the bat.
Or you can head over to the “see your matches” button, and you’ll be presented with folks who are nearby (if you entered your location). You can also use the search function to find just the kind of matches you like.
I presume guys usually don’t get that many messages and gifts right away (unless they’re super hot or super rich), so as a man, you’d be subject to these devices.
Available Search Categories
No other hookup app can even come close to Ashley Madison when it comes to available search filters.
Now, some Ashley Madison reviews don’t like the number of categories available, but I would have to disagree. Hey, I like options! I love the fact you can find matches that fit your preferences and tick all your boxes.
It’s not like you have to fill them all out!
Besides the usual age and location, you can search based on potential matches’ stature and build, their ethnicity, marital status and what they’re looking for. Remember all that info you were asked to fill out?
Look how handy it comes in now that people can find you based on it.
Ashley Madison Features
Unlimited browsing—Unlike some other hookup sites, Ashley Madison doesn’t put a cap on how many profiles you can match with daily.
Winks—Winks work kinda like Facebook pokes used to back in the day—a subtle way to let someone know you noticed them. And they’re free for all!
Virtual gifts—You can send and receive gift cards from pretty much any place. Starbucks, Home Depot, Walmart, Best Buy—almost anything goes.
Video chat—Surprisingly, many hookup apps lack this entertaining and useful feature. Have some video fun, or use it to make sure the people you’re talking to are who they say they are and not a catfish.
Priority man—With six women for 10 men, the odds seem stacked against the male members. Paying for the Priority Man feature will significantly boost your profile and chances of getting laid.
Private photos—Paying members get to make their steamy photos private and can see others’ private photos, too.
Blurred pics—You can also choose to blur your photo for maximum discretion.
Favorites list—This feature will let you stack up a list of 100 hottest profiles you can always return to when in hunting mode. It is completely free for all members to use.
Disappearing chat—The disappearing chat feature is a favorite among the attached folks as it clears all your messages.
Inconspicuous app icon—This is another favorite among the married and taken crowd—the Ashley Madison app on your phone can be disguised as a completely different app, so no one knows you’re on the site.
Travel feature—Allows you to share your travel plans with up to 30 folks who live in the area you’re visiting. You get to finesse them before you get there. Great for traveling business people!
Panic button—Last but certainly not least, the panic button allows you to exit the hookup app ASAP when in a pickle.
Ashley Madison Mobile App
You can download the Ashley Madison app on both Apple and Android devices. The mere downloading is free, and then later, you can decide if and how much you want to pay for it.
There are over 43K Ashley Madison reviews on the App Store, and the hookup app holds an impressive 4 out of 5 stars rating. It’s the most popular hookup app on the App Store.
When it comes to Google Play, the situation is slightly different. There are “only” around 15K Ashley Madison reviews, and the overall rating of the app sits at 3 out of 5 stars.
Safety and Security
Many people heard of Ashley Madison’s security breach that happened back in 2015 when members’ data was released online. That was unfortunate, to say the least, especially for the married folks on the site.
But the company soldiered through and fixed the mistake in its security system. So much so that Ashley Madison is now considered one of the safest hookup apps.
More power to them!
What You Get With the Free Version
Ashley Madison is very much a pay-to-play kind of hookup app unless you’re a woman seeking men. We get it all for free.
I know, I know—it’s not fair. But it’s also the reason why you can meet and hook up with real women on Ashley Madison and not send messages to bots.
Men got the shorter stick when it comes to what they can do for free. Basically, they can browse to their hearts’ desires and wink. That’s about it. If men want to interact with other Ashley Madison users, they have to pay through the site’s credit system.
What You Get With the Premium Version
The premium version is where it’s at. For each of Ashley Madison’s features, you would have to pay separately, through the site’s credit system. There’s no option to pay a monthly fee and then get access to all.
Premium users on Ashley Madison get access to the following:
- Video chat
- Access to private photos
- Ability to blur photos
- Boost their profile
Why the Premium Version’s Worth It
Simply put—the premium version is worth it because the free version sucks for men. There, I said it. If you’re not willing to pay for a hookup app, and you’re a man, Ashley Madison is definitely not for you.
But if you are, you will find that the app has tons of attractive women and men who are down for some discreet pleasure. You’ll also find that the app itself is bustling with activity.
Most importantly—it works.
Payment and Billing
The “bad and ugly” part of Ashley Madison is its credit payment system. Now, I am a woman, which means I get all the features for free, just like all other women. That’s great for us.
But chatting can get kind of expensive for men.
For example, one message will set you back nine credits or14 if you want to skip all other messages in a woman’s inbox and climb to the top. That’s without even knowing if she will respond, much less want to hook up.
The only way around it is to hunt for AM promotions and try to switch the convo to social media when you feel confident enough.
When it comes to billing, there’s not much to worry about, and Ashley Madison gets a huge plus on that one. True to its affairs site reputation, Ashley Madison’s billing is anonymous.
But there’s a catch. The number is traceable in a way. If you type it into Google, you can find forums and support lines for the Ashley Madison app. So, there’s that.
Ashley Madison Reviews From AshleyMadison.Com Users
Enough with what I have to say—let’s see what other folks have said through their Ashley Madison reviews online.
TL;DR: People are mostly happy with the app itself. What they do complain about is the cost of using it.
Top Ashley Madison Alternatives & How They Compare
The online dating sites industry is valued at around 9 billion dollars, and that’s a whole lot of competition for Ashley Madison. So, let’s see how it fairs with some of its biggest competitors.
AshleyMadison vs. AdultFriendFinder
AdultFriendFinder is another great hookup app for one-night stands. Much like Ashley Madison, it’s a pay-to-play app that won’t let you message for free. The difference is that with an AdultFriendFinder review, you pay through monthly subscriptions.
It’s also great for couples looking for unicorns, swingers and group sex.
AdultFriendFinder is not as discreet as Ashley Madison, so it’s a poorer choice for married folks looking for MBA hookups or those with sensitive jobs.
Visit Ashley Madison directly by clicking here
AshleyMadison vs. SearchingForSingles
SearchingForSingles is another one of the leading hookup apps. It’s easy to use and more affordable than Ashley Madison. It runs on both credits and monthly subscriptions.
However, the user base is four times smaller, and there’s no one to report fake profiles to, whereas Ashley Madison tackles those issues quickly.
SearchingForSingles is a great choice for boomers, Luddites and those who simply need an option for occasional hookups. Ashley Madison is more suitable for more serious hookup app users.
AshleyMadison vs. NoStringsAttached
NoStringsAttached also requires you to pay in order to fully use its services, messages included. It is more affordable than Ashley Madison as it is a subscription-based dating site.
But it doesn’t have a mobile phone app, which may be inconvenient for those who travel a lot or are in a relationship/marriage.
It also has fewer people on it.
AshleyMadison vs. Alt.com
Alt.com is your local BDSM community’s go-to place and where you want to be if you’re into pleasure through pain. It’s a small but theme-centric hookup app. You’d also need to subscribe to be able to use it functionally.
However, you do get free video chat and the option to watch live streams by members and professional cam performers.
AshleyMadison vs. Victoria Milan
Victoria Milan is like an exclusive club among hookup apps. The membership is expensive, and the members are high-quality.
Similar to Ashley Madison, it also boasts lots of features that guarantee anonymity and discretion. The difference is that Ashley Madison is more popular and has many more members.
Ashley Madison Reviews FAQs
Is Ashley Madison a Good Hookup App?
Yes, Ashley Madison is a good hookup app with lots of features, options and users. In fact, it’s one of the best hookup apps for discreet encounters.
Is Ashley Madison Legit?
Yes, Ashley Madison is legit. It’s a real hookup app with real folks.
Does Ashley Madison Work in 2023?
Ashley Madison works in 2023 just as it worked in the years before. It’s the place where people go for MBA relationships and discreet encounters. I, personally, have already found some great matches and had a couple of meetups.
How Much Does Ashley Madison Cost?
Ashley Madison is completely free for women, while men pay through the credit system.
You use these credits to pay for messages and other features. How much it will cost you a month depends on how much you use the features.
How Can You Use Ashley Madison for Free?
You can use Ashley Madison for free if you are a woman. If not, you can also use the free version, but you won’t be able to message.
There’s no way to message for free on Ashley Madison if you’re a man. At best, you can be on the lookout for promos and save a buck.
Is Ashley Madison Worth the Money?
Ashley Madison is worth the money, in my opinion. If you’re looking for a legit hookup app with real profiles and high-quality users, and you’re willing to pay the price for that, you’ll be very happy with Ashley Madison.
How Can I Send Messages on Ashley Madison Without Paying?
You can send messages on Ashley Madison without paying if you’re a woman seeking men. If not, you won’t be able to message without paying. The best you can do is hunt promos so you can pay less. Or switch the convo to social media after you’ve built a rapport.
My Final Verdict—Ashley Madison Review 2023
So, what’s the bottom line on Ashley Madison? Should you use it? I liked it! I find it to have an active (and attractive) user base, advanced features and search options and best-in-class security.
Most importantly—it works.
It does come with a price, though, if you’re a man. That’s why I recommend you download the free version to get a feel for it. See if you like the site and the crowd at first glance and figure out if it’s worth paying for.
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