Writing an Ashley Madison review requires a slightly different approach than most dating sites; after all, Ashley Madison is, quite openly, no average dating site. There’s no dancing around it: the rumours are true. This is a site designed entirely for soliciting risqué sexual encounters with like-minded individuals; predominantly, extra-marital affairs. If you’ve not heard of the site, and are perusing the review section of Weekly Dating Insider to figure out which dating site is the best for finding love, you are reading the wrong review, friend. Ashley Madison offers many things, but love is not one.
The site got into hot water a couple of years ago for its approach to love and dating, which is summarized in the site’s tagline, “Life is short. Have an affair”. Ashley Madison is unapologetic; it knows its audience and, damn everybody else, it gives them what they want.
So then, despite the fact that Weekly Dating Insider seeks primarily to guide singles to the best sites for loving, healthy relationships, in the interests of catering to singles who are seeking something more elicit, we have taken a look at the notorious adult dating site.
Usually in our reviews the issue of security doesn’t warrant its own sub-section, but for our Ashley Madison review we decided that this was quite a central issue. If you’ve been anywhere near the news in the past couple of years, chances are you’ll have heard of the leak that occurred in 2015, where hackers leaked the names of over 30 million Ashley Madison users. This was obviously a catastrophic blow for the site, given that the whole thing pretty much… revolves around… cheating.
Presently, the site uses security that is standard across the adult dating site industry: firewalls, encryption via SSL, and secure encryption of any sensitive data. In addition, the site doesn’t require members to submit their real names or addresses, and keeps no records on its server.
For the next part of our Ashley Madison review, we had a roam around the site. Navigating the website is easy and fun; everything is laid out in a way that is both intuitive and appealing. The menus are simple enough – manage your profile, view other profiles and so on. One particularly interesting feature is that members are able to leave feedback on other profiles based on different criteria – so if you’ve been a crushing bore on a date, expect it to be reflected on your profile. This seems a novel way to encourage members to behave themselves.
Profiles and membership
Finally, what Ashley Madison review would be complete without putting its members under the microscope? When signing up, users fill in the usual information – such as gender and sexuality – and then their relationship status, and what they are looking for. This can range from “Kinky Fun” and “Seeking a Sugar Baby” to “Hopeless Romantic” – although if you don’t fall into any of the listed categories, you can write your own desires, too.
The membership is huge – upwards of 50 million, according to the website’s homepage. Obviously, the benefit of such an enormous collection of members is that there is endless potential for new encounters. The flipside of this is that many of these encounters are not necessarily desirable – scammers are frequent on the site, and so it’s important to browse with a healthy cynicism. That said, there are certainly genuine profiles on the site too, all searching for that one perfect affair.
Psychologist and family counsellor, I'm an expert at relationships and helping others building strong connections.