Ashley Madison is a dating site with a bit of a twist. Rather than trying to match people who are looking for a long-term relationship, it brings together individuals in existing relationships, who are looking to have an affair.
Leaving aside any questions around the morality of this model, it has undoubtedly been successful. The website had 45 million registered users in 2018, meaning that you have a vast pool of potential matches.
Ashley Madison hit the headlines back in 2015, in one of the earliest widely publicised examples of a data breach; its full membership list was exposed.
The company has since taken measures to step up its security efforts and now claims to be one of the safest and most discreet dating websites in operation.
How Does Ashley Madison Work?
Registering for an account is simple. You just enter a few details to register, then provide a little information on your interests, and you'll be able to see your matches.
Straight men and women are expected to be in a relationship to sign-up to Ashley Madison, but there is no such requirement for those seeking to date their own gender.
The list of matches of anyone living in a remotely major city will be shown upon signing up; it will be huge, and can feel a little overwhelming at first.
Depending on the offer available when you sign up, you'll be given a certain number of credits so you can start messaging people. Once these have run out, you'll have to pay to keep sending or receiving messages, so use them wisely.
Prices on Ashley Madison are relatively high, and the website clearly targets an elite market. Credits cost around €0.50 each, depending on the quantity in which you buy them, meaning that sending messages can quickly get expensive.
The cost of credits encourages users to take relationships offline, or to other messaging platforms, quickly, but this can make it difficult to talk to lots of potential matches before you settle on one person.
Profiles and Messages
Once your profile is uploaded, you'll be able to see who has viewed it (if you have enough credits) and receive anonymous feedback on the quality of your profile. This feedback can be useful if you're looking to improve your visibility and attract a particular type of visitor.
Men clearly outnumber women on the site, and male profiles are encouraged to use additional credits to send a Priority Message to the woman they are interested in, which will land at the top of her inbox, and get more attention than messages received from others.
If you're travelling, you also have the option to enter travel plans in advance so you can talk to people in your destination. This also means that you won't waste credits receiving messages from people back home while you're away.
Huge membership base; there are sure to be other users in your area
Safe, secure and discreet website
Deleting Your Profile from Ashley Madison
Removing a profile from Ashley Madison is straightforward, and, following the earlier data breach, the company is clear that deleting a profile removes all of your personal information from their systems.
To delete your profile, just visit the Manage Profile section and click on the 'Delete Profile' button. This will remove your profile and all of your personal information from the Ashley Madison servers. If you want to open a new account again, you'll have to sign up from scratch.
If you don't want to do that, you also have the option of deactivating your profile. This will stop you from showing up on the website, but will not remove your data from the servers, making it easy to come back at a later date if you wish to.
Ashley Madison is a specialist site whose user base is its main attraction. It can get expensive fast and clearly isn't for everyone. However, if you are looking for this type of relationship, it’s well worth dipping your toe in the water.