AshleyMadison is one of those dating sites that raises eyebrows without having to say anything other than its name. No company has made its claim to fame with cheating as Ashley Madison has.
You might be wondering how could a dating site that’s supposed to be all about cheating become so famous? Well, the truth is, there are many unhappy people in marriages. Not only are there unhappy people in marriages, but some married people want to spice things up.
There are a million reasons why someone might seek companionship outside of their marriage, and there’s no one reason why it happens. Both men and women find themselves seeking someone else’s attention during a relationship, and that’s where Ashley Madison comes in.
No one who joins Ashley Madison does so without expressly understanding what they’re getting into. The men and women fully understand that there’s some hanky panky going on, and usually, it’s on the side.
Some women fantasize about being the other woman or like the attention married men give them. Likewise, some younger guys enjoy how a cougar spoils them, and they might go to Ashley Madison to find such a woman.
Usually, at least one of the people in the relationship spurred by Ashley Madison is married, but it’s not always the case where both people are. As mentioned, a woman may be looking for a sugar daddy, or a guy could be a cub searching for a cougar to take care of him.
The relationships at Ashley Madison are surprisingly honest and usually based on a mutual desire to have a little fun. Sure, it might be unconventional, but in today’s world, almost everything that happens cuts across the grain in some way.
Is Ashley Madison Legit?
It’s easy to understand why some would think that Ashley Madison is a scam. After all, wouldn’t it be easy to scam people looking to cheat on their spouse? The short answer to that question is no. Ashley Madison isn’t a scam.
Why would Ashley Madison scam its users? Think about it: Ashley Madison wouldn’t have a business if it weren’t for the users or customers. If married people aren’t hooking up at this site, no one will use it.
You should also know that Ashley Madison is more than just a site for cheaters today. Many people from all walks of life successfully use Ashley Madison as a dating site. A good example would be swingers who use Ashley Madison to find singles and couples to swing with.
The user base of Ashley Madison has grown and become far more complex in recent years than it was when the dating site started back in 2002. However, the main focus is still and will always be a place for people to find extramarital affairs. That’s never going to change, no matter how many people who live alternative lifestyles join the site.
Who Makes up AshleyMadison’s User Base?
As we mentioned earlier, AshleyMadison’s user base has been expanding outside of what it traditionally was in the early 2000s. But who exactly are the users of Ashley Madison? Well, it seems there’s great debate around that. The reason for that can be linked to their past scandals and the changing demographics of those who sign up for the site.
Generally, the site is predominately made up of males aged 20 to 50. It makes sense because in the past and currently, Ashley Madison focuses much of their advertising money on this age group. Men who are looking to have an affair tend to do it around this age, and they are the ones who are more likely to sign up for a dating website and pay to use it.
The question has always remained about the number of women on the site. As you know, Ashley Madison did have a reputation in the past for having some female accounts that were bots. If the truth were to be told, Ashley Madison isn’t the only dating site that has had troubles with this. Almost every dating site has had issues with bots pretending to be women, and there’s been a considerable effort to keep the public unaware of this problem.
As any Ashley Madison user will tell you, there are women on the dating site. The ratio of men to women isn’t made public, but as with most dating sites, men usually outnumber women by at least 10 to 20 percent. It wouldn’t be surprising if Ashley Madison’s figures were like those or perhaps a little higher.
Since Ashley Madison has branched out into relationships other than affairs, the platform is increasingly used by singles seeking non-traditional relationships, couples exploring polyamory, and even individuals looking for emotional connections without physical intimacy. Yes, some guys seem to have emotional connections without sex and anything else, and they come to Ashley Madison to make it happen. The married guys who seek companionship might not want to cheat on their spouse, but they want emotional support from a woman they’re not getting from their wife.
How does Ashley Madison Potect User’s Privacy?
Let’s be honest: Ashley Madison was hacked back in 2015. No one knows all these years later who did it. Some say it was a disgruntled employee, while others point the finger at groups who may oppose spouses cheating on each other. Considering how devastating it was for the people behind the data breach, it isn’t all that important.
So, how is Ashley Madison protecting its users today? The most critical line of defense is data encryption. Ashley Madison uses robust encryption algorithms to protect user data both in transit and at rest. This means that all communications between your device and its servers are encrypted, making it extremely difficult for third parties to intercept or decipher the information.
What does all that jargon mean? It means that the information you send to Ashley Madison and the information they send back to you is encrypted. Does that protect you against a security breach like they previously suffered? No. However, it does protect you against hackers who may be sniffing their network for information.
Ashley Madison has a neat feature that allows you to blur your picture. That means no one can see your profile pictures unless you give them permission. The thought is that if someone who knows you is scrolling through Ashley Madison, they won’t recognize it’s you because your picture will be too blurry for them to see.
Encryption is good, but there is no way to guarantee that another hack will never happen. It’s happened once, and who knows if it will ever happen again. It’s the risk you take when joining any dating site, not only Ashley Madison.
How to Join Ashley Madison
The process of joining Ashley Madison is actually pretty simple. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a PC, iPhone, or Android device; the process is still the same. It’s super easy to join Ashley Madison and will take you less than five minutes.
The first thing you need to do is choose a username. You’ll need to remember that people will be able to see your username. It’s probably not a good idea to use your first and last name as your username. You’ll want to avoid using your real name in your username if you’re seeking an extramarital affair.
You’ll also need to choose a password. The entire process is pretty much like everything else you do online. Choose a password you’ll remember, or use a password manager so you don’t forget your password.
You’ll need to tell Ashley Madison where you’re from and also your height and weight. Along with all of that information, you’ll also need to include a one-liner and a brief description of yourself. It’s best to keep everything brief because you don’t want to bore anyone and have a limited amount of space to work with.
It’s important to note that you can upload a picture of yourself, but you don’t have to. Ashley Madison allows you to add a picture to your profile or leave that part blank. You can also blur your picture so people can’t see it. You’ll understand what blurring the picture means after you look at a couple of profiles and see a few blurry photos.
User Experience and Interface
The first thing you’ll notice is that Ashley Madison has a very easy-to-use layout. You are immediately greeted by large thumbnails of potential matches in your area. The pictures are big enough that you don’t have to tap on them to see a full-size picture. That’s nice because you get to see what the person looks like without having to do any extra work.
Everything is laid out in a way that’s easy to understand. You’ll see the Buy Credits button on the top right. Next to it are Profile, Discover, and Messages. That’s pretty much it. The Profile button takes you to your profile. Discover takes you to where you can search for matches and messages, as well as your messages.
If you click Discover and then click on the little icon, you can perform an advanced search. The best thing about the advanced search is that you can look for people who have been online in the past 24 to 48 hours. It’s useless to perform a search only to find someone hasn’t logged into their account in several months.
Ashley Madison has one of the cleanest and least cluttered interfaces of any dating site. If you can’t navigate your way around this place, you might as well hang it up. It’s literally pointing at what you want and tapping or clicking. It’s so easy to find someone to cheat on your spouse at Ashley Madison; even a monkey could do it.
What Can You do with a Free Account?
A free Ashley Madison account will enable you to create a profile. You will be able to search other profiles, but your ability to perform advanced searches is limited. You can send winks, which is a way of letting people know you’re interested in them, but you can’t send a message to someone.
You are able to see private pictures, but you need to get permission. You might be able first to send a wink and then message the person back if they reply and ask them to allow you to see their pictures. You won’t be able to directly ask them right away.
You can also add people to your Favorite’s List. The Favorite’s list can come in handy if you want to send winks to people later but remember you can’t send messages to them unless they respond to your wink if you have a free account.
So, as you can see, you do get quite a bit of features with a free account, but you’ll probably want to upgrade to a paid account to get the most out of Ashley Madison.
What do You Get with a Paid Account?
As mentioned above, you can send and receive messages to anyone. You’re able to initiate a conversation by sending the first message. You can’t do that with a free account. You also get access to advanced search features that enable you to zero in on exactly the person that you’re looking for.
The live chat feature is pretty nice. It’s like a chatroom but only for those with premium accounts. You can’t use the live chat feature without a free account. The chat is available 24/7; you can use it as much or as little as you like.
The Traveling Man/Woman feature lets you tell Ashley Madison that you will be in a different city, and it will try to find matches for you. If you’re a business person who is constantly on the go, it’s a great tool for you to find casual encounters while you’re on the road. It’s also a nice tool for swingers who might be taking a vacation and want to hook up with other swingers while they’re away.
You can send virtual gifts if you have a paid account. How useful are the virtual gifts? Well, some would call them tacky, but it’s a nice way to get noticed. You have to use any tool you can these days to try to get a little action.
Quick Reply is another interesting feature. It allows you to use a template when responding to people. This can be a useful feature if you’re a woman who’s getting bombarded with messages. However, you’ll want to use this sparingly because if the messages sound too canned, you could turn away potential matches.
Plans and Pricing
AshleyMadison uses a credit-based system to upgrade your account. Credits are best for those who aren’t sure how much they’re going to use Ashley Madison. You can buy credits and use them whenever you want. The credit system at Ashley Madison makes the entire process pay-as-you-go. You can use Ashley Madison as long as you have credits, and when you don’t, your account reverts back to a free account.
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Safety Measures Post-hack
Ashley Madison has implemented things such as two-factor authentication, and they now use several layers of safety protocols. Does that mean that they can never be hacked again? No. Does it mean they’ll get hacked right away? No one knows.
If you’re worried about getting caught cheating, you probably shouldn’t be cheating in the first place. Ashley Madison offers very discreet billing, and your spouse will never know you joined Ashley Madison. The famous Ashley Madison won’t be plastered over your credit card or PayPal statement. However, if someone wants to leak the information out bad enough, it’s pretty difficult to stop them.
Let’s be clear: Ashley Madison has gotten a bad rap because of the hack. Any dating site out there could’ve faced the same thing if they were hacked. The only difference between Ashley Madison and other dating sites is that they were hacked. There are plenty of married people on other dating sites who are cheating. The difference is Ashley Madison has designed with cheaters in mind, and the other dating sites aren’t so open about it.
So, if you’re on the fence, just remember any dating site can get hacked. It doesn’t matter how big or how small the dating site is; if someone wants to hack into it bad enough, they’ll do it. Ashley Madison was unlucky, and so were their customers. There’s not much anyone can do to prevent such a hack, but rest assured, Ashley Madison is doing their very best to make it less likely to happen in the future.
Ashley Madison provides a great service to those who want to step outside their marriage or live an alternative lifestyle. Sure, they’ve had some bumps in the road, but that’s a risk any online business takes.
Should you join Ashley Madison? The answer to that question depends on where you are at in your life. Ashley Madison is a fantastic choice if you’re a swinger or a couple who wants to find other singles and couples.
Ashley Madison is also a great choice for businesspeople who want to form casual encounters while on the road. If you travel a lot, you already know how difficult it can be to find people to hook up with while you’re away from home. Ashley Madison simplifies the process and makes it really easy for anyone on the go to hook up for casual sex.
If you’re looking for a little action on the side and you’re married, Ashley Madison is still the number one place to go. No one there, no matter who they are, thinks they’re getting involved in anything other than what’s about to go down. People join Ashley Madison because they want to enjoy unconventional relationships, and that’s what you should expect to encounter when you use their service.
So, in the end, Ashley Madison is what you want it to be. If you put forth the effort to mingle a little, the type of relationships you can have are limitless. Just remember to always be careful and try your best to keep things discreet. The platform offers various privacy features to help you maintain your anonymity, but it’s also on you to be cautious. Whether you’re looking for a one-time fling or a long-term affair, Ashley Madison provides the tools you need to make it happen.
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