Open relationships

I’m a Married Woman. Here’s Why I Highly Recommend Ashley Madison

Published: SEPTEMBER 14, 2023
Ashley Madison can be a lot of fun for women simply looking for attention and a confidence boost. If you can stomach what everyone's there for.

Have you just returned to the dating scene? Are you single and lonely but can’t stand the thought of going to an actual adult event to meet people in person? Are you feeling a little down about getting older? Bored in your marriage but don’t want to hurt your partner? In the mood for a giant boost in self-esteem?


If any of these are true, you might benefit from spending some time on Ashley Madison. Yes, that Ashley Madison.

Ashley Madison? What’s that?

I remember the day I first became aware of Ashley Madison after seeing their slogan “Life is Short, Have an Affair. AM” on the side of a truck. I made a mental note to look it up later, thinking “AM” had to be some kind of pun or reference. Surely no business was advertising a service that would help people have extramarital affairs?

Indeed, that’s precisely what Ashley Madison does. It provides a place for its married or attached client base (29% female, the rest men-seeking-women) to find married or attached partners to cheat with. According to data released by Ashley Madison in 2020, almost half a million new accounts were being created every month. By a wide margin, the United States has the most Ashley Madison users, with nearly twice the next country by user numbers: Brazil.


Why Ashley Madison?

I’m happily married and not really looking to shag other dudes. So, why go on AM? Believe me, my husband had the same question. When I chose to pair up for life in 1999, texting was barely a thing. You had to hit a button FOUR times just to make a letter "S." There were no smartphones and no apps. This whole world of app-related dating and courtship happened and I missed the whole thing. I wanted to get in there and explore.

This whole world of app-related dating and courtship happened and I missed the whole thing. I wanted to get in there and explore.

I had a feeling the whole thing would be fun, I’d meet some cool people (virtually, not in person) and get a little flirty, or whatever. As a former phone sex operator, I figured I’d do OK in the sexy texting game.


What I was not expecting was the incredible boost in self-esteem I got from being sought after by strangers. A lot. Not scrubs either. Wildly-intelligent men with nice faces and interesting personalities ... and wives.

I thought it might be fun to armchair shrink cheating dudes to see if I could therapize them into stopping. I don’t think I had any success in this. But it was really fun trying.

I didn’t expect to find men on their best behaviors interpersonally, but they were, for the most part. I suspect because on Ashley Madison men pay out of pocket for every message they send to women.


Read: Ethical Non-Monogamy and Trust: How to Make It Work

Signing Up

Think you might want to give Ashley Madison a try? Start by creating a profile. You don’t have to be yourself. Or you can be a different version of yourself. My name is memorable and weird, so I didn’t use it. I used real photos of myself, but cropped them so as not to be recognizable. Ashley Madison also allows photos to be blurred slightly, blurred a lot, or blurred to the point of uselessness. Show as much or as little as you want to.

Unless you’re interested in eventual in-person meetups, women can sign up to AM as a completely invented character. That said, I’m not suggesting that anyone commit fraud. As a former phone sex gal, I’m recalling the phrase “For entertainment purposes only.” And honestly, how bad should we feel if we mislead someone who is paying money in a concerted effort to cheat on his wife?


Wait ... why would you want to talk to cheaters?

OK, that’s a fair point. If you’re seeking a long-term relationship based on mutual affection and trust, I do not recommend Ashley Madison for that purpose. I went in with the idea that other people’s relationships were none of my business. My profile listed me as “cyber only,” which meant no meet-ups. I was routinely asked for meetups all the same. No one got angry when I repeatedly said no.

Ashley Madison provides stealth options for their app that allow you to disguise their logo in several ways, and to create your own custom notifications. They’re meant to keep spouses from knowing users are on a cheating app; I used them to crack myself up. My husband and I both giggled at notifications saying things like “thirsty randos in your area” or “why don’t we do it in the road?”

If the very idea of a couple having an open marriage or one partner stepping out another offends you, Ashley Madison may not be your cup of tea. Some of these self-esteem-boosts can happen on any number of dating sites. However...


Ashley Madison Is Safer for Women Than Many Other Dating Sites

Why is it safer? Because as women, we’re not required to include any personal information we don’t want to share. Not our name, city, actual picture, description, or anything else about our lives that we aren’t absolutely comfortable putting on the site.

Men, on the other hand, have to provide (but not necessarily share) their name, billing address and payment information. So, if anything untoward happened, AM is in possession of the information needed to find the offender.

I also assumed my advertisements on social would suddenly skew toward bondage gear and sex toys due to the convos I was having. But there was no noticeable change. I can’t confirm, but that could mean AM isn’t selling your convos for data harvesting.

So .. what did you do on Ashley Madison?

Honestly, once you set up an account, even without a picture, you can expect interested men to start messaging you immediately. I heard from at least a dozen men in the first five hours.

What you do with those opportunities is entirely up to you. Some suggestions:

  • Bask in the attention without ever responding to anyone.
  • Look at the pics and info and respond to anyone who appeals.
  • Feel free to reject or pass by anyone for whatever reasons you like. Unlike in real life, you aren’t obligated to continue a conversation you don’t love due to safety, politeness, or awkwardness.
  • Explore sexual or romantic fantasies. I have a few quirky kinks I’d love to explore, and chatting is a great way to go about it. I have my husband’s permission for this. You may or may not want to get yours.
  • Bring the sass. AM provides opportunities to be a dominatrix, a naughty (but legally adult) schoolgirl, a sexy librarian, a randy divorcee, or the hottest MILF in town. You can explore anything - just put it in your profile and I promise someone will be into it. I met two guys who let me cyber top them within an hour. I’d by lying if I tried to say it wasn’t awesome.
  • Check out profiles for men (AM offers men for women, women for men, and women for women listings - presumably because gay dudes have better places to be). Approach or reject anyone you want for whatever reasons you decide, even petty ones. Only want green-eyed men over six feet who love dogs and hate sports? They exist.
  • Toss out anyone who gives you bad vibes. That can mean an unkind comment, an unsolicited nude photo, badgering you to meet or exchange personal info, etc. Sometimes simply extricating yourself from a bad conversation can feel marvelously empowering, especially if you’re not used to it.

After a few fun conversations and your phone blowing up every day like it’s your birthday, you may find that you can take or leave Ashley Madison. Or you may find that it’s a riotous blast to have all the fun of meeting and chatting up new people without ever having to wear makeup, put on a bra, spend a dime, or go out.

After a few fun conversations and your phone blowing up every day like it’s your birthday, you may find that you can take or leave Ashley Madison

Read: Swinging Isn't Cheating But Swingers Can Still Cheat. Here's How

Are there any downsides?

Yes, a few.

While there are single men on AM, most of the users are indeed looking to step outside their current relationship - often without their partner knowing or agreeing. Many claim to be in loveless or sexless marriages. Maybe that’s true, maybe not. But you’ll want to go into any AM adventure with the mindset that their relationship is neither your circus, nor your monkeys.

AM’s policies allow them to suspend your account for no clear reason. If this happens, you can petition to be reinstated. This happened to me after a few days. It sucked because not only did I know I hadn’t violated the terms of service, but every person I’d been talking to thought I either blocked them or deleted our chats without a word. That was a bummer.

That may also mean that because we aren’t paying, AM isn’t as concerned with customer satisfaction for their female users.

If you aren’t into looking at photos of random penises, Ashley Madison doesn’t make that their problem. My profile specifically states that I do not wish to see anyone’s wang, that I won’t be impressed by it and that I may think less of anyone who thinks that’s their best quality. Still, I’ve seen more unrequested peen during my month on AM than I did during my entire dating career (age 16 to 29). It was all just as unimpressive and absurd as I anticipated. But if you enjoy looking at random guys' junk, you’ll definitely feel like a kid on Christmas.

My profile specifically states that I do not wish to see anyone’s wang, that I won’t be impressed by it and that I may think less of anyone who thinks that’s their best quality. Still, I’ve seen more unrequested peen during my month on AM than I did during my entire dating career.

Anything else I should know?

I had a swell time on Ashley Madison. Plenty of great conversation, some fun cyber sex, and zero in-person meetups. I used real photos, but did not use my rather memorable name. I was not entirely truthful about my age, or weight, (thought I promise the numbers I gave were true at other points of my life).

It all felt a little deceitful, to be honest. But honestly, how obligated should I feel to be forthcoming with a dude who is spending money to find opportunities to cheat on their partner?

Wednesday Lee Friday

Wednesday Lee Friday is an eclectic writer of fact and fiction. She has worked as a reptile wrangler, phone sex operator, radio personality, concierge, editor, fast food manager, horror novelist, and she owns a soap shop. She prefers jobs that let her sleep during the day. Everybody knows all the best art and literature happen at night! Wednesday's work has appeared in Women's Health Interactive, Alternet, Screen Rant, The Roots of Loneliness Project and Authority...

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