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Ashley Madison

Who and What Is Ashley Madison?

Ashley Madison is one of the most infamous dating sites on the web. It was founded in 2002 by Darren J. Morgenstern. It was founded for patrons who either seek to find a partner for an extra-marital affair, or for those who seek to participate in an extra-marital affair.

The difference is: Those seeking an affair are married or life-partnered. Those seeking to participate in such arrangements are usually single.

The reason why Ashley Madison is named as such is simply because these are two of the most popular feminine names in North America. Although the company was founded in North America (Canada, to be exact), the service and the brand are available internationally.

Despite the controversial nature of this dating site, it’s still going strong, and there’s no lack of patrons who desire to join the platform, sealing their membership with a paid account so that they can connect and meet with their prospective illicit lover.

As of recently, the Ashley Madison brand has expanded into mail order bride services. Mail order bride services entails women from developing countries who seek a romantic partner who can also provide a better lifestyle for themselves and their families.

The prospective husbands are men who, for a variety of reasons, can’t find brides in their home countries, so they seek women who are physical beautiful, are usually of child-bearing age, and are willing to provide what would be considered to be old-fashioned wifely duties to her new husband. In exchange, the prospective husbands understand that it’s his duty to provide safety and financial support to his new bride and her extended family.

Ashley Madison was and is still headquartered in Toronto, Canada. However, the platform boasts memberships in more than 50 countries. It also boasts an international membership base of over 60 million people.

The regions where Ashley Madison can be obtained are: North and South America, Eastern and Western Europe, Oceania, South Africa, East, Southeast, and South Asia, The Middle East, and North Africa. There are countries and regions that have, for religious or moral reasons, blocked the Ashley Madison website, along with its usage.

There have been incidents where use of and membership with the site are legally allowed, but advertising sponsorship from the company is either frowned upon or outright denied. The reasons are usually due to the immoral perception that follows the Ashley Madison brand. But although corporate association with the brand is frowned upon, many countries legally allow participation on the site.

Members will find that the quantity of male members usually outnumber the quantity of female members. This is due to a few factors:

  • 1. Men are encouraged to be the initiators, both on the site and within society at large.
  • 2. It’s extremely taboo for women to initiate extra-marital affairs. Therefore, less women are willing to take the risk, for fear of retribution and personal loss.
  • 3. There are less single, viable women who openly seek affairs with married men. It’s a lot easier and socially acceptable for single, viable women.

This said, many of the male members enjoy the gender disparity because they inherently enjoy competing for the affections of a woman. Attempting to capture the attention and the affection of highly-competitive women adds to the thrill of seeking an illicit affair.

Membership costs

Unlike typical dating sites that charge their members based upon the monthly subscription model, Ashley Madison charges membership fees based upon the level of usage the prospective members wants to engage in.

The new member, after creating an account, must purchase a credits in order to initiate with a woman and continue to engage in the site. Once a woman answers the message back, then continued conversation between the two are free. However, if the men wants to initiate with a new prospective woman, then he’ll need to either use his purchased credits, or he’ll need to purchase a new package of credits.

It’s important to know that members are charged a $19 fee for deleting their accounts. Even if the account was created without the end-user’s knowledge or consent, they’ll still need to buy their way of the membership. However, if the end-user simply wishes to take a break from the site by hiding their account, then they can do so for free. They should note that hiding their profile does not remove their account from the site.

Privacy concerns

Due to the controversial nature of the site, many prospective and current members are hyper-concerned about privacy. They don’t want others to know that they are Ashley Madison members who are seeking out companionship.

The servers for the site are located in Toronto, Canada. However, this has not stopped hackers from obtaining and exploiting end-user information, such as what was experienced in 2015.

During this hacker-violation, sensitive data such as email addresses, physical addresses, and dates of birth were revealed to the general public. Since then, Ashley Madison has taken steps such as procuring the services of Deloitte cyber security. The company has also procured the services of payment processors Paysafe, Netseller, and Skrill.

With this said, since the site attracts a great deal of notorious attention, end-users should be mindful of the type of material they share with the site. Although the company offers a permanent delete feature for a fee (a feature that permanently erases all end-user information), the previous hacks have proved that no information is truly safe from exploitation.

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