Update: 01/06/2015 – We no longer recommend Illicit Encounters due to a lot of dubious behaviour on the site and a number of complaints that we have received. If you are looking for an affair or a dirty encounter, then we would recommend match.com. Although not strictly an affairs website, there are plenty of people looking for no strings attached fun. It’s also much cheaper than Illicit Encounters.
In this review I’m going to be looking at Illicit Encounters, which is a dating site for married and divorced people who are looking to put a little excitement back into their lives.
The dating site specialises in creating a non-judgemental, no-pressure environment for their members. And unlike other similar sites in this niche, their sign-up ratio of female to male members is around 45:55, although I believe this has only been possible because the site is 100% free for female members.
But it’s most definitely not free for male members, and the membership fees are probably the most expensive in the country. Is it worth the money? You’ll just have to read a little further to find out.
About Illicit Encounters
Founded in 2003, the site has grown at a blistering rate since its inception and now has more than 748,000 members in the United Kingdom. Their rise to the number one married dating site in the UK has been astronomical.
It appears that both British men and women have taken seamlessly to extramarital dating. In a survey by Top Sante magazine – more than 25% of married women admitted to having an affair, compared with an estimated 18% of men.
Site members are aged from 21 to 80 years old. And the vast majority of members are also either in a relationship, married or separated.
Members on Illicit Encounters are looking for many different things. Some are looking for casual encounters, some for friendship and some for love and romance. So no matter what you are looking for, you will find someone here that is looking for the same.
Creating Your Profile
It’s easy to get started – and the sign-up process is broken down into three stages. The first stage can be seen in the below picture:
In stage two you are asked for details like: date of birth, town, education, marital status, drinking, smoking, eye colour, build etc.
For the third and final stage you are asked to describe who you are, your personality and how you spend your time; and also to be more specific on your height, hair style and body size. And finally you are asked for details on the kind of person are you looking for, what you are seeking from a relationship, and what is important and acceptable to you.
Once complete, you can then upload a photo if you wish. Photos can also be password protected, leaving you to choose with whom you share them with.
You profile will need to be approved before you can make full use of the site, this usually only takes a couple of hours. But while you are waiting, you can still search and read member profiles on the site, and without having to pay a penny.
Features You’ll Find
Anonymity and secrecy is taken very seriously at Illicit Encounters. There is no need to worry about your photos being viewable to everyone else on the site, as photo passwords mean that you remain in full control of who gets to see your face.
The “Match Finder” option will deliver daily matches to your inbox based on criteria that you set. Alternatively if you can’t wait for the email, you can also check your matches instantly on the site.
It’s easy to view who’s online at the same time as you, and with the live 1-1 chat option you can be talking to them in no time at all. Email on the site is just like regular email. It’s safe, private, easy to use, and confidential. You can also keep tabs on your favourite site members by adding them as favourites. You can also easily block any members that rub you up the wrong way.
The virtual gifts feature allows you to send flowers and other gifts to members that you are interested in. Shockingly, you have to pay extra for this despite the very high membership cost. Personally, I don’t think virtual gifts are worth it. This is one feature I’d rather not see, and not just here, but on all dating sites. Personalized messages are the only way that you should be communicating, winking and virtual flowers are about as cheesy as it gets.
Would you prefer to access the service on your mobile? That won’t be a problem, the site is also mobile friendly and you can access their site through your mobile web browser. They also have a secure smart phone app available. The app allows you to keep texts and calls logged inside a code-protected program, completely hidden from the phone’s normal user interface.
In case you feel like you’re not having much success on the site, then take a look at the testimonials section to see the positive feedback from other members.
There’s also a dedicated support team ready to answer all of your questions. They are available from 9am till 10pm, 7 days per week.
The Traffic Test
The traffic test is something that I like to perform before I part with my money on any dating site. It makes no sense to pay for the service if you have no idea about the number or members living within your region. If you live in a small town you could easily find that you’re alone on the site.
The site does provide a glimpse into their membership numbers. On the top of their homepage you’ll see that there are apparently 759,224 genuine UK users. But in my experience, these numbers should most definitely be taken with a pinch of salt.
For my county of Worcestershire, and within the age range of 25-34, there are around 70 female members registered on the site. However, only 5 have been active within the last week. For the remainder, only the status “Last Active: More than a week” is shown. This does not really inspire me with much confidence in the number and activity of members in my local area. My search settings (apart from the age range) were also very broad.
But member numbers will most definitely fluctuate between towns and regions, so I definitely recommend checking this yourself before you part with your money. And if you are happy to travel a little further afield, then you’ll find that the numbers soon start to shoot up.
The Scam Test
Before paying for any dating site, I usually like to perform a very simple scam test to check for any tell tail signs that scammers are at play. The test involves leaving my profile black and not uploading a photo for 7 days. Only scammers will message someone with a blank profile and no photo. So if you do receive a message in this time, it’s best to close your account down as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately it’s impossible to perform this test on Illicit Encounters. First of all, because you are required to enter a minimum number of characters in your profile before it’s approved. And second, because many members don’t upload photos, which is not really surprising on this type of dating site.
Therefore you are only really left with your common sense and intuition.
Within 2 hours of creating my profile, and with a very basic description in my profile, I received a message from someone of African ethnicity from a location that was described as “other”. This person also appeared to spend over 12 hours permanently online. I definitely would not be putting my hands in my pockets to message this person; they/it just stank of scam.
Profiles are manually checked to ensure they are suitable for the site. This does also help to reduce the spam, but I’m sure some will still slip through the nets.
Both men and women can register on the site for free. You can also browse site members and read their profiles for free. But to communicate with site members, and read messages received, a gold membership is required.
Luckily for the women, gold membership is 100% free. Yes, that means you never have to pay a penny to use the site. But I’m afraid that guys, this comes at a pretty hefty cost to you. The costs for Illicit Encounters in 2013 for you are:
4 Weeks GBP £139.99
12 Weeks GBP £259.99
Gold Plus Membership
4 Weeks GBP £169.99
12 Weeks GBP £349.99
The additional plus membership option includes 15 additional features, some of these include: holiday mode (suspend your account for up to 3 weeks), invisibility mode, alerts for new matches, see when you messages are read, and more undisclosed benefits.
One positive point is that they will not automatically rebill you. After your Gold membership expires your account will revert back to Standard membership unless you choose to manually upgrade again.
Payment can be made discretely by credit card, cash, postal orders or cheque. The name Illicit Encounters will not be displayed on your credit card statement.
Good and Bad Points
Adulterous niche dating site
Members are looking for casual encounters, friendship and love
Secure mobile app
Low membership numbers in some regions
Very high membership cost
Potential some scammers active on the site
If you have decided that an extramarital affair is what you want, then Illicit Encounters will most certainly provide you with the possibility to take the next step. The days of working late and having an affair with your boss or the office secretary are long gone; the ability to have a discreet emotional or sexual affair is now at your fingertips.
Joining a married dating site is certainly not something one does lightly. A lot of time, sleepless nights and tears will have gone into the decision. Today over 760,000 people have decided that Illicit Encounters provides them with a comfortable, safe, and discreet service to find what is lacking in their marriage and experience this with complete anonymity.
Every single person on the site has their own story and reasons for being there, some have been cheated on, some love their partners dearly but crave more action in the bedroom, and some have fallen out of love but stay together just for the kids. But just like you, these people are all looking for an anonymous no strings attached affair, and this is what Illicit Encounters provides better than anyone else in the business.
The only other large married dating site in the UK is Ashley Madison. However, Ashley Madison will charge you £20.00 just to remove your profile from their site, for this reason alone I recommend you stay as far away from them as possible.
I do appear to be singing the praises for Illicit Encounters, but I do have a number of criticisms too.
First, I find the membership cost for men to be extortionate, although I understand that it’s set so high to deter all but the most serious of members. Second, I believe there are a number of scammers active on the site, so you really have to keep your guard held up high. And third, the membership numbers (at least in my area) are very low.
But if you are ready to have an affair, then you can most certainly take your first tentative steps at: www.illicitencounters.com
Update: 24/12/2014 – We no longer recommend Illicit Encounters due to a lot of dubious behaviour on the site and a number of complaints that we have received. If you are looking for an affair or a dirty encounter, then we would recommend match.com. Although not strictly an affairs website, there are plenty of people looking for no strings attached fun. It’s also much cheaper than Illicit Encounters.