Sex-positive • It’s all about sex • Great for finding hookups
Too much about sex? • Hard to find a real relationship • NSFW • Ad overload
The title AdultFriendFinder has wholesome energy on its face, but beyond that seemingly-innocent link lies an ad-ridden, raunchy-as-hell site that makes millennial hookup apps look PG.

⚡ Mashable Score
3.75


Moving to a new city or working at a new job where you don’t know anybody can seriously be depressing, especially if you’re already introverted as it is. What are you supposed to do? Go sit at the bar by yourself? And talk to strangers?

Then comes the lightbulb idea: You can make friends online! If online dating is so popular and successful, there’s no way that there aren’t a few legit sites where you can make adult friends in your area with similar interests. Hmm, AdultFriendFinder.com sounds familiar.

So you’re on your lunch break at work, type in the URL, and the next thing you know, you’re frantically closing the tab and hoping nobody walked behind you for that split second.

Review: AdultFriendFinder is *not* what you think it is

Image: adultfriendfinder

Our point: AdultFriendFinder is not what you think it is.

Friends with benefits, but less passive-aggressiveness

Made quite obvious by the words blatantly plastered across the main page pictured above, AdultFriendFinder is where you can go to “join the world’s largest sex and swinger community.” (That photo is actually a video of a girl talking, so you may want to mute your computer or put on headphones before your click.)

AdultFriendFinder is one of the most well-known sites for finding quick sexual encounters, regular hookups, and literally anything else even remotely related to sex. The rowdy feed of matches, jumble of explicit photos, and stimulating calls-to-action offering all types of sex makes is heaven for anyone looking for a good time with no filter — and hell for someone who wouldn’t be caught dead clicking on a “There are hot singles in your area” ad.

Even if you’re not using it for real sex, it’s always nice to have spank bank material in your back pocket. Social distancing rules due to the coronavirus made this quite obvious. Sexting, nudes, and Pornhub searches all saw a spike since people started social distancing at home. If you don’t want to risk quarantine sex or aren’t finding people on your level of horniness on Tinder, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find someone who’s just as down as you are on AdultFriendFinder. You can find someone to sext via messaging or video (and maybe even plan to get it on IRL when it’s safe), watch live streams, or join niche group chats. Is it worth $20-something per month? Depends on how much fishy content you’re willing to overlook for a juicy sexting session. 

We reached out to Kalyn Sanders, a business development executive at Friend Finder Networks, for updated AFF demographics. Right up there with Tinder’s monthly flock, AdultFriendFinder snags the attention of over 55 million visits around the world per month, on average. (To whet your appetite upon signup, the main landing page flashes a statistic like “103,001,735 active members,” but we’re not exactly sure what that means.) The majority of traffic originates from the United States, followed by visitors from the United Kingdom and Canada. SimilarWeb ranks the site in the top 160 of all sites in the U.S.

Specifics on the demographic that most people care about — the gender ratio — can be hard to track down. Sanders told us that “there’s a 2 to 1 ratio of single men vs. categories like single women, couples, and groups.” The split between men and women is an expected one for a lot of hookup-centric sites. At the end of the day, it’s a paradise for straight men, hit-or-miss for straight women and queer men, and likely an actual hellscape for queer women.

This site is all about sex

If you’re 100% over being grilled with relationship questions and the slow-and-steady pace on traditional dating sites like eharmony or Match, AdultFriendFinder is your golden ticket to instant communication. Registering takes literally 30 seconds — they require nothing from you aside from an email address, a username, a password, and an introduction. Your notifications will start pouring in even without adding any juicy info (because people see nothing wrong with hitting up a profile with a gray silhouette as a profile photo, apparently), but it’s probably best to add a few photos and a detailed description — both to up your chances of flirtation or finding someone who shares a super-specific fantasy, but also to signal to other users that you’re not a bot.

This a real screenshot from AdultFriendFinder.

This a real screenshot from AdultFriendFinder.

Image: adultfriendfinder

I guess it’s comforting to know that some people on here care about what’s on the inside as well. 

After registering, there are a ton of ways to personalize your account (way more than you’d expect for a hookup site, honestly). The more you fill out, the more attractive your profile will be to new viewers. There are the basic physical appearance questions about eye and hair color, and since I identified as a woman, cup size was an option. (If you identify as a man, I’m sure you can guess what question they ask.) 

Many self-proclaimed hookup seekers can probably admit that they’d still like to hook up with someone whom they’d also like to grab a beer with, especially if they plan on seeing that person multiple times. Those people will appreciate that AFF gives a compatibility score with each user you come across: a metric that rates how well you might mesh with someone in the bedroom based on how you answered questions about what turns you on, whether you’re dominant or submissive, and so on. I guess it’s comforting to know that some people on here care about what’s on the inside as well. 

One of the funniest forms was the “Purity Test,” featuring 100 comically-awkward questions about how far you’re willing to go sexually. It felt like the sexy 20 questions game that you’d play with your middle school crush when neither of you knew how to flirt. Note that this is just helpful information for you personally — there’s no real matching strategy other than the basic info on physical appearances. I’d warn to not get your hopes up about finding a kindred soul, but if you’re on the site for the same reasons most other people are, that stuff won’t really matter anyway.

Finding a match

Like a traditional dating site, AdultFriendFinder gives you a collage of potential matches and will let you know who’s online or close distance-wise. (I had nearly 95,000 possible matches just from putting in my zip code.) These will be random right after you sign up, but you can opt to update your preferences to refine your results: Choose your preferred gender(s), age range, location and mile radius, race, sexual orientation, body type, and marital status.

You barely have to scroll before noticing that there’s no shortage of nudity. Depending on whether you set your preferences to men, women, or both, you’ll see all of that stuff up close, personal, swinging around, in action. You name it, it’ll pop up. 

AdultFriendFinder is basically like a PornHub that you can interact with. We probably don’t have to say this, but AdultFriendFinder is NSFW and not safe to be on while kids are in the room. Some videos will be blurred out and read “Naughty video” until you upgrade to a Gold Membership, but trust me — you’ll get to see a lot, even with the free version.

It’s like a PornHub that you can interact with.

The message section is set up similarly to a Gmail account, and you can mark things as read or important just as you would on a real email. You’ll also receive messages instantly, which is definitely a confidence boost even though you know they’re probably just looking for one thing. Some folks get way too ahead of themselves (I received messages from guys asking to meet up before I even uploaded photos) but some are genuinely friendly. 

You can tell who took the time to look at your profile and who is sending the same thing to everyone, but it’s nice to see that there is a range. I’ve received messages just as aggressive on Tinder, so unless you’ve never been on a dating site ever in your life, you won’t be too shocked. 

It’s actually not that bad, though

Once you get past the in-your-face sexplosion of naked profile pictures, questionable profile names (many involve the number 69), and explicit videos, there are actually an impressive number of resources to help make your experience as satisfying as possible. Some will cost money even outside of the paid subscription, which kinda sucks. 

Aside from the NSFW content, the website is relatively straightforward (albeit ugly). Every feature is advertised in big letters, notifications are displayed clearly with labels, and you don’t really have to click around to find anything. This makes it super accessible for users of all ages, even those who aren’t tech savvy and can’t even figure out Facebook. Buttons are all over the place, but you figure it out after messing around for a few minutes.

Here’s a quick list of some of the many things you can do:

  • Request friends

  • Direct messaging and emailing: You can do this without being friends

  • Flirt: It’s like a poke on Facebook to let someone know you’re interested if you’re too nervous to message first

  • Send virtual gifts

  • Watch videos of people in your feed — be aware of your surroundings for these

  • Start a blog

  • Watch live broadcasts: No, these are not news segments

  • Adult chat rooms: Topics vary greatly. You can talk to married couples, find other couples, talk to people around the world, or hit up the site’s “love doctors” to get help with a failing relationship

  • Join groups: These can get extremely specific, so you’re likely to find one in your niche interest.

  • Photo contests including LGBT-themed ones for Pride Month

  • Buy courses from the Sex Academy: Online instructional videos for anal sex, oral sex, how to meet women online, and more. (Note: These cost extra outside of the paid membership.)

AdultFriendFinder is like your friend at the bar who just wants you to get laid. 

As scary as it is to be bombarded with naked bodies, I give props to the creators for being so pro-sex and honestly, so helpful. It’s obvious that they want to help their users to have a good time. AdultFriendFinder is like your outgoing friend at the bar who just wants you to get laid and who can introduce you to tons of people with similar interests.

You can join topic-specific chat rooms and groups, or download online courses from the Sex Academy to learn new sex skills or tips on how to talk to people online. You can also watch videos and live broadcasts people have posted, which might be alarming at first — but AFF knows that watching videos of real people that you could possibly meet in real life is way more satisfying than porn.

Think of AdultFriendFinder as the dating site version of New York City — it never sleeps. You’ll find people who work the regular 9-5, people who work the night shift, and people in other time zones, so it’s nearly impossible to log on and not have a ton of people to talk to. You know, like that booty call who’s always awake when you text them.

AskMen’s review commended AdultFriendFinder on its dedication to the game:

“A full-fledged sexual haven in the online dating world, Adult Friend Finder continues to attract a growing number of members as well as improve over time as it adds new, sexually enticing features. The site accommodates users with all varieties of sexual intentions, making it ridiculously easy to meet others and interact online, engage in cyber sex, and arrange in-person casual hookups. With so many members, an abundance of unparalleled features, and a completely non-judgmental, sexually unrestrictive environment, Adult Friend Finder has been and continues to be one of the best online dating sites out there, most prominently in the casual hookup category.”

AdultFriendFinder is like the booty call that’s always awake when you text them.

This reddit thread is a great chance to see how people use the site IRL who aren’t writing a review or getting paid to hype it up. It actually seems like a lot of people use it for slightly more than a hookup and are looking for similar interests, intelligence, and a profile that doesn’t look like the main page of Redtube. The girl who created the thread even mentions that there are way less weirdos than you’d expect from a site that looks like this. Sure, there are a ton of profiles that will send you crude messages during business hours while you’re thinking “Aren’t you at work?” But there are a decent handful of sweet people who genuinely just want to have a conversation, meet up for dinner, or flirt with you without being gross. Friendly conversation without feeling violated is possible. And what’s nice is that the site is an invitation to be open with your intentions, so consent can be addressed freely.

Paid memberships are where things get interesting

You can do a decent amount of exploring without paying a cent: Limited messaging and emailing, visit and like most profiles, and enter some chat rooms. But just a few clicks on AdultFriendFinder can send you deep down the rabbit hole, and a lot of that juicier hidden content can only be unlocked with a paid membership (called the Gold membership) or by earning points.

Points are AdultFriendFinder’s non-monetary currency. If you’re a free member, you’ll have to earn points through on-site activity to unlock stuff that’s exclusive to paying members. It’s kind of like a game, with points acting like dollar bills at the strip club. You can “tip” updates, photos, or videos from a member that you like, buy “bling” (which is basically a badge that makes you look cooler), watch racy videos that are usually blurred out or access other exclusive site content, or “buy” a Gold membership for a month.

Review: AdultFriendFinder is *not* what you think it is

Image: adultfriendfinder

But all of that stuff takes a really long time, and is honestly just a hassle. If you want to get the most out of the site, just pay for a Gold membership and upgrade.

If you’re a guy looking for girls, a Gold membership is pretty much the standard. While researching on Reddit, we found a few girls who said they won’t meet a guy unless he’s a Gold member. A Gold membership puts a little bit more credibility behind someone’s profile and makes the whole encounter feel a bit safer. It’s easier to believe that someone’s a real person if they’re a paying, active member of the site, and it’s nice to know that they’re taking it slightly seriously. Plus, if you see a picture or profile that looks like it’s five years old, it really might be — there are a ton of non-active, non-paying profiles from old members and escorts still lingering. 

If you find yourself spending more quality time on the site than you expected, becoming a paid member is definitely something to consider. Once you’re paying, you basically become royalty on the site: Your profile will appear way higher in searches, you can use the most advanced searches, unlock profiles with private photo albums, check out video profiles, and message to your heart’s content. A general rule is that increased involvement and payment on your end generally equals more success on the website, as your constant activity and heightened search-ability makes it way easier for others to find you.

Prices for a Gold membership fluctuate, but generally get cheaper the longer your subscription is: Get one month for $39.95, three months for $26.95 per month, or 12 months for $19.95 per month.

Good for: Very open-minded people looking for a quick hookup

Stating the obvious, AdultFriendFinder a space for people who want to bang with no strings attached, people who are in a sexual rut, people who are freshly out of a relationship and want attention, people who are tired of porn, and people who find sites like eharmony to be lame. Getting to know someone for weeks before meeting up can be exhausting, and sometimes, you just wanna skip the small talk and do the dirty with a random. It’s gonna get kinky out there, and that’s great for those who are dying to blow off steam and want someone who will respond well to a brusque, sexy message.

Did we mention it’s also a huge confidence boost? People are so active on this site that it’s impossible not to feel worshipped. Just seeing the notifications of users wanting to talk to you will make your heart flutter, and once you come across your first legit suitor, you’ll start to loosen up. Even if you’re left on read a few times, you’ll learn which opening lines and flirty comments work and which don’t. But since the site is aimed toward casual encounters and not serious relationships, the whole rejection thing isn’t nearly as prevalent. 

It may look like a billboard for a strip club on the side of a highway, but don’t judge a dating site by its cover.

AdultFriendFinder‘s pro-sex, judgment-free environment means it’s open to everyone and highly inclusive, no matter your gender identity or sexual orientation. The variety of people on this thing is so massive that it’s nearly impossible to not to meet someone.

Speaking of inclusivity, AdultFriendFinder is close to being a gender identity-friendly site. Close. Aside from the likes of OkCupid and Hinge, which offer a variety of gender identities and orientations, most dating sites max out at cisgender terms and only allow you to cast a search for “men,” “women,” or both. AFF lets you identify as and search for a man, woman, a couple, or TS/TV/TG. Nixing those outdated abbreviations and letting people choose their own pronouns is the obvious change that needs to be made if AFF (or any dating site, for that matter) wants to be a safer space for the LGBTQ+ community.

As with all dating sites, catfishing is a big buzzkill. Your chances of being pursued are way higher if you have a lot of pictures of the same person (AKA you), videos, and a genuine profile that lets people know they’re not dealing with something sketchy. Even if you’ve had bad luck with online dating in the past, AdultFriendFinder is the place to 100% be yourself. 

The site may look like a billboard for a strip club on the side of a highway, but don’t let it turn you off completely. If you’re willing to look past the questionable design choices and onslaught of raunchy usernames, AdultFriendFinder can seriously expand your sexual horizons and introduce you to individuals you never would have met otherwise.

Bad for: Cynics, minimalists, and people looking for a real relationship

You know those warnings that thrill rides at amusement parks are required to put up that tell people who get dizzy easily or have heart problems to not get on the ride? AdultFriendFinder could use something like that. This site is not for the faint of heart — if you’re a cynic, conservative by any means, get sketched out easily, or simply aren’t a fan of dick pics, you’re probably going to hate it. Similarly, if you appreciate a well-crafted, aesthetically-pleasing website that feels safe — no matter how badly you want to have sex — once glance of the landing page likely signaled that it’s not for you. Nothing is left to the imagination, and it’s definitely not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Open-mindedness is essential to getting real use out of the site.

AdultFriendFinder is not the place to be if you’re trying to make friends, unless “with benefits” is tacked onto the end. Every inch of the site screams “this website is used to have sex,” and you should really listen to that. You might get a date out of it, but don’t expect the person to introduce you to their parents. 

But this isn’t to say that meaningful connections or finding a genuine Adult Friend is impossible. Reddit member SecretGirlIdentity, who claims to have been a Gold member of AdultFriendFinder for four years, responded with this after being asked if she’s ever met a guy she actually liked on AdultFriendFinder:

“Yes! The majority of the guys I’ve actually met IRL are guys that I’ve liked. I mentioned earlier that I’m still friends with a few of them, even though our having a more-than-friendship relationship didn’t work out. […] If you mean “liked” as in “liked-liked” (in highschool speak), yes to that, too. But, just like with people you meet in more traditional ways, the ones you like aren’t always the ones who like you back. :-(“

As illustrated by the recent flood of artsy activism guides on Instagram, it’s clear what content appeals to young people on the internet: Something aesthetically-pleasing, sharable, and digestible. The “sharable” part doesn’t totally apply to online dating, but apps like Hinge and OkCupid closely follow this design trend by limiting the number of words (and ads) in each tab, steering clear of endless scrolling, and ensuring that important info isn’t cluttered with flashing clickbait. 

For instance, Pure is a modern, no-strings-attached hookup app that appeals to your horny side with a single, witty statement about sex rather than bombarding you with boobs and “Have sex in NYC now!” claims. Non-millennials or Gen-Z members (zoomers, as some may call them) may be totally used to this pop-up ridden layout, which seemed to be popular in the early 2000s — but for younger folks, AFF’s chaotic approach might have too much Omegle energy.

The downsides

The entire website looks like an ad about hot MILFs that pops up when you’re illegally streaming a movie. Seriously, it’s bad. Even though the website is technically legit, the pictures, word choice, and exclamation points everywhere scream “scam.” No, AdultFriendFinder, “98,897,765 Hot Photos” is not the way to get people to sign up.

We’re not knocking a quick hookup or no-strings-attached relations. This isn’t about morals. Genitals are quite literally in your face from the moment you make an account, and that’s just not cute. There are chiller ways to go about insinuating that this is a hookup website without feeling like you’re trapped in a sex dungeon with all of these people you don’t know.

Attempting to navigate the shoddy design might just be enough to smother your horniness. Three main issues can make the site borderline unusable: It looks shady as hell, an alarming portion of the user base is made up of bots and spam accounts, and the user interface itself is outdated and rife with bugs. 

I really tried, but I could not get past the fact that the entire site looks like it’s about to invite five viruses to your computer. We’re talking terrible graphics that look like they were made on Microsoft Paint and pictures of women who look like they’re from Pornhub in 2007. (That’s when AdultFriendFinder was officially sold and rebranded from its original parent company.) Reddit user Snoo53279 summed it up in a comment from July 2020: “The people on AFF are definitely real, but there is a huge smattering of bots that also get in the way so it can be a bit of a PITA to use.” If they’re not bots, they could be men posing as a couple to seem less threatening. So keep that in mind.

The fact that it asks you to register for something every few seconds of scrolling is also a little overbearing. Yes, hot singles are actually in your area this time, but AdultFriendFinder’s web developers could do so much to make more people take it seriously. 

Other Reddit users in the same thread mention that the desktop web version won’t even load for them at random times — an especially frustrating roadblock for people who want to end their membership and stop monthly charges.

A solution to the laggy web version might be to clear your cache or use the smartphone app instead, but your experience probably won’t get better there. The iPhone and Android app, which was just made available in 2019, has a small nuance in the name:  All FriendFinder looks like a copycat app, but it’s really just AFF doing some weird naming thing. (At least they got the initials right.) Despite the fact that a mobile app makes things more convenient, users aren’t impressed. The app has a 2-star rating on the App Store (and only 75 ratings — odd for a site with millions of users), and the general consensus from reviewers is that it’s a waste of time.

Adding to the site’s sketchiness, a network hack in 2016 exposed around 412 million accounts, including “deleted” accounts that weren’t actually deleted from the database. If this is enough reason for you to fall back on Tinder for finding a friend with benefits, we don’t blame you. Signing up with a burner email and avoiding using your real name as a username are wise moves (just pick a naughty word and add 69 to the end, IDK), though keeping your personal information private is hard when credit cards are involved. 

In 2007, AFF was involved in a lawsuit with the FTC over allegations that the site used malware to send explicit pop-up ads to computers owned by people who hadn’t signed up for the service. Though we haven’t seen reports like this recently, so we’re hoping those ridiculous ads you see are at least confined to people who actually use the site.

The alternatives

Surprisingly, AdultFriendFinder feels much more legit than competitors. While other hookup sites have names like FreeSnapMilfs.com, Fuckswipe.com, and Instabang.com, AdultFriendFinder will be the one you’d hate showing up in your Google search history the least. Most have the same general idea, which is to find sexual partners, have cyber sex, etc, but with names like those, the authenticity is way too questionable. AdultFriendFinder boasts a much larger audience and has built credibility in a Tinder-saturated market where these newer, friskier competitors may have trouble gaining traction.

No matter how in the mood you are, your hungry eyes may not be able to look past AFF’s heinous interface. Folks who appreciate a trustworthy, aesthetically-pleasing UX design may like Pure: an app that keeps things anonymous with spur-of-the-moment booty call and then encourages you to pretend like you’re strangers afterward. Kind of like a Snapchat for sex, your uploaded selfies, personal info, and conversations with others self destruct every 60 minutes. The app will send the hookup version of an Uber request to anyone else who’s close and ready to rumble, and you can choose what information to disclose from there. This artsy, hella millennial app is fast, no nonsense, and the blueprint of what a hookup app should be. (They quite literally call refer to themselves as “The Hookup App,” so.) 

Remember when we said AdultFriendFinder would be a nightmare for queer women? If you want an alternative, Feeld is an inclusive, very 2020 app dedicated to singles and couples looking for threesomes, foursomes, or however many people you want — minus the unicorn hunting and rampant fetishization that many non-hetero, non-monogamous people face on traditional hookup sites and apps.

iHookup is another dating site that may be on your radar. However, its ability to get you in touch with horny people from around the world doesn’t make up for the countless red flags that make us question its legitimacy. The fact that the infamous “Not secure” warning pops up beside the URL isn’t exactly endearing for people worried about being hacked or scammed by a phony profile. (So, everyone?) iHookup is also known to send messages from fake hotties called “Sweethaarts” to make the site look better. There’s no question that AFF has some questionable profiles floating around, but at least they’re not AFF’s doing (that we know of).

The final verdict

AdultFriendFinder is a low pressure way to find a friends-with-benefits situation without insulting anyone. Everyone is pretty much there for the same reason — and though it’ll feel pretty unorthodox if you’ve only ever used to Tinder to scope out potential friends with benefits, AFF’s blunt advertising at least means you won’t have to explain that you’re not looking for a relationship. It’s sex-positive, niche-friendly, well populated, and has a ton of interactive outlets to indulge your primal urges.

However, that freedom comes with a price, the price being feeling like one of those people who falls for the ads that pop up before a free Pornhub video. It’s not that a site dedicated to sex and sexting is automatically scammy — it’s that AdultFriendFinder drowns you with explicit photos on profiles who might not even be real people while asking you to pay for a subscription with every click. Unfortunately, no matter how in the mood you are, some people aren’t cut out for the nothing-left-to-the-imagination setup with grammar mistakes all over the place.

The functionality and safety of the site and the mobile app aren’t where they need to be in 2020. If security measures were tightened and graphics and photos were cleaned up to feel more relevant and realistic, AdultFriendFinder could be a great tool to find mature, attachment-free hookups and connect with a judgement-free community.

If you’re brave enough to jump into the chaos, you can register for AdultFriendFinder here. Good luck out there, and don’t try this at work.

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