Everyone knows making friends as an adult is just as nerve-wracking as it was in middle school. AdultFriendFinder sounds like it should be the solution — but is it?
Moving to a new city or working at a new job where you don’t know anybody can seriously be depressing. 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.
Our point: AdultFriendFinder is not what you think it is.
Friends with benefits
As you can see from 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 before your click — or at least put on headphones.)
AdultFriendFinder one of the most well-known sites for finding quick sexual encounters, regular hookups, and literally anything else even remotely related to sex. The unfiltered, rowdy-as-hell match feed, jumble of explicit photos, and stimulating calls-to-action offering all types of sex makes is heaven for anyone looking for a good time — and hell for someone who was genuinely trying to make platonic friends.
On average, AdultFriendFinder attracts an average of 25 million visits per month — for reference, eharmony sees 4.1 million visits per month. So yeah. It’s big. The majority of traffic originates from the United States (54%), followed by visitors from the United Kingdom and Canada. The site ranks number 42 among all adult sites in the US (including porn sites) and number 713 worldwide.
Unfortunately, the numbers that most people want to know — the male to female ratio — are hard to find. (Even AskMen couldn’t find those stats). There’s speculation that this is because there are significantly more men than women on the site, and AdultFriendFinder would likely be worried about scaring off newcomers with the whole “sausage party” vibe. This isn’t officially confirmed, though, and there are clearly enough women to keep the site up and running.
This site is all about sex
If you’re 100% over being grilled with relationship questions on traditional dating sites like EliteSingles and OkCupid, 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. Though they don’t require a bio or a picture, it’s probably best to add a few to up your chances for messages and flirtation, especially if you’re looking for something super specific, as you’re more likely to be contacted by people looking for the same thing.
I guess it’s comforting to know that some people on here care about what’s on the inside as well.
After you register, you’ll see that there are a ton of options to completely personalize your account (way more than I expected 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.)
There’s also a personality test that seemed pretty close to something you’d see on Match or eharmony, and 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 hilariously-worded 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 know how to flirt, but I guess this information is pertinent when you’re on a site that’s all about sex.
There’s no real matching strategy other than the basic info on physical appearances, so don’t get your hopes up when it comes to finding a lasting connection or kindred soul — but hey, if you’re on the site for the same reasons most other people are, that stuff won’t really matter anyway. *Shrug*
Finding a match
Like a traditional dating site, AdultFriendFinder gives you a collage of potential matches at the top of your personal home page. (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. They’ll let you know who’s online when you are, which matches are closest to you, new people who liked or messaged you, and all of that good stuff.
Your personal feed will be pretty intense: You barely have to scroll before you see naked parts. 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 — I started out with the free version, and you still get to a see a lot.
AdultFriendFinder is basically 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. How professional. 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 will be raunchy (I received messages from guys asking to meet up and get it on before I even uploaded my 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.
Unlike more traditional dating sites, these people don’t need to talk and get to know you for months before meeting. If you’re tired of things moving too slowly or need a change of pace, it’s pretty awesome to know you can immediately make plans for each night of the week.
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 extremely user friendly (although in need of a redesign). 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. Everything’s a little jumbled, 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
- Play the “Hot or Not” game: The flirty version of MySpace’s Top 8
- 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: June 2018 featured an LGBTQ one 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 AdultFriendFinder knows that watching videos of real people that you could possibly meet in real life is way more satisfying than porn.
Another bonus is that AdultFriendFinder is like the dating site version of New York City — AKA 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. AdultFriendFinder is like the booty call that’s always awake when you text them.
AskMen’s review (among others) gave AdultFriendFinder serious kudos:
“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
As previously mentioned, you can do a lot on the site without paying a cent: You can message people, reply to emails, and visit most profiles and chat rooms. You know, all of the basic stuff. But with just a few clicks 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. The more points you have, the more you get out of the site.