Illicit Encounters
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IE contacting
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Our Review

Illicit Encounters is a dating website made for married or attached people who are looking into having an affair. The dating site is founded in 2003 by Stephen Lines, who initially ventured into making a singles dating website but was unsuccessful. He shifted his game after having a discussion with one of his married friends who was desperate about reactivating her sex life.

As with other dating websites under this niche, IllicitEncounters has also faced criticism and controversy. The site has been banned from advertising in public spaces and public utility vehicles. Some advertising companies do not want to get associated with the website, so the website turned in printed ads on magazines, online ads, and affiliate programs. Since the website’s launch, it has gained over 1 million users and has become one of the UK’s leading married dating website.

New members at Illicit Encounters in October 2021 in comparison

Here you can see how membership figures at Illicit Encounters are developing compared to others

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Member activity Illicit Encounters in October 2021 in comparison

This is how active Illicit Encounters members are compared to others

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Illicit Encounters Member Structure

1,200,000 from United Kingdom
Members activity
1,000 daily logins
Gender Proportion
45 %
55 %
  • You get a personal profile which you can fill out
  • Over 1000 members are online every day
  • There are no single members on the dating site
  • Members are only from the UK and Ireland
  • Most members are looking to for something casual or a short-term affair
  • Members are mostly within the age range of 30-55

Illicit Encounters is only available in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, so all of its members reside in those two countries only. The member base of Illicit Encounters is composed of individuals who are married, divorced, separated, or widowed. You only have these four status options when you register for an account with the website—singles are not allowed to join. Majority of the site’s members are looking for short-term encounters or casual affairs. They do not use the website to find a serious relationship.

Since members are not required to upload a profile photo, it is hard to discern if the profiles in Illicit Encounters are genuine. However, it is safe to say that fakes and scammers veer away from this website because messaging is a premium feature, and Illicit Encounters has a high membership cost.


Age Distribution

  • 18-24
  • 25-34
  • 35-44
  • 45-54
  • 55+

Signing Up at Illicit Encounters

IE registration
  • 7-10 minutes registration process
  • You can upload a profile photo later
  • Your personal details are never stored
  • Gay share available
  • No email validation required

Signing up in Illicit Encounters takes up 7 to 10 minutes of your time. There are three steps before you get to fully explore the website. The first step is to provide three important details on Illicit Encounter’s home page, which are your gender, the gender of the person you are looking for, and country (UK or Ireland only). Afterwards, you are taken to the second step wherein you need to provide additional information such as your nominated username and password, email address, county, and marital status. You have five choices only which are: married, living together, separated, divorced, or widowed. In this step, you also need to confirm that you are over 21 years old, and you need to agree to Illicit Encounter’s ‘terms of service’.

The last step in the registration process is to create your profile. You are required to fill in basic details about your appearance and background. You also need to disclose what kind of relationship you are looking for. Adding some interests are required as this will help other members get to know your personality. You can also choose to write a paragraph describing your ideal partner, but this is optional.

Making Contact on Illicit Encounters

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  • Women can use the contacting features for free
  • Men need to pay to send and read all messages
  • Members can add interesting users to their ‘Favourites List’
  • Virtual gifts can be sent for a minimal amount of credits
  • Virtual kisses can be sent for free
  • You can view your matches through ‘Matchfinder’
  • Search filters available

There are three ways how members can facilitate contact in Illicit Encounters and that is through sending messages, sending virtual kisses, and sending gifts. Sending messages in Illicit Encounters is free for women, but it is a Gold membership feature for men. Virtual gifts can be bought using IE credits, but are free to send for women. Virtual kisses can be sent for free by everyone, and it usually includes a default message with a greeting, the ‘About Me’ paragraph you wrote, and a closing statement.

Match recommendations are seen on the ‘Matchfinder’ page, wherein you can tweak how your matches are displayed. Finding and browsing other members of Illicit Encounters are done on the ‘Search’ page. On this page, you can search for a specific member’s login name, by gender and age, as well as search by location. You can also view the members who are currently online on the ‘Who’s Online’ page. This page has gender, age, and location filters as well.

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Illicit Encounters Profile Quality

ie profile
  • Profile photos can be the available icons recommended by Illicit Encounters
  • Marital status of members are displayed together with the kind of relationship they are looking for
  • Profiles mainly feature the ‘About Me’ and ‘Ideal Partner’ paragraphs
  • Photo uploads can be set to private
  • Activity status is displayed on each member’s profile
  • Profile photo and profile information can be edited later

Profiles in Illicit Encounters do not feature enough details about the member, especially if he or she has not written an elaborative ‘About Me’ paragraph. All profiles display only basic information about the member’s marital status, appearance, and the type of relationship and ideal partner they’re looking for. They also feature the said ‘About Me’ paragraph and a paragraph about the ideal partner they are looking for. Interests that the member may have declared are shown below these paragraphs, as well a display of gifts the member had recently received.

When you click a user’s profile photo, you will be taken to his or her photo gallery. The photos are organised in two galleries: Public and Private. Public photos are shown in thumbnails which you can enlarge and view, while the private galleries are locked. You need to enter the password set by that particular member to view the photos on his or her Private Gallery.

On every profile in Illicit Encounters, four contacting buttons can be found. These are: ‘Send Message’, ‘Send Virtual Kiss’, ‘Send Virtual Gift’ and ‘Add to Favourites’. The ‘Block User’ and ‘Report’ buttons are at the very bottom of the profile.

Illicit Encounters Real Life Review

“I’ve been married for 15 years and currently in a platonic relationship. I am a successful businessman, and my wife is also successful in her field. The thing is, she and I are always very busy and almost have no time to have fun… or maybe we just don’t make time. I don’t know. Anyway, I have a friend who’s in a similar situation, and he’s already resulted in signing up for dating sites just to meet his “needs.” He suggested I do the same and found Illicit Encounters. I signed up for a Gold membership and found companionship with women on the site who understood what I’m going through. No judgments, just simple understanding. I’ve met with one woman for a casual affair and I really enjoyed it. We’re meeting up again tomorrow, and I just hope I don’t get attached.” - Tom, 46, London

Design and Usability

Illicit Encounters has a straightforward design that helps give its members a seamless user experience. The main menu is presented in a rectangular box that contains the different features of the dating site for easy access. The design appearance of Illicit Encounters can honestly be improved to become more aesthetically pleasing. Yet overall, how it is currently designed allows any member to find any feature with ease.

All pages have a similar design template which uses boxes and section dividers to present each page’s features. There is a box on the upper right side, beside the main menu, that displays a graph oh the recent activity on Illicit Encounters over the last hour. Beneath this box is a quick search function that when used, would take you to the ‘Search’ page. Section boxes of ‘Safety Guarantee’, ‘Letters to Sara’, and ‘IE Polls and Results’ are consecutively displayed below the search box.

Illicit Encounters Costs and Prices

Free Services
  • Profile creation
  • Upload photos
  • Search members
  • Receive messages
  • Send virtual kisses and virtual gifts
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Fee-Based Services
  • Send and read messages
  • Hide your profile from “Who’s Online”
  • Holiday Mode
    Suspend your profile for up to 3 weeks
  • Invisible Mode
    Hide your profile from Searches
  • Auto-responders
  • Prepared responses
  • Live alerts

Is Illicit Encounters expensive or cheap?

In comparison to other providers Illicit Encounters is above average.
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Duration / Credits / CoinsCostsTotal
Gold Membership
4 weeks35.00 GBP / Week139.99 GBP
Gold Plus Membership
4 weeks42.50 GBP / Week169.99 GBP
12 weeks16.67 GBP / Week199.99 GBP
IE Credits
3,000 Credits0.01 GBP / Credit19.99 GBP
20,000 Credits0.01 GBP / Credit49.99 GBP
Illicit Encounters UK Price
Payment Options
  • Bank Transfer
  • Credit Card
  • Cash
  • Cheque
Payment discretion
  • Statements will show as MC ONLINE TECH INTSERVICES

Women can use the paid features for free. This includes sending and reading messages. But for men, Illicit Encounters offers two kinds of membership: Gold and Gold Plus. Only Gold Plus is offered in an 8-week package duration. The additional features of Gold Plus are not so crucial with regards to having a complete experience from the dating site. However, if you plan on using the website for quite a long time, you can surely get the best out of your money by subscribing to the 8-week Gold Plus.

Illicit Encounters also offers credits which are used to buy virtual gifts that members can send to other members.

Special Features

Illicit Encounters offers the special features listed below. Some of them are free of charge, but most are features of a Gold and Gold Plus membership.


Matchfinder feature displays members who fit the description of your ideal match.


This feature allows members to send virtual gifts to other users. Sending gifts may require credits.

Private Photos

This feature allows members to set their photo uploads to ‘Private’. Viewing a ‘Private Photo Album’ requires a password which is set by the member who uploaded the private photos.

Letters to Sara

Letters to Sara is a submission platform of letters from Illicit Encounters members who have concerns about anything regarding the website. Other members are able to see the letter submissions and comment on them too. This feature is similar to an open discussion forum.

IE Polls and Results

This feature displays currently active polls and results that are facilitated by Illicit Encounters.

Holiday Mode

‘Holiday Mode’ is a Gold Plus feature which allows you to suspend your profile for up to three weeks.

Invisible Mode

‘Invisible Mode’ is a Gold Plus feature which allows you to hide your profile from appearing on search results.


Auto-responders is a Gold Plus feature that gives you the power to send automated responses to members who message you.

Prepared responses

This feature allows you to save templates of responses so you can send the best fitting reply in just one click.

Our rating

Signing Up: 3.0 / 5
Making Contact: 3.0 / 5
Profile Quality: 2.5 / 5
Real Life Review: 4.0 / 5

Editor's Conclusion

Chris Pleines, Author at
Overall, Illicit Encounters provides a safe and reliable dating service for married and attached people. The site’s features protect your privacy and security to avoid being caught by your partners. While its high membership cost guarantees that profiles are genuine, this consequently allows you to truly get what you want from the website. The frankness of members about what they are looking for in the website and from their ideal partners are also noteworthy. We are not suggesting that you get involved in extramarital relationships if you are unhappy about your married life. Yet, if you really are into this kind of game, then maybe Illicit Encounters is one of the sites that is probably worth your money. 
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Illicit Encounters FAQ


What is Illicit Encounters?

Illicit Encounters is a dating website for married people who are enticed by the idea of having an affair.

Who owns Illicit Encounters?

IllicitEncounters is founded and owned by entrepreneur Stephen Lines.

When was it first launched?

Illicit Encounters was first launched in 2003.

Which countries is it available?

Illicit Encounters is only available in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Who can join Illicit Encounters?

Individuals who are married, separated, widowed, divorced, or currently living with a partner can join the dating site.


Is it free to have an account in Illicit Encounters?

Yes, joining Illicit Encounters is free of charge.

Does Illicit Encounters have a premium membership?

Yes, Illicit Encounters has two kinds of membership which are Gold and Gold Plus. Membership comes with paid features such as sending messages. Women can send messages for free.

Is the premium membership auto-renewed?

Membership in Illicit Encounters is not automatically renewed.

Can I cancel my premium membership anytime?

Yes, you can cancel your Illicit Encounters membership anytime and you can use the paid features until the day your membership expires.

How do I delete my account?

You can cancel your account by contacting Illicit Encounters’ customer support.

Will I be able to retrieve my Illicit Encounters profile if I delete it?

Unfortunately, you cannot recover a deleted profile.

Can I temporarily deactivate my Illicit Encounters account?

Yes, but temporary deactivation of a profile is a Gold Plus feature.


How does Illicit Encounters work?

Illicit Encounters provide a platform where married individuals can converse and schedule meetings.

Who is Sara? Why do I need to write a letter to her?

Sara is Illicit Encounter’s administrator. If you have any concerns, you can send her a letter.

How do I upload a photo in Illicit Encounters?

You can easily upload photos in the ‘My Photos’ tab found on the main menu.

How do I send a message?

You can send a message to any Illicit Encounters member by clicking the ‘Send Message’ button found on his or her profile. Sending messages is free for women, but a paid feature for men.

I just sent a virtual kiss, why did it include a message I did not write?

Sending virtual gifts automatically includes a default message which consists of your ‘About Me’ paragraph.


Is Illicit Encounters legitimate?

Yes, Illicit Encounters is a legitimate website.

What safety features does Illicit Encounters have?

Illicit Encounters has a published ‘Terms of Use’ and ‘Privacy Policy’ that are strictly enforced and monitored by the administrators.

How do I block an abusive user from messaging me?

You can block any profile in Illicit Encounters by clicking the ‘Block User’ button found at the bottom of any member profile.

I suspect a scammer, how do I report him?

You can report a profile in Illicit Encounters by clicking the ‘Report this profile’ button found at the bottom of that member's profile.

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Latest Illicit Encounters Experiences

  • john*** 56 years

    There is a very nasty scam on this site. When you pay to join, you also "agree" to continue paying £99 monthly after your registration expires unless ... you opt out of this agreement from the outset. But to see this small print you have to scroll down the page a very long way and - judging from the many complaints on the web - most men get suckered for hundreds or thousands of pounds. It's easy to miss this on your card statement because the charge source is well disguised. However, when I contacted the fraud department at my bank, they were able to get a refund. «»

  • Dav**** 60 years

    You can not send your contact details if you do the site delete them. What is the point of paying to communicate but you never can meet or send your d... etails? The site act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage of money. «»

  • Andr*** 62 years

    Good but expensive site. In the main the women are genuine, friendly and understanding.My main gripe with the site is that the search system is far t... oo wide - counties! Why it doesn't use postcode units I'll never know ie 5 miles-10 miles etc radius from mine etc. Surely that would make better sense?? Joined a few years ago and had a wonderful time here - just lovely. «»

Show all Illicit Encounters experiences (7)

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