Hookup culture is a new casual sex phenomenon that’s sweeping the nation. Men and women everywhere are finally admitting that sometimes they just want to find sex, get laid, and carry on with their day. There’s no shame in that!
In fact, 40% of men and 31% of women said they’d had a Tinder hookup or other form of casual sex in the last year. So, what are the best sex apps? Here I take a look at 16 of the best apps for sex, hookups, flings, and dating.
Hinge is a dating app “designed to be deleted”. In other words, they’re trying to help you find love or long-term relationships. However, only 45% of Hinge users are looking for long-term love, with most looking for something a little more casual. The app is unique because it allows you to “like” on “comment” on user photos without sending them direct messages.
Bumble was started by Whitney Wolfe, a former Tinder employee who sued Tinder for $1million following a sexual harassment claim. She later invented Bumble, a dating a hookup app where only women can start the conversation (providing that there’s a match). This helps to stop women being flooded with messages by desperate men looking for attention.
Although the gay community tends to use Tinder for dating, straight people tend to use Tinder for sex. Tinder allows you to “swipe left” and “swipe right” to indicate whether you’re attracted to users or not, giving you their name, age, a few pictures, and a short bio. It uses your location to find potential matches, so it’s great for local hookups. Tinder Halloween costumes are also a thing that exists for some reason.
Adult Friend Finder is one of the top hookup apps for swingers and threesomes, as well as singles looking for NSA sex. Many online dating sites see you doing a lot of work and “sussing out” whether someone is looking for sex or love – AFF cuts out all of that bullshit. The people on AFF are looking for quick sex and they aren’t shy about it.
When it comes to sex and dating apps, Ashley Madison is always a controversial one. Designed specifically for married people who want to have a discreet affair, the site comes with multiple features to help protect users’ identities. The site is free for female members, which is probably because the demographic is skewed toward middle-aged men, so bear that in mind.
A cool and unique concept, Pure is one of the best casual sex and dating apps I’ve ever seen. You create a profile with a few pictures and a very basic bio, then you have 1 hour to find other people with temporary profiles who want to hook up. After 1 hour, your profile self-destructs forever, leaving no trace of you. Log in, find sex for 1 hour, then vanish like nothing happened!
Definitely one of the best gay hookup apps in existence, Grindr is a staple of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s extremely popular all over the world, with 228 million sexy messages being exchanged every single day. There are different “tribes” for different “types” of gay men, including Twinks, Geeks, Bears, Jocks, Trans, Otters, and Poz (HIV Positive). It’s all very simple and to-the-point, which is nice.
Be Naughty sort-of markets itself halfway between a sex app and an online dating site. I guess you could say it’s “flirty”. It’s very popular with female users, particularly in the 25-34 age range. You can send messages, send photos, and also send videos to potential matches. There are even group chat rooms for flirting and talking dirty. It’s all very cheeky!
Elite Singles has a clear audience in mind – educated professionals looking for other wealthy and aspirational partners. This dating app sends you 3-7 matches a day of people it thinks will be appealing to you, but you frustratingly can’t go searching for other people yourself. Personally, I find the whole concept of “Elite Singles” to be weird and poncey – even the word “Elite” is a bit loaded. Let’s just say it’s very white and middle class.
48.6% of Match.com users are 30-49, with 74% of the total user base having a college degree or some form of higher education. This popular online dating site is definitely geared toward older, more sophisticated people (without being all up itself like Elite Singles). Established since 1995, the layout of Match.com’s website and app are a little more old-school, but profiles are detailed and it’s easy to keep track of your likes and messages.
Zoosk is an app for hook ups and dating that is popular with 25-34-year-olds. The sign-up process is quick and painless (especially on the app) and the majority of profiles seem to be active. Zoosk has some unique quirks like the “Zoosk coins” feature where you can buy “digital gifts” for someone to show your appreciation/interest in them. It’s a bit of a waste of money in my opinion, but you do you.
One of the few dating and hookup sites that lets you use its core features free of charge, OkCupid is a force to be reckoned with in the internet dating arena. Popular with millennials, this website has a lengthy sign-up and profile creation process, but it means that people’s profiles are usually very detailed. It’s not the most intuitive UI in the world, but it’s pretty easy to get used to.
HER is the world’s biggest lesbian dating app, and it’s easy to see why. Using a location-based swiping system à la Tinder, HER allows its user base to send unlimited messages to each other free of charge. You can only sign up via your Facebook or Instagram account, so it’s difficult for people to make convincing catfish accounts, and the app even tells you about lesbian events in your area. HER even organizes their own lesbian events too!
Traditionally, people who fit into the “alternative” scene don’t fare very well on dating sites. As a result, Alt Scene was born. This 100% free dating and hookup site has limited features, but you can search and message anyone you want without having to pay a penny. It’s not the most active dating app in the world, but maybe you’ll strike it lucky!
If you’re looking for love or you want to go on some flirty dates and see where things go, eHarmony could be just the thing for you. The site is split between 51% women and 49% men, so it’s very even, and the main demographic goes from 26-65. One of the best features is the “Two of You Together” feature which shows you exactly why you and other users were matched based on values like extraversion, religious values, agreeableness and affection.
Who knows you better than your friends? Whether you’re looking for dates or DTF matches, Ship is the hookup app that lets your friends decide who you should meet. You can browse unlimited profiles on the location-based app, and the detailed profiles help your mates decide who you’ve got stuff in common with so they can “ship” you.
Whether you’re a man, a woman, or anything in between, dating and casual sex can be dangerous. Even if you’re using one of the best sex apps, meeting a stranger from the internet needs to be approached with caution, especially if you’re planning on having sex straight away without going on a date.
Here are some basic safety tips for using sex apps!
1. Tell someone where you’re going
It sounds like common sense, but a surprising amount of people don’t do this. If you plan to meet someone for sex or a date, tell 1 or 2 trusted friends/family members where you’re meeting the person and give them any additional information such as the person’s name, address, contact information etc. Location-sharing apps might be a good idea. There’s also a location-sharing feature in WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and a few other messaging apps too.
2. Have an escape plan
If things aren’t going well or the person you’re hooking up with is NOT the person you were sold on a hookup app, try to have an escape plan in place. If possible, drive to the location and prepare an excuse to leave if necessary. Don’t leave yourself stranded with a stranger and drink too much booze if you might need to drive far, far away.
3. Be wary of sending nude pictures/videos on hookup apps
Once something is on the internet, it stays there forever. If you send out a nude image to ANYONE, you need to assume that the image could be posted online without your approval. Revenge porn is a huge problem is our current technological climate, so consider covering up your face and any identifying marks/scars/tattoos if you share nudes of yourself.
4. Meet in public
Whether you’re meeting for a date or some no strings attached sex, it’s common knowledge that you should always meet in a public place. Meeting in a stranger’s house is just a bad idea on many, many levels.
5. Do some research (don’t just trust their dating app profile)
If your match has links to their social media profiles or they state their full name, get googling them and researching their online presence. Do their social media feeds seem like they’re real? Are the photos and posts consistent with things you’ve talked about on dating apps? Try to get a sense of who you’re dealing with and if they’re genuine!
6. Video chat
Before meeting your date or hookup partner, ask to video call with them. It’s the easiest way to tell whether you’re being catfished, and you can get a sense of what they’re like to speak to IRL. If they refuse to video call with you, it should be a huge red flag.
Many of the people you meet on a hookup app are people you’d never cross paths with in real life, so remember to be sensible, be suspicious, and always have a backup plan in place. Have fun and stay safe!
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