Relationship apps aren’t the place to find a hookup — these cut straight to the chase
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Hookup culture: Also known as the thing that has basically replaced real dating over the past 20 years or so, and the thing that your parents and grandparents bitch about because “nobody has a real conversation anymore.”
We all know that’s not true, however, and online dating has made a massive impact on more people meeting and talking than every before. And when we think dating sites, we usually think about sites like eharmony and other marriage-minded options. But not every single person is trying to participate in the next cuffing season.
Sometimes, you just wanna get laid.
Everyone gets stuck in a sexual rut at some point, and let’s face it: Trying to take strangers home from the bar or constantly hitting up your ex who you know is DTF can get old. But what are you supposed to do? Just not give into your primal urges?
It might be time to let a hookup site or app take the wheel.
While it’s true that any dating site can technically be used for hooking up — I’d love to know the stats on how many supposedly wholesome oriented eharmony dates accidentally end up in a one night stand — you can see how using those relationship-oriented sites to find a booty call could get messy. Feelings could end up getting hurt if one half of the couple isn’t trying to settle down. That’s why hookup apps and sites are oh-so-necessary.
The stigma that long surrounded online dating is all but gone. Lucky for us, dating apps like Tinder and Grindr have made it easier for people to seek out relationships of all kinds. Dr. Christian Jordal, a licensed family and marriage therapist and certified sex therapist in Philadelphia, says that’s a good thing.
“I think there’s a certain empowerment [for people] that comes with being able to sexually explore and enjoy themselves, and, ultimately, maybe meet someone who they can develop friendships with, or maybe it’s a sort of regular sexual contact,” he told us by phone. “Maybe it’s also someone they develop a relationship with, but it can be any of those things.”
And like, why not, right? They’re just giving us proof that there are plenty of fish in the sea, and there are probably way more than you think just chilling around the corner, looking for the exact same thing that you are. Using an app or dating site to find a hookup isn’t desperate — it’s f*cking smart. And if it wasn’t, a billion other people wouldn’t be doing it.
Sound like what you’re after? Here are our picks for the best hookup apps right now:
Massive user base • LGBTQ friendly • Tons of features for max satisfaction
Outdated and unattractive layout • Entire site looks like a virus-ridden porn ad • Can get pricey
If you can get past the fact that it looks like an ad for a deserted strip club, you’ll get the satisfaction you were looking for and more.
One month of GOLD:
Three months of GOLD:
One year of GOLD:
With over 25 million monthly users (that’s more than eharmony) as well as live video options, chat rooms, groups for ultra specific kinks, and more, you can probably assume how wild this site can get. But there’s such a large and diverse group of potential matches, you’re very likely to find someone who’s on the same page as you. You will have to pay a monthly fee to use some of the advanced GOLD features, but from what we’ve heard, it’s totally worth it. It’s also extremely LGBTQI+ friendly, which we always love to see. The part that you wouldn’t expect is the fact that they do offer tons of compatibility questions and matchmaking services, because they’re that intent on finding you a good lay. Sweet, right?
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. Prices differ depending on the length of your subscription (mentioned above) but won’t exceed $32.39/month. You can read our full review on AdultFriendFinder and sign up .
Tons of options • Quick with no BS • Great for finding hookups while traveling
Way too much swiping • Not 100% hookup oriented
Millions of potential dates makes Tinder especially clutch for traveling — just make sure you’re clear about your intentions.
Starting at $2.99/month
Starting at $4.99/month
Tinder may not want to advertise as such, but we all know what it’s mostly used for. Yeah yeah, we know the amount of success stories of happy couples who met on Tinder is growing rapidly, but it’s way easier to find a date for the night than it is to find someone looking for a long term relationship. Using Tinder for the latter just wouldn’t be smart — you’re quite literally deciding if you want to interact with someone based on nothing but profile pictures and a quote from The Office, so yeah, you can see how getting laid would be the main goal of most users. It’s fast, easy, and if there’s one app that even the shyest, most skeptical people will be on, it’s Tinder. Hell, even celebrities can now have verified profiles on there — meaning yes, you could match with one of the if you’re really lucky. Sure, you may get carpal tunnel from swiping so much, but I guess that also means that it’s nearly impossible to not find someone who’s DTF.
Though it’s pretty much free for general use, Tinder does offer two upgrades: Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold. These like the opportunity to undo a left swipe (bless), send “Super Likes” to people you’re really into, and in the case of Tinder Gold, see which users have liked your profile. Sign up here.
100% no strings attached • Fast AF • Hookup app minus the porn ads • Basically anonymous
Possible catfish risk • Requires credit card info
The least obnoxious (and most hipster) hookup app out there that guarantees quick, no-strings-attached booty calls.
Small talk and all that mushy shit? Ain’t nobody got time for that. No, seriously — your uploaded selfies, personal info, and conversations with others self destruct every 60 minutes, promoting spur-of-the-moment and borderline anonymous hookups. The app will ask for your phone number, but that’s just to make sure you’re a real person. (As the hipster comics on their website state, “Don’t talk about your problems. Problems are for therapists. Pure is for fun.”) The app uses your geolocation and sends out the sex version of an Uber request, so you won’t have to worry about finding out your match actually lives across the country. There’s a seriously fun “less talking, more touching” vibe that ramps up the fast-paced atmosphere, taking things to a whole new level.
PURE gives all the feels of a hookup-only site without the obnoxious naked parts everywhere, AKA you won’t have to be scared for someone to glance at your phone or computer screen as you would with AdultFriendFinder. AskMen mentions that it “seriously challenges the status quo,” and we agree — the surge of blatant sex positivity is a breath of fresh air when compared to other dating apps that try to convince you that you’ll find your soulmate. There’s no fancy algorithm, no crappy bio jokes, and best of all: no waiting. It will ask for your credit card info, but we promise it’s all free. Sign up here.
Not solely based on physical attraction • Can request and confirm dates • Low pressure atmosphere
Need to pay for best features • Time consuming • Not 100% hookup oriented
Clover gets a bit more personal than others — come here to find a hookup who you actually don’t hate as a person.
Aside from the usual physical appearance, location, and sexual preference questions, Clover also gives you the option of answering 20 profile questions in a similar manner to OkCupid. (If you’re impatient, just stick with Tinder or PURE.) There is an option to check that you’re only looking to hook up, so you can at least ensure that you won’t be giving the wrong idea. While you can swipe to match, you can also request to go on a date (and even suggest a place and time), or create mixer events for multiple users to meet up. (AskMen’s Clover reviewer saw a mixer titled “Lol why am I using this app,” and we love that.) Note: There is a free version of Clover, but the premium memberships allows for unlimited chatting, plus you’ll be able to unlock all photo, video, and badge features. Paying for an app is annoying, but Clover’s impressive 4.5 star review and nearly 20,000 ratings on the App Store tells us people think it’s worth it).
Our main point? Sometimes it’s nice to not be strangers with the person you’re having sex with. A lot of hookups usually end in being kicked out of bed at 3 a.m. or leaving before the other person wakes up — but what if you’re both lonely and just really like brunch foods? It’s nice to know you can hold some sort of conversation and use them for their company as well as their private parts. You can easily get laid and find a a no-strings-attached situation, just with a friendlier dynamic. Does that take the passion and mystery and spontaneity of a random hookup away? Hell no. Plus, if you’re also open to a relationship if you meet the right person, Clover is a great happy medium. Sign up here.
Insane selection for gay men • Users cut to the chase • Can easily find a date within the hour
Selection is less robust in less populated areas • Extremely NSFW
A great option for gay men because it ditches small talk and has tons of potential matches online 24/7.
One month of Grindr XTRA:
Three months of Grindr XTRA:
Six months of Grindr XTRA:
“When I think about the first mobile app that really, I felt, gained critical mass, it was Grindr,” says Julie Spira, dating expert and CEO of . “Grindr paved the way for people to be aware that there is this dating-on-the-fly scenario happening.”
Since its launch in 2009, it’s grown from a tiny hookup app used by men the world over to an actual content powerhouse. In 2017, Grindr launched their thoughtful called Into in an effort to make itself look more like a lifestyle brand and less like a hookup app. (Read more on that in about the site’s launch.)
But aside from that wholesome bit, Grindr is hella handy to find a one night stand or a friends with benefits situation, probably within the same day. You can browse the profiles of fellow users in your area — and by “in your area” we’re talking literal distance in feet. That means you’ll totally be able to hit up that cutie you saw in line at Starbucks 30 seconds ago. You can also see who’s currently online, AKA who’s up and scrolling for the same thing that you are. It’s gay paradise, y’all, and if you’ve been thinking that you’ve met every gay man in your area already, Grindr might be able to show you some newbies who you never knew existed. (Unless you’re in a small town, then you’ll probably see the same people recycled on your feed — but just wait until you go on vacation.) An NSFW word to the wise though: we wouldn’t suggest opening a new message if someone could possibly peak over your shoulder. Grindr users have no chill.
The app is free for basic use (what most people use), but you can opt for an upgrade to Grindr XTRA to unlock other features like read receipts, xtra filters, an “online-only” viewing option, no ads, and more. Prices differ depending on the length of your subscription (mentioned above) but won’t exceed $9.99/month. Sign up here.
Lesbians galore • Focused on LGBTQI+ community involvement • No men pretending to be women
Not 100% hookup oriented • Up and coming user base
A by women, for women app to help you get involved and meet nearby queer women you never knew existed.
HER claims to be the app that will “introduce you to every lesbian you’ve ever wanted to meet” — so if you’ve been feeling like there are literally no new lesbians left where you live, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to watch your hookup possibilities grow before your eyes. It’s nice to have genuine options that aren’t just straight girls on Tinder looking to make friends or find a threesome partner. A hookup app for lesbians that’s not completely sexualized by straight men? Is this real life?
However, HER is so much more than a hookup app, and doesn’t even put on the pressure to find a romantic partner. While it can be used for coupling up, it focuses much more on the LGBTQI+ community in general. Your profile is more similar to a Facebook profile, and your feed is filled with things like local LGBTQI+ events, LGBTQI+ news in the media, new lesbian films or TV shows that mainstream Twitter will probably ignore, and tons more — all posted by women who you can talk to if something sparks you interest. See our other picks for the best dating sites for lesbians here and sign up for HER for free here.
Tons of options • Mature and experienced users • Endless search possibilities
Relationship oriented site • Pricey • Hookups won’t be instantaneous
If your age makes you feel like a certified creep on Tinder, Match is a more mature place to find an experienced booty call.
Three months of paid:
Six months of paid:
One year of paid:
One main difference between Match and most of the other sites we’ve listed (other than AdultFriendFinder maybe) is that Match sees a way more diverse age range. Sure, there are a ton of young people on Match who are probably on Tinder as well, but Match also attracts significantly more older, more mature (and probably more experienced in bed) users. If you’re at an age where you feel nothing but creepy on Tinder, Match is a perfect alternative. You’ll obviously have to fill out some survey questions about your likes and dislikes, so this isn’t the place for impatient people. However, it would be a good idea to let the public know exactly the type of relationship you’re looking for in your bio, just to make sure it doesn’t get awkward if someone wants a second date. Don’t worry, it’s less serious than eharmony and gives you much more freedom to clown around — we’d just suggest that you at least be open to the idea of a serious relationship after a hookup if you’re gonna be on Match. You have to test drive the car before you buy it, right? (Douchey, but true.)
Match is also clutch because you’re pretty much in control: You’ll get a certain number of matches that they think you’ll like per day, but you also have free reign over the search bar and can see who’s nearby. This means you’re able to feel out the selection and see if there are any certified hotties in your area, rather than waiting for them to give you choices or going one by one (like on Tinder). They might not have as much in common with you as your suggested matches would, but hey, does that really matter when it comes to a one night stand?
Read our full Match review here and sign up here.
Safe(r) for work • Flirty users from tons of countries
Ads interfere with user experience • Pricey for the quality • Small and spread out user base
You’re more likely to find a sexting partner across the ocean than a nearby hookup, but that’s fine if you don’t feel like leaving the house.
One month of Gold:
Three months of Gold:
One year of Gold:
On the downside, the website is more of a Facebook for horny people than an all-encompassing hookup site. There aren’t nearly as many ways to get involved with other horny members, and that might just be because the user base simply isn’t as big. (However, give it a year or two and we wouldn’t be surprised if it competed with the ranks of eharmony.) iHookup also offers many “What are you like?” and “What are you looking for?” questions that can be displayed on your profile, and they even give you a “between the sheets” sex compatibility ranking for each user you come across. To see everything the site has to offer, you will have to fork over some coin: A year-long gold membership is only $9.99/month, but one month is $34.99. It seems kind of pricey for a site that hasn’t yet made it’s mark on the world, but they guarantee that if you don’t get a hookup in your first three months, they’ll give you three months for free.
Because the member base isn’t as robust and is more spread out geographically, you might want to be a little more lenient with your mile radius when it comes to the matches they suggest. You’ll probably be able to find a nearby hookup, but iHookup is a way better place for someone looking for a cute sexting partner from another country. Which is totally fine — sometimes you just don’t feel like leaving the house. Check out our full review of iHookup here and sign up here.
Cheers to having good, safe, consensual intercourse with strangers, guys. Get your condoms here, and good luck out there.
Looking for something more serious?
Hooking up is great, but perhaps it’s not the *only* thing you’re looking for. If you’re a bit more relationship-minded, we’d suggest sites like Zoosk, eharmony, and OkCupid.