Technology has made a casual hookup easier than ever to arrange, without needing to go through scam websites that promise no-hassle fun, but end up leading to more nights alone, or worse, just rip you off for your cash.
VR porn is great, but sometimes you want some real interaction, with a real person, in the real world – and for those times, casual sex apps and hookup apps can simplify the whole scenario.
We’ve got an ever-growing list of the best hook-up and casual dating apps below, with a focus on sex apps, rather than those geared more towards ‘dating’.
Many of the sex apps in the list below are available in multiple countries, though the number of available or nearby potential partners will vary depending on exactly where you are – people living in cities have a better chance of having a larger pool of potential partners, just as they do offline.
Why use a hook-up app?
Hookups were once a bit more taboo than they are today, which is good news for anyone looking for some no-strings fun with like-minded people. But why use an app at all?
- It’s quicker than going on hitting on random people, or going to known hook-up spots.
- You can maintain anonymity.
- You can easily meet people outside of your normal area / where you live.
- Most apps have a free tier – some are completely free sex apps.
- It’s an easier way of meeting people into the same sexual activities as you.
Staying Safe on Hookup Apps
Given you’re here, and an adult, you probably don’t need telling that you should be at least a little cautious when using any sort of hookup or sex meetup app. Or indeed, ‘regular’ dating apps too.
Nonetheless, here are 5 handy tips to keep in mind when using sex apps.
- Avoid broadcasting your full real name in your profile.
- Meet in a public place, at a time when other people will be around.
- Tell a friend where you are going, if you decide to meet someone. Give them the address or place of meeting.
- Limit your alcohol intake. Don’t leave drinks unattended.
- Use condoms. We don’t need to tell you about the potential problems that lie ahead if you engage in unprotected sex with strangers, but it’s nothing you want in your future.
Apps Known for Casual Sex and Hookups
There aren’t too many people that haven’t already come across Tinder, but it’d be remiss of us not to include it in this list, given how well-known it is for casual hookups.
While it doesn’t focus explicitly on straight hookups, there are more people there looking for sex than looking for a relationship, or so it feels. There’s provision for same-sex hookups too, but there are also more specialist apps for gay hookups in the list below.
Tinder has a lot of free users, but if you want access to any of the Premium features – Tinder Gold, Super Swipes, etc. – then you’ll need to cough up some cash, either on a one-off or recurring monthly basis.
Feeld is another one of those apps that isn’t marketed explicitly as a sex app – one for hookups, necessarily – but it is often how it’s used by members, whether gay, lesbian or straight. The spin here, however, is that it’s for people looking for threesomes.
Happily, it’s open to both couples and singles, and has a number of options designed to increase safety built-in, such as not using your real name in the app, the option of disappearing photos, and the ability to set your profile to private to communicate with existing connections only.
There’s no need to swipe your way through users either, you can just browse and select. As with many others in this list, if you want access to premium Feeld Majestic Membership features, you’ll have to pay for them.
Among those are additional privacy options, a dark theme, and crucially, notifications of who liked you.
Grindr is most frequently used as a hookup app for gay men, but it’s also open to bi, trans and queer people too, and there’s nothing to say you couldn’t find a more enduring relationship there too. Mostly, it’s a gay hookup app with a huge user base, which makes hooking up pretty easy, particularly if you’re near a town or city of any notable size.
Messaging tends to be explicit from the outset with many users, and there’s a whole lot of different shorthands and codes used to communicate preferences in profiles – thereby cutting down on the amount of time you spend looking for a hookup with someone who’s into the same things as you.
Again, you won’t need to swipe your way through the entire world to see other members, but you will need to pay if you want to access Grindr Extra or Grindr Unlimited features, which include disappearing photos, unsend message options, incognito mode and typing status indicators.
Sex Apps Explicitly for Hookups
Pure by name… but the url is Pure.Sex, so that pretty much tips off that this app is just for quick sexual hookups. In fact, almost all the features are geared around this.
For example, you can only have one profile image, and you appear in the feed of people around you for exactly one hour for each ‘request’ that you make. It’s ephemeral hookup sex, in almost all cases.
If you do start a private conversation, that too will disappear after an hour – and Pure’s also geared around anonymity.
Happn is another of the apps in this list that many people will probably know already, basing it’s main use on hooking users up that cross paths in real-life.
It was among one of the first huge ‘dating’ apps to use geo-location as its core feature. So, rather than swiping through zillions of members, only people that are geographically close to you are shown by default.
Though, with 70 million members and more joining each month, there still might be quite a few people to check out. Paying for a Premium subscription gets you 10 ‘Hellos’ each day, invisible mode, ad-removal, and the ability to see who has Liked you, among a few other perks.
Badoo is similar to Happn, in that it makes use of geo-location, but it doesn’t restrict your searches to people you’ve bumped into on the street. Also like Happn, it has a huge number of users – over 460 million, though we wouldn’t expect these all to be active users.
While it bills itself – and looks – like a traditional dating site (and you may well find a relationship), the app is better known as being a reliable source of hookups.
It is pretty heavily tied into Facebook’s identification and login services though, which makes it potentially a little safer, but also potentially a little less private.
You’ll need to ensure you don’t log in via Facebook initially and set your account to not share or use any of your info, if you want to lock it down a bit.
Down is definitely one of the lesser-known sex apps in this roundup, but it has been around for more than five years already. It’s based on the idea that being straightforward – and honesty – is the best policy when it comes to the sort of date you’re looking for and how you want to spend your time.
There are two options when choosing to match with someone – either ‘get date’ or ‘get down’, with the latter being the hookup option. Swiping left means you skip them entirely.
Users are also given a ‘Down Score’, which is a mix of different factors, including how many views and interactions your profile got, along with social media signals.
Kink and BDSM Hookup Apps
Waves is the newest platform in this list, having launched only last year. Unlike many of the others, it has slightly different aims, specifically: to make kink and fetish dating a less dark, and more private, space.
Where many kink apps embrace a dark design, Waves is bright and airy, but what’s more important is that it gives a granular level of control over your kink preferences and how (or if) you choose to display them on your profile. For each kink, you can rate it a “hard no”, open for “discussion” or a “yes”. From there, you can filter potential matches further.
Waves never matches people with mis-matched preferences (ie. if you’ve got a hard no, and someone else has a yes, you won’t ever match), and your preferences won’t be displayed until you have matched with someone.
Whiplr is a neatly-presented kink app that places a focus on the fetish community. In fact, that’s a bit of an understatement – there are over 230 different fetishes that you can select and browse.
There are some solid privacy controls, allowing you to decide what to show to other users, and giving you the ability to block any you don’t want to hear from again. And like others here, there’s a location-based feed option, as well as the ability to browse kink categories.
When you do match with someone, there’s an inbuilt messenger that supports text and video calling, for when things get a little more personal.
In pursuit of creating a community, and not just a dating app, Whiplr also has active discussion groups and regularly posts information about upcoming kink events.
Fet is another app that focuses squarely on people looking for others with a little kink to their sexual tastes. Unlike some of the others, it’s not backed by as large a company and lets you select where you want to go within the app by activity. For example, you can head to the pic exchange, swingers section, friends, etc.
While it’s free to sign up, you’ll probably need to pay to get the best out of Fet, as it restricts which users you can message (ie. not new ones) and how frequently you can contact people on the free plan.
Likewise, if you want to see users that like you or those that have viewed your profile, you’ll need to pay for a premium subscription.
Kinkd is an app well-known for providing no-nonsense hookups in the fetish and kink community, though you’ll probably end up having to pay some money to message people if you want to use it regularly, as you only get one free conversation per day.
As well as the regular ‘dating’ features, there are also contests that show users that get the most votes, a Spark private matching feature and an Instagram Stories-like ‘Moments’ feature.
Kinkd says its users are primarily in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Brazil and Germany, and are interested in a range of kink activities, like bondage, DDLG, leather, latex, dom and sub play.
Kinkoo is another sex and kink hookup app in this list that puts community at the center of its experience, allowing users to share a Facebook-like status update, and delve into group chats themed around specific topics.
Naturally, on top of that, there are more private aspects to the app and matching process, and the company says that most of its users are into “lifestyles like foot fetish, dom & sub, voyeur, cuckold, bondage, collar, latex, shibari, leather, role play, DDLG, etc.”
As with most other services, you’re only shown as a match if you both indicate you like each other, but there’s a higher than average number of users looking for fantasy or polyamory encounters.
As an added security measure, you can lock the app with a PIN, fingerprint or facial unlock to stop prying eyes if you ever need to hand your phone to someone else.
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