Looking for a hookup?
Or maybe you want a casual relationship or even FWB. To find exactly what you’re looking for as quickly as possible, you need to use the best hookup sites and apps.
Research has shown that 40% of students use apps like Tinder for hookups only.
This tells us two things:
- The hookup culture is very much alive and kicking.
- The best way to land a hookup is via online dating.
The problem is that online sites and apps are full of millions of users who are looking for something fun, too.
So where do you start looking?
Moreover, what apps do you use if you’re looking for something more niche?
Worse still … what if you end up paying for an app only to find it’s really not the one for you.
The purpose of this article is to help you find a hookup site or app that’s perfect for you. I’ll be running through all the best hookup sites and apps that are on the market at the moment, I’ll be discussing each one in-depth and sharing my personal experience with them, and I’ll also be weighing up their pros and con
By the end of the article, you’ll have a better idea of which app to sign up for so that you can meet someone like-minded, and have some fun this weekend.
Ready? Let’s make a start.
Best Hookup Apps & Sites of 2021
AdultFriendFinder (AFF) is a legendary hookup site that’s arguably the most famous there is. It’s been around for over two decades already, it’s home to over 50,000,000 users around the world, and it’s ideal if you’re looking for something utterly filthy. To that end, users are encouraged to upload naked pics of themselves.
One of the best things about AFF is that it caters to any sexual niche you can think of. There are people here looking for a straight-up hookup, threesomes, orgies, dogging, as well as swinger parties. There are also live webcam models to keep you entertained, too, and signing up is easy.
AFF is constantly under fire from the media for its dated layout. True, its layout is basic and dated. But AFF simply reaffirms its stance that it’s pretty much a porn-come-hookup site for those who just wanna get laid. Nothing more, nothing less.
Personally, I think AFF could do with updating their user interface as it’s still way too dated. Other than that, AFF is hard to beat if you want sex as soon as possible and have a dirty mind. It is, however, a premium site that requires a fee.
- Millions of users
- Reputable site
- Lots of extra features including adult movies
- No frills – it’s exactly what it says it is
- Dated layout
- No matchmaking system
Ashley Madison has gained a reputation for being a hookup app used by married men and women who are looking for an affair. And that’s exactly who it’s aimed at. Unashamedly a hookup site for cheating couples, Ashley Madison can be used by single people too, but it’s primarily a place for bored husbands and wives to hook up with each other.
Ashley Madison is a premium site that rewires a fee. However, the catch is that, while men have to buy credits to send and receive messages, women get access to everything for free.
Ashley Madison often gets a bad rep in the news because it’s aimed at adulterous couples. However, Ashely Madison simply double downs on what it does – it provides a service for those who simply need to spice up their sex life.
Ultimately, Ashely Madison is ideal if you’re married and want to have a very discreet affair. It lets you remain anonymous, it’s high traffic and it comes with enough features to make it worth the fee
- Best hookup site for adulterous couples
- Smooth user interface
- Free for women
- Allows you to stay anonymous
- Men must pay
- Was subject to a major data hack in 2015
Probably the world’s most popular dating site ever, Tinder is used by over 10,000,000 people around the world. The original swipe app, it’s largely used by young adults aged under 30, and the best thing is that it’s totally free to send and receive messages for everyone. It’s also very easy to use and doesn’t even require you to fill out a bio if you don’t wish to.
Tinder has a very easy signup process that only takes a matter of minutes. You can add as many photos as you want, and then you’re free to get swiping. If you swipe right and the other person swipes right, you’re a match and can then start chatting.
Tinder has, however, come under criticism for not taking user safety seriously enough. However, the app has responded and is doing all it can to improve privacy and keep people safe online.
As popular and as easy to use as Tinder is, one of the things I found with it is that, while it’s used by those looking for a hookup, it’s also used by those who want something serious. And since it has no search function, this means it could be time-consuming to find what you want.
- Very high, active user base
- Free for everyone
- Easy to use
- Lets you connect other apps, including Spotify and Instagram
- Profiles are limited
- Lots of people just use it for validation
OkCupid is one of the world’s most popular dating sites, period. It’s one of the most open-minded and tolerant dating apps there is, which makes it especially ideal for anyone who’s a member of the LGBTQ+ community, gender-neutral, or who’s otherwise questioning. And the best thing is that it’s totally free for everyone to use.
OkCupid isn’t strictly for hookups, but its search function makes it super easy to find anyone who’s just looking for some fun. The profiles are generally very detailed (even those who are looking for a hookup), and OkCupid provides a safe space to protect you from stalkers.
OkCupid has found itself in the news a few times over the last year, mostly because of how it seeks to bring real-life issues, such as BLM, into online dating. OkCupid has always viewed itself as a progressive, left-leaning dating app and reiterates that “younger daters care about the big issues today.”
Overall, my experience of OkCupid was hit and miss. Yes, it’s easy to use and has a high active user base. But because it puts user safety first and foremost, it makes it hard to establish an initial connection with someone (you can’t message them until they match with you).
- The high active user base
- Great for LGBTQ+ members
- User safety is paramount
- Free to use
- Not many features
- Hard to see who’s liked you
Hinge is a relatively new “swipe app” that works similarly to Tinder. Its user base currently stands at 5,000,000 around the world, with most users aged between 25 and 32. Hinge’s popularity has surged in recent years thanks to the fact that it’s aimed at those looking for a hookup, and those who are looking for something more serious.
The signup process is straightforward, and it’s free to send and receive messages. However, you need to upgrade your account to premium if you want to see who’s liked you and do other things, such as boost your profile. Overall, most users are responsive.
Hinge has been in the news a lot recently because it’s increased its usage a huge amount during the lockdown. To that end, Hinge has added new features, including video chat. This means you can see your potential hookup face-to-face before you meet them
Myself, I enjoyed using Hinge. My only criticism is that people use it for meaningful connections as much as they use it for casual sex. As such, you just have to tweak your profile so that people know exactly what you’re looking for.
- Free to send and receive messages
- Easy signup process
- No need to write a bio from scratch
- Very easy to make new connection
- Can’t see who’s liked you until you upgrade
- Too many people looking for something serious.
Down is one of the newest hookup app on the block. Because it’s still relatively new, it has a much lower user base than the likes of Tinder. It’s a swipe app that’s grown in strength over the last 12 months during the pandemic, but unlike Tinder it lets you swipe down for ‘hookup’ and up for just ‘dates’.
The signup process is simple enough. You just need to fill out your basic information, such as your age, add some pics – and get swiping. However, because the user base is still so thin on the ground it can take a long while until you actually get a match.
Down has been criticised for not being very flexible. For example, you can only add pics from either your Facebook or Instagram account, and you can’t even add a bio. But because Down is a straight-up sex app, I don’t expect them to change the way they do thing.
Personally, I liked Down and had a good strike rate on it. Sure, you won’t get as many matches on here as Tinder, but I’d say 80% of users are actively seeking a hookup.
- Mostly used by those looking for a hookup
- Simple signup process
- Great design
- Low user base
- No bio’s
HUD is a hookup app that is aimed only at those looking for casual sex. It’s been around since 2015, claims to have more than 5,000,000 members, and its popularity has increased since it reinforced its inclusivity values. Indeed, it’s open to anyone and everyone of all backgrounds and sexual orientations.
You can sign up in 3 different ways, and the registration process is free. You can sign up as a single person or even as a couple, and you can also take advantage of a 7-day free trial. Other than that, HUD has a variety of payment plans, starting with a one-month subscription.
HUD has attracted media attention because of its simplicity. It doesn’t ask you 20+ questions upon signup but lets you get down to things straight away. It’s also been noted for prioritising the safety of its users.
I got started with the HUD 7-day free trial. But while the app is modern and sleekly designed, the problem it has is that it’s very similar to Tinder – but without Tinder’s user base. However, if you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community and want a hookup, it has its uses.
- Safe to use
- LGBTQ+ friendly
- Modern design
- Good user experience
- Not so many active users
- Some users abuse the photo messaging feature
Pure is one of the most basic, 100% anonymous DTF app that is aimed at anyone who’s looking for casual sex that night. It boasts around 40,000 active members each month around the world, it’s used predominantly by millennials, and it has a very innovative feature: Your profile self-destructs after an hour, which means you’ve got just an hour to land a hookup on the site.
The signup process takes 3 minutes or less and there’s no need to add a bio or even any pics. All you need to add is a headline that states what you want tonight, as well as your location. Pure is free for women but men need to pay.
Pure has got a bad reputation with the media because users don’t need to add photos, with some suggesting that this negates user safety. However, Pure has put in place lots of security measures to keep everyone safe, and they encourage users to swap pics and numbers before meeting.
I signed up to Pure and realised straight away that you’ve gotta move quickly if you want to land a hookup before your profile self-destructs. However, as long as you add a catchy headline and get to the point with people, Pure is easily one of the best apps for casual sex around.
- Purely for hookups
- Absolutely no hassle
- Innovative concept
- Free for women
- Men have to pay
- Potential personal safety issues
Wild is aimed at casual relationships, and those looking for no strings attached sex. It’s used by both males and females but males currently outweigh female users by quite a lot. Photo verification is required before your profile can go live, the app is slick, and there is a free week’s VIP membership available as soon as you sign up.
Wild is easy to sign up to, and the registration process shouldn’t take longer than a minute. All you need is a photo, a very short bio and that’s it. But while it’s free to register, Wild isn’t the cheapest app to use. Prices start at $29.99 per month, which makes it more expensive than Tinder.
Wild hasn’t been in the headlines too much because it’s not as popular as most of its competitors. However, the media has noted that Wild is one of the safest apps around because of its photo verification feature.
I found Wild very easy to use, and I loved its sleek design. However, as a guy, it was disappointing to find a low number of female users in my local area. That said, the free trial is useful and Wild works well as a ‘side app.’
- Very safe to use and meet people
- Simple signup process
- Very few fake profiles
- Advanced search filter
- Not as many female users as males
Feeld is ideal for the LGBTQ+ community. This is because it has more gender options than most competitors, and is even great for threesomes. It’s open-minded, tolerant of all sexual orientations, and users feel safe and free from judgment. Feeld has an active weekly user base of around 200,000 and phone verification ensures there are few fake profiles.
Signing up to Feeld requires a Facebook account and shouldn’t take longer than a minute. You don’t even need to add a picture, which invariably means around 20% of profiles don’t have one. Moreover, Feeld doesn’t even require that its users add a real name.
Feeld has gained a lot of media attention in recent years for helping “throuples” who want a polyamorous relationship find what they’re looking for. It’s seen as an alternative app that Feeld themselves admit is true. And that’s not a bad thing!
My personal experience of Feeld was hit and miss. It took a while to ‘get going’ but eventually I landed a few matches and was on my way. However, for a casual dating app, a surprising number of people prefer to remain anonymous which can make it hard to establish a connection.
- The gender spectrum is well represented
- Great for singles and couples
- The good, responsive user base
- Strictly moderated
- Not much you can do as a free user
- Lots of people prefer to remain anonymous
As its name might suggest, HER is a hookup app for lesbians. HER themselves say this is the most popular lesbian dating app in the world, and it was created by queer women. It has an active user base of around 20,000, with most users aged under 30. However, while it’s possible to find casual sex encounters using the app, HER is also used by serious daters.
To sign up to HER, you need to have either an Instagram or a Facebook account. All your photos are then grabbed from whichever social site you register from. You can send and receive messages for free, but you will need to upgrade your account to enjoy extra perks.
HER hasn’t been in the news too much since its rebranding a few years ago. However, news outlets were quick to promote the fact that it revamped its profiles in 2020. These updated profiles now let you express yourself in more ways than ever to find a hookup much quicker.
A member of our team signed up to HER to see what it was all about and her personal experience was positive. HER is a very social app, and most people who use it are responsive and open-minded. The layout also gets major thumbs up.
- Most reputable lesbian hookup app
- Great design
- Safe to use and enjoy
- Free to send and receive messages
- Relatively low high user base
- Can’t see who’s liked you until you’ve upgraded your account
Grindr is a gay hookup app aimed specifically at gay men who want a casual sex encounter of any kind. It’s essentially seen as the gay version of Tinder and it’s the most popular gay hookup app in the world. Its user base currently stands at 27,000,000 worldwide, and Grindr itself claims there are over 228 million messages sent each day.
Signing up to Grindr couldn’t be easier. It’s free, and although your photo needs to be approved by the Grindr team before your profile is live, this takes less than a minute. You can also login via Facebook should you prefer.
Grindr came under fire at the start of 2021 for selling user data. For this, it is subject to a fine of over $9m. This accounts for 10% of the app’s revenue. In response, Grindr says it has done nothing illegal and that it has always secured legal consent from all its users.
I found the Grindr app very easy to use. Because it’s super high traffic, you can pretty much guarantee a match. On the flip side, many users are often unresponsive and quickly move on.
- Great for hookups
- Lots of matches within just a few miles of you
- Variety of men looking for different types of casual sex encounters
- Huge user base
- Lots of guys tend to disappear after one or two messages
- Lots of guys prefer to remain anonymous
But What If You’re Not Looking For Casual Sex?
If perhaps you’re tired of the hookup world and now want something serious, the above apps won’t really work for you.
Match has been around for over two decades. In that time, it’s grown its user base to more than 8,000,000 premium members around the world, and even more who have signed up but who use it for free. Easily one of the most reputable dating sites in the world, Match is great for finding something short and long-term – and especially marriage.
The signup process is relatively quick and you don’t need to verify your account. You will need to add at least one picture though, as well as fill out an ‘about me’ form. However, you can’t send or view your messages until you upgrade your account.
The Match Group owns several dating sites, including Tinder. However, it was sued in 2019 for allegedly putting people at risk of romance scams. Match denies this and is indeed one of the safest, more credible dating sites in the world.
I signed up to Match, upgraded my account, and was especially pleased with the in-depth search function. There is also a ‘Matches’ tab where you can view suggested profiles, and all-in-all, Match is great for making new connections and ‘seeing where things go.’
- Lots of features
- Advanced search function
- Need to upgrade your account to send messages
- Free members won’t be able to reply to you
eHarmony is entirely aimed at those looking for a serious, long-term commitment. It’s used by around 1,000,000+ people around the world, and it’s a premium dating site. This means you need to upgrade your account to get the most out of it. Most people who use the site are aged between 25 and 35, and they have a secure, professional career.
The signup process is one of the lengthiest around. Each member is required to take a questionnaire that asks questions about themselves. Their answers are then used to create a compatible score with other members, which helps you to find better matches.
At the start of 2021, eHarmony launched its first-ever ad featuring a lesbian couple. This is part of its inclusivity campaign designed to attract more LGBTQ+ singles who are looking for love. The ads have been well received and showcase the site’s commitment to love for all.
I had a pleasant experience using eHarmony. This is not the cheapest dating site in the world, but it’s one of the best when it comes to matching you with like-minded people. However, I was disappointed by the lack of a search feature.
- Lots of compatible matches
- People are genuine looking for love here
- Daily matches
- Great user layout
- Lengthy signup process
- No search feature
Elite Singles has always prided itself on being a serious dating site aimed at pairing up highly educated, career-driven singles. Despite its rather elite niche, the site claims to have 65,000 new sign-ups per month, with over 80% of them possessing a university degree. Most members are aged over 30 and are looking for a serious commitment.
The signup process takes around 20 minutes. This is because you’ll need to complete an extensive personality survey to help you find improved matches. Signup is free but you’ll need to upgrade your account to send and receive messages.
Elite Singles is one of the cleanest and safest dating sites around. As such, it’s largely avoided the headlines. Instead, it’s got a reputation for pairing up like-minded, ambitious singles who are looking for a shot at love.
I signed up to the site myself, took the personality quiz and then introduced myself to other users by the automated ‘5 Questions.’ I could also compare likes and dislikes before finally sending personalised messages. Overall, it was a pleasant site to use and meet new people.
- Number of subscription packages available
- Safe to use
- Blogs are on hand to offer expert dating advice
- Elite Singles app available
- Can’t really do anything as a free member
- Not cheap
Frequently Asked Questions by Readers:
What Are The Best Hookup Sites?
The standout hookup sites are Pure, Grindr, AdultFriendFinder, and Ashley Madison. This is because, while the likes of Tinder and OkCupid present hookup opportunities, they’re not strictly just for hookups. With Pure, you can be sure that everyone who signs up just wants some fun.
Are These Hookup Apps & Sites Legit?
Yes. Every site on our list is legit, legal, and safe to use. They’re all used by verified profiles, with many members enjoying casual sex encounters because of them.
Is Tinder a Hookup App?
Tinder started life as a hook-up app, but since then it has grown to the huge user base of singles who are looking for something serious. But Tinder is a swipe app, and the nature of a swipe app is such that people use them when they’re bored and want sex. So while it’s possible to find a hookup on Tinder, you will need to waste as little time on those who are looking for something serious as possible.