ONLINE DATING

Casual encounters – 22 best alternatives

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While romance makes dating fun, it also complicates the process. Long before you know it, you are expected to honor a long-term commitment, and expectations go as far as to start a family.

Several years ago, we had a Craiglist Personals service for casual meetings. Seemed like a perfect place for casual encounters until it was closed due to legal issues.

Luckily, it wasn’t too long until various alternatives sprung all over the net. We tested out dozens of casual dating platforms and made our creme-de-la-creme list of the safest and most accessible options.

AdultFriendFinder

Since 1996, the platform has firmly positioned itself as a leading casual dating website, and casual sex usually comes in a package. The service’s users are opened to sexual and romantic experiments and don’t expect to start a serious relationship.

Price

A basic free version, a monthly subscription for $40.

Matching algorithms

  • Match-feed with intimate photos â€” the website is all about sex;
  • Quick registration for less than a minute;
  • Additional customization options and a Purity Test;
  • An extensive personality test, similar to Match’s registration form.

Pros

  • Transparency â€” you get precisely what you came for;
  • Quick registration and momentary matching;
  • A considerable user pool with 25 million users worldwide.

Cons

  • Dirty interface with naked pictures all over the main page;
  • No â€śplatonic” friendships â€” sex is implied by default.

AdultFriendFinder is a let-and-let-live casual dating service without prejudices or far-fetched expectations. Sure enough, it looks a lot like a porn site, but the expectation of ending up with a quick hookup is delivered.

Pure

For those who prefer a lot more class in their real casual encounters, we recommend a more exclusive casual encounter service. Pure is a new tech-savvy service for location-based matchmaking, based on full anonymity and unpredictable matching system.

Price

7-day free trial version. The paid subscription for $14.99 per month.

Matching algorithms

  • Fast registration with minimal personal information required;
  • See users nearby, displayed on an intuitive map;
  • Select profiles and send dating requests;
  • Communicate in an encrypted chat;
  • The conversation disappears in an hour.

Pros

  • The service doesn’t stick to some particular type but keeps things new and fun;
  • Works both for no-sex one-night meetings and quick hookups;
  • A free trial version.

Cons

  • Matching patterns are not too clear;
  • A free version lets only browsing the location and a profile, no messaging included.

Pure is an adventurous platform for casual relationships. It connects users to people outside of their social circle.

AshleyMadison

Just like Pure, this site is careful with its users’ confidential information. Since the main point of the service is to help with finding an affair, discretion is imperative. Luckily, AshleyMadison delivers the promise and keeps accounts and conversation thoroughly encrypted.

Price

A free version for testing out the basic functionality. A credit-based system: 100 credits per $49.

Matching algorithms

  • No phone, or social media confirmation;
  • Create a separate email to validate an account;
  • Browse the feed with profiles which satisfy your romantic and sexual preferences;
  • Add a blur effect to your pictures to keep full anonymity;
  • Start messaging right away, bypassing matching, or liking stages.

Pros

  • The service supports various location simultaneously for casual dating during trips;
  • Only necessary information needed â€” gender, age, zodiac sign.

Cons

  • No devoted relationships;
  • Lacking information.

Ashley Madison supports polygamous as well as monogamous relationships. Also, the functionality is well-adapted to LGBTQ dates. Even though a privacy scandal in 2015 where user’s data got leaked online, nearly destroyed the Ashley Madison’s reputation, the service managed to fix its security issues.

BDSM.com

Although ’50 Shades Of Grey’ undoubtedly brought a lot of awareness to BDSM, talking about it in the open with your date is a challenge. That’s why those who are into this sort of experiences visit a site with compatible people to avoid confusion and exchange experiences.

Price

A free version for simple messaging and browsing. A silver subscription for $19 per month. A Gold plan for $29 per month.

Matching algorithms

  • To sign up, users need to add essential information â€” name, age, photo, height, experience, and preferences;
  • The final registration stage includes passing a test that determines your “tastes”;
  • A large feed with profiles that are selected based on your preferences;
  • Direct messaging with no beforehand matching required.

Pros

  • Moderators encourage members to upload fully-clothed pictures, which makes this experience cleaner;
  • Detailed classification of specific BDSM-experiences;
  • All profile contents and chat conversation go through end-to-end encryption.

Cons

  • Not enough personal information on the profile;
  • The free version works only for browsing profiles, no contact access.

BDSM unites millions of active worldwide users into more than 30 000 active groups, and 2 million active discussions. Here you can start a committed connection, or stick to random dates. The point is, the site offers plenty of choices.

BedPage

Service helps to find a companion for the night. You can call this casual dating on-demand or prefer a classical term “escort” instead. It’s much closer to the sex working industry than romantic encounters â€” but it’s still really casual.

Price

To publish or browse listings, and contact other users, acquire a premium version for $2 per listing.

  • Matching algorithms
  • Select country, state, and city to search for offers;
  • Browse listings with companions, available in your area;
  • Message your date and discuss the details.
  • No ghosting â€” you define the time and place for a date.

Pros

  • A clear location-based date selection;
  • No entailing expectations, only casual dates here and now.
  • Cons
  • Thousands of irrelevant listings;
  • Spammy sex advertising even for premium users;
  • Thousands of fake users.

Some users prefer to call the service “BadPage”, implying that you’ll see a lot of malicious ads along with fake pages rather than an actual hook-up. Still, others find it to be a sweet quick fix. Either way, the matching system is well thought out, so we don’t see a reason not to try â€” be careful while you are at it.

BoldPersonals

This site is straightforward about its intentions, and so are its members. Straight up on the main page, users see pages with specific date requests.

Matching algorithms

  • Quick registration with only a small amount of personal information required;
  • A transparent feed with users’ profiles, pictures, and date requirements;
  • No additional communication required- you can schedule a date and talk it out later;
  • The most popular dating types are “Men Seeking Women”, “Women Seeking Women”, “Women Seeking Men”, and “Men Seeking Men”;
  • For platonic bonds only, go to the page “Strictly Platonic”.

Pros

  • A comfortable feed: you see everything that you need to know;
  • A fast geo-targeted search;
  • Registration takes less than a minute.

Cons

  • Not much data about personal interests, romantic preferences, education, and all non-sex-related stuff;
  • An outdated interface.

We liked that Bold Personals combines intimate and platonic aspects of casual encounters. It nicely accommodates all community members those who seek for different interactions, and it makes finding a relationship that corresponds to your priorities much easier. Overall, the service keeps a fine line between being open about sex dating but keeping it out of the realm of porn websites.

ClassifiedAds

It’s the closest offer that we have to Craigslist casual encounters’ alternative. Just like Craigslist, Classified Ads are not limited to dating offers. It’s a popular ad board with millions of listings in each category. Personals is one of the most popular pages, and its scope and functionality work almost like on Craigslist.

Price

Browsing and contacting people is free. To place a listing, a site’s member pays an insertion fee â€” $9.95.

Matching algorithms

  • Main categories are “Casual dating”, “Lost connections”, “Men Seeking Women”, “Men Seeking Men”, “Women Seeking Men”, and “Women Seeking Women”.
  • Under each category, you’ll see the list of advertising where users describe their needs and offers;
  • Each advertisement includes a contact phone number; several even have links to social media account;
  • You can filter the proposals by their location and publication date.

Pros

  • Bbrief registration;
  • A simple search algorithm, almost identical to Craigslist’s;
  • Detailed and precise descriptions of dating interests.

Cons

  • Spammy ads;
  • Casual encounters imply purely sexual experiences, not long-term relationships.

Classified Ads feel like the mini-edition of new craigslist personals. Still, it’s not as famous and secure yet â€” although the aggregator is getting to a similar level of trust. So far, the service can hardly be regarded as a functional dating website; it’s still an ad board.

Cons

Cons regard casual dating and casual sex as nearly the same thing, which is good news for hookup-seekers â€” and less suitable for those who have relationships in mind. Here you can list your sexual desires and seek people with similar intimate tastes.

Price

A basic free version. Premium subscription for messaging.

Matching algorithms

  • Registration is quick and discreet;
  • Pictures don’t have to feature naked body parts necessarily;
  • A feed with matching profiles in your area;
  • Chat for text, image, and audio messaging.

Pros

  • No lengthy questionnaires;
  • Users state their intentions loud and clear;
  • All matches are located nearby.

Cons

  • The lack of information leads to possibly shady matches;
  • Outdated interface.

If you live in a big city, Cons might be a place for you. It has a lot to offer for those who look for quick hookups, but don’t expect to start a serious relationship. The best part about the service is that users know what they want â€” and go to Cons to get it.

DoubleList

One of the most popular Craigslist Personals’ alternative with strict moderation and security checks. The website administration doesn’t encourage purely sexual interactions, betting instead on a typical casual dating that doesn’t necessarily include physical intimacy.

Price

A free membership, posting ads and commenting other users is free.

Matching algorithms

  • Register a profile in less than a minute filling out necessary personal information;
  • Post an ad and wait for other users to respond;
  • Browse other users’ offers;
  • Contact attractive personals for free and with no limitations.

Pros

  • No porn-like browsing experience;
  • A rich free membership;
  • Quick moderation;
  • Additional subcategories.

Cons

  • Censorship; no body parts’ names in the ad;
  • A strict fine system.

It’s one of the biggest personals websites out there. However, while the platform inherited the core of Craiglist’s casual encounter section, it also established boundaries between casual encounters and sex spamming. Strict moderation and fines contributed to creating a clean browsing experience, but these limitations also jeopardize transparency.

Down

Launched initially as Bang WIth Friends, this platform encourages a straight-up approach to casual dating. Sex usually comes in the package: no gifts, likes, and winks â€” only chats and real-life dates.

Price

It’s a free service.

Matching algorithms

  • Register an account with personal information, romantic and sexual preferences;
  • Send a â€śHookup” request to a user nearby;
  • Go directly to the chat room and discuss dating details;
  • Explore multiple dates simultaneously â€” users here don’t expect you to keep an interaction exclusive.

Pros

  • An honest interface that doesn’t hide between romantic words and scientific terms;
  • A 6 million-user community of sex-positive daters;
  • A simple functionality, boiled down to essential features.

Cons

  • Here, you are expected to have sex, no questions asked;
  • Poor match choice in small towns.

Down is an open sex-positive service that treats casual encounters as a way to get laid easily. If that’s what you are looking for, hands down, this platform is a great place. However, if you seek a meaningful connection as well, it’s best to look for universal service.

Grindr

Grindr is the first and the biggest platform for casual gay dating. Here, men look for quick flings as well as a serious commitment, although the latter is much less common.

Price

A free version for profile browsing. A premium subscription for $5 per month allows messaging and photo exchange.

Matching algorithms

  • Geo-targeting allows seeing profiles within a 5-mile radius;
  • 12 categories for various body types and sexual preferences;
  • Comfortable chat with unlimited image messaging;
  • A unique Show A location feature.

Pros

  • Flexible filters and precise geo-targeting;
  • One of the biggest gay dating websites;
  • Rich free functionality.

Cons

  • Outdated interface;
  • Spammy pop-ups.

Grindr, with its six million active users, is a must-visit website for gay men. The only problem is, some of those profiles are fake and have been created to fill out unpopular areas like small towns. Still, if you live in a big city, you’ll have no problem finding a real match.

Happn

Casual meet-cutes, based on your history of Facebook interactions and geo-location â€” that’s the summary of dating on Happn. The service analyzes your friends of friends on social media to maximize compatibility.

Price

A free version. A monthly subscription for $24.99.

Matching algorithms

  • Register an account with Facebook credentials;
  • Quick registration with no additional questionnaires;
  • Matching is based on shared interests â€” books, movies, Youtube channels, TV shows;
  • If you accidentally run into another Happn user, the app will let you two know immediately.

Pros

  • Registration takes less than a minute;
  • Your casual date shares the same interests.

Cons

  • Facebook-based algorithms prevent you from keeping encounters secret;
  • Not enough personal information.

Happn is a spontaneous dating app where the mystery of casual encounters is put above carefully laid out matchmaking. It’s precisely the kind of approach than you want for casual encounters, which is why this platform is perfect for beginners. It’s worth noting; however, that casual encounters don’t equal sex â€” you need to discuss boundaries with each partner individually.

HER

The biggest website for LGBTQ-women. Unlike all previous sites, this is not a purely casual dating platform. Some women go here for a serious relationship while others look for occasional adventures. You have to voice your intentions right away to avoid misunderstanding. Also, it’s not a sex dating app; intimate relationships are pretty rare here.

Price

The platform is free.

Matching algorithms

  • Register with your Facebook or Instagram account in 30 seconds;
  • The application automatically scans the profile and verifies your account;
  • Add a detailed profile description, upload eight photos, and indicate your location;
  • Start your community and post about your interests, trips, work;

Pros

  • Free messaging;
  • A friendly open-minded community of women;
  • Useful hacks for casual encounters;
  • A modern interface.

Cons

  • A primitive matching system, based only on location and age;
  • Messaging is reserved for matches and social media friends;
  • The majority of women looks for committed relationships.

Even though Her is dedicated to serious relationships rather than one-time encounters, it’s a must-try for LGBTQ-women. Unlike other dating platforms, this one is created specifically for lesbian and bisexual women.

Locanto

If you are tired of looking for casual encounters in bars and coffee shops or feeling bored with rejection, you can consider commercial options. Locanto is a service that connects sex workers to clients. However, it can be somewhat regarded as a dating service since it’s not all about physical intimacy. You can have meaningful conversations, discuss interests, and enjoy a fun social experience.

Price

Browsing offers and contacting managers is free. Each booked date is priced independently.

Matching algorithms

  • Go to the ad feed on the main page â€” that’s where you find offers for potential dates;
  • Contact a responsible manager who’ll connect you to the match;
  • Schedule a date: time, location, and discuss specifics.

Pros

  • A simple booking system â€” it’s all done in three clicks;
  • Wide choice of potential dates.

Cons

  • It’s not a typical dating experience â€” the website is entering a sex worker industry;
  • There were cases of repeated frauds and fraudulent offers.

Locanto is a lovely destination for those who want to have it all and now. It’s a hassle-free sex dating website where you are buying a hookup. However, you can hardly build a meaningful connection or get to understand your partner better. Put, you are renting a sex worker, and while it’s undoubtedly causal, this can hardly be called dating.

Lucky

This is a fully anonymous adult dating app where your name, location, and pictures are entirely discrete. Privacy comes at a cost â€” it’s hard to trust your match when you don’t know anything about the person. On the bright side, your match is just as unaware of your real identity, and this is undoubtedly liberating.

Price

A free version with rich functionality and full protection. Individual premium features that should be acquired separately.

Matching algorithms

  • Profiles don’t contain personal contact information. You don’t even have to use your real name or disclose actual age;
  • The profile picture is not required; your face can be blurred or covered with an emoji;
  • A unique Voice Profile feature â€” you can record a voice memo and describe yourself in the most imaginative ways;
  • Lucky Cards connect you to a random match, located in your area.

Pros

  • A prominent international community: United States, Canada, UK, and European countries;
  • The app is LGBTQ-friendly;
  • All functionality is completely free; you can upgrade the app only if you choose to do so.

Cons

  • A small selection of users in small towns;
  • A lot of fake profiles;
  • The lack of information prohibits you from getting to know your match better.

Lucky’s privacy makes the application appealing. You can step out of your comfort zone and enjoy commitment-free blind dates with no fear of being recognized. It’s a meeting app for adventurous souls who don’t mind their partner’s full anonymity.

Oodle

Oodle is an online ad aggregator that collects advertising from various ad platforms. It’s not limited strictly to personals, but after the shutdown of Craigslist Personals, its dating service became its bread and butter. Oddle collects ads from popular platforms, including Meetup4Fun, SouthEastTexas.

Price

The free version allows you to browse offers and go directly to the source. To post your ad, contact the management team.

Matching algorithms

  • Oodle analyzes popular personals sites and collects the most exciting offers;
  • To receive personalized matches, register and specify your preferences;
  • Flexible filters that sort offers by age, location, gender, education, romantic experience, and other criteria;
  • All offers are scanned and saved automatically â€” this allows the website to process hundreds of suggestions per day.

Pros

  • You are not limited to a single personals website;
  • A great choice of newly posted offers all over the United States;
  • Privacy protection â€” you don’t have to list an email account or connect social media credentials.

Cons

  • To connect to matches, you need to register an account on source dating platforms;
  • Ads and pop-ups, although they are neutral.

We think that Oodle is one of the most innovative casual dating services. Since 2006, it has been automatically analyzing and collecting ads, so you don’t have to. It’s a perfect option for busy daters â€” now you don’t have to check popular personals websites by yourself. You have an aggregator that collects the most personalized offers.

OutPersonals

An accessible collection of casual encounter offers all over the world. This website borders platonic commitment-free encounters and sex, but you are not forced to choose between one or another. The platform has a rich selection of users who are opened to sexual adventures as well as those who would love to keep things purely spiritual.

Price

A free version for profile browsing. A paid subscription with access to messaging and file exchange.

Matching algorithms

  • Create a basic profile with simple personal information â€” name, height, age, location;
  • Go to the map of your area and see profiles of users nearby;
  • Connect to an exciting match and start chatting;
  • Schedule a date and leave feedback after the meeting is over.

Pros

  • A simple interface;
  • Wide date selections â€” millions of active users all over the world;
  • The platform supports abroad encounters.

Cons

  • No automatic matching algorithms;
  • Primitive functionality; it’s all strictly business, with no fun elements.

It’s a basic casual dating platform, perfect for beginners. Simple functionality, big user pool, quick registration â€” all you need to test the waters. On top of that, the service supports both platonic and sexual relationships.

Pernals

As the first alternative to Craigslist Personals, the platform gained popularity back in the day, after the acceptance of the bill of 1865. While other similar pages created quite a bit of a competition, Pernals is still in top-5 of most popular Craigslist’s replacements.

Price

A free version. A paid subscription for $15.55 per month.

Matching algorithms

  • The website allows looking both for serious relationships and purely sexual dates;
  • The dates can be one-on-one or in a group â€” for that, the site has a page for adventurous couples;
  • Main categories are the following: “Men Seek Women”, “Women Seek Men” and the LGBTQ-versions, “Strictly Platonic”, “Romance”, and “Casual Encounters”;
  • The website is legal and operates in compliance with FOSTA.

Pros

  • Flexible filters with romantic and sexual preferences;
  • A clear interface;
  • End-to-end encryption of profile contents and chat messages.

Cons

  • A lot of outdated and fake profiles;
  • The choice is limited mostly to big cities, dwellers of small towns will likely be disappointed.

Pernals is an excellent example of a small but functional and accessible website that gets the job done. Fair enough, it doesn’t offer a variety of social interactions like Tinder â€” no winks or likes here. Still, customizable filters make up for the lack of precise matching while wide user selection makes us want to bear with boring functionality.

Seeking

Several years ago, sugar dating may have been looked upon, but recent romantic trends prove that it’s far from being the case. The platform, with its 11 million users, is the most significant proof that age-gap encounters are just coming in vogue.

Price

Free limited membership. A paid monthly subscription for $19.95.

Matching algorithms

  • Young users look for experienced dating partners and build serious relationships in exchange for guidance and monetary support;
  • Sugar mommies and daddies are usually users of 50-70 years old, although the numbers vary;
  • Sugar babies are college students;
  • Register an account by filling out a questionnaire on your life experience and expectations from arrangements; prepare 5-10 minutes of uninterrupted time;
  • Personalized match feed.

Pros

  • Accessible messaging with no beforehand contact;
  • Elaborate privacy settings â€” you can hide your profile from the main feed and search results;
  • Private gallery.

Cons

  • Fake profiles;
  • Long registration.

Seeking is the most significant sugar dating websites out there. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that it’s truly a one-of-a-kind platform. Seeking’s team has been among the first ones to take sugar encounters into an online medium. We’d say, they succeeded.

SnapChat

Of course, Snapchat isn’t and never was limited to dating purposes only. Still, a casual romance slowly but surely becomes its users’ main priority. The thing is, quick picture-based communication can’t be enough to sustain a sincere conversation. For casual encounters, on the other hand, such a system works at perfection.

Price

It’s completely free.

Matching algorithms

  • Get a person’s Snapchat and connect on the application;
  • Start exchanging pictures and short texts, keeping relationships casual;
  • Add a sharp, captivating caption;
  • If your date turns out to be creepy, you can block the account.
  • Beware of ghosting â€” it’s a typical practice on Snapchat.

Pros

  • It’s accessible and popular;
  • Easy-to-use and perfect for casual dating;
  • Communication is based on pictures and short captions.

Cons

  • Not enough space for meaningful conversations;
  • Spamming and ghosting;
  • No personal information about the date.

Snapchat is a great way to communicate for casual dating. It gives you just enough information to schedule a date and exchange daily pictures. Still, it’s not too much, and not in a way that could compromise your privacy. The main drawbacks are ghosting and lacking functionality for profound communication.

An escorting platform with 450 escorts all over the United States. Models are divided into categories, from basic to elite. The higher is the model rank, the more expensive is the escort. It’s a small platform, but all models undergo a process of careful verification, so in a way, quality outweighs quantity.

Price

A basic plan costs $39 and includes one tour and access to essential platform’s functionality. Standard subscription for $69 with five tours, 16 photos, a personal domain, and prolonged profile analytics.

Matching algorithms

  • You need to register an account, specifying your name, occupation, age, and adding card credentials for subscription acquisition;
  • The service will automatically provide you with the list of escorts, available nearby;
  • The service sorts offers from “Elite” to â€śBasic”;
  • The entire catalog includes 450 escorting offers.

Pros

  • Thorough model verification;
  • Flexible paid subscriptions;
  • No fake offers.

Cons

  • Narrow choice; finding an escort in a smaller town is practically impossible;
  • Only paid encounters, no free hookups.

Tryst Link is a small but reliable escorting platform with accessible prices. It’s not a dating website per se, but it’s a perfect opportunity for those who need a date here and now. You can hardly build a relationship on the platform, but after all, it’s not what casual encounters and escorting should be about.

Zoosk

With 40 million users in 80 countries, this platform is a perfect choice for online no-commitment dating. Even though Zoosk doesn’t explicitly focus on random encounters, casual daters make up a significant percentage of the platform’s population.

Price

A free version for browsing profiles. Full functionality is enabled in a paid plan for $29.99 per month.

Matching algorithms

  • Register with your Facebook account and verify the profile with a mobile text code;
  • Specify must-know dating information â€” age, location, interests, career, romantic preferences;
  • Browse a feed and sort your options with flexile profiles;
  • To personalize the feed, enable Behavioral Matchmaking â€” the platform collects your user data to remember your type;
  • Use “Carousel” to get a Tinder-like swiping experience.

Pros

  • A big international community;
  • A simple interface;
  • Flexible search filters;
  • Precise matchmaking, based on AI algorithms.

Cons

  • Thousands of fake profiles;
  • A limited free version;
  • To be successful on the platform, you need to acquire coins, as well as the paid plan.

Zoosk is excellent for exploring casual encounters. If you haven’t tried it yet, it makes sense to go to the popular platform with customizable filter and personalized matches. You’ll let the platform do the hard work for you. Zoosk, unlike Tinder, provides you with just enough information about the date â€” it’s not like you are going in blind.

Bottom line

You don’t have to choose a single service. It’s best to use several platforms simultaneously.

What do you wantWhere can you get it
Meaningful casual datesPure, Her, Happn, SnapChat, Zoosk
Purely sexual relationships AdultFriendFinder, Ashley Madison, BDSM.com, Bold Personals, Double List, Cons, Locanto
Mostly sexual relationships Out Personals, Pernals, Down, Grindr, Snapchat, Lucky
Adboards Classified Ads, Oodle
Escort platformsBed Page, Tryst Link
Sugar datingSeeking

All platforms cover different facets of casual encounters, so you have quite a choice. Now, go ahead and explore what each of those has to offer.

Pure is for real meetings, not endless chats online

Pure users have only an hour to chat before their profiles disappear. In one hour, you send a casual sex request to potential matches near your location, discuss your desires, and share contact detail to set up an offline date. If you want to repeat the search and find other matches, you have to create a new profile. No worries, it takes a minute.

Download the Pure app for your best casual encounters!

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