No More IRL Gay Dating Hell: Try These 10 Dating Apps Instead

Online dating
June 3, 2020

Gay dating is exhausting. It takes years to work out the so-called “gay radar” — until then, you will have to welcome the confusion, missing out on potential gay partners and advancing on straight ones.

The good news is, if you are coming out in the age of online dating, it’s much easier to find a partner or a friend with benefits. Although gay dating apps are not as popular as the regular kind — I’d argue, they are even more important as they help people of the same sexual orientation unite and explore themselves.

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Having talked to gay friends about online dating, I found out which apps they swear by and love. Here are the top 10 gay dating apps according to both “just-came-out” and “been there, done that” relationship-seekers.

Top 10 Gay Chat Apps Review

All dating apps on this list are either fully gay-to-gay or have a wide LGBTQ+ community so that you have a lot of relationship candidates in your area. The review of the platform is based either on my gay mobile dating experience or on that of people close to me.

With that out of the way, here are my top 10 dating apps — feel free to try them all out and choose the platform you like the most.

  Odds of success
Pure ★★★★★
Recon ★★★★☆
Adam4Adam ★★★☆☆
Scruff ★★★★☆
Chat Random ★★★☆☆
Gayxchange ★★★★☆
Chat Avenue ★☆☆☆☆
Horn’et ★★★☆☆
Tinder ★★★☆☆
Grindr ★★★★☆

Editor’s pick — Pure

Pure is one of the best gay hookup apps out there. If you ever worry about security when sexting or nude trading, this platform will help you feel confident that every text you send stays between you and the partner.

Pure has an impressive LGBTQ presence: there are hundreds of prospective partners from all over the world. Most users on the platform are genuine — I didn’t find fakes. Chances are, the platform doesn’t struggle with scammers or ghosting because all ads live for 24 hours — after that, you are going to have to sign up again.

During my time on Pure, I had dozens of sexting partners and found hookup buddies in my area. I felt comfortable on the platform and didn’t have to hold my deepest fantasies inside.

Pure is straightforward, good-looking, and gets you a hookup partner in minutes:

Pure has a minimalist, easy to use interface. There’s a feed where you see text ands and maybe pictures of your potential partners. In the ads, people can describe their desires, share kinks or just tell about they mood there’re in now. You can connect with matches in chat, schedule a date, and ping a date’s location to the hookup buddy.

There’s nothing gross or raunchy about the platform. Both the website and the app boast well-designed graphics and load fast. It takes up to a minute to sign up at Pure with your email or Google / Apple ID. Specify your gender, come up with a short ad, upload a profile picture if you wish — and you are ready to look for sexting and hookup partners here.

Once I got to know Pure, the platform has quickly become my go-to hookup choice. For me, signing up for Pure was love at first sight. The only downside is that the app is not gay-only.

Recon

The Recon app is one of the most popular gay fetish dating apps. The website is not about small talk or beating around the bush — things escalate and get physical in a flash here. When I visited Recon, I was amazed at how many intriguing sexual activities users are eager to try: kink, rubber, bondage — you name it.

Most Reckon gay regulars are mature and experienced. They have tried all facets of dating and are often tired of cheese romance, pillow talk, and other things you can find in gay dramas. Instead, they are looking for something no TV shows ever portray — the joy of rough gay sex.

The vast majority of Reckon members are millennials — if you are 25-34 years old, this is an ideal platform to hang out on.

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Interface-wise, Recon is easy-to-use and straightforward. In the “Members” tab, you can search among website users. You can either look for people in your area in the “Nearby” section or text everybody who’s online at the moment.

Next to each profile, you will see what distance there is between you and a prospective partner. Whenever I liked a guy from Recon, I texted him right away — we exchanged texts and pictures.

After being on the Recon dating app for a while, I realized most profiles on the platforms are dummies created by the development team to encourage more people to sign up. However, as far as my friends’ experiences go, two acquaintances of mine found steady fuck buddies on Recon.

The good news is, the top gay app has basic security tools — you block a user who harasses you and impose data restrictions on your profile to have full control over who can see your pictures and bio.

Recon is a hookup platform by design. It’s not that popular — however, guys here are typically committed and open for experiments. If you live in bigger cities, finding a fuck buddy on Recon should be a piece of cake.

Adam For Adam

Adam for Adam app claims to be one of the oldest and most popular gay dating apps. I am not a regular on the platform and don’t think this should be your go-to choice. That said, Adam for Adam is a fairly good platform for getting to know the gay community in your area.

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Adam4Adam is a location-based platform. Other than looking for matches in your area, you can sort partners by sexual preferences, age, education, relationship experiences, and other criteria.

According to online reviews, Adam4Adam is not a safe platform. There are a lot of fake profiles, the risk of catfishing is rather high. As an experienced dating app user, I easily avoided weirdos with stock profile pictures and found a few men to talk to.

It turns out, not everyone on Adam4Adam is actively looking for hookups. I’d say, about half of dating app users would rather hang out and discuss the hardships of being gay. However, if you are new to online dating, the platform is commitment-free and enjoyable to use.

Adam4Adam has a sleek, feed-based interface.

It’s a location-based Instagram-meets-Tinder type of app.

Signing up on the platform is easy — you can either fill in a short form or connect to the website via Google and Facebook.

To find people on Adam4Adam, use a search tab. There are over 20 filters that help guys connect to dream hookup partners. Once you found the right one to enjoy a night with, talk to him for free via chat. You can sext each other, share pictures, and schedule a date on a location both of you are comfortable with.

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Other than the website, Adam4Adam has an easy to use mobile app. Download it if you want to text other guys on the go.

Adam4Adam is popular among users from the US and Europe. The app looks beautiful and has a solid reputation — however, as far as I’m concerned, spending weeks sexting and small talking before I get to actually go on a date and find hookups is a little tiresome. That’s why Adam4Adam is not my personal cup of tea.

Scruff

If you are thinking what I’m thinking “Wait, is this where you can find scruffy guys”, turns out, you are right. From the look of it, Scruff isn’t that different from Grindr — it’s location-based, with a large feed, and a matching algorithm that helps you sort through matches.

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Having said that, I wouldn’t mix Scruff and Grindr; the two platforms are highly different. Scruff has a stricter moderation system, following the “less is more” motto.

Scruff is made “by scruffy for scruffy” — here, you don’t have to worry about being slightly hairier than an average Joe. The top gay app founders understood that a lot of gay men want to hook up with the textbook definition of manly — tough guy, hairy chest, wide shoulders. If you are looking for such a partner yourself and are tired of scrolling through lean people on Grindr, Scruff will feel like a breath of fresh air.

As for relationship experiences, most Scruff users are experienced and looking for more. On this platform, people move fast — find a guy you like, send a short pickup line, exchange pictures, and schedule a date. Personally, this straightforwardness really sold Scruff to me.

The app design is where, as far as my Scruff review goes, the platform falls short compared to other apps. Similarly to other platforms, the website is grid-based, location-based, and has a built-in chat. The grid itself was a little frustrating for me since I simply could not see partners well.

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Scruff has the best gay chat — you get a red notification anytime somebody matches you. The look of the messenger is similar to that of Facebook or Whatsapp. Next to every guy’s picture, you can see if he is online and how far away from you he lives.

Scruff has a great infrastructure for hooking up: it’s location-based, most users are genuine and are actively looking for casual sex. However, since Grindr is so popular, you will feel like you’ve seen most Scruff users there. You are likely to be someone’s second-choice rather than the first option.

Chat Random

Chat Random is one of the most popular gay apps out there; however, it doesn’t target LGBTQ+ directly, making it harder to find homosexual hookup partners. Nevertheless, I decided to include the website in the list because it is large, commitment-free, and, overall, is worth giving a try.

What can you do here? Chat Random is famous for its first-rate webcam chat — here, 35,000 people from all over the world enjoy conversations with each other every day. On Chat Random, you can even stay anonymous — I’ll explain how this is both a blessing and a curse.

Because Chatrandom is so low-commitment, it’s hard to keep in touch with partners you meet here. Other than that, the platform does little-to-nothing to ensure you are safe here. Unfortunately, there are a lot of catfishers and weirdos here: you might not enjoy somebody being ridiculous on camera. Personally, I still remember scenes and “views” I would love (but can’t) unsee.

If you want to make sure people you are talking to are legit and committed, consider upgrading your Chat Random profile to premium. This way, you will be able to sort through users and find those who are looking for a serious relationship or a long-term friendship with benefits.

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Using Chat Random takes nothing but a few clicks. You can but don’t have to create an account. Other than that, users can attach their social media profiles to the platform. Personally, I’d recommend creating an account anyway as it allows storing your conversations and grants access to a broader range of chats.

To find gay partners, give the “Gay Chat” feature a try. You can either talk to partners in a text-based chat room or chat with each other via a webcam. Both one-on-one and group video chats are available.

If you want to make the most out of the platform, give other, not gay-only features a try. For free, you get a chance to explore random chats and chat rooms grouped by interests or locations.

Chat Random has an Android mobile app. The features of the application are similar to those of the website — however, you will have to create an account to use all chat rooms. As for the interface, I was frustrated having to read small button text and in-chat messages.

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Since Chat Random is not a gay hookup Android app, you shouldn’t go there looking for sex. However, the platform is free and is good for sexting, nudes trading, or casual chats with like-minded gay relationship-seekers. At the very least, you will find a fun time in chat rooms and webcam and get more online dating confidence.

Gayxchange

Gayxchange is a relatively small platform, there are a little over 100,000 active users. As a guy looking to date other men around you, keep in mind that Gayxchange targets all LGBTQ, so don’t get weirded out to get messages from bi girls as well. In my opinion, bi daters should give Gayxchange a try as there are a lot of committed, experienced guys, and girls who would not feel threatened by your interest in both sexes.

Gayxchange is a free platform — you can search for partners in your locations, message them to flirt or get more dating experience, trade nude selfies, and sext.

Gayxchange is not a highly active app. After signing up, you would have to text others proactively; otherwise, good luck waiting for somebody to reach out to you. Having said that, I liked the down-to-earth, straightforward attitude people here have. Since a free version has a messaging time limit, people are motivated to exchange fast texts and get off the app to sext on Snapchat or other messengers.

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Although the platform was meant to be comfortable and sleek, my experience with GayXchange was a mixed bag. When I was trying to specify my height during the registration, the drop-down menu kept acting up, making me put 179 instead of 181 cm.

Other than that, the time limit really gets on your nerves sometimes. The number of times I had to stop texting in the middle of an exciting sexting session is staggering — I felt frustrated by GayXchange more than by a lot of other dating platforms.

GayXChange has a mobile app which has a 4 out of 5 Google Play review. Downloading mobile GayXchange helped me make the most out of the free version of the platform. I’d suggest you do it, too if you are serious about giving the platform a try.

If the app didn’t have such a narrow user base, it would definitely be among my favorites. However, as for now, GayXchange is a promising idea that has a long way to go, and once it does, I believe the platform can make it much higher up this list.

Chat Avenue

If you are older than 25 and a chatroom enthusiast (like me), you are no stranger to Chat Avenue. I still feel nostalgic visiting the platform as I flashback to my college days and remember first chats with girls and guys.

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Right now, after having been through hell and high water of online dating, I came back to Chat Avenue with a cold mind and no wandering eye. To my surprise, the website is still quite active and was interesting to explore. Here’s my detailed review of the platform.

There are 19 chat rooms on the website that help group users by interests, age, sex, and sexual preferences. For gay users, there’s a dedicated gay chatroom where you can share relationship experiences, share tips and advice.

Unfortunately, most chatroom regulars don’t seem committed or serious about finding new relationships. As a matter of fact, I started wondering how many of them are gay altogether or are here to make fun of others or troll.

In the hindsight, I would definitely not recommend visiting ChatAvenue for hookups — there are too many inexperienced young people who are not one bit ready for a safe and responsible relationship.

Chat Avenue is well-done in terms of design and features. It is not an anonymous platform — you will have to share and verify your email, as well as come up with a secure password. After you’ve signed up and uploaded a profile picture, you can finally have fun and text others.

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You can either visit public rooms and talk to whoever feels like having a chat or find a user that matches your age and preferred sexual conversation, add him to the friend list, and enjoy a one-on-one conversation. The messenger felt slightly outdated to me — however, at the end of the day, it’s easy to get used to and intuitive.

Don’t beat yourself up for not being able to find hookups on Chat Avenue. After all, this is not a dating platform per se but a chat room. In my opinion, Chat Avenue is fit for no-commitment sexting and casual talk, rather than an actual hookup. If you are not too confident in your online dating charms yet, visiting the platform is a good way to hone the pickup line craft.

Horn’et

Hornet gay chat is not a dating app; instead, the website markets itself as a gay social network. The objective of the space is to help LGBTQ+ consolidate forces. This is the right place for gay daters who have recognized their true nature recently and lack the confidence to approach others openly, come out to their families, and accept themselves for what they are.

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It’s not like you can’t find partners on Horn’et. It’s just that relationship expectation mismatches are more common here than on other platforms.

There are over 35 million users from all over the world on Horn’et, Here, you can find relationship-seekers from the US, EU, Asian countries, and other places in the world. According to official statistics, Horn’et users are committed — on average, every active platform member makes 7 visits a day. The overall number of daily sent texts spans over 250,000. As for the racial distribution, gay daters of Caucasian descent dominate the platform.

Signing up to Horn’et is not easy since you need to have an existing social media account, either on Facebook or Google. I acknowledge this method as an efficient way to keep fakes off the platform; however, I thought twice before potentially sharing my feed settings and friend list with a third-party platform. Personally, I would prefer using a plain sign-up form, although signing via social media is faster.

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The platform is free, you can text other guys or browse their profile pictures without having to upgrade. However, don’t expect to get to know prospective partners before reaching out as most platform users don’t bother filling in their profiles.

Because Horn’et does a good job ensuring only legitimate relationship-seekers make it to the platform, you will not struggle to fight off fakes and deal with catfishing attempts. There’s a mobile app that makes keeping in touch with matches a breeze. On top of that, you can share stories with followers to keep others interested in your profile and more eager to ask you out for a hookup.

Tinder

Tinder has a powerful gay community. This makes sense: out of over 50 million active platform users, there are bound to be at least a couple of millions of gay relationship-seekers.

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I’ve heard a lot of rumors about how being bi or gay on Tinder feels different than looking for straight relationships — for instance, partners struggle to decide who should be the one to initiate contact as soon gender norms no longer apply.

Tinder has a wide gay dating community:

Tinder is a mainstream dating app. Made insanely popular thanks to multiple articles and pop culture references, it helps millions of Millennials make it look like they are doing something about dating. You should take commitment issues for granted here. When it comes to second-tier platforms, they host tried-and-true relationship-seekers, aware of all online dating issues. On Tinder, you would likely have to deal with people who have never looked for hookups on the Internet at all — cut them some slack and be patient.

Tinder became a worldwide phenomenon exactly thanks to its addictive interface. The swiping system is now used by dozens of local gay apps; yet, let’s not forget that Tinder was where all of it started. Although I am not a huge Tinder fan, swiping every day for about an hour was an easy habit to adopt. Since the platform has gay phone apps both for Android and iOS, it was easy to make time for browsing through matches.

Tinder is not the safest platform around. There are a lot of stories online about people who became victims of Tinder scam or catfishing.

If you are experienced, telling fakes apart from actual users will not be a problem; however, first-timer daters need to watch out for red flags like the profiles that are “too good to be true”. If someone with a six-figure job and a private house in LA approaches you, think thrice before responding and investing money in that guy’s business.

All in all, being so popular, gay Tinder community is a good hookup space. However, if you want to try your gay dating luck out on a mainstream platform, I’d go for Grindr instead.

Grindr

Finally, Grindr is the leading dating app on my list. Mainstream, you say? I don’t disagree, yet, the relationship I am currently in and a lot of successful hookups came from the platform. Although I am a Grindr fan, I evaluate the platform objectively and acknowledge there are a lot of issues with it lately.

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After Grindr got acquired by a Chinese company, users noticed that a lot of accounts got banned without an explanation or a premium version refund. Other than that, you have to watch out for Grindr fakes. Although you can report fake or abusive users, a lot of people feel it’s not enough to stop a stream of spammers invading the platform.

Grindr is a location-based app. The platform’s three-picture feed has become iconic in gay communities, and rightfully so — it’s is highly convenient and makes it easy to choose partners for dating or hooking up.

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As for the downsides, Grindr is chock-full of ads. To get rid of banners on the platform, you need to get the Xtra version of the platform.

The website has a free chat where you can exchange texts and pictures with other platform members. As it’s a gay-to-gay-only platform, there are perks other dating spaces don’t offer — such as a large sticker pack with over 500 hilarious emoticons to send others.

Grindr is available for iOS and Android as well, and it is one of the best gay apps for men out there in terms of interface and feature range. Also, the platform is free and easy to use. Personally, I am a huge fan of the mobile app — it’s highly fluid and straightforward.

However, Grindr has to deal with the issues common for most big platforms — ensuring security. Right now, the website takes this a step too far, banning people to the left and right, not bothering to refund them or give a reason why the account was blocked.

Conclusion

Gay dating is not easy. Although the LGBTQ+ community is fighting hard to make sure no gay in the world is discriminated since we are in the minority of daters, the chance of hitting on somebody straight is always there, and it is haunting you.

That’s why in the gay community, online dating feels like a breath of fresh air to a lot of relationship-filters. Thanks to filters, you can ensure you are talking to like-minded people and find a partner for any type of relationship, be it full-on dating, hookup, or friendship.

Finding the right dating platform takes time and experience — give all platforms at least a few weeks of a try.

FAQ

What is the best gay dating app?

To find partners for sexting and casual chats, give platforms like Scruff, Hornet, Grindr, ChatAvenue, or GayXchange a try.

Which gay dating app should I use?

Grindr is the most common dating app in the LGBTQ+ community. However, this is not your only option — take your time to explore other dating platforms reviewed in this post.

What is the new gay dating app?

There a lot of new and intriguing dating and gay friendship apps on the dating market — Scruff, Horn’et, Recon, and others.

Is Grindr just a hookup app?

Now, Grindr could be good when looking for committed relationships, conversation partners, or gay friends to be your wingmen. However, as it’s location-based, Grindr is a go-to hookup platform choice for many.

What are the most popular gay apps?

According to official statistics, the title belongs to Grindr — there over 2 million active users that access the app from over 196 countries.

Are regular dating platforms good for men?

All in all, you might feel a little uncomfortable having to turn straight users down; however, popular platforms like Tinder or OkCupid have a wide LGBTQ community so don’t worry about having any matches to choose from.

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