The Scoop: Online dating may seem like a young person’s game with so many 20-somethings vying for attention on various platforms. But for older gay men, finding a safe environment online to connect with singles searching for people like them can be challenging. Daddyhunt is an online dating platform and mobile app that connects younger gay men with older singles. The platform, founded more than 15 years ago, makes it fun and easy to find dates and relationships based on maturity, integrity, and respect.
According to a recent study by Pew Research, 28% of LGBTQ+ respondents in relationships said they met their significant other online. That’s a higher percentage than those introduced through friends and family or who met at work, school, a place of worship, a bar, or anywhere else.
That percentage is also dramatically more than respondents who identified as straight, as only 11% said they met online.
Part of the reason, of course, is that it can be challenging to start a conversation with someone you find attractive if you don’t know their preferences.
Many older gay men understand that online dating platforms are popular and effective, but some sites may not offer the types of relationships they seek. That’s why they often turn to Daddyhunt, a platform that connects younger gay men with more mature counterparts.
Daddyhunt’s founders understood how difficult it can be to bring gay men from different generations together, so they set out to change that dynamic 15 years ago.
“The core mission was to celebrate older gay men and create a healthy online experience for them,” said Casey Crawford, Daddyhunt General Manager.
Today, more than 4 million singles have signed up to find the types of relationships they desire through the Daddyhunt online platform and mobile app to find the types of relationships they desire.
Members Value Respect and Integrity
Casey said one of the priorities when Daddyhunt first launched was creating a code for all members to follow. The goal was to create a safe space where members could be clear, honest, and authentic.
“We encourage all new members who join the mobile app or site to read and agree to follow the code,” he said. “ Basically, it says that you’ll treat people with maturity and integrity, and you’ll be respectful of everyone else on the platform.”
That became even more important when Daddyhunt launched its much anticipated mobile app in 2014. At the time, many singles became worried about scammers and rude members creating profiles to ruin the online dating experience for others.
Along with the code of conduct, Daddyhunt distinguishes itself from other intergenerational dating apps and sites with its diverse, international team.
Casey, who oversees day-to-day operations, is based in Berlin along with the company’s social media expert. Its developers are located in Australia, India, London, and New York, while the customer service manager lives in San Francisco. The company is based in New York, and the team’s worldview helps it better understand the men the platform aims to help.
Most of the platform’s users come from the United States, but it serves singles around the globe. The Daddyhunt website is available worldwide, and users can download its mobile app in 117 countries and counting.
Intergenerational Dating Can Be Safe and Fun
Everyone on Daddyhunt is over the age of 18, but it has members in their 80s. Daddyhunt members either classify themselves as a “Daddy” or indicate they are looking for one.
“Our emphasis is on creating a safe environment for older gay men and men who are interested in meeting older gay men,” Casey said. “We believe it is the age of the daddy.”
Between 1,500 and 2,000 new users download the mobile app every day. It is available on iOS and Android, and all signs point to the app’s continued growth trajectory.
The team focuses on expanding some of the app’s features and refining the existing experience to make it even better for its more than 4 million users.
Casey said Daddyhunt receives plenty of feedback from users, including men who have used both the app and the website since it launched 15 years ago.
“They’re vocal about any changes. They’ll tell us if they love them or if they don’t,” Casey said. “We’re still very happy that we have so many people coming to the platform each day to check out the site and the app.”
Intergenerational dating puts value on experience — both in and out of the bedroom. And older men are often less interested in wasting their time — or anyone else’s. That means singles who connect on Daddyhunt may have a chance to move forward faster with other members who know what they want.
Daddyhunt: Making International Partnerships Possible
Unlike most dating apps and websites, Daddyhunt allows members to connect with anyone else on the platform — no matter where they live in the world. For example, Casey said he recently heard from a member in Canada who met a man from the Philippines on Daddyhunt. The pair were such a good fit that they later married.
Another member from The Netherlands contacted Daddyhunt to thank the team. When he first joined the website, he was more interested in younger guys. But now, he defines himself as a “daddy” and has made many meaningful connections through the app.
“He meets guys who are visiting Amsterdam for coffee and other things,” Casey said. “We allow people to view potential matches on a global grid so they can meet people all over the world and establish connections.”
For example, if a young businessman travels to Paris, he could find an older man on Daddyhunt with whom he could share a glass of wine. And he could accomplish that before his plane even landed.
In between dates, members also enjoy watching Daddyhunt’s popular YouTube channel with more than 166,000 subscribers. The channel includes a three-season series on intergenerational relationships, a topic many members can relate to.
“We also focused on educating people about sexual health issues. We made public service announcements to talk to people about taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and getting tested for STIs.”
One video explains how even HIV-positive men can still enjoy sex without worrying about spreading the virus to partners if they take their medications daily and are routinely tested. It’s information not everyone knows — although many of Daddyhunt’s older gay members have had plenty of experiences.