While some singles are looking for their happily ever after, a lot of unattached people just want something straightforward and casual. Fortunately, dating apps and sites make it a lot easier to get right to the point and find what you’re looking for with people who want the same thing. But with so many niche dating networks available, it can be complicated to know what’s genuine and what’s a waste of time.

Finding hookup apps that work doesn’t have to be complicated, however. Our dating experts have done the research and left no feature unchecked. These are the best options if you’re looking for casual sex or friends with benefits. 

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★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
  • Discreetly arranges one-night stands and extramarital affairs
  • More than 54 million profiles worldwide
  • Travel-friendly features for seeking matches in other cities

Ashley Madison is all about discreet hookups, and not just for married people. For people seeking a casual relationship who want to keep their search private, Ashley Madison offers a lot of features aimed at making sure your business stays your business.

The popular dating app and site both incorporate features like photo blurring and masking to prevent people from immediately identifying your profile, and the use of fake names is very much encouraged. The dating platform also incorporates encryption, browser history cleaning, and a “panic button” that will navigate you immediately to an innocuous site to prevent anyone from peeking over your shoulder to see what you’re really up to.

Women on Ashley Madison get full access to the features on the site and app without having to pay. Men on the platform, however, have to pay to gain access to communication features and other perks. Fortunately, Ashley Madison’s billing is discreet and protects member privacy. Once you’re signed up, you can let the dating platform refer potential matches or do your own browsing, based on the preferences you set — including the type of relationship you’re looking for. So if you just want to find hookups in your area, you can find like-minded partners.

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★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
  • A global network of naughty singles over 18
  • Ability to blur nude and explicit content, if desired
  • Advanced search filters and one-on-one messaging

BeNaughty frequently earns a top spot on lists for the best hookup site, and it’s not hard to see why. The dating site for casual hookups puts adult content right up front and doesn’t shy away from what everyone is on the platform for. If you want to test the waters before committing to a potential match, you can browse the like gallery or hop into a chat room to see who’s online and get things going. If you’re ready to take the plunge and set up a casual hookup right away, you can — with a few restrictions — message members directly.

For women on BeNaughty, all it takes is a profile picture to gain access to unlimited communication. If you want to go all out, the platform doesn’t have restrictions on adult content, so feel free to make your first impression as spicy as you want. BeNaughty also provides photo-blurring options to keep things under wraps if you prefer to leave something to the imagination. Men on BeNaughty will need to subscribe to one of the dating site’s premium membership packages to get the same level of access to messages, but those packages come with other perks as well. The Chataholic package includes not just unlimited messages but read receipts and other premium messaging features. Meanwhile, the Security package provides HTTPS encryption, browser history cleanup, and incognito mode. Or you can go for the Premium Dater and get the best of both the Security package and the Chataholic package all in one.

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★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

Adult Friend Finder (AFF) has been in the hookup game for decades, and the adult dating site continues to rank highly for people looking for the best dating site for swingers and kinksters. Adult content restrictions and regulations mean that AFF can’t host its app on the Google Play Store or App Store, but iPhone and Android users alike can download the app off the site itself, or just participate via the mobile-optimized version of the site. 

Adult Friend Finder puts the adult content right up front, with chat rooms and forums full of sexy pleasure seekers expressing exactly what they’re looking for. Premium members get access to one-on-one video chat and enhanced video streaming options to keep things interesting while you search for your next hookup. Even profile photos on AFF tend to be steamy, with a no-holds-barred approach that makes it easy to stay in the mood. You’ll probably want the premium membership for access to full features like unlimited private messages and enhanced communication options. But free members still get full access to the public areas of the site, which are more than enough to get a hookup going.

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★★★★ 3.8/5.0
  • Fast-paced dating scene available in 80 countries
  • Full members can send unlimited messages
  • Advanced search filters help you zero in on the hottest dates

Zoosk isn’t just for hookups, but the free dating app and site have a lot to offer for people who don’t want anything serious. Zoosk started as a Facebook application, but founders Shayan Zadeh and Alex Mehr quickly realized that the platform could be much more.

From the beginning in 2007, the Zoosk site set itself apart from the competition by offering Facebook verification to cut down on fake profiles, and innovative features like Great Dates followed. 

Although Zoosk does offer a premium membership option, one of the key factors that set the site apart from the competition is that everything you need to find a match comes for free. You can’t just message anyone out of the blue with the free membership, but you can reply to anyone and send flirts without getting your credit card out. Premium members also get access to added perks like Super Send, which lets you send the same message to several users at once; that comes in handy if you’re trying to find a hookup quickly. 

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★★★★ 4.0/5.0

Tinder has been a go-to hookup app for years, ever since the platform launched in 2012, and it’s easy to see why. Tinder isn’t just for hookups. Some members seek more serious connections, friends or just new people to hang out with. But the app has a definite reputation. After all, it’s so easy to just swipe right, get a conversation going, and make arrangements to meet up as quickly as possible. It’s even free to sign up, match with other users, and message anyone you form a mutual match with.

You can access all the features you need to set up your next one-night stand or find a friend with benefits on Tinder without paying for anything. But Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold both offer undeniable perks for the singles who want to set themselves apart. Tinder Plus grants you unlimited rewinds and likes, along with the ability to swipe outside of your geographic location. Tinder Gold adds features like free Super Likes, a monthly visibility boost, and other added perks to help you get to the finish line faster.

6. DOWN

One of the biggest frustrations that comes into play on a casual dating app is filtering out the people who want to date and those who want something even more casual. DOWN makes it clear from the moment you sign up, by making new members specify what they’re looking for: dating or hookups. The sex-positive hookup and dating app is all about honesty, and the team behind it constantly updates the platform with useful features to help members match up with the right person.

In 2020, the app launched several audio-focused features including voice messaging between users, as well as voice chats with dating experts to help singles figure out how to get the outcomes they want. The team behind DOWN wants to foster honest conversations between people when it comes to sex, dating, and relationships, and the app makes it easy with built-in free communication. Premium membership on DOWN does come with extra perks like unlimited matches and the ability to find matches outside of your area, but you can do everything you need to without paying a penny.

7. Grindr

Grindr has a well-established reputation as a gay hookup app, but few people outside of the LGBTQ+ community know that it’s not just for gay men. Grindr is an ideal platform to explore without judgment for men of any sexual orientation looking for a hookup with other men. The app is more than just a hookup platform. It provides a community to queer people around the world and a safe haven in countries where same-sex attraction can be a much riskier proposition.

Screenshot of Grindr
Grindr has millions of users who are looking for gay and queer connections.

Grindr lets users find matches, chat, share photos and otherwise engage in their local queer community 100% for free, with no real restrictions inside of your local area for matching. If you’re willing to pay a little more, however, GrindrX offers a lot of perks with the premium membership subscription. These features include the ability to swipe outside of your geographic location, see more profiles each day, and get rid of ads on the platform. 

8. Kasual

When Craigslist Personals and Backpage left the internet years ago, a lot of singles felt the loss. Fortunately, Kasual founder Derek Ma rose to the challenge of creating a personal ad platform that would help fill the void. Kasual is a dating app specifically for hookups, casual encounters, and other sexually-charged, short-term relationships. The app prioritizes honesty and security to help users feel safe and comfortable exploring their sexual needs and finding each other to fulfill them.

The app isn’t just another personals listing service, however. Kasual adds fun into the mix by making matching into a game. You receive four “cards” that represent four other Kasual users, and over the course of a few rounds you choose one to flip, with a 50% chance of getting a match. Even if you lose the gamble, you still have access to chat to other users for free, as long as you and the other user like each other. 

9. Pure

No matter what kind of hookup you’re looking for, the Pure app wants to help make it happen. The app functions like an anonymous personal ad board with a dash of creativity fueled by user fantasies and imagination. Signing up is simple: download the app and create your first post. Ads on Pure are simple and straight to the point, and revolve around asking for exactly what you’re looking for without getting shy.

Pure screenshot
Pure is a sex-positive dating app for kinksters of all types.

If someone likes the look of your ad, they’ll match with you. Once you match back, Pure opens up a chat window, and you can get down to the nitty-gritty of planning your hookup. But be quick! Pure deletes all of the chats associated with your ad within 24 hours, freeing you up to post something new. The platform may be the best hookup app for anyone who wants to stay anonymous, since you don’t have to provide any details except for what you’re looking for and where you are.

FAQs: Is Match a Good Hookup App?

In general, Match isn’t the most promising platform to choose if you’re looking for a hookup. The dating site and the app that goes with it mostly cater to people looking for something more serious, and the majority of the members on the platform want a long-term relationship. But there are some people on the site and app who are willing to entertain hookups and casual encounters on the road to something more long-lasting.

Category Rating
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • Match is the world’s longest running dating site
  • The Discover section has search filters by interests, looks, lifestyle, and more
  • Match is available in 50 countries and 15 languages

You may be looking for hookups but are open to the idea of something more developing. Or you may want to avoid the somewhat in-your-face atmosphere that most hookup apps and sites tend to cultivate. In either case, Match can help steer you toward a more circumspect style of casual encounter. The online dating site is also a fairly decent choice if you want a friend with benefits as opposed to a one-night stand. But be prepared to spend a little more time filtering potential partners on Match, compared to sites where people go specifically for casual hookups.

Which Dating Apps Have Video Chat Options?

One good thing to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is that many popular hookup apps and sites have brought on video chat and voice chat options as a way to help quarantine-bound singles connect. Dating apps like Tinder and Bumble both launched video chat options, aimed at making it easier to connect before you meet your prospective match in person. Both the Bumble app and Tinder make it fairly straightforward to connect over video, as long as you’ve already established a mutual match.

The eharmony dating platform makes users jump through a few more hoops to access the video date function. First, you have to be a premium member to have the option at all, which means free members can’t get in on the fun. You also have to exchange a few messages with your potential match first. According to eharmony, this cuts down on random, unsolicited video chat requests and ensures that you avoid wasting your time.

A lot of other dating platforms offer video chat and voice message options, so make sure to poke around on whatever platform you prefer and see what it has to offer.

What’s the Best Dating Site for Free Chatting & Hookups?

If you’re balling on a budget, choosing a dating site that offers free chatting to all members makes a lot of sense. Fortunately, even though a lot of hookup sites and apps only allow premium members to access unlimited messaging, there are still some platforms that will let you chat with any other member without hassles or credit card details.

Facebook Dating isn’t the biggest dating platform out there, but the chat app makes up for its lower membership numbers by offering free, unlimited chatting with anyone you match up with. Since the Facebook dating app exists as an offshoot of the massive social media platform, it makes sense that the team behind it simply uses Facebook messaging with all its existing features to let members on the dating site of things reach out. 

Category Rating
★★★★ 4.0/5.0
  • Over 70 million registered users
  • Naked photos, videos, and private messaging available
  • Send a Flirtcast to get in touch with all potential matches

Flirt.com is a platform dedicated to making casual dating fun and easy. The dating site even offers a range of contact options that users can partake in without forking over any cash, from mass-messaging several people at once to reaching out individually, and even chat room action to keep things light. 

OkCupid is part of the Match Group network of sites but remains committed to a few key standards, one of which is to keep all core features free. Although it’s a little trickier than it used to be to navigate to the free messaging options for OkCupid users you find on the platform, you don’t have to pay to gain access. OkCupid also doesn’t limit the number of messages you can exchange as a free member.

Hookup Apps Help With the Search for a New Lover

Using casual sex apps to make it easier to track down your next one-night stand or find a promising friend with benefits makes a lot of sense. Especially if you’ve got a busy life and no time for romance, but need some sexual satisfaction, going for a platform where people are looking for the same keeps things fresh and also prevents hurt feelings. These hookup apps take the guessing game out of finding what you’re looking for.

Find your next casual encounter without judgment and live your best single life!

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