In 2018, U.S. law enforcement agencies cracked down on personals sites, like Backpage and Craigslist Personals, to make the online dating world a little safer and more reputable.
As a result, Backpage has permanently shut down, and Craigslist closed its personals sections, which has left thousands of sexually active singles and couples wondering where they can place a classified ad and pick up dates online.
Not to worry, there are over 8,000 dating sites out there, and many of them have proven effective and safe options for finding casual sex and short-term dating. We’ve picked out some of our favorite free classified sites like backpage and craigslist personals to help singles seeking an alternative website to the old standby. Let’s get to it!
Best Sites Like Backpage & Craigslist Personals
Backpage and Craigslist closed without warning and put sex traffickers out of business. But this closure also threw a lot of legit online daters temporarily off their game as they sought a new classified ad website where they could mix and mingle with their type of people — without running into sex workers.
Over the last couple years, several top hookup platforms have emerged as the most popular alternatives to sketchy personals sites and sex job listings. You can check them out for free and see if they meet your expectations.
- 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 a scandalous dating site where single and married people can explore romantic possibilities and have an affair that makes them feel more alive.
Since 2001, Ashley Madison has attracted millions of curious, restless, and open-minded daters. Its discreet features include a photo-masking tool, so you don’t have to bare everything in this sexually charged and fast-paced database.
As a dating site for married people or those seeking to have a discreet affair, Ashley Madison has allowed people to follow their hearts and escape their daily routines for a little while. As a Backpage replacement, Ashley Madison can discreetly escort people to the man or woman of their dreams.
- 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 is a sex-positive site where singles can send flirty messages and create mutual matches without paying any subscription fees. We consider BeNaughty to be one of the best Backpage alternative sites because it offers free communication and absolutely no human trafficking.
As long as you have a valid profile picture (no stock photos or nudes), you can chat with anyone who strikes your fancy on BeNaughty.
By requiring users to add photos and provide personal information, BeNaughty verifies that people are legit and willing to put themselves out there. If you do happen to see a fake profile or suspicious advertisement, you can always report that person to BeNaughty, and the moderators can block or remove that person from the classified ad website.
- One of the largest adults-only sex communities
- Free and fast registration process
- Dating forums and live chats foster live flirtation
Since 1996, Adult Friend Finder has established itself as the go-to place for singles, couples, and groups in need of a sexual release.
This trusted hookup site boasts having the largest community of sexy singles and swingers, and it has created over 4.5 million connections so far.
The AFF platform is much more than a Backpage replacement site — its a safe sex work solution that has free classified ads, group discussions, erotic blog posts, video broadcasts, and live member chatting to turn up the heat and get members in the mood to party.
- A massive user base of over 70 million dating profiles
- Send a free private message or Flirtcast to get something going
- Exchange nude pics or adult videos with a Flirt member you trust
Flirt.com may not be the largest dating network in the world, but it’s certainly one of the sexiest.
Flirt.com is available in 45 countries and 20 languages, and it has over 70 million dating profiles available with a simple search. You can use filters by age, location, appearance, photos, and other factors to narrow down the vast dating pool to a few choice candidates.
Or, if you’d like to keep your options open, then you can send a FlirtCast to dozens of sexy singles in your area and see if any of them send a message back.
- A casual personals site for singles, couples, and groups
- Profiles have suggestive photos and strip tease videos
- Chat live via a two-way webcam or private messaging
FriendFinder-X is a hookup site “where good girls do bad things.” The free site offers a classified and anonymous space to explore your sexuality and meet potential love interests.
FriendFinder-X gives singles the power to find sexy dates who live close by and crave intimacy and romance. It doesn’t take much to woo someone in this thirsty dating network.
As soon as you post your X-rated classified advertisement, you can enjoy a casual dating experience in private chats and discussion forums. If you want to verify that your online crush is who he/she says, you can arrange a two-way video chat on FriendFinder-X and establish a good vibe before meeting up in person.
- The dating app of choice for millions of sexually active singles
- Accelerating the dating process through swiping
- Has led to over 55 billion mutual matches
Since 2012, Tinder has become one of the most popular dating apps in the world because it gives singles the power to decide who shows up in their inbox. You can swipe through its classified listing to find a man or woman who measures up to your standards.
Unlike personals sites, Tinder has matchmaking tools that help users focus on the most viable and attractive dates. The mutual matching system speeds up the dating process and ensures singles only message people who are actively online and interested in them.
To date, Tinder has seen over 43 billion matches and facilitates more than 1.5 million dates per week.
- Free profile browsing and liking
- Private chat rooms for Match members only
- Fast-working, time-tested AI match algorithm
Traditionally, Match focuses more on building relationships between compatible singles, but it can offer a quality-driven space for casual dating and hookups.
As a premium dating site, Match is a safe haven for singles who are tired of being ghosted and catfished. The site verifies its members and monitors online activity to ensure sex traffickers and other disingenuous people can’t cause trouble here. Match encourages people to find something real and take control of their dating experience.
Match allows free members to use the search filters to find dates and send likes to any profiles that stand out. However, if you want to send messages to someone special, you’ll have to upgrade to a monthly membership plan.
- 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
As a socially savvy dating app and site, Zoosk has a lot more communication features and matching technology than the typical personals site, so it’s a great option for singles looking for a fast date. Zoosk draws inspiration from social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, so its newsfeed reads like a relationship-driven classified listing.
The Zoosk database includes over 40 million profiles, and the site sees over 3 million messages exchanged per day, so you shouldn’t run short of date options here.
Whether you’re swiping through free classified ads in the Carousel or using the search filters to find compatible dates, Zoosk has your back throughout the online dating experience and promotes likable and authentic singles in your area.
- Free instant messages for all singles
- Over 150 million members in 20 countries
- The MeetMe section highlights local hotties
Plenty of Fish is a free dating site and app where online conversations lead to real-life romances. It doesn’t cost anything to send messages and read replies from POF members.
Since 2003, over 150 million people have joined the POF community in search of love and intimacy, and the dating site creates over 57 million matches in the average week.
With POF’s help, singles can set up an advertisement, search for dates, and enjoy private chats in a safe and friendly space, and they can always arrange in-person meetups when they’re ready to take things to the next level.
Best LGBT Sites Like Backpage & Craigslist Personals
In 2016, Match.com surveyed 1,000 LGBTQ+ singles in the U.S. to find out how they felt about the modern dating scene. The results indicated that gay men are pretty into the single lifestyle. Only 40% of gay men said they wanted to get married some day, only 36% wanted children, and about 70% of gay men said they had dated someone they met online.
If you’re gay, fabulous, and want to play the field, we recommend trying the following queer-friendly hookup sites and apps.
- A massive men-only sex and swinger community
- Browse profiles and send private messages to your favorites
- Profiles feature erotic videos and sexually explicit blogs
First up, we have MenNation, the largest gay hookup site on the market. Millions of men have followed their libidos and found dates on this site, and it is open 24/7 to anyone feeling horny.
As you can tell from its name, MenNation is a men-only site, and it requires users to be at least 18 years old to create a personal ad and take part in the fun. This Backpage alternative can escort men to a casual sex life where they’re in control.
MenNation offers a judgment-free dating zone for men. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, bisexual, queer, or questioning — as long as you’re looking for no-strings-attached sex with local guys.
- Create a free profile in less than a minute
- Search filters can identify attractive singles and couples in the area
- Strip tease videos, revealing photos, and other adult content
LesbianPersonals is a female-friendly personals site for single women, lesbian couples, straight couples, and polyamorous groups seeking female playmates.
The site invites members to “find love, lust, and more” by exploring its private chats and strip tease videos. LesbianPersonals was built to inspire girl-on-girl action, and its free-wheeling atmosphere encourages local women to embrace their wild side.
Unlike most personals sites, LesbianPersonals offers a photo gallery and video messaging tools to support people seeking genuine connections and casual sex with women from all walks of life.
- Sexually active men can create free profiles
- Matching system uses GPS information to find local dates
- Millions of prospects available in 192 countries
Since launching in 2009, Grindr has become synonymous with the gay dating scene, and it has built a massive membership base of over 27 million men — and counting.
Grindr uses location-based data to find hot dates who are within walking distance. The gay dating app is particularly useful to singles who are out on the town and looking to meet up immediately. Your mutual match could be at the bar next door or dancing at a club down the street, and all it takes is a few messages to post a classified ad and make something happen.
“It’s like fishing. Find a good spot. Put your bait out,” said a Grindr user named Chris. “Some days it’s hard, and no one bites, but another day you may find three encounters in the same day.”
Which App is Best for One-Night Stands?
Although it’s not an app, Adult Friend Finder offers easy access to easy dates, so it’s the best platform for arranging a one-night stand.
AFF is a mobile-friendly site like backpage and craigslist personals where singles, couples, and groups can let go of their inhibitions and pursue their deepest desires by posting a classified ad.
- Among the largest online sex and swinger communities
- Completely free no-obligation registration
- Live chat rooms and discussion forums open 24/7
Adult Friend Finder does exactly what it’s name promises and helps millions of people find sexy friends in discussion forums, video broadcasts, and local searches.
This isn’t an escort site or sex trafficking site full of fake ads — it’s a legit dating space where a single man or woman can arrange casual encounters with real people.
What is the Best Alternative to Craigslist Personals?
BeNaughty is our favorite alternative to Craigslist Personals because the classified site offers solid security features (including email verification and private messaging) and efficient matchmaking tools.
You don’t have to put in much effort to find a date on BeNaughty. As soon as you complete your profile, you can begin swiping, searching, and messaging in this sexy community. Free members can use this Craigslist and backpage alternative to explore the local dating scene without encountering an escort or sex traffickers.
- Sexually active adults in 10 countries
- Browse the Like Gallery for hot singles
- Stimulate conversation in intimate private messages
The BeNaughty site caters to people seeking romantic relationships and sex, and it makes sure everyone is the real deal. The site requires users to post a photo of themselves and complete their profiles before sending messages to a girl or guy online.
You won’t find any sex trafficking or sex work taking place here because the website screens new members and removes fake ads, spam messages, and unlawful profiles.
What is Doublelist?
Doublelist is a new personals site aiming to fill the gap left by Backpage and Craigslist — except without the sex trafficking, drug deals, prostitution rings, and other scams that got those businesses in trouble.
The Doublelist site double-verifies its users (hence the name) by requiring an email address and phone number upon signup.
Whether you’re looking for straight-up dating, hookups, chatting, or entertainment, Doubelist has a forum for you to share your thoughts and meet like-minded people (not sex workers) in your area. The website is currently available in 100+ major cities in the U.S., and it is rapidly growing its reputation as a Backpage replacement.
What is CasualX?
CasualX is a hookup app that markets itself as “Tinder minus marriage-minded daters.” Naturally, it appeals to sex-oriented singles looking for a casual encounters online and offline.
One of the biggest perks of CasualX is the locking feature. You can set an unlock pattern to make sure prying eyes can’t access your casual dating profile on your smartphone.
CasualX is a good Backpage alternative because its free classified ads can be accessed on the go, and the website does not support human trafficking or criminal activity.
Is OkCupid a Good Dating Site?
Yes, OkCupid has been around since 2004, and it’s very good at what it does, which is inspire love connections.
OkCupid offers free, unlimited messaging and personality-driven matching, which sets it apart from other dating sites and apps.
- Free, unlimited communication for everyone
- Singles can swipe or search for a compatible date
- Over 91 million connections every year
OkCupid’s in-depth profiles are full of rich personal information. Singles can identify themselves as looking for short-term dating or casual encounters in their dating profiles and establish their expectations from the get-go. The free ad also includes several open-ended prompts like “My golden rule” and “What I’m doing with my life.”
Every year, OkCupid creates over 91 million connections and facilitates more than 2.6 million first dates, so it’s a great Backpage replacement for anyone seeking a legit dating advertisement.
Personals Sites Can Offer Direct Access to Local Singles
Backpage and Craigslist Personals may be gone for good, but online dating continues to grow in popularity, particularly among casual daters. Singles can continue seeking hot dates and arranging steamy encounters on the sites like backpage and craigslist personals on this list. They have proven successes and solid reputations.
We’ve listed several good alternatives to shady personals sections full of sex workers, so singles don’t have to worry about fake ads, trafficking, or a law enforcement crackdown ruining their online dating experience.
These dating sites share legit classified ads for free, so there’s no harm in creating a profile and seeing who’s out there.
If you’re interested in exploring the casual dating scene, then create a profile or personal ad on two or more dating sites and keep an open mind as your browse, message, and match with people. You never know who you’ll meet online, and that’s part of the fun!