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 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 sites like backpage and craigslist personals to help singles seeking an alternative to the old standby. Let’s get to it!
Best Sites Like Backpage & Craigslist Personals
Backpage and Craigslist closed without warning and threw a lot of daters temporarily off their game as they sought new platforms where they could mix and mingle with their type of people.
Over the last couple years, several top hookup platforms have emerged as the most popular alternatives to sketchy personals sites. You can check them out for free and see if they meet your expectations.
When it comes to arranging hookups, BeNaughty is fast, easy, fun, and safe. This dating site has built a (read more)
- 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.
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 character, you can always report that person to BeNaughty, and the moderators can block or remove that person from the site.
Registering for an account on Adult Friend Finder (AFF) is like speeding into the fast lane of the online (read more)
- 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 personals site. It has group discussions, erotic blog posts, video broadcasts, and live member chatting to turn up the heat and get members in the mood to party.
FriendFinder-X offers sexy singles the gratifying experience of meeting hot dates within a few clicks. This (read more)
- A casuals 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 discreet 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.
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.
Ashley Madison is a breath of fresh air for married folks experiencing a sex slump. This exciting dating site (read more)
- 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.
First impressions matter on Tinder. The dating app gives its users the chance to find romance by liking the (read more)
- The dating app of choice for millions of sexually active singles
- Accelerating the dating process through swiping
- Has led to over 43 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.
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 30 billion matches and facilitates 1 million dates per week.
OkCupid's free communication features make it great for singles seeking a no-strings-attached hookup. The (read more)
- Free private messaging available to all members
- Users can state that they're seeking hookups on their profiles
- Responsible for 50,000 dates per week
OkCupid offers free, unlimited messaging and personality-driven matching, which sets it apart from other dating sites and apps.
OkCupid’s in-depth profiles are full of rich personal information. Singles can identify themselves as looking for short-term dating or hookups in their dating profiles and establish their expectations from the get-go. The profile 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.
Match.com is an open-ended dating site where singles can make their own rules. Some are seeking heartfelt (read more)
- 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 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.
Zoosk is a fun-loving dating site where singles can let go of their inhibitions and attract dates one private (read more)
- 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.
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 profiles 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.
Plenty of Fish lowers the cost of romance by allowing casual daters to send private chats for free. It's easy (read more)
- 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 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.
MenNation has tons of X-rated content to arouse the senses and stimulate conversation. The hookup site (read more)
- 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.
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.
As part of Friend Finder Networks, LesbianPersonals is a fast-paced hookup site built to satisfy. The dating (read more)
- 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 with women from all walks of life.
Grindr facilitates hookups by telling local singles where the hottest guys in town are and giving them a (read more)
- 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 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.
In 1996, Friend Finder Networks began harnessing the power of online networking to help adults meet sexually (read more)
- 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.
What is the Best Alternative to Craigslist Personals?
BeNaughty is our favorite alternative to Craigslist Personals because it 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.
BeNaughty invites singles to walk on the wild side and explore their sexuality in a fun, free-wheeling (read more)
- 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 anyone online.
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 in your area. The site is currently available in 100+ major cities in the U.S., and it is rapidly growing.
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, X-rated encounter 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.
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, and they’re all free to join, 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 on one or two dating sites and keep an open mind as your browse, message, and match. You never know who you’ll meet online, and that’s part of the fun!