10 Best Gay Dating Apps of 2021 (Most Popular!)

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The world of online gay dating has changed a lot in the last ten years. In fact, ten years ago it was really difficult to find a dating app that was aimed specifically at gay dating. Now, you’ve got too much choice! 

In other words, you’ve got so much choice that it’s hard to know where you should spend your time. Which dating apps are going to yield you the best results? And which ones are going to make you puff your cheeks out in exhaustion after dates keep flaking on you? 

It’s cool – I’ve got the answers. I’ve given the best gay dating apps a test run and put together an article that will help you make a better decision. Here, you’ll find something for everyone – those who are looking for something longer term (maybe even marriage), as well as those who just want a friend with benefits. 

I’ll break each gay dating app down and take a look at who it’s for, how much it costs, and what its benefits are. 

Ready? Let’s go! 

Best Gay Dating Apps (LGBTQ Friendly)

1. Match

Match.com

Match is one of the world’s biggest, most established dating sites. It’s a premium matchmaking service that’s home to millions of members worldwide, and it’s perfectly suited for gays looking to date – or even find their life partner. 

The first thing the Match.com dating site asks is whether you’re looking for a man or a woman. Then, it asks for your gender. Once you’ve entered this information, you’re taken through a (fairly brief) step-by-step process that sets your profile up. You need to enter your height, your relationship status, your build, etc. 

Then, you just need to write an “About Me” paragraph and upload the main profile picture. 

Once your profile is up and running, you’re free to browse other profiles, either the extensive search filters or a “Matches” tab that suggests potential matches for you. However, you can’t send or receive messages (or see who’s “liked” you) unless you upgrade your account.

Pros:

  • Lots of active users
  • Great user interface
  • Plenty of features, including Instant Messenger and “grab a spot in daily matches”

Cons: 

  • Expensive dating site
  • Lots of members browse invisibly (can’t see who’s checked you out)

2. Grindr

Grindr

Grindr has more active users than any other gay dating app. It’s also free to send and receive messages, and there are more than 20,000,000 pics shared each day. It’s absolutely ideal for men who are looking for gay hookups, primarily because literally everyone is on here. 

Grindr is the Tinder of the gay dating app world, and its sign-up process is just simple. You can link your Facebook account for faster registration and you don’t even need a valid email address. All you need is the main photo that the Grindr team then needs to approve (approval tends to take just a few minutes). 

Once your profile is up and running, the app puts potential matches in front of you based on location. The closer someone is to you, the more likely it is that they’ll pop up in front of you. The idea is that you match with people you could possibly meet tonight. 

It’s worth mentioning that Grindr allows graphic pics, so if you’re into exchanging pics of your penis and other such things, this might be the right dating site for you. 

Pros:

  • The high active user base
  • Some useful features, such as “Favourite” 
  • Straightforward dating app design 

Cons: 

  • Many guys don’t chat much
  • Unsolicited penis pics 

Inside Scoop: Gay Hookup Sites and Apps

3. OkCupid 

OkCupid

OkCupid is one of the world’s most popular dating sites. It has millions of members and it’s very LGBT friendly. It’s used widely by gay, bisexual and queer men, as well as transgenders who see it as a ‘safe space’ free from judgment. 

OkCupid is free to send and receive messages, and it’s aimed at those looking for hookups, friends, or something more serious. It’s also ideal for gay dating; who are looking for proper emotional connections. 

Signing up on this dating site takes a bit of time because you have to fill out a questionnaire that seeks to learn more about who you are and what you’re looking for. You can also fill out your bio. But while most users take the time to add a few lines to their bio, you can use the prompts (such as “last show I binged on”) if you’re stuck for something to say. 

Then, you can either use the search function to find members, or you can use a free feature called Double Take which puts potential matches in front of you. 

However, whenever you message someone for the first time, they can’t actually see your profile just yet. Instead, OkCupid sends them an email to let them know “someone” has messaged them. Then, they have to “like” you back before they can see your message. If they don’t like you back, you won’t be able to send them a second message. 

Pros: 

  • Very popular with the LGBT community 
  • Easy to use 
  • Free to send and receive messages 

Cons: 

  • Lots of restrictions 

4. Her

Her

Her is one of the most popular queer dating apps among the queer community and LGBTQ community with 7 million-plus members, and it’s completely free to send and receive messages.

Her is created for queer people by queer people. It's a safe and inclusive space where you can connect with queer women, find LGBTQ+ events near you, catch up on all the latest news and content, and maybe even find your person.

You can’t sign up to Her unless you connect a Facebook or Instagram account first. Then, the dating app grabs photos from your social media accounts and the whole registration process takes a minute or less. 

Once you’re up and running, you’re free to add as many as 8 photos and each for other users. You can also amend your profile so that your personal details are included, such as your gender identity (there are lots to choose from) and your height and sexuality.

Like many dating apps these days, Her is a “swipe” dating app that doesn’t come with a search option. As such, the only members you can send messages to are those you’ve matched with or your existing friends. 

Pros: 

  • Free to send messages 
  • Massively popular with lesbian and bisexual women 
  • Very interactive 

Cons: 

  • No search function 
  • The dating app can get a bit laggy

5. Zoosk

Zoosk

Zoosk is a popular dating site that’s home to millions of active users. It’s been around for almost two decades but was recently given a revamp so that it now looks and feels better than ever. Zoosk dating site is stuffed with features and can work for those looking for something short-term, or something longer-term. 

Signing up on the Zoosk dating site doesn't take longer than 5 minutes and you don’t even need to upload a photo initially. All you need to provide is the most basic of information about yourself and then you’re up and running. 

However, whilst it’s free to browse profiles and send smiles and hearts, you need to upgrade your account to send messages. 

Finding members works two ways: You can either tweak the search function and look for users manually, or you can use a matchmaking feature called the Carousel, which puts suggestions in front of you. There’s also a SmartPick feature that picks out matches according to your behavior on Zoosk. 

You can also write stories in your profile to attract more matches, and actually sending and receiving messages is really straightforward. 

Pros:

  • Millions of active users
  • Lots of features 
  • Can easily tweak your search filters to find gays 

Cons: 

  • Costs money to send and receive messages 

6. Growlr

Growlr

Growlr is a gay dating app that’s simple to use, and which comes with a free version. However, it’s entirely mobile-based and can’t be accessed on the desktop. It’s also predominantly aimed at gay men looking for bears. 

Growlr is best seen as a social networking app for gays who want to meet bears, either for friendship, hookups, or even relationships. The sign-up process takes two minutes and there’s no need to wait around for your photos to be approved. 

Once you’re in, you can search for members via the search function, or you can start chatting by commenting on a user’s pics or blog (yes, you can post your own blogs!). By using the SHOUT feature, you can boost your business or your profile so that you’re seen by more members.

Pros:

  • Great fun
  • Real community vibe
  • So easy to use

Cons:

  • Too easy to create a fake profile (lots of them on here)

7. Scruff

Scruff

Scruff is a popular hookup app aimed at all members of the LGBT community. It’s also ideal for gays looking for new friends, but it’s generally seen as a place where you can find someone who’s looking for no-strings-attached sex as soon as possible (maybe even tonight).

Scruff requires your device location before you can sign-up, and also need to describe your profile pic (to categorize your account). Other than that, Scruff requires the barest of personal details and the whole sign-up process should take a minute or two. 

Once your profile is ready, you can search for members according to those who are online now, those who are new, and those who are the most popular. You can also check out how responsive a user is before messaging them. 

There are all kinds of communities to flip through, such as Bisexual, Twink, and Bear, which makes it really easy to find what you’re looking for. Messaging people is free, but if you’re not sure what to say, you can just send someone a ‘Woof’ to let them know you’re interested. 

Pros:

  • The high active user base
  • Very easy to use 
  • Social guide to gay and events
  • Location-based

Cons: 

  • The high number of fake profiles 
  • Lots of key features can only be used by premium members

8. Surge

Surge

Surge prides itself on being a safe space for gay and bisexual men who are free to find a hookup or love without being judged. There’s no need to put yourself in a box here, and with more than 4 million members, Surge is increasing in popularity. 

It’s kinda like a mix between OkCupid and Tinder. 

Surge requires a valid email address but the whole sign-up process takes just a minute. You can sync your Facebook account if you wish but you don’t need to spend time filling out a bio. 

Once your profile is ready, you’re free to swipe right or left on members. If you match with someone, you can then start chatting and sending pics. You can also send videos. However, pics and videos soon vanish – like on Snapchat. 

Because Surge provides a safe space for people, the contacting features have been designed to ensure people feel respected and secure. As such, you cannot message anyone you haven’t matched with.

Pros: 

  • Very safe to use
  • Works a lot like Tinder 
  • Ideal for all ages 

Cons: 

  • Can be hard to find a good match without using paid features 

9. ROMEO 

ROMEO

Romeo is a well-known gay dating site for its high active user base. It’s open to all kinds of gay men (including transgender’s), it’s free to send and receive messages, and several special features enhance your enjoyment. 

The quickest way to set up an account is to link your Facebook profile. However, you’ll also need a valid email address to verify your account, and you need to input your location.

Then, you’ll be taken to the profile builder, where you’ll be asked a few questions about your relationship status and your sexual orientation. 

Once your profile is done, you can look for members via the search function. If you see someone you like, you could go ahead and send them a message, or you could be a bit cute and send them a ‘footprint.’ This just makes things a bit fun by encouraging you to send someone a sticker with a description of what you like about them (“hot butt” or anything like that). 

Also, Romeo puts members into one of seven categories (Twinks, Jocks, etc) that makes it easier to find compatible users. 

Pros:

  • The high active user base
  • Some really great special features 
  • Search function 

Cons: 

  • So many users can make it harder for you to be seen 

10. Chappy (BUMBLE)

bumble

Chappy recently merged with Bumble but continues to be a fun gay dating app that’s perfect for casual sex and something longer-term. 

A one-click registration process ensures that signing up to Chappy is a breeze. However, you can’t sign-up unless you have a Facebook account. You also need to turn on your GPS. 

Because all your info is taken from your Facebook account, you don’t even need to spend time creating a bio! 

Like Bumble, there’s no search function. Instead, a roulette-type matching feature puts potential matches in a queue and you have to swipe left or right. If you’re not happy with your matches, you can adjust them using the ‘ChappyScale.’ 

Once you’ve matched with someone – and only once you’ve matched – you can start exchanging messages. 

Pros: 

  • Completely free 
  • Super high active user base
  • Easy to use 

Cons: 

  • Not available on desktop 

These are the best gay dating sites and dating apps around right now. The next step is to decide which ones sound right for you, and then take a closer look. Remember, you can register for free at all these sites, so it’s well worth doing that just to get a feel for things. 

If you like what you see and want to start firing off a few messages, you’ll need to take the plunge and upgrade your account. I hope you find what you’re looking for, and I hope you have a lot of fun in the meantime. Good luck!

FAQs:

Are Gay Dating Apps Safe? 

Yes, these dating apps are 100% safe and legit to use. However, you’ll still need to take precautions because some gay dating sites – such as Chappy – take info and data from your social media accounts. If there’s something you don’t want to share, it’s better to find an app that doesn’t do this. 

And while your banking details are completely safe, you always need to be careful when meeting someone for the first time. It’s a smart idea to choose a neutral venue, such as a bar or restaurant. 

Which App Should I Use? 

It depends on who you are and what you’re looking for. Match.com is the standout app for men looking for a serious relationship (maybe even marriage) and who are prepared to pay for a premium app, while Scruff stands out for hookups thanks to its higher active user base and functionality.

OkCupid, meanwhile, represents the middle ground between the two and is ideal for both hookups and long term relationships. 

What Are The Gay Dating Apps For Older Guys? 

Older guys will be more suited to dating sites like Match and OkCupid that allow you to adjust your search settings so that you’re able to find men of a similar age. These mainsteam dating apps are also very popular with older men, unlike apps like Chappy that are predominantly populated by younger guys.