10 BEST Gay Dating Apps of 2020 (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 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! 

10 Best Gay Dating Apps of 2020:

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. 

How does It work?

The first thing Match 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 which suggests potential matches for you. However, you can’t send or receive messages (or see who’s “liked” you) unless you upgrade your account.

My Experience

The dating site Match is really easy to get the hang of. The search filters are extensive, and you can tweak them according to interests, location, lifestyle, and even looks. This makes it easier to find someone who’s compatible with you. 

However, I strongly suggest filling out your profile with lots of information about yourself, because this is what most Match members tend to do. The more information you give out, the easier it will be to find a match. 

It’s also important that you’re respectful with your messages, and I also found that using the MatchPhone feature is a great way to build rapport with someone before meeting up. 

What does It cost?

  • 1 month – $33
  • 3 months – $23 per month
  • 6 months – $13 per month

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. 

How does It work?

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 app for you. 

My Experience

It’s not hard to score a match on Grindr, but a common complaint is that people don’t talk, or they disappear after one or two messages.

A lot of guys don’t fill most (if any) of their fields out, because most of them aren’t mandatory. However, I found that the best way to increase your chances of success is to link to your social media accounts and to fill out at least a few fields. The Stats field (such as your height and weight) is important, as is the “I’m Looking For” section. 

Also, filling out the Sexual Health field can increase your chances of success. 

What does It cost?

  • Free to send and receive messages 
  • 1 month – $10 a month

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. Zoosk

Zoosk

Zoosk is one of the most popular dating sites 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. This dating site is stuffed with features and can work for those looking for something short-term, or something longer-term. 

How does It work?

Signing up on the Zoosk dating site shouldn’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. 

My Experience

I had a fab time on Zoosk dating site because there are so many active, genuine users here. The matchmaking functions are really cute, and as long as you take the time to fill out your profile and add some nice pics, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t enjoy success, too.

And if you’re a bit shy and aren’t sure how to compose an opening message, you can send virtual gifts, smiles, and hearts. Also, every single profile is validated by Zoosk, which reduces the risk of fake profiles getting into this dating app. 

What does It cost?

  • 1 month – $34
  • 3 months – $25 per month
  • 6 months – $18 per month 

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 

4. 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. 

How does It work?

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.

My Experience

Growlr is one of the most user-friendly dating apps out there. I made it a point to chat to as many people as possible, and while some conversations died out, a lot continued until we either went on video together or met up. 

I also made sure to keep checking the ‘Events’ section to see what bear events were happening near me soon. Other features include ‘Meets’ which lets you know which bears want to meet you. 

Overall, it’s impossible not to do well on Growlr if you’re a bear or a man looking for a bear who’s friendly, talkative, and a bit extrovert. 

What does It cost?

  • 1 month – $12 
  • 3 months – $10 per month
  • 6 months – $9 per month 
  • 12 months – $8 per month 

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

5. Scruff

Scruff

Scruff is a popular hookup site aimed at all members of the GBT 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).

How does It work?

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. 

My Experience

I did really well on Scruff for a few reasons. First, Scruff is full of active members. Two, as long as you state what you’re looking for, like-minded people are easy to connect with. Three, there’s no need to get caught up in lengthy messages or small talk. People on Scruff tend to be very direct. 

However, a large number of people will flake, but that’s common for all dating sites. 

What does It cost?

  • 1 month – $13
  • 3 months – $12 per month
  • 12 months – $8 per month

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

6. 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. 

How does It work?

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. 

My Experience

As I said, Surge is like a mix between OkCupid and Tinder. Anyone who’s used those dating apps will know how challenging it can be to find a match.

I soon learned that it’s not easy to find a match on Surge unless you pay extra for features such as the Power Like. The Power Like is a 10x version of the normal “like” button, and it guarantees that the other person will see your profile. In other words, you’ll be at the front of their queue. 

This is key because, even when you “like” various people, there is no guarantee that they’ll even see your profile. That’s common on all dating apps with swiping features. 

I used the Power Like a few times, landed myself a few matches, and started chatting. Even then, people still have the right to “unmatch” you, but if you’re respectful, polite and 100% yourself, success can be achieved on Surge. 

What does It cost?

  • 1 month – $8 
  • 3 months – $9 per month
  • 12 months – $6 per month  

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 

7. ROMEO 

ROMEO

Romeo is well-known 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. 

How does It work?

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. 

My Experience

I did well on Romeo, and I expect most people do really well too. The fact that everyone is categorized makes life a lot easier, as does the fact that there is a search function (swipe dating apps can be a drain). 

I definitely recommend that you make use of the special features (such as the aforementioned footprints) because these will increase your chances of success. Romeo is a fun dating app designed primarily for hookups and casual sex, so there’s no point wasting too much time sending long messages to people 🙂

Also, there is a feature called ‘picture rating’. This gives you the chance to rate other peoples’ pictures according to how sexual they are. The more pics you rate, the more visible your profile will be to other people. 

What does It cost?

  • 1 month – $10
  • 3 months – $8
  • 12 months – $6

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 

8. 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 gays who are looking for proper emotional connections. 

How It Works?

Signing up on this dating site rakes 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. 

My Experience

This dating site makes things a bit tricky by putting restrictions on your messages (see above). But I quickly learned that most people who use this dating app are switched-on, engaged people who have taken the time to fill out their profiles. As such, they want respect from you, and they also want to develop meaningful connections.

If you’re prepared to take the time to make those genuine connections, you can find what you’re looking for. My top tip is to add a few pics, as well as at least a few lines in your bio. 

What does It cost?

  • Free to use but features such as the A-List cost extra. 

Pros: 

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

Cons: 

  • Lots of restrictions 

9. 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. 

How does It work?

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. 

My Experience

I found success easy to come by on Chappy. There were lots of active users in my area, and many of them were up for a quick chat before moving things away from Chappy. 

I quickly learned that you don’t need to spend too much time getting to know someone on Chappy. Instead, it’s a good idea to exchange a few light messages before asking if they want to meet up. 

That said, most members are actually looking for something serious so you don’t want to move too fast. But this isn’t a dating site like eHarmony. Instead, Chappy is a dating app that people use on the move. It’s something they dip in and out of during the day and – generally – they want to move things forward quickly. 

Also, if you’re not getting the matches you want, you can adjust your Chappy Scale. This allows you to search for users that are either “Cute”, “Sexy” or “Who Knows.” Each of these terms reveals a person's intent (hookup or something serious or “I’m not sure”).

What does It cost?

  • Free

Pros: 

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

Cons: 

  • Not available on desktop 

10. Her

Her

Her is a dating site aimed at lesbians and bisexual women. It’s the biggest dating app of its kind, and it’s completely free to send and receive messages.

Her has only been around for a couple of years but it’s rocketed in popularity thanks to an easy-to-use app that’s for those looking for a hookup and those who are looking for something more serious.

How does It work? 

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. 

My Experience

I’m not a woman so Her obviously wasn’t a dating app intended for me. However, I’ve read a number of user reviews, and people, in general, are very impressed with this gay dating app. The advice is that you add at least 6 – 8 pics to your profile. If you add any less than that, your profile might not stand out. If you add too many, people might feel overwhelmed.

Another good idea is to use the “Events” feature that lists the best upcoming lesbian events near to you. This is a great way to get involved with likeminded people and set updates. 

Overall, many people have enjoyed success with Her, including those looking for something casual, and those looking for something longer term. 

What does It cost?

  • 1 month – $17
  • 6 months – $14 per month 
  • 12 months – $10 per month

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

FAQs:

Are Dating Apps Safe For Gays? 

Yes, these dating apps are 100% safe and legit to use. However, you’ll still need to take precautions because some dating apps – 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 Dating Apps For Older Guys? 

Older guys will be more suited to apps 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 dating apps are also very popular with older men, unlike apps like Chappy that are predominantly populated by younger guys. 

On the other hand, if you’re an older guy looking for a younger man, Scruff and Surge are ideal. Scruff, for example, categories gay men by type (such as “bear”) that allows everyone to find what they’re looking for. And it’s often the case that many younger men are looking for older men. 

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!

Will Titterington

Will Titterington

Will is a writer, coach and life lover who enjoys helping people reach their potential. Will has plenty of experience with Online Dating. He loves to test different apps and sites and share his experience on DatingXP. He loves art, sports, connecting with new people from all over the world, and making people laugh.

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