Top 9 Best & Free Gay Hookup Apps for Casual Flings

So, you’re prepared to put yourself out there and explore what the gay universe has to offer you.

However, gay bars and parties have been serving you a rather lacklustre experience, which has been discouraging to say the least.

And the painful truth is that no one is going to knock on your door, unless you look for them beyond your social circle or hunting spots.

With the COVID-19 hot on our heels, it is truly the time to embrace gay dating apps to stay safe, save time (and effort) while exploring the abundant fishes in the sea from the comfort of your phone.

With the bountiful of hookup apps for the gay community, you may be left scratching your head on which is the best for you.

Our team has done the grunt work of getting down and dirty by testing each one of these apps for you to find your right fit.

So, you don’t end up downloading everything only to find that they don’t meet your requirements.

Here is the comprehensive guide to gay hookup apps to find which tickles your palate for your next lustful experience.

Gay Hookup Apps

Looking for Casual Encounters with other like-minded Gay Men? Let the following Top 9 Gay Hookup Apps do the work for you to find your Gay Partners and Gay Hookup!

1. Grindr

Usage: Free on iOS and Android, with paid subscription options, starting from USD6 a month for the Xtra package.

Grindr is the most talked about app by gays worldwide. So much so that, if you ask your gay friends to recommend an app, this will be the most mentioned among all. This can be attributed with the amount of gay users on it!

Grindr was launched in 2009 and has expand its users for gay, bi, trans and queer people.

It is a social networking app that picks up on your phone’s location to show you anyone who might be of interest nearby. So, no need to worry that the person may be 300km away from you to get some action!

Once you’ve signed up and log in, you’ll be presented a grid of profiles so you get to scroll down to see several profile pictures at once.

Feast your eyes on the hunks you want and tap on their pictures to view their full profiles and chat away with them!

There is also a section for Fresh Faces at the top of the app so you can take a look at who just joined as well.

To avoid fake profiles and making sure you meet genuine people, users can record a 8-sec video to flirt, verify or anything in the chat.

You can also record an audio and send it when you’re not feeling up for text messages.

To save time, you can reuse your messages if you pay for their Xtra package.

Starting from USD6 a month for a year with this package, you get up to 600 profiles at a time, filter by online now and photos only while sending multiple photos at once.

If you’re not on a shoestring budget, Grindr also offers an Unlimited package where you can commit USD39.80 a month. This is where you get to unlock incognito status, typing status and unsend feature.

For a basic account, you get decent basic filters of age, what you’re looking for (you can pick chat, right now or dates for hookups) and even what tribes you’re looking for such as bear, clean-cut, daddy, discreet, jock or leather.

2. Scruff

Usage: Free on iOS and Android, with paid subscription options, starting from USD18 monthly for a one-year subscription.

Scruff, as the name suggest, is the unpolished version of Grindr. You’ll get a good spread of choices according to different gay tribes such as Jocks, Daddies, Military, Leather and Otters.

So, every possible descending order of size, hair and kink are all here.

Scruff tends to attract those looking for hookups and NSA but you’ll see those who are looking for dates and relationships in there too.

The big difference between Grindr and Scruff is that Scruff enables you to search for for matches nearby and around the world! So, no problem in setting up something in your next destination before travelling there especially if you’re travelling to a country that is not exactly LGBT-friendly.

They even have a section on “Scruff Venture” which enables you to browse according to countries if you prefer.

Another perk about the app is that unlike other apps, you don’t need to create an account just yet and you can get a sneak preview of what you’re getting here. So, check out if it tickles your fancy first before signing up!

Just like Grindr, you can view other users’ sexual health in their profiles and if they tested negative and when they were last tested. So everything is out in the open rather than having the need to fish it out each time.

3. GROWLr

Usage: Free on iOS and Android, with paid pro membership starting from USD9.40.

All bear packs and their admirers should be prowling on this gay hookup app!

This app was created by bears for bears and from the looks of it, they definitely thought of what the community want in a dating app.

We ain’t going to hold back on you on this. This app can get a little buggy at times and the interface ain’t the best but it does draw the right target group of bears.

The app is great to find where all the bears converge worldwide in the Events section and also bear bar listings in your area!

So, you can plan your next meet-up or even just head to meet fellow Bears there.

You can also view what each user are looking for in the app such as Chubs, Polar Bears, No Strings Attached and Silver Daddy.

Plus, you’re not tied to just your area but also connect with Bears while expanding your Bear network worldwide!

Search according to cities, age, height, weight, status, relationship status and what they’re looking for.

There are options for “No Strights Attached”, “Dates”, “Networking” and even “HIV -“ , which greatly refines your results.

Instead of paying for a subscription fee for your usual “boosting” of your profile, you can opt to pay for sending a “GRR! SHOUT!” to all users in the defined area that have been active in the last week.

Once you’re comfortable with the free account, you can choose to upgrade to a PRO membership, where you’ll get 100 more Bears on your Nearby and Global tabs respectively.

4. Taimi

Usage: Free on iOS and Android, with paid subscription options, starting from USD9.99 weekly with a Free 3-day trial.

Taimi stands proud and prides itself as the world’s largest LGBTQ+ platform.

This is an app that is widely talked about in the media and among friends.

It houses 7,000,000 gays, lesbians, transgenders, and bisexuals and is still growing steadily.

Taimi is more than a hookup app, thanks to its social networking features, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t cater to ONS or FWB.

In users’ profiles, you can view if they are looking for dates, chats or friendship in the app. So why limit yourself? You may find a new bestie in your new neighbourhood to hang out with while being on the prowl for your next flame.

The app doesn’t hide its drive for innovation and is not one to shy away from its users as they have created a Feature Request section where users can create or vote what upcoming features they would like to see in future.

The requests are arranged according to “Top”, “New” and “Done” so you never know… they may just take your suggestion to reality.

Boasting a refreshing twist to existing social media features, they have incorporated posts and stories in the app so the community can express themselves and share their experiences to one another.

They have even taken the liberty of incorporating Live Streams where you can interact with users at real time!

You can also build real connections by joining groups that stirs your interest such as “Gay Friendship”, “Hot Gay Celebs”, “Gaymers” and “Gay Dog Lovers”.

Taimi takes its job seriously in keeping scammers and fake profiles at bay from the the app by setting up several verification options including linking your account to your Facebook, Snapchat and photos.

All in all, if you’re looking for hookups and to build your social network at the same time (because who said you can’t have all?), then Taimi is worth making storage space on your phone!

5. Surge

Usage: Free on iOS and Android, with paid subscription options, starting from USD5.50 monthly for a one year subscription.

This gay dating app has attracted more than 3.5 million registered users and has an average of 4.5 rating on Apple Store and Google Play.

Unlike GROWLr, Scruff and Grindr, Surge motto is #NoLabels and that means no labelling if you are a Jock, Bear or a Show Queen.

On profiles, you view the person’s relationship, what they’re looking for and role rather than labels.

So if you’re not big on labels, then Surge will be the right fit for you.

There are limitations to the free version (which app doesn’t right?) and this depends on you if the free account is sufficient for you.

It follows the swipe culture and on a free ride, you get limited profiles shown to you daily.

If you like someone, swipe right and if you’re not interested, swipe left.

Filter them according to age and maximum distance. If you want to filter your choices further, you would need a Premium account to refine according to relationship status, looking for, role and show only verified profiles.

When signing up, you get a free Power Message, which is like Tinder’s Super Like. Surge deems it the “ultimate like” where you like them and also can send a short direct message to them.

With a Premium Membership, you get only 5 Power Messages a day.

If the other guy likes you back, you get to chat with them automatically so better get those thumbs ready to swipe daily!

Despite the Tinder-like interface, it does has its merits such as getting to know guys you don’t usually see in other apps, bringing you a fresh line up of men. If they’re looking for a hookup, you will know right away as it will clearly be stated in their profiles.

You can also connect it to your Instagram or Facebook.

If you’re willing to part with USD5.50 a month, you can subscribe to their one-year Premium Membership where you get access to tons of features such as going incognito and being visible to only guys you’ve liked, swipe and send likes without limits and change your location to meet local guys before your trip!

To show a bit more of your personality, you can connect your profile to your Spotify account to see if anyone would share your love for Coldplay.

6. Jack’d

Usage: Free on iOS and Android, with paid subscription options, starting from USD25.20 monthly for a one year subscription.

The interface for Jack’d is very similar to both Grindr and Scruff but more towards Scruff.

It gives you a grid of users’ photos and you tap on those that has pique your curiosity to view their full profile.

The Search tool allows you to search men from a specific part of the world, if they’re online now, age, height and weight.

It allows you to get a taste of the app before signing up so you get to see if it is your cup of tea.

Also, like Scruff, you can browse for men nearby or discover them worldwide.

The minor difference between this and the two apps are that it is more diverse whereby gay, bi, trans and queer people worldwide are welcomed.

Interestingly, you get to add up to 10 hashtags such as #discreet or #bisexual, to your profile in the Hashtags field to showcase what you’re interested in.

You can even click on the hashtags to discover other users who are interested in the same things.

Rather than scrolling through the grid, the app even has a section called Jack’d Match if you’re feeling like playing with some swipes on that day. Jack’d will present some selections to you and you can swipe to easily show your interest.

A free account is decent enough to get some matches but if you’re ready to take it up a notch, try the Pro version to get 1,000 profiles in your grid, more data insights, unsend messages and more search filters such as sex preferences.

7. Blued

Usage: Free on iOS and Android, with in-app purchases such as Super Like, Spotlight and Shadow.

Blued is China’s biggest gay men dating app and is owned by BlueCity BLCT.O. BlueCity also bought a Chinese lesbian dating app named LESDO recently.

Blued stands apart from the rest with its LIVE broadcast from gays all around the world or around you.

It is a LIVE Gay Chat and Dating app and prides itself of having 54 million gay men as users worldwide.

So no more swiping and waiting around forever for responses!

You go live and your inbox will likely be bursting and it is one of the fastest way to meet people within your vicinity that you wouldn’t have met otherwise.

It identifies itself as a gay social app rather than an outright dating app. However, it still offers what Grindr and Scruff offers whereby you can browse through grid of photos to identify who you want like to connect with.

Interestingly enough, the active countries and regions are centred around India, Indonesia, Philippines and the Republic of Korea.

The way to get noticed here is definitely to go LIVE to steal the spotlight from others and stand out to tons of guys in one single broadcast.

The LIVE is broken down to two sections; Global and Local. In the Global section, you can see the Popular Lives to connect with men from other parts of the world.

If you get gifts from your fans through your LIVE, you get to cash them out for real money!

Another interesting LIVE feature is the “Family Starship” which is a group of Blued LIVE hosts. You can choose to team up with other hosts to grow your own fanbase and take up eve challenges.

Remember, be prepared for tons of messages waiting for you when you’re done live streaming!

One can only hope that the new “Community” feature that is released in its China-edition app will be released to other parts of the world.

8. Wapo

Usage: Free on iOS and Android, with option to upgrade starting from USD1.45 a month.

Wapo adopts a grid profile layout like the rest but doesn’t leave much room on letting others know on the relationship status or preferences.

So, if you prefer something fast and not filling up loads of profile details, then this is the no-fuss app you’re looking for.

Wapo is the biggest dating app in Spain so this gives you an indication of who you would find in the global profile grid section.

For a free basic account, you get to explore gays nearest to you so this is great for finding someone nearby for casual dating.

To explore local, travel and global profiles, you would need to pay for the premium features to be unlocked.

Although that may be annoying to some, their redeeming quality is that their rates for a premium membership is much more affordable than the other apps reviewed.

And some have said that this is better than a lot of the apps in terms of affordability out there so we would say it depends on your area and if gays nearby have signed up to use the app.

A monthly subscription is merely about USD1.45.

If you’re in luck, you’ll be meeting desirable matches near you as free users are presented 100 profiles.

Their premium features include read-receipts, load unlimited nearest guys and you can lock your face photos for privacy.

All in all, worth a try as the team found a new line of gay men that you usually won’t catch in other apps!

9. Hornet

Usage: Free on iOS and Android, with paid subscription options, starting from USD10.40 monthly.

Started in 2011, Hornet is a gay social network. It was founded by software entrepreneur Christof Wittig and financier Sean Howell.

With 25 million users worldwide, this app really wants you to engage with other gay men beyond just proximity or stats.

They have a Home feed where men would post about themselves, see what others are posting, liking and commenting on the post.

Hornet is dominating the markets such as France, Russia, Brazil, Turkey and Taiwan and is growing in the United States.

And it’s easy to see why.

Rather than being limited to only the usual grid profiles, you can also search for guys using hashtags to discover those who share the same interests.

Some of their popular hashtags include #gaymer, #friends, #bottom and #love.

Even if you’re not flying out anytime soon, you can also search for guys in to other countries (without the premium price tag to boot!) if you prefer to keep your connections online only.

Plus, this presents a big window of opportunity to connect with cute men in France, Italy or anywhere you please. Go wild!

A great place to catch up on the latest queer news is the Stories. This section features news, entertainment, health, travel, culture, videos and a little NSFW stories on the side.

To fully reap the benefits of this section, we would recommend exploring it on desktop to search stories using the different categories as the app version only shows the latest stories and top stories.

Another cool scoop about Hornet is that it is big in building a real community by inviting users to contribute to their Hornet Community Programs.

To name some, try the App Translator, Beta Tester (where you get to be one of the first to tests out new features) and Feature Guy.

Hornet sweetened the deal further where your contributions don’t go unrecognised! You get to earn points and redeem them in their webshop for rewards like a Hornet Premium Subscription or even a USD50 Amazon Gift Card. Talk about giving back to the community!

 

(Last Updated: 23 September 2020)


About the Author

Kelvin Kevin is the Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Content Editor of the World-Renowned HappyMatches.com Dating App and Dating Site. An avid writer since young, he is an Expert Dating and Relationships Coach for Casual Dating, Serious Dating and General Dating. You can follow him on Twitter (@HowToDateBetter), and also check out his personal Dating Blog, for the latest Dating Advice and Dating Tips to help Straight, Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Singles and Couples find and enjoy Fulfilling and Intimate Dating Relationships.


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