Casual Encounter Sites: How To Find Hookups & Dates Online

Doublelist Team

August 4, 2023 11 minutes read
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With busy lifestyles, more people are choosing casual dating over complicated relationships. Men and women are becoming more independent, thus, resorting to flings with no emotional baggage. That’s why we see lots of casual encounter sites that provide a space for singles to search for partners.

Online dating made casual dating easy and accessible, giving you millions of options that are just a click away.

To learn more about what the best casual encounter sites have to offer, check out our guide below!

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What Are Casual Encounters and Should You Try Casual Dating?

Casual Encounters are chance meetings between strangers or acquaintances. This encounter can lead to some form of physical intimacy with no expectations afterwards. The term is synonymous with casual sex, but how far you want to take it is up to everyone involved.

Most of these encounters happen with strangers  you don’t meet again, but there are chances of repeat meetups. Repeat encounters may lead to friends-with-benefits situations, where you have ongoing non-committal encounters with the same person.

Previously, lots of people may look at casual encounters in a negative light, but it has its benefits. A casual encounter can be a healthy outlet that’s similar to regular exercise. It also relieves stress because it lacks accountability and the pressures of traditional relationships.

On the other hand, it’s not without its risks such as STIs or unplanned pregnancies. There are also mental health effects for people who can’t separate romantic feelings from sexual desires.

So before you decide to have casual encounters, find out what you want from relationships. If you’re not looking for romantic partners and have no issues separating physical from emotional feelings, try it. As long as you’re being safe and keeping your feelings in check, casual encounter sites can be fun.

How Craigslist Started the Casual Encounter Sites Trend

Most people use Craigslist to buy furniture or find housing, but one section changed the game for casual daters. The Craigslist Personals section opened in 1995, which was the early days of online dating. You would simply post casual encounters ad, and wait for potential matches to contact you. No payment or complicated registration needed.

People loved how Craiglist’s casual encounters category was anonymous and easy to use. You browsed and interacted with all sorts of people in your area until you found what you were looking for. The site had an email system that masked your real email address. This enabled users to interact with people online anonymously until they had built  trust.

Unfortunately, Craigslist Personals is defunct since 2018 due to a US trafficking bill. Craiglist has said that they cannot continue with the risk of people misusing the website.   Nevertheless, it’s still one of the first casual encounter sites that has loyal users.

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Are There Any Casual Encounter Sites Like Craigslist?

Craigslist’s Personals section is extinct, which means their Casual Encounter service is also gone. But are there any casual encounter sites like Craigslist still around? Yes, there are plenty of other platforms.

Thankfully, Craigslist’s popularity resulted in lots of similar platforms going live. You can find plenty of options from free dating sites to premium sites with paid memberships. Most sites are legitimate, but you need to be careful with ones that may have scams or illegal activities.

Some sites can also have a small number of users, making it difficult to find matches. That’s why you should find reviews from other users before signing up.

Best Casual Encounter Sites To Find Potential Matches

There are several casual encounter sites, so make sure you read through them to find one that suits you best.

Our list has the most legitimate sites with the biggest communities to increase your odds of finding matches. We also give you platforms that cater to different preferences; gay, bicurious, married, straight, adventurous. You can find it all!

It’s up to you to choose which one of these sites is right for you. Without further ado, these are the best casual encounter sites to check out.

Popular Casual Encounter Sites: Adult Friend Finder

Adult Friend Finder is one of the biggest casual encounter sites with 80 million members and counting. It’s the go-to site to find one-night stands or friends with benefits. This is where you can find open-minded people who are also into casual relationships.

The site provides you with a free version where you can access limited features. With the basic account, you can receive messages, use search filters, comment, and like others. Lots of people have success with the free version since the site is full of active users. But this means your choices depend on who approaches you.

The premium version allows you to send messages, access community forums, add friends, and view complete profiles. For $14.95 a month, you can find hundreds of people wanting to connect and meet.

But this platform is not without its negatives. Due to the sheer amount of users, you’re bound to find bots. The platform has a lot of ads, which makes it hard to navigate. In terms of orientation, we can say that AFF is an all-in-one type of site. Just go to the community board, and you’ll find all types of kinks and preferences.

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Casual Encounter Sites for Married People: Ashley Madison

If you need to be discreet about your dating life, Ashley Madison is the perfect platform. The platform has a notorious reputation because married people often use it for affairs.

Regardless of what people say, it’s one of the best casual encounter sites with millions of active users.

The site has more female users than males, and it’s also free for females. Men can use the site for free until it comes time to send a message. Men pay and are given credits to use.

Most members don’t want to waste time, so you can easily find a hookup. Ashley Madison’s incognito mode lets you create an anonymous profile that you only share with certain people.

With this discrete feature, you can let your inhibitions go wild without worrying about anyone finding out.

Ashley Madison’s basic credit bulk costs $59. You also need to pay a Member Initiated Contact fee that costs $29.99 per month. All of these costs can add up, making Ashley Madison one of the more expensive casual encounter sites out there.

Casual Encounter Sites With Young Singles: Tinder

Tinder is one of the most popular hookup sites and the most downloaded dating app at 530 million downloads. It’s the app that popularized the swiping system that most casual encounter sites now use.

If you’re young and sexually active, Tinder is for you. The platform’s user base is mostly people under 35 years old with various sexual orientations and preferences. It’s commonly referred to as a “hookup app” because most young people here only look for casual encounters.

The free version of Tinder lets you browse and go through a limited number of profiles. The platform also has a tiered premium version:

  • Tinder Plus – $9.99 per month
  • Tinder Gold – $18 per month
  • Tinder Platinum – $32 per month

Tinder has a disproportionate number of female and male users. So, if you’re a straight man looking for women, you may struggle with Tinder. However, people still experience success with this app. So give it a shot and see if you get lucky!

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Try the Best Gay Dating App and Meet Your Match: Grindr

People often call Grindr the gay version of Tinder. This gay dating site enables men to meet other men for casual encounters. Grindr is great for first-timers as it’s affordable and user-friendly.

The platform boasts a geolocation feature that allows easy hookups and encounters. Grindr’s system will show you the nearest people who are also on the app. People will usually go straight to asking what you’re into instead of small talk.

You might even get a date an hour into signing up! Users can also send pictures which is always helpful before a meeting.

One of the downsides to Grindr is the possibility of catfishing. Catfishing means you use someone else’s picture to lure in matches. It’s fairly common in most casual encounter sites, and Grindr has high cases of catfishing. That’s why we recommend you verify the person’s identity before meeting up. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Casual Encounter Sites for Bicurious Dating: BiCupid

If you want to explore your sexuality, Bicupid is the best platform for you. The platform is for bisexual individuals and couples, but it’s also great for bicurious people. Make sure you have an open mind and be ready to experiment because that’s what Bicupid is for. With Bicupid, you can explore casual encounters in new ways, such as threesomes or BDSM.

To register, you can use your Facebook account or email, fill in the form and activate your account. After signing up, you can message people, like pictures, and create a curated profile.

They also have a great tab for newcomers who are curious, where you can find people in similar situations. The basic account is free, but to enjoy their features fully, you need to pay the premium membership. It costs $29.95 per month, and it allows you to access extra features and priority searches. This means you’ll get better odds of meeting the right person.

Bicupid’s weakness seems to lie in its backend system. Plenty of reviews show complaints about the slow interface and approval process. Some new users also had issues registering via email and couldn’t access their accounts.

Explore Something Sexually Out-Of-The-Box: is a platform that’s perfect for people who are into adventurous casual encounter sites. It’s where adults can explore their sexuality in bold ways within a like-minded community. So steer clear if you’re looking for a more vanilla hookup site because most people here want something out-of-the-box.

You can join the site for free within a few minutes. You can make individual accounts, but it also has couples and swinger groups too. Your profile will show your kinks that display your specific preferences.

You’ll fill in a personality test so the site can give you some suggestions when you activate your account. The basic account is free, but you can upgrade to a Silver account for $19.95 or a Gold account for $29.95.

The downside to this site is the basic account is limited. To access messages and complete profiles, you need to have at least Silver membership. The site also has its fair share of fake accounts that you need to watch out for.

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Best Alternative to Craigslist Casual Encounter: DoubleList

If you miss the Craigslist Personals section, look no further than DoubleList. This platform is the perfect substitute for the void Craigslist left and works similarly. On DoubleList, you can place personal ads and communicate with other like-minded people.

You can sign up for free and describe the type of relationships you’re looking for. After you’re done filling in your details, place a catchy personal ad to find your matches. You can also browse the site and answer other people’s ads.

DoubleList’s filters and geo-location features increase your odds of finding matches in your area. The platform will give you ideal partners that are nearby, making it easy to hook up.

Similar to Craigslist Casual Encounter, DoubleList sends direct email notifications when you have a message. So you won’t miss out on people who like you. This enables you to stay in the know and respond quickly to spark those casual encounters.

You can upgrade to the premium version to increase message, post and interaction limits. Our premium accounts let you send unlimited messages and post more ads. This is ideal when you’re ready to dive deeper and start connecting with more people.

So sign-up to one of the best casual encounter sites today, and get ready to meet your match!

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