Craigslist Gay Personals: What Can You Use Instead?

Until 2018, Craigslist was the go-to app for many singles seeking romantic connections or casual encounters. The classifieds website was particularly beloved amongst gay people, and its shutdown greatly affected the LGBTQ community. Luckily, many reputable dating platforms catering to the gay community have emerged since Craigslist gay personals shut down.

This article reviews some dating platforms offering similar options as Craigslist personals, from casual flings to long-term relationships. We will also offer some tips for making the most of these apps. 


Best Dating Platforms To Find Gay Personals Like Craigslist

One of the reasons many users loved Craigslist personals so much was because it offered numerous relationship styles. People could find anything on the site, from one-night stands to threesomes. So, we have researched alternative dating sites for some of the old Craigslist personals categories. Here are some dating platforms offering gay personals like Craigslist:

Out Personals: Browse Classic Classified Personals Like Craigslist

Out Personals is an inclusive gay dating site best for finding hookups and casual encounters. It has a classic personal ads format with sections for men seeking men, women seeking women, and other categories. 

Users can search profiles of gay men by location. You can filter matches based on age, shared interests, or other desirable attributes. 

Out Personals also has extra features to ensure users have a great experience. For example, users can video chat to get to know matches before meeting physically. Overall, it's a diverse community of gay men seeking all types of connections, from friendship to long-term romance.

GayFriendFinder: Best for Finding Hookups Easily

As the name suggests, GayFriendFinder is a go-to destination for gay men seeking adult friends. It facilitates serious relationships, friends with benefits, threesomes, and casual hookups, among others.

You can search member profiles by location and keywords to find your type of guy. Members frequently praise how easy it is to create a profile and connect with gay men on GayFriendFinder.

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Hornet: Best for Gay Community Resource

Hornet is one of the largest gay social networks today. It has over 25 million users spanning countries all over the globe. For gay men seeking anything from casual encounters to simply meeting new friends, this app is a top choice.

The Hornet app is free, inclusive, and very easy to use. As an LGBTQ+-led platform, it takes user privacy and safety very seriously. Beyond just facilitating hookups and dates, it fosters a community online for gay people.

Ashley Madison: Best for Discreet Encounters

Ashley Madison is famous primarily for its focus on enabling extramarital affairs. But it has a relatively strong gay user base as well, many of whom are seeking no-string-attached encounters.

Ashley Madison lets gay men quickly find other like-minded guys interested in keeping things casual and discrete. Just be clear in your profile about what you're looking for from the start.

Plenty of Fish: Best Free Gay Personals To Replace Craigslist

For people seeking the best dating app offering free gay personals to replace Craigslist, we recommend this app. As its name implies, Plenty of Fish (POF) certainly earns its reputation for offering users endless dating options. POF has over 150 million users across sexual orientations, including a strong gay user base.

It has an LGBT category where gay men can easily search for potential matches based on criteria like body type. POF is free and is ideal for finding anything from a casual encounter to the love of your life.

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GayCupid: Connect With Gay Men Quickly

GayCupid is a part of the expansive Cupid Media network of international dating sites. It aims to seamlessly connect men seeking romantic relationships with other men across all corners of the world.

GayCupid offers new members access to many premium features of the site for the first three months. This generous trial period allows new users to browse matches and send unlimited messages before upgrading to unlock additional benefits.

Zoosk: Overall Best Dating App Features

Zoosk takes a unique approach to online dating compared to many competitors by using a proprietary Behavioral Matchmaking engine. This technology learns about your preferences and habits when using the service to deliver personalized matches.

Zoosk boasts 40 million registered users, offering gay singles countless options. It also sets itself apart through its friendly and modern user interface design.

How To Make the Most of Online Dating Platforms as a Gay Person

Now you know the best alternatives for a Craigslist gay meet-up, you must learn how to make them work. Below are some tips to help you bag the perfect match.

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How To Create a Catchy Personal Advertisement on Dating Platforms

Your ad on dating platforms is your date’s first impression of you—and you know what they say about first impressions. You have to make them count! You can take the following steps to create a personal ad that is sure to attract your love interest:

  • Get familiar with the platform you want to use. You may need to look at other ads to see what’s popular among users. This may help direct you on what your ad should look like.

  • Be clear and specific with what you want from the platform.

  • Write a short and friendly headline that sums up your personality.

  • Post juicy pictures of you to steam things up a bit. (Ensure they are authentic and legal!)

  • Share details about your hobbies, interests, and what you want in a partner.

  • Include some conversation starters to encourage matches to send you a text.

Remember that it’s essential that you can explore your sexuality without fear of judgment. So, don't be afraid to clearly state what you want to potential matches in your ad. Honesty will help attract people who want the same things as you!

Snagging a Date: Browsing Personal Listings With Finesse

Many online dating sites have a listings page or a profile feed for users to browse potential matches more easily. It displays all the ads posted by people looking for love or sex in your city. You should check out profile details thoroughly to assess compatibility when browsing listings. A user is likely to be more serious if they put much effort into their profile.

Don’t be afraid to shoot your shot. If you find an ad interesting enough, make the first move by sending a message. You may introduce yourself, ask a question, or mention something you have in common to stir a conversation. Just remember to keep it real. Stay patient if you don’t get a reply immediately. You may follow up once, but move on if they still don’t reply to your message.

Most importantly, remember to put your safety first. You don’t have to meet with your match right away. You should chat online first to build trust and establish a connection. In the next section, let’s discuss how to stay safe on online dating platforms.

Red Flags 101: How To Stay Safe While Dating Online

While many dating apps have safety measures to protect users, it is still important that you keep your guard up. Many creeps go on mobile dating apps looking for people to prey on. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • Sending unwanted explicit messages or pictures.

  • Asking for financial help or gifts early on.

  • Being pushy about meeting physically.

  • Evading questions about their job or location.

If a user makes you uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to block them. You can also report suspicious activities to your dating platform. You can only avoid getting scammed if you stay vigilant!

DoubleList: The #1 Craigslist Gay Personals Alternative

Craigslist personals offered many gay people a safe space to find dates and connect with other community members. Understandably, its shutdown has left a void that’ll be hard to fill. Some gay singles still seek an alternative platform to recapture the original Craigslist gay meet-up spirit. If you’re one of them, look no further than DoubleList.

In the years since Craigslist gay personals disappeared, DoubleList has stepped up to take its place in serving gay singles. DoubleList recaptures the casual but intimate space that made Craigslist a hit among gay people. It offers personal listings across cities in the U.S., whether you want a casual hookup or a committed relationship. Best of all, you can create an account for free.

So, sign up on DoubleList today to browse local personal ads like in the golden days of Craigslist!