Craigslist Meet Ups Explained and What to Use Instead

If you’ve spent any time on the internet, you’ve probably heard of Craigslist. It’s that online place that functions like a newspaper’s back section. From ads selling an old couch to ads looking for a relationship, it’s all there. With all these services comes the phenomenon of Craigslist meet ups. When people take their online exchanges from CL to IRL. While there are many types of meet ups, we will focus on those related to sex and relationships. We’ll explain what these are, tips for navigating them, and other sites and apps to use for a casual meet up instead of Craigslist.

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What are Craigslist Meet Ups

Put simply, Craigslist meet ups refer to meeting someone you met on CL in real life. But there’s a more specific meaning for our purposes. Here, you’re meeting up for a date, sex, or other intimacies after chatting on one of Craigslist’s personal ad sections. Currently, the only forum on the site where you can still do this is Missed Connections. This is a section where people post about strangers they met or saw and want to form a bond with. Then, if the Craigslist gods were on your side, the subject of your post would see it and respond. Previously, meet ups could also arise from the Craigslist Personals section before it shut down. The Personals were basically adult classifieds. This forum functioned like the rest of the site in the same ad format. But instead of posting about the dreamy person they saw at the park, users mostly looked for hookups. Sure, plenty of people browsed and posted in Personals searching for a partner. But most people were hoping for a casual meet up via Craigslist.

Are Craigslist Meet Ups Gay Friendly?

Yes! LGBTQ+ folks and Craigslist go hand in hand. In fact, the Craigslist meet up gay community is thriving. Back when the Personals still existed, that corner of the internet was one of the most happening gay dating scenes. There, queer people could find casual hookups or relationships without having to out themselves. They could just log on and find hundreds of same-minded people ready to have a good time. Even when the Personals section died off, gay users stuck around. Many people who used to frequent the Personals just moved their Craigslist man for man pursuits to Missed Connections. So if you’re gay and still trawling CL for a bang buddy, you can check out that page instead. That said, no matter how gay-friendly a site is or how many queer people use it, there’s always some risk. LGBTQ+ visitors should always stay alert and keep to online safety practices to protect themselves. Don’t arrange Craigslist meet ups unless you’re certain you’re not chatting with someone homophobic or transphobic. If you encounter someone dangerous while looking for a casual meet up on Craigslist, report them.

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Craigslist Meet Ups Locations: Go from Online Connections to IRL

So far, we’ve talked a lot about the steps leading up to scheduling Craigslist meet ups. Now it’s time to discuss the practical: the best Craigslist meet up locations. The location you choose is totally up to you and the other person (or people, if you’re craving a threesome). For convenience’s sake, we recommend choosing somewhere relatively close. Or if you’re chatting with someone who lives further away, split the difference and meet in the middle. A neutral location is perfect for making sure everyone involved feels comfortable. But what about specific places? We’re fans of meeting at a bar first. After all, who couldn’t use a little social lubricant? Even if you just want sex. It doesn’t hurt to Google the best bars near you and suggest it to your hookup. If you’re not a drinker or would rather meet in the light of day, a coffee shop works too. Honestly, anything low-commitment gets our vote. That way, you can easily exit if you’re not vibing with the other person.

Choosing Safe Public Craiglist Meet Ups Spots

Listen, we’re not trying to sound like a parent, but Craigslist meet ups should almost always happen in public. At the end of the day, you’re talking to a stranger online. Not only that, but you’re getting personal and intimate with them. Maybe you sent them nudes or cam footage leading up to your in-person connection. That gives this individual even more of your personal information and leverage over you. You don’t know this person. That may be part of the attraction if you’re looking for a quickie or an NSA situation. But it’s also part of the danger. This person could want to lure you into a place to harm you. For that reason, try to select Craigslist Meet Up spots in public, safe locations. Even if it’s just on a bench on a busy avenue or at a shopping center with surveillance cameras. Go to a location with other people so you’re not alone if things go south. Plus, insisting on a public meet up helps weed out seedy characters before you deal with them in person. Of course, we know sometimes you need to meet in private. If you’re comfortable revealing where you live, have them come to your place. That way, you have the home advantage. If not, book a hotel room. No matter what, have your cell phone on you and alert someone you trust to your approximate location.


Other Craigslist Meet Ups Tips

Picking a public spot is high on our list of things to consider before hanging out with someone from Craigslist. But that’s not the only advice up our sleeve. Here are other top Craisglist Meet Up Tips:

  1. Plan Ahead. Before you meet, ensure you and all parties involved are on the same page. Clarify if you’re meeting for a date, chat, hookup, etc. If your Craigslist Meet ups are for something raunchy, establish ground rules. What’s going to happen in the bedroom? What’s okay and what’s off-limits? How does everyone feel about exchanging fluids? You get the picture.

  2. Be Protected. Aside from general safety, sexual safety is key. Use protection and make sure everyone recently took a STI/STD test. If you’re HIV positive, take your PrEP and inform the other people involved.

TL;DR: Get as freaky as you want. Just keep it safe. Okay, we’re done with the lecture portion of this post.


Craigslist Meet Ups Alternatives: The Best Apps to Use Instead

As we mentioned, a lot of Craigslist Meet Ups came from the Personals. Now that that’s gone, you may be searching for a new place to find casual hookups. Dating apps are the perfect replacement for this service. For one thing, they’re quicker. All you have to do is download one and get to swiping. Before you know it, you can link up with someone. Secondly, dating apps are extremely popular. With plenty of fish in the sea, you’ll have no end of options. Plus, you’re sure to find someone who’s into what you’re into. Lastly, dating apps are a great Craigslist Meet Up alternative because they’re mobile. Wherever you are, you can log into your app and see who’s raring to go in your area. Keep reading for the top two dating apps we recommend instead of Craigslist casual encounters:


There’s a reason why Tinder is always on our list of the best hookup apps. It’s the biggest dating app out there and the most well-known. Unlike competing apps like Bumble and Hinge, Tinder is a go-to for hookups. If you’re hoping for the same sexy, casual encounters you could find with Craigslist meet ups, this is your app. The app uses a combination of your location and an algorithm to determine your best match. It’s also open to all users, meaning no matter if you’re straight or LGBTQ+, you’re welcome to join. All you have to do is make an account with your email and a password. Then, select your sexual orientation, add some photos and information to your bio, and you’re ready to start swiping. You get plenty out of the app with the free version, but you can always go premium for unlimited swipes. Either way, you’re almost guaranteed to find someone down for a meet up.


If you’re a gay man looking for a replacement for Craigslist meet ups, download Grindr. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Grindr is THE app for gay hookups. With over 27 million users, it’s the online version of the hottest club in town. Similar to how CL focused on location, so does Grindr. It doesn’t waste time with a bunch of compatibility questions or icebreaker quizzes. Instead, it shows you the other men on the app in your area on a constant feed. It works strictly based on proximity. This makes it especially ideal if you’re trying to find a hookup fast. These apps are the best mobile alternatives to scoring a casual meet up on craigslist. But what if you want to stick with a webpage? What if you also miss the unique Craigslist community? Find out next.

Searching for Websites to Meet Up Like Craigslist? Use DoubleList

There are many reasons you’d prefer using websites to meet up, like Craigslist, instead of online dating. Anonymity, for one. With dating apps, you can’t hide your identity behind a username. You can’t keep your dating or sexual preferences private because you must submit pictures and your name. For another, you can’t get as specific as you would in a personal ad. In a personal ad, you can describe the type of person or encounter you’re looking for to a T. But on dating apps, you’re stuck answering a bunch of time-consuming but not that helpful conversation starter-style questions. And, of course, what if you just miss the classifieds format of Craigslist Meet Ups? Apps trade in simplicity for aesthetics. If you’re itching for a straightforward website that lets you write and respond to adult classifieds while staying private, welcome to DoubleList. Our website is the closest and best replacement for CL. We have dedicated sections to most major US cities. So you can easily chat with people in your area and arrange no-hassle meet ups. On top of that, DoubleList is an inclusive space. So if you want gay personals to replace Craigslist, we’ve got you covered. Last but not least, your anonymity is always protected. Just use your email to make an account and give yourself a nickname. Ready to get dirty? Sign up today!