Gay Dating Platforms: Finding Love & Sex the Online Way

Doublelist Team

February 1, 2023 11 minutes read
Connect with straight, gay, bi and curious!

One of the best things about living in the internet age is gay dating platforms. No more wasting nights in clubs or bars trying to spot another queer person to spend time with. Now, it’s all in the palm of your hand. In seconds you can find a hookup near you or light a romantic spark with your future life partner.

But with that world of endless possibilities comes some tough decisions to make. How do you know which gay dating apps or sites to choose? What’s better for casual encounters, and what’s better for bagging a fiance? We’ve got all the answers to those questions and more right here.

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What Are Gay Dating Platforms

Gay dating platforms are any online service or method for gay people to enjoy love or sex connections. They include online dating sites or apps for flings, serious romances, and anything in between. AKA, they’re the gay version of straight dating platforms.

In terms of essential functions, all online dating services work the same, regardless of sexual orientation. Some are free to use; some require payment. Some are very focused on doin’ the dirty; others are as wholesome as possible. No matter what, they take your information and preferences and use that to connect you with potential matches.

You’ll notice some “cultural” differences between sites exclusively for queer folks and those that cater more towards straights. Like different slang terms or common interests.

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Most Popular Gay Dating Platforms: Apps vs. Sites

There are two main types of gay dating platforms: apps and sites. Both work to gain whatever emotional or physical connection you desire. Here are the main differences between gay dating apps and sites

  • Gay dating apps are great for dating on the go. If you’re traveling, in a new city, or want to chat with potential matches texting-style, apps are king.
  • Since apps are more phone-friendly, they usually host a younger dating pool than web pages.
  • A lot of dating apps follow a “pass or play” model. You have to reject or accept a potential match before seeing other prospects.
  • Dating sites allow you to search through and survey all your options at once

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Gay Dating Platforms: Types of Gay Dating Sites

Are you getting a clearer picture of what gay dating platform you want to use? Then let’s dig deeper into your options. First up, gay dating sites. You can divide most popular dating sites into hookups and casual dating sites versus sites for relationships and love.

Now does that mean there’s never any cross-pollination between these two categories? Of course not. Now and again, you’ll hear about how a friends-with-benefits situation turned into a Nicholas Sparks-level love story. And vice versa. But if you want our advice, stick to the site that best aligns with your current goals. That way, you maximize your chances of success and don’t waste anyone else’s time.

Gay Dating Platforms: Hookup Sites

One of the best ways to hookup is through gay dating platforms. Full disclosure, gay online dating sites are explicit and not the most aesthetic. Why? Because the site owners know that their clientele isn’t picky about web design. They’re there for one thing and one thing only: getting off. You’ll know you’re on a sex-oriented site by a more bare-bones layout, suggestive imagery, and possibly a lot of ads.

Like the lovey-dovey web pages out there, these sensual sites have many features to keep you entertained—from live streams to webcams, chatting, and private messages. So take stock of your appetites. Use these corners of the internet to find what you’ve always desired.

Gay Dating Platforms for Serious Relationships

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So you’re searching for love on the internet. We’re here to tell you that it’s not only possible; it’s probable. Many people hold on to outdated stigmas about online dating and relationships. They worry about judgment from friends or ending up like some Catfish or Dateline horror story.

But in this day and age, more and more people are using the world wide web to meet their person. In fact, one of the best places to look for gay singles in the 21st century isn’t a bar. It’s the internet.

Gay dating platforms for serious relationships tend to be more well-kempt. They have pages showing successful couples and resources from dating experts. This is because these sites stake their claim on creating the most matches and positive reviews from happy couples.

Gay Dating Platforms: Types of Gay Dating Apps

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Now that you know what to expect from dating sites, let’s delve into the other gay dating platform: apps. Unlike gay dating websites, apps cater to mobile users. Their interfaces need to be pretty, concise, simple, and trustworthy.

Another difference between web pages and apps? LGBTQ+ Dating sites have more of a divide between serious daters and fling-seekers. Apps tend to mesh the two together. Sure, every app has its reputation. But you’ll still discover a wider variety of gay singles all in the same place with apps. In our opinion, the two subcategories of gay dating apps are local ones and social media apps used for dating. Keep reading to learn more.

Local Gay Dating Apps

Local gay dating apps are the most popular gay dating platforms. Remember how we mentioned that the appeal of an app to find other gay singles is dating on the go? Most apps capitalize on knowing your location to connect you with other active users.

These apps usually need access to your location settings to send matches. Then, using that and the compatibility information you’ve given based on your profile, they’ll start serving up matches for you. You can date while waiting in line, riding the subway, or sitting in the doctor’s office.

Social Media Apps as Gay Dating Platforms

What would you say if we told you that one of the top hookup apps wasn’t originally made for dating? A lot of queer folks are finding love on a gay dating app without making a dating profile. Instead, they’re turning to social media. Here’s an example of how to do this.

You can use TikTok as a dating app by searching hashtags like #missedconnections or interacting with other users. Like a couple of their videos, leave a flirty comment, or duet them. If they pick up what you put down, they’ll reciprocate, and you might end up chatting. If they don’t return your feelings or ask you to stop, however, move on. You don’t want to cross into online harassment territory.

Popular Gay Dating Apps

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You’ve got the full rundown on gay dating platforms, and you’re ready to check out an app or two. Instead of wasting time downloading random options or reading reviews, check out our curated list. We’ve picked the three most popular gay dating apps. The best part? There’s something for everybody.

1. Best Gay Dating Platforms for Men: Grindr

All hail the infamous Grindr. This is the quintessential gay dating platform for men. Technically any queer person can use the app, but it’s first and foremost male-oriented. Grindr keeps it simple; all you have to do is put in your name, a photo, and a GPS location. Then, the app compiles a grid of all the DTF gays in your area. You can tap on their profile and send others messages and photos from the get-go.

Even if you’ve never downloaded the app, you probably know Grindr has a casual sex reputation. You can use it to have a committed relationship, but you might be in the minority. And you might receive a few dick pics along the way.

2. Best Gay Dating Platforms for Women: HER

If you’re a queer woman or nonbinary person trying to avoid male-dominated spaces, give HER a try. Unlike Grindr, this is among those gay dating platforms that don’t cater to just hookups or just relationships. You can use HER, however, you want by adding a tag to your profile with your preferences.

Looking for a fling? Use the “something casual” tag. Interested in something serious? There’s a tag for that too. HER also offers community groups and events if you’re trying to build other connections. The app emphasizes inclusivity as well. HER provides loads of options for your gender, sexuality, relationship status, and pronouns. If you’re tired of “unicorn hunters,” this is your place.

3. Best Gay Dating Platforms for All: Hinge

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Okay, technically, Hinge isn’t exclusively a gay dating platform. But it is one of the best dating apps out there and has plenty of LGBTQ+ user accounts. Why? For one thing, Hinge welcomes all sexualities and genders. Like other apps, it allows you to specify the type of relationship you want.

For another, Hinge leans toward monogamous committed relationships. Its entire tagline is “the app designed to be deleted.” Meaning its goal is to connect you with your one true love and off the market. So if you’re aiming to find love on a gay dating app, look no further

Best Gay Dating Sites

Are you more of a website person than an app enthusiast? Not to worry. Power up your desktop if you didn’t find the app you were looking for in our ranking. We’ve got you covered. Here are the three most popular dating sites for gay people.


1. MenNation: The Best International Gay Dating Site

If you’re seeking gay dating platforms that travel the globe, give MenNation a whirl. This site is available in 10 languages in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. This makes it the best international gay dating site.

As you can tell from the title, this is a men-only site with a one hundred percent gay membership base. Like Grindr, this site is an online hookup site and naughty exchanges. This is the type of site with plenty of NSFW images, videos, and paywalled features.

To use MenNation, you’ll need to create an account with your email, gender, age, country, state, and city. You can register as a solo user or as a couple. From there, you’ll come up with a username and password. Once the site confirms all your information, you can get to dating.

2. eHarmony: Best Gay Dating Platform for Serious Relationships

Craving commitment? Time to go old school with eHarmony. If you watched TV in the 2000s, chances are you remember eHarmony as the place where cute, old cishet couples got together while “This Will Be” played in the background. And if that’s your recollection, you’re probably wondering what it has to do with gay dating platforms.

In recent years, the site’s gone through a major rebrand. Now it’s open to all genders, sexual orientations, and ages 18 and older. New reviews report many gay users looking for love and finding the right fit. With this in mind, it’s the best option for LGBTQ+ singles who want a long-lasting relationship.

3. DoubleList: The Best USA Gay Dating Site for Personals

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One type of gay dating platform we haven’t talked about is adult personals websites. These are forums where you can respond to or write a personal ad to date. What’s the beauty of going the personal ad route? You can get as specific about what you’re into as you want. No more having to deal with a long list of cookie-cutter icebreaker questions or having limited characters to explain your type. You can write a flowery post to lure in the love of your life. Or you can cut to the chase by listing out all your kinks and fantasies.

If this sounds like the type of gay communication you’ve been after, try DoubleList: the best USA gay dating site. At DoubleList, you create an anonymous profile and write or reply to personals from other queer daters in your area. Just enter an email and password, and you’re in. The service operates in most major US cities. So wherever you are in the country, you can obtain love and sex. Signing up is easy and completely free. Join today!

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