When it comes to online dating, gay men have been fortunate enough to find a space where they’re able to communicate with their dating prospects without judgment from the outside world. Sure, there are public spaces where it can be possible to meet a potential match, but even the gay clubs of today are filled with women who don’t want to be hit on by straight men, and guys who are so comfortable with their sexuality they don’t mind the go-go dancers.
Let's look at some of the statistics for online dating when you’re a gay man. According to a study conducted by HuffPost on the online dating behavior of 4,000 gay men, over 49% of users are between the ages of 25-39, meaning if you’re a millennial that this is one of the best options for connecting with another gay man in a completely casual way. Of all the men surveyed by HuffPost, 79% stated that after using an app, they found a lasting and fulfilling relationship (whether is was a friendship, romance, or friends with benefits) while 21% said they did not find love, only lust.
Online dating, no matter what your sexual orientation, can be challenging. You have to wade through hundreds of filtered pictures of strangers. Then you have to make awkward small talk to see if you’ll even have common interests to talk about once you meet up; and after all that there is still the coordinating of the first date. It can be exhausting to go through the process time after time in the hopes of finding someone who will make you want to delete your online dating profile forever.
However, when it comes to finding a sure-fire match that won’t turn out to just be a quickie, it can be a little more difficult. If you’re a gay man, you know that even online dating is filled with uncomfortably personal questions out of the gate, and a lack of empathy that makes you believe everyone you’re chatting with could be a sociopath.
Despite this, there is a sense of safety in gay dating websites that isn’t offered to those seeking love in the real world. Queer men are able to talk to potential matches without worrying about taking heat for their sexuality from outsiders; it also is a way for gay men to connect beyond romantic aspirations— something the gay community needs in order to support and build camaraderie.
So if you’re looking to meet a new friend or find the perfect guy to bring home to meet mom, browse below to find a beginner’s guide to online dating as a gay man.
Although not exclusive to gay men, OkCupid still remains one of the most used online dating websites owing to the fact it’s free and has some major name recognition. When it comes to asking your friends which online dating website they’re signed up for as a millennial, most will respond with OKCupid.
It allows you to fill out questions in order to find matches with similar minded people, and since it is not toted solely as a sex app- chances are you’ll more likely to find someone you’ll be happy to bring home to mom to. OkCupid skips being like all those other dating sites with a slew of extra features such as allowing you to swipe on potential matches (much like Tinder) as well as answer insightful questions about yourself such as “What are your favorite novels?”
Whether you’re a gay Christian looking for another gay date to discuss your faith with, or if you’re a bisexual dude looking to experiment with going out to coffee with another male, chances are the OkCupid is the place to find them. In addition to being free, their mobile app allows you to take your online dating profile everywhere you go.
See AskMen's full OkCupid review.
One of the more commonly known gay online dating sites, Adam4Adam is more straightforward with it’s users’ intentions than OkCupid. The site is primarily used to find sexual partners who match your sexual and physical interests. This is great news for anyone who wants to try out a sexual fantasy or experience they’ve yet to have since Adam4Adam has an extensive filter feature that allows you to sort through users by age, race, weight, sexual position, and relationship status.
Yes, Adam4Adam even takes into account that a lot of homosexual couples are more adventurous with their sex lives. You’re able to sort through gay couples who are seeking to bring in a third for either solely fun or for a gay polyamorous relationship.
Either way, this free site has stood the test of time since it was launched in 2005 because it simply works to connect gay men who are both looking for a sexual connection and the potential for it to turn into more than just a one-night-stand.
See AskMen's full Adam4Adam review.
Perhaps the most widely used gay dating app, Grindr has become synonymous with gay online dating. The reason for this is simple: Grindr is a clean looking app that allows you to filter through your matches who are in your local area. Using GPS match generation, Grindr allows you to see how far away your potential dates/ hookups/ new friends are from you.
Grindr is free, however the premium feature (which begins at 14.99 a month) allows you to see unlimited men in your area, get more specific with your filter searches (for example, the free version of Grindr only allows you to filter your searches with 3 categories while Premium lets you filter through 8 categories of specification), and
Grindr is also known for first introducing the “tribe” feature for gay men. You’re able to sort yourself into categories such as: Jock, Nerd, Discrete, Twink, Daddy, Rugged, Poz, Trans, and Otter. This allows you to connect not only with like-minded people, but allows people who are interested in your specific “tribe” to locate you.
See AskMen's full Grindr review.
Piggybacking off of Grindr, Scruff is another geolocation gay dating app that allows you to “unlock” photos of yourself and others in order to expedite the pesky “pics?” problem apps like Grindr face. Scruff also has employed the tribe feature on the app, but allows you to back search for people who are directly interested in the group of gay men you most identify with.
In addition, it allows users to check out which queer-focused events are going on in their area during the week and which Scruff users in your area have RSVP’d. This feature not only makes Scruff both a great dating and sex app, but it allows gay men to meet in safe spaces where they can connect in real life.
Of course, Scruff is primarily used for those looking to make a sexual connection, and the lack of requirement for a profile picture opens up users to fake profiles and catfish. But, despite these minor setbacks Scruff succeeds where most gay dating websites fail- it moves beyond the solitary matching scheme and offers users the chance to attend events together, and to discuss queer news with each other.
Even if finding a sex buddy isn’t on your mind, Scruff is ideal for finding someone in your area that checks all your boxes owing to their varied and nuanced ‘categories’ section and filter options. It fulfills the need for connection, friendship, sex, and, yes, community building, something usually missing from those other gay dating apps.
The gay dating website that doesn’t have a sexually charged name, GayFriendFinder sets the scene for gay men to connect beyond sexual hunger. The site is free to sign up and allows users a plethora of space and description to tell the world what they’re looking for in a partner. Other apps- such as Grindr and Scruff, limit how many characters are able to be in a user's’ bio, which can mean a less concrete chance of finding the ideal person for you.
Much like Scruff, GayFriendFinder allows users to coordinate meetups, such as gay board game night or even a night out with new friends. The website allows you to search for gay singles in your area— and even includes a feature that allows users to announce when they’re traveling and who else will be in the area during that time.
By giving gay men more to do on a dating application than to ask each other for nude pictures, GayFriendFinder allows you to find your next date, friends-with-benefits, and, yes, next best friend.
See AskMen's full GayFriendFinder review.