The gay dating landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade, with traditional queer community meeting points of bars and clubs being disrupted by technology. Now we are more likely than ever to connect with other gay men through online websites and gay dating apps on our phone.
However, just because there are more options and choice out there doesn't always make queer dating easier or more fun. Because while gay dating apps offer new ways to meet guys, the choice of apps that you can download sometimes feel overwhelming. Likewise, while they do clearly work, they are often a minefield of fake profiles, scammers and dodgy ads. Oh, and don't get us started on all the timewasters!
What's more, gay chat apps often only seem focused on hook-ups, with limited opportunities to find a partner for dating or a relationship. However, as we'll see, luckily this is no longer the case and there are many free gay chat apps out there that are trying to breathe new life into the market and offer multiple dating options.
So, let's take a deeper at the best gay dating apps on the market at the moment. We compare the old-school classics with some of the newer kids on the block that are shaking up the scene. Here is our list of the top 10 gay chat apps that we recommend.
Gaudi is a newbie in the realm of gay chat apps. But this whippersnapper is showing the oldies how it should be done! This makes it our top gay app. With its youthful, exuberant feel, the Gaudi App celebrates the diversity of LGBT+ life. And it puts the community centre stage with a lively forum.
Its Speed Dating option is fast and fun. Moreover, the free version offers a full-on experience. And the paid options are half the price of some other gay dating apps. Innovative and inspiring, the Gaudi App is the future of gay dating.
This is it; this is the one! Gaudi is the gay dating app you need!
Like all gay chat apps, Grindr uses your mobile device’s geolocation. Navigating this best-known gay app is easy and instinctive. You can filter to see who is ‘nearby’ and who is ‘fresh’. But despite recent revamps, Grindr can still feel more like a sexual fast-food outlet.
“Gaudi is a newbie in the realm of gay chat apps. But this whippersnapper is showing the oldies how it should be done! This makes it our top gay app.”
Indeed, this free gay app lacks a sense of community. There’s no news feed or online gay magazine, which you’ll find on other gay chat apps, like Gaudi. Interaction consists solely of tapping on a series of profile pics. Also, the free version of the Grindr app significantly limits how many profiles you can access (and that’s when they load properly!).
Buff, bearded and bulging in all the right places are the types of guys the Scruff App is aimed at. If you're a gay cub or wolf or are into them, Scruff could be the best gay dating application for you. And this app certainly has a friendlier feel than Grindr. A bonus is the Scruff App’s ‘Match’ option. You can swipe to check out who is looking for dates and love, rather than just hook-ups. This Scruff app tool is a less-streamlined version of the Speed Dating option available on the Gaudi App.
Huge in Germany, PlanetRomeo promises ‘dates, friends and love for everyone.’ But how does it improve on the other gay chat apps on our list? The problem is that the free PlanetRomeo App version doesn’t offer enough features. The search filter is limited. And without paying, you can’t access the ‘Activity Stream’, meaning you feel disconnected from other PlanetRomeo users.
Big in Germany: PlanetRomeo is another popular gay dating app you might like 👀
A ‘social networking app for all things daddy’, the Daddyhunt App has four million users – no wonder it's a hit with silver daddies and their admirers. It’s free to use. But it can seem more limited in options than comparable apps. For example, the Daddyhunt App only lets you filter by age and distance. Hardly enough to guarantee delivery of that big, bad dominant daddy.
“Buff, bearded and bulging in all the right places are the types of guys the Scruff App is aimed at. If you're a gay cub or wolf or are into them, Scruff could be the best gay dating application for you.”
But in other ways, the Daddyhunt App does deliver. Overall, it has a more mature feel than its competitors. This is reflected in a robust code of conduct. And anything that helps weed out time-wasting trolls on gay apps is most welcome.
Of all the gay chat and dating apps, Jack’d claims to be the most inclusive for queer people of color. So, that's one massive plus. Also, the design feels cool and contemporary. And there are some clever tools such as ‘Swipe to Match’ to quickly find your ideal guy. But the number and complexity of features can feel a tad overwhelming.
Jack'd App is a clever and inclusive app for gay dating.
Of all the gay chat apps on the market (and there are many), Growlr is the only one exclusive to the gay bear community. And this gay app pretty much does what it says on the honey pot.
A few minor quibbles. The yellow color design doesn’t differentiate this gay app from its competitors. Moreover, the Growlr App logo of the bear looks more childish than alluring. And then there are the many Growlr App pop-up messages which may make you end up growling with frustration rather than desire!
Recon Gay Dating is devoted to the fetish community. And this gay app’s red and black design screams of a dangerous sex appeal. Recon is aimed firmly at the kinkier side of the queer community: think bondage, rubber, uniforms... that sort of thing.
Recon Gay Dating has a fresh, interactive feel. For example, like the Gaudi App, there’s a great news blog. The BDSM world is known for being friendly and inclusive. And it’s great to see Recon continuing this fine tradition.
Recon: your gay dating app for the queer fetish community 😈
This free gay dating app bills itself as a ‘queer social network’. Better yet, it promises to connect you to a community. Upon signing in, you’re taken to a feed featuring user updates along with stories from gay news outlets. But is there a sting in the tail?
Happily, no. This gay app’s developers have thought outside the box. Like the Gaudi App, the Hornet App uses a points system. The more ‘Honey’ points you accumulate, the more features you can use. Crucially, the Hornet App encourages communication. Kick things off by posting a video story or a ‘moment’ from your day. It’s a great icebreaker.
Is Tinder any good if you’re gay? Originally designed for straights, it pioneered the 'swipe right to like' and 'swipe left to dislike'. However, you can only message another user if you’ve both swiped right.
But how is Tinder a gay app? Well, it isn’t. Indeed, it was only in 2019 that it let users identify their sexual orientation. Hardly sufficient to make Tinder gay. Moreover, it still doesn’t allow you to define your pronoun. Big fail. Better to plump for one of our apps above that focus solely on queer dating. •
What’s your verdict on these Gay Chat Apps? Let us know what we’ve missed by commenting below.
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