Oh, the famed one-night stand, how we miss you. I don’t know about where you are, but here in New York City as things slowly open up again, local singles are emerging from the depths of their apartments like zombies, walking aimlessly in search of potential matches and dive bar beer. But who can blame them! The way things are looking, we very well might be getting our August back (socially distanced or not) so you better believe the walking dead are on the prowl for their long lost (three hours, tops) love. To show support for the singles who are again finally ready to mingle, we’ve compiled a list of the best one-night stand sites and apps sure to secure you some short-lived fun.
Now, before we get into the down and dirty, listen up for your crash course on one-night stand etiquette. Rules of the proper one-night stand, in a very particular order:
1) Good hygiene comes first, so go wash your legs (and your dishes)!
Whether it’s going down at your place or not, being clean is the number one rule to follow on this list. Without cleanliness, you might as well say ‘bye-bye’ to any chance of being brought home. Now, we’re not just talking about brushing your teeth, putting on deodorant, and combing crumbs out of your beard hair. We also implore you to wash those crusty sheets, fold those week-old clothes, and, for the love of God, please wash the dishes. Nothing says “I don’t care if you cum” more than a sink full of piled up, smelly, fly-attracting dishes.
Setting the mood is just as important and actually signifies a clean space. After you’ve vacuumed and organized, light a candle, throw on some Michael Kiwanuka, and dim the lights. We promise you’ll feel so much better hooking up in a space that doesn’t feel like a germ haven.
2) Make sure you have protection (mask, condoms, dental dams, birth control if you plan on staying the night, etc.)
When it comes to having safe sex, there are two things you should be doing: asking questions (consent is sexy!) and using contraceptives. This includes wearing a mask! Ask whoever you’re about to bone if they’ve been tested lately. Discuss the COVID-19 and STI precautions you both have taken before hand. It! is! not! a! mood! killer! And frankly, it can be very attractive. It shows that you’re invested in your own health as well as the health of others by wanting to know if the person who is literally about to sleep with you values responsibility too. Be proactive and inquisitive about who you’re about to hook up with and, if for some reason they do get offended about the question, good riddance!
And while condoms are a huge part of having safer sex, we understand that some people are just against using them–and that’s fine, as long as your taking adequate measures to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections. This means, if you’re not using condoms, you should limit the number of partners you have unprotected sex with and get tested regularly–like two weeks after having unprotected sex, regularly.
It’s also worth mentioning that if a condom breaks or you forget your birth control, you can get the morning-after pill for free at some clinics, health centers, and walk-in urgent care facilities or over-the-counter at any pharmacy and drugstore. For more information on Plan B, be sure to read this Planned Parenthood guide.
3) Download an emergency safety app
This is something I truly believe everyone should do, regardless of gender or age. Taking the time to download something like Noonlight, a safety app that tracks your location and when needed shares it with authorities in real-time, could make all the difference. When using any service–dating apps, car services, or even just public transit–there are always going to be unknown variables. I hate to say it, but you really never know what will happen when you step outside your house. Instead of leaving it up to chance, or living in fear, equip yourself with a safety net that will let you enjoy your night with one less thing to worry about.
4) Listen to yourself
We’ve all heard the one night stand horror stories. “He literally didn’t leave until 2 pm,” “She kicked me out right after we had sex,” or the worst one, “I felt so creeped out but I didn’t wanna leave and be rude.” Understanding that whatever you’ve gotten yourself into for the night is not a contractual agreement can really help in awkward situations. If you’ve gotten to your hook-up’s apartment and suddenly feel uncomfortable or sense an unnerving tension in the air, don’t walk out the door, run. Trust your instincts when it comes to feeling sketched out about someone you aren’t completely familiar with, especially when intimacy is on the table. Now, the reverse of that is, if you’ve just engaged in a surprisingly pleasurable (or not) experience with your hook-up, be a decent human being by being polite. That means don’t kick them out if they’re dozing off in your bed post-sex, and don’t try to sneak out in the middle of the night! The fact is, if you were mature enough to have sex with them, then you should be mature enough to get dressed in their bathroom in the morning.
If you feel like these polite practices are too extra for a one-night stand, then you should probably take a moment to rethink having them. XOXO, Gossip Girl.
Best one night stand dating sites and apps
AdultFriendFinder isn’t just a dating site, it’s a social media and hookup app, too. Boasting well over one million site members and counting, AFF is easily navigable, explicit, and heavily used in major cities. Before signing up for a free account, the site showcases sneak peeks of users in your area that are active, or have been active recently. Before entering the site, you’ll be able to set your preferences as interested in single men, women, couples, or groups. Then once you get through to the homepage, you’ll notice the layout is pretty simple, almost early Facebook-esque, and quite revealing. Having the ability to filter the content according to nudity is a big bonus for at work browsers. Other options for filtering are age, distance, username, and active status. Complete the profile “purity test” to find out if you’re a sexual newbie or a full-blown hedonist, or, fill out the personality test to connect you with your perfect match. Not only does AFF connect you with profiles online, but it also offers a cam site, adult-centered content community, and app! If variety is what you’re searching for on your new dating site, AdultFriendFinder is your destination.
Book of Sex is run by the same company as AdultFriendFinder, so the interface is the same, the features are the same, and, for the most part, the users are the same (since access to one site gets you in on the other). The biggest difference between the two is the number of users and a variety of users. I can’t tell you which site is better between the two, since the user fluctuation is pretty small, but also, what you like and what I like are not the same. My advice would be to try both out! If you’re in a big city, you might find that the users you’re looking for are more involved with one of the sites, but if you’re not in a city, the chances are that most users are signed up for both.
#Open is a fun and fresh approach to the standard hook up and dating app scene. Upon making your profile, you’ll have the choice between creating a solo account, partnered account, or a “double profile” where users can toggle in between the two with the ability to edit the account type at any time. Even better, the app has a strict no-NSFW image policy and encourages the use of usernames or nicknames for heightened security, so there’s also less of a chance you’ll find yourself harassed or spammed with dick pics by a deranged user.
#Open also requires all of its users to play “N.I.C.E,” it’s so refreshing to see a dating app highlight consent, respect, and boundaries. However, if you’re feeling a little more…open…there’s a spot to add your social media handles and define your current relationship situation or describe what you’re looking for. #Open also functions on–you guessed it–hashtags. It offers up three phrases for users to complete that will help them find whatever it is they’re looking for. Some examples being: “I’m open to trying…”, “My interests are…?”, and “I’m looking for…?” which can all be answered by typing in specific phrases which then convert into active hashtags.
The app is pretty simple to figure out and works like many other swipe-based apps, except users can also browse the hashtags that they’re interested in and stumble upon other like-minded users and possible flings that way. What this site excels in is the diversity of its users (it’s way more inclusive than other apps that have you identify within a gender binary), and how well it integrated the ability to have multiple profiles into its community. The algorithm often layers multiple profiles behind each other. So, for instance, if you don’t want to match on a couple, but are interested in one of the individuals from the couple if that person has a solo account, they’ll be the next option for you to match on. All in all, #Open is a great app for open minded adults looking to connect with couples, individuals, and groups of all shapes and sizes!
Pure is such an interesting platform I almost wish it wasn’t only geared toward anonymous hookups and one-night stands. If you’re looking for something quick, unconventional, and discreet that will often lead to a meeting, this is the app for you. The app is built on chats that self-destruct within 24 hours and uses end-to-end encryption to keep anonymity and privacy the priority.
Upon logging on, it will ask you to update a status that will display exactly what you’re looking for. If you don’t know, it’s okay to say that! Your status will be posted on a ‘wall’ and will be made visible to other users. Upon seeing your status, users will be able to engage in conversation with you, or simply keep swiping down the wall. Keep in mind that chats are only available for 24 hours as a security measure, however, if you and the person chatting both want to extend the chat, that is also a possibility. If a chat is extended, the app will assign the two users nicknames (which may be changed at any time). As photos are allowed to be sent in chats, the app advises its users not to give out any personal information and to keep all conversations within the app. If you decide to give Pure a try, don’t forget that city-dwellers will most certainly have the upper hand when it comes to activity on the app. Even then, don’t get discouraged and try it out for yourself! You might be pleasantly surprised.
Feeld, previously 3nder, is your destination dating app for all things kink, swinger, and polyamorous. This app has a great design, interface, and security and is your best bet for judgment-free browsing of couples, doms, subs, and a whole lot more. Feeld really flexes its creativity right upon opening the app. You’re greeted by an aesthetically pleasing orange and white screen detailing the ways you can browse the app. Meet open-minded people and join solo or with a partner, lover, or friend. With the ability to link and unlink accounts, the browsing opportunities are limitless and exciting.
After creating your profile, you’ll be asked what you’re looking for and how you identify this profile (is it a couples’ profile or does it belong to a single, bisexual, nonbinary person?), you’ll also be asked to set your “core” location and age range. Profiles appear as a split-screen with a summary of the account (name, sexual orientation, age, relationship status, and short bio) underneath a photo gallery. Swipe left and right to toggle between different profiles, and if you come across one you like, just give it a heart! If they like you too, you’ll be able to start messaging. For your peace of mind, the app also lets you create your own pin code lock as an extra layer of security if you happen to pass your phone to your nosy mom or leave it unlocked around a snooping younger cousin.
This app has had such an abundance of great anecdotes, we had to check it out for ourselves. Signing up is easy and user friendly as you have the ability to sign up using Facebook, Snapchat, or email, I personally love having options when it comes to what information I let different companies have. After uploading a photo, entering your age, location, and name, Clover will take you through a series of quiz questions such as “what are you looking for?” “what type of body do you prefer?” and “what age is your ideal partner?” After answering, you’ll be led to the standard “swipe” interface.
What we really love about this app is the different features available to use for free. Of course, it has the swipe right or left like most dating apps, but you can also use the “dating on demand” tab to see people who are actively looking for dates, the “mixers” tab which lets you engage in different forum-like chats, and organize virtual meet-ups and events! The app really goes above and beyond in terms of the social features available to enjoy and gives its users the best tools for interaction and engagement.
HER is one of the most popular LGBTQ-friendly fling dating apps. 40% of users on this app are either gay or lesbian, 30% are bisexual, 20% are pansexual or queer, and the remaining 10% don’t identify. This free app is made by Queer Womxn for Queer Womxn and sets itself apart with the community it has built. While in the app, you’ll be able to browse the community, event, and feed tab, which all bring you closer to the members on the app. Join different communities such as “Strong and Single,” “Newly Out,” and “Queer Womxn of Color” to find users interested in the same things and discuss with them on the community wall, discover unique events happening near you and all over the world in the events tab and join an event with the click of a button, and stay up to date with the official ‘HER’ profile in the My Feed tab. With 24/7 moderation on the platform and seemingly limitless options for filtering and engagement, HER is the app for queer womxn and other LGBTQ+ members.
If you throw everything you know about standard profile dating apps out the window, you get Yumi. It’s not every day that you come across a new and exciting way to browse through singles profiles, but Yumi has managed to create one.
Instead of going through the same profile creation of uploading a selfie or body pic and creating a bio, Yumi allows you to browse anonymously. You have the option to upload a standard picture, but if you’d like to remain hidden, you can play with countless emojis and effects that will hide your face. If you don’t want to upload a picture at all, you can record yourself speaking instead. You can be sure that most of the users on the app will be legit as Yumi approves profiles on a case-by-case basis. Which makes the only drawback in our opinion is that you can’t use the app right away, since you’ll have to wait through a 24-hour review period in which they can either approve or deny your profile. Once you’ve gotten your profile approved, the real fun begins. The app will provide you with its own random matches in the form of cards. If you flip one user’s card over, and the user flips your card over, then it’s a match! Chatting is 100% free, but Yumi does offer premium perks like bonus user cards in the pool, Extra Flips, and more. So what are you waiting for?!
Blendr is another one of your typical dating apps. The user interface is nice, but not over the top. It’s cleanly laid out with more information readily available for free than compared to other hookup apps (your popularity, photo verification, etc.) And there’s actually quite an amazing selection of potential matches that seem to be legit, unlike other sites that are crawling with bots. The use of Blendr can easily be interchanged between the website as well as the mobile app, which makes this much more inclusive to an older crowd of users or people who just don’t want to have to download another app.
Creating your profile is pretty standard as it asks for the usual photo, bio, physical characteristics, and traits. It also offers the option to spice up your profile with hashtags that you can then use to match you to other users with similar interests. But as we mentioned before, Blendr has a photo verification process in order to weed out bots, fake accounts, and scammers, so unless you comply with the photo verification you won’t be able to access the service’s premium features.
For a free app, I would say that if you’re truly interested in Blendr, or simply want to join in on all the free dating apps and sites to increase your visibility, join and see for yourself! I would be lying if I said this was an app that we couldn’t live without since it isn’t a major player in the dating app scene (yet) but signing up definitely won’t be a waste of your time. And if you do choose to go premium, Blendr offers users the ability to subscribe on a membership basis and/or purchase coins that can be used to purchase gifts and other virtual perks.
Rated #98 in the app store with over seven million users, the DOWN hookup app has seen its fair share of flings. The concept is easy to understand: swipe left or right to review or skip a user, swipe up if you’d like to “date” the user and down if you’d like to hook up with the user. In terms of ease of communication, I think Down has nailed it. There’s no confusion between users when their profiles are matched, you’ll know instantly if that person wants to date or just wants something quick, and if you happen to swipe the wrong way, don’t worry! You can edit your picks in the likes tab. If there’s someone you really want to meet, you can click on the lips button and send them a crush. This will pop up on their feed and push your profile to the front of their list. What I don’t like about this app, however, is that they only give you about 10 preview swipes before you have to pay for the subscription. It’s also a pretty dark interface with standard features. Out of the profiles I did see, there were no bios included, and they all only had one photo. This is nice for discretion, but if you need more info to go off of before you start swiping, then this app might be too spontaneous for you.
I once saw a Tumblr post that likened the Grindr app to the Bible app, and, unbeknownst to me and what I was doing at the time, I downloaded it on my mother’s phone. You can imagine her surprise. Now, a decade later, I’m proud to say that Grindr has become the world’s largest social networking app for LGBTQ users. With its no-frills grid display sorted by location and super specific filter options, it’s no wonder why the LGBTQ community has flocked to the platform. Decide if you’re looking for a chat, date, relationship, or immediate hookup through its basic filters, You can also look for something a bit more specific like a bear, jock, daddy, or twink if you so desire.
Basic Grindr is free, but there are paid subscriptions that boost your mojo. We recommend trying Grindr’s seven-day free trial if you constantly want to sort through profiles that you haven’t chatted with, find users that accept NSFW pictures, or advertise enjoyment with specific positions. If you like all of this, the Xtra or Unlimited memberships might be worth your while. Unlimited is the most elite tier of paid Grindr subscriptions. It allows users to unlock unlimited profiles so they’ll never run out of people to browse and chat, see who’s viewed their profile, browse in incognito mode so other users can’t see you, un-send messages, and even seen when someone is typing to you.
Grindr XTRA is a step below Unlimited, but still offers a bunch of perks the basic (free) subscription won’t getcha (like read receipts, no ads, push notifications, a discreet app icon, more Grindr Tribes, additional filters, online-only view, and much more!).
You don’t get to be the second most popular dating app in the US by having a shitty platform. Clearly, Bumble knows what it’s doing and we’re going to break it down for you. As soon as the app appears on your phone screen, It looks like a little square of goodness. Its signature bright yellow theme almost tricks you into being excited to open it up. Once in the app, you go through the standard procedures of selecting a photo and creating your profile. We give a big thumbs up for including over 50 gender identity options to select from, as well as offering the option to browse in three different modes.
Date mode, BFF mode, and Bizz mode are all the ways you can swipe on the app and, as you might have guessed, all lead to different things! Date mode will take you through the standard dating app practices, BFF mode is available for those who simply want to make friends in their area, and Bizz mode allows you to browse through career-driven profiles as the ultimate networking site. Bumble is less like a dating app and more like an awesome social media platform, only here, everyone’s true intentions are known.
It almost feels like a waste of time to review Tinder at this point because let’s be honest, its the mother of our modern-day dating apps. But, since it is a list of dating apps and sites, I kind of have to include the original mainstream sex dating app.
For those of you who have been in a long term relationship since 2012, or have been living under a rock, Tinder is the free dating app that invented swiping right. Again, for the 1% of you who don’t know what “swiping right” means, it’s basically Tinder’s way of letting the user match with another user. The whole interface is based on the profile picture, a small bio, and common interests. Swipers see a person’s photo, bio, and interests. If they like it, they swipe right with their finger to try to match with the person, and if they don’t like it, they swipe left. You can only message someone when both of you have swiped right. The app is super straight forward, very clean, and easy to use. It isn’t the most advanced in terms of filtering, but with 1.6 billion swipes per day and 57 million users around the world, I think it’s safe to say that it doesn’t really matter. If you’re looking for a mainstream “anything goes” dating app that many swear by, look no further and give the OG a try.
Tinder is free to use but offers two different premium memberships, Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold. Both extensions allow you unlimited daily likes, the ability to “rewind” your last swipe and do it over again, five Super Likes per day, one free Boost per month, and a “passport” that lets you swipe around the world rather than being limited by your location. Tinder Gold takes it one step further and allows you to see who already liked you, making it much easier to decipher whether or not you’ve got a shot. However, it’s worth noting that if you’re over the age of 30, Tinder is going to upcharge your subscription costs.
Happn is a breath of fresh air when it comes to fling dating sites. Forget the algorithm and personal aesthetics, this free app matches you with people who have physically crossed your path throughout the day! Using its geo-location system, this app will connect you with other app uses who have crossed your path within a 250-meter radius. The matches appear on your screen in the form of a profile showing the user’s name and occupation. Once a match appears, you can then scroll through photos, and read a short bio of the person detailing things like what they’re looking for in a relationship, their height, how much they exercise, what their food preference is, and even what their party habits are. These “matches” will be available to view for up to one week after crossing paths, however, specific matches will be updated if you cross paths again within the week.
Take into account that if you don’t go out much, or if you don’t live in a heavily populated city, this might not be the app for you. And because of the geo-location, even people you haven’t “matched” with will be able to see where they crossed paths with you and how far away you are at the time of their present viewing. If location services aren’t your thing or make you feel uncomfortable, I would suggest another app or sign up for the premium membership. Ranging from $10-$25 a month, you will be able to turn off your geo-location, filter the types of profiles you want to see, and have access to unlimited likes. If you want to feel that balance between fate and curation that no other app offers, strap on your shoes, download the app, and go on a run!
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