dating apps

Illustration by Max Fleishman

Sex at first swipe.

Long gone are the days of heading to the bar and crossing your fingers. Now you can find others who are down just to hook up by scrolling through potential baes at lunch, or on walks with your dog—all thanks to the power of dating apps. 

The internet’s latest contribution to the boning rituals of humans has brought connection to our fingertips, quite literally. So for the gals and guys looking more for a Saturday-night lover than a Sunday soulmate, here are the top 10 apps that could get you lucky.


Blendr

Free on iOS and Android

Joel Simkhai, founder of Grindr, aimed to create a straight version of his gay hookup app, which lets men find other men at the drop of a GPS arrow. So voila, Blendr was created via requests from horny women clamoring for the same thing. However, it ended up serving more as a dating app rather than for hookups.  

Pros: Allows for status updates (i.e, “eating a burrito, or heading to a concert”) and location updates.

Cons: The amount of female-to-male interaction seems to be lower than on apps like Tinder or OkCupid, and contrary to being a “Grindr for straight people,” it operates a lot more like traditional dating platforms.


Tinder

Free on iOS and Android

Among the first and most widely used dating apps on the market, Tinder is quite adamant about its goal of fostering genuine human connections versus one-night stands. But, I mean, c'mon. Everyone knows Tinder is very, very casual in its approach to dating, even Vanity Fair

Pros: Everybody’s on it. Tinder gives you a huge range of local options, which means choices are endless if you live in a larger city. Also, there is no “rejection,” because you only know if somebody matches with you. 

Cons: Again, everyone’s on it. Thus it’s difficult to avoid the embarrassment of running (swiping) into somebody you know. Also, it's supposed to be more of a dating app, so men tend to be more subtle—which is good if you’re down to get drinks first, but not so much if you’re in a hurry.


Tingle

Free on iOS and Android

If you’re out at a club, bar, or any other location, Tingle lets you know about any interested partners in the area. You have to “wink” at users before they can view your profile, and communication ensues via text. 

Pros: Its "radar" system obscures where you are, so you don’t have to give out a location until you feel comfortable. A "chat" service means you don’t have to give out your number, and Tingle allows for anonymous calling, a unique feature among dating apps.

Cons: Not many people use it, so it can be kind of a ghost town.


Pure

Free on iOS and Android

Pure takes away the tedious texting and courtship rituals often required on other dating apps. The service erases the user’s info every hour, and prides itself on anonymity much like Ashley Madison. You no longer have to worry about photos lingering on the internet, and everyone on the app is looking for an instant hookup.

Pros: Privacy—and assurance that matches are looking for the same thing.

Cons: For women especially, safety can be an issue. With total anonymity, there isn’t much time to vet potential candidates.


Down

Free on iOS and Android

Down finds your Facebook friends and friends of Facebook friends and gives you the option of letting them know whether you want to bang or if you're in it for something more. 

Pros: At least you kind of know they’re real people.

Cons: The app gives you everyone on Facebook as an option, even if they have yet to join the app. Swiping through your Facebook friends for sex is also somewhat confusing (Do I actually find that barista from my old neighborhood attractive, or am I just bored?) and masochistic (you’ll probably run into this person sometime in the future). 


Feeld (formerly 3nder)

Free on iOS and Android

Always wanted to have a threesome but never had the people to do it with? There’s an app for that. Feeld combines the ease of swiping through a dating app with the notion that three can play. You log in through Facebook, choose the composition of your group (2+1 or 1+1+1), and swipe away.

Pros: It works like Tinder, so the platform is fairly straightforward and familiar. You now also have the option to change your name after logging in with Facebook.

Cons: It was so much like Tinder (especially in its name 3ndr), that the app is suing the company. But any implied naming similarities have apparently been remedied in the rebranding.   


Mimitate

Free on iOS

Mimitate epitomizes everything 2016—it’s an app that combines selfies with Netflix. Guys take a selfie and post it along with what they’re watching. If a girl likes the picture and the show, she responds with a selfie copying his, opening up a chat.

Pros: Like Bumble, Mimitate eliminates unwanted advances for the ladies, because they have to respond with a selfie first to open up a chat. Plus, it’s an ingeniously ironic twist on “Netflix and Chill.”

Cons: Men post dick pics frequently. Also, perhaps your selfie-taking is distracting from bingeing the new season of Orange Is the New Black.


Whiplr

Limited free use iOS and Android

Whiplr caters to the kink(ier?) community, getting beyond the small talk and into the nitty gritty of specific fetishes. Right from the start, it matches you up with different fetish communities and a variety of choices, such as Just Curious, Objects, and Behavior.

Pros: Like Pure and Thrnder, it skips the preliminaries and gets straight to the dirty stuff. Whiplr also allows you to delete any photos you send someone (unless, of course, they do screengrabs), just in case you change your mind.

Cons: Free use is limited, and a monthly subscription can get pricey. There’s also a decent amount of users who read 50 Shades of Grey and decided it was a great way to get into women’s pants—and then there are those who just watched the movie and want to get their feet wet. 


Disckreet

$3 on iOS

This app acts as a password-protected locker for all your sexy photos. If you’re looking to get laid, it’s always useful to have a few choice pics. It’s a great way to send nudes and film yourself having sex while reducing the risk of having your private shots leaked. 

Pros: Extremely private, your photos are stored behind two passcodes and also encrypted. The photos and videos can only be viewed when both partners are signed on.

Cons: It’s based on photos, so not the best for those who aren’t comfortable sexting or posing for risque pictures. 


Her

Free on iOS

A dating app for lesbian, queer, and bisexual women, Her can be used to foster a lasting relationship or to quickly get some with a lady. The app lets you know the location of similar-orientated women, both close by or worldwide. 

Pros: Allows you to discover fellow LGBTQ members near you—as well as the ones who are DTF.

Cons: Her is set up as a traditional dating/friendship app, so it may not always be the quickest route to sex if that’s all you’re looking for.

Update 12:47pm CT, August 8: 3ndr has been renamed Feeld, as of August 2. 

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