Best Free Gay Dating Sites

Gay Dating

17 Free Gay Dating Sites for 2021

Amber Brooks
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Free gay dating sites don’t hide profiles behind a paywall or surprise online daters with hidden fees. All the goods are laid bare, and real-life dating opportunities don’t cost a thing.

If you’re looking to save money, a free dating site or app is a good way to do it. You just have to make sure you’re joining a legit network — not a database of inactive and fake profiles. The best free dating sites have developed high-tech solutions for making quality matches without charging outrageous prices.

This list includes the most affordable, efficient, and popular dating sites (and apps) for gay men of all ages and backgrounds.

★★★★★
Match.com 4.8/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.8/5.0

Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships

Match System: Browse by zip, age, appearance, more

Our Experts Say: “Match.com has a massive and extremely active gay user base, as over 1 million gay, bisexual, and curious men use the site to find dates and partners...” Full Review »

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Match may not have started as a gay dating site, but its network has definitely gotten more rainbow flair as time has gone by. Match has slowly but surely grown its list of non-binary gender options, and it has become more flexible in allowing users to search for men, women, or everyone on the site.

We’ve ranked Match as the top dating site for gay men because of its longevity, trustworthiness, and quality matchmaking system. Match.com has dominated the dating world for decades with no sign of slowing down. Creating a free dating profile on Match.com involves filling in a lot of fun prompts and icebreakers that have been designed to spark conversation.

Match.com supports serious daters in the search for love. Since 1995, this premium dating service has inspired more relationships and marriages than any of its competitors.

★★★★★
EliteSingles.com 4.7/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.7/5.0

Relationships: Serious Relationships

Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions

Our Experts Say: “Not only is EliteSingles exclusively for educated professionals, but it also has a diverse user base made up of millions of gay and bisexual men...” Full Review »

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EliteSingles has lived up to its name by ensuring only the most educated and successful singles have a voice here. The online dating site is free to join and has free matching tools to explore. But the platform limits its free communication to ensure users aren’t overwhelmed by spam.

Elitism is in the name, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that EliteSingles has a membership fee (which is optional) to raise the caliber of its matches. A gay man can upgrade his online dating experience and meet highly driven professionals by subscribing to EliteSingles.

Over 85% of EliteSingles members have graduated from college, and over 90% say they are more interested in finding a committed relationship than a hookup.

3. Zoosk

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Zoosk 4.5/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.5/5.0

Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships

Match System: Search and get match recommendations

Our Experts Say: “Gay, bisexual, and curious single men love Zoosk because it's quick, easy, and really successful...” Full Review »

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When Zoosk launched in 2007, its technical innovations broke the online dating mold. The Silicon Valley startup went a step beyond the traditional personals list and developed a variety of games and recommendations to guide singles to a perfect match.

Today, Zoosk has over 40 million members from all walks of life. Its gay membership base is particularly active in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

Zoosk pioneered behavioral matchmaking — which means it identifies compatibility based on user activity. The algorithm learns from every like, swipe, and chat a person makes on the platform. For example, if your swiping patterns reveal you have a soft spot for redheads with glasses, the Zoosk platform will prioritize those types of dating profiles in your SmartPicks. It’s an easy and intuitive way to find the right guy for you.

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OurTime.com 4.3/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.3/5.0

Relationships: Dates and Relationships

Match System: Search by profiles by zip and more

Our Experts Say: “OurTime is a fantastic option for gay, bisexual, and curious single men age 50 and up, as the site's user base is very active...” Full Review »

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An older man can feel out of place on dating apps full of energetic 20-year-olds, and that’s why senior dating sites like OurTime have drawn an age line in the sand. Singles in their 50s and up can come together on OurTime and enjoy making more mature and meaningful connections.

Seniors share a common history and life experience that binds them together. Older gay men have seen the world change dramatically with regards to gay rights and LGBTQ+ acceptance, and it can be liberating for them to explore the OurTime site and browse gay personal ads.

OurTime has over 1 million members who identify across the sexuality spectrum. The dating site’s success stories include gay men who have come into their own and discovered it’s never too late for love.

★★★★
MenNation 4/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.0/5.0

Relationships: Daters & Hookups

Match System: Search by age, zip code, more

Our Experts Say: “With more than 79 million users, MenNation is among the largest gay and bisexual dating and hookup sites in the world. A basic membership is 100% free, and it allows you to upload info and photos, browse, and chat...”

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As a gay hookup site, MenNation doesn’t waste time with match questionnaires and small talk. Its chat room is all about talking dirty and getting laid. The site delivers instant access to nude photos, male personal ads, and gay sex videos, and it doesn’t require a paid membership to get started.

MenNation has a gay chat room where single men, polyamorous swingers, and gay couples can be honest about their sexual interests and desires. The hookup site provides erotic blogs and groups organized by fetish, so you can quickly find a sex partner who is as kinky as you are. All search filters and browsing options are free to all men over 18, but the free membership does not include unlimited instant messaging.

★★★★
BeNaughty 3.9/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

3.9/5.0

Relationships: Hookups, Chats

Match System: Search by encounter, location, and more

Our Experts Say: “BeNaughty is a popular casual hookup site for millions, which includes a large and active gay user base...” Full Review »

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BeNaughty gives sexy singles the liberty to be bold, be adventurous, and, most of all, be naughty. The casual hookup platform can help single gay men find an attractive chat buddy or romantic partner in no time. You’ve just got to know how to game the system.

BeNaughty has gendered rules regarding chat privileges. A single woman can send unlimited messages for free, while a single man has a messaging limit and must subscribe to unlock conversation windows. Men can test the online dating waters by sending a FlirtCast message to local singles within a certain age range. This free greeting can effectively start multiple conversations at once.

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BlackPeopleMeet 4.1/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

4.1/5.0

Relationships: Deep Relationships or Just Casual Dates

Match System: Search by location, age, more

Our Experts Say: “BlackPeopleMeet is a go-to dating site for gay, bisexual, and curios black and biracial men, and it has a free membership option...” Full Review »

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For nearly 20 years now, BlackPeopleMeet has celebrated diversity and inclusion in the online dating world. The black dating site launched on a mission to empower a minority group, and it has built a strong multicultural community that stretches across North America.

A gay man doesn’t need to have any particular skin color to join BlackPeopleMeet. The dating website has members of all races, and it offers ethnicity, religion, and appearance filters to help individuals find common ground. The BPM network is known for facilitating Black dating as well as interracial relationships. You can read BPM testimonials to get a sense of how powerful its diverse matchmaking can be.

★★★★
AFF.com 3.5/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

3.5/5.0

Relationships: Hookups Only

Match System: Search by location, interest, more

Our Experts Say: “Make no mistake: this site isn't about making friends, it's about short-term "hookups" and affairs only. Note that a basic account costs $14.95/month, but it's well worth it if casual sex is your goal...”

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Adult Friend Finder is more than a gay hookup website — it’s a hub of sexual freedom and pleasure. The global sex network has supported over 104 million personal ads, 14 million group discussions, and 6.8 million matches.

Our Adult Friend Finder review goes into more detail about the ins and outs of this hookup website and its live model show. But the important thing to know is that it’s open to any single adult or polyamorous couple looking for hot sex.

A gay person can satisfy their lust on AFF by browsing the porn library, hanging out in the adult chat room, and sexting with strangers. Gold Members have access to private photo galleries and private messaging, so their experience is even steamier.

★★★
FriendFinder-X 3.4/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

3.4/5.0

Relationships: Hookups Only

Match System: Search by location, interest, more

Our Experts Say: “FriendFinder-X is a great choice for gay and bisexual singles and couples looking for casual dating because its basic membership is 100% free. Communication features include live chat and two-way video...”

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FriendFinder-X encourages single adults to embrace their sexuality and make romantic connections on their terms. This hookup website offers a world of adventure through private chats, kinky groups, and video livestreaming, so gay guys are free to follow their desires.

If you enjoy browsing X-rated photos and videos, FriendFinder-X will be right up your alley. From the signup process to the adult chat rooms, FriendFinder-X tantalizes users with sexual content and gives them plenty of opportunities to sext a stranger and land a hot date.

10. Flirt.com

★★★★
Flirt.com 3.5/5.0

Our expert ratings are based on factors such as popularity, usability, value, and success rate of each site.

3.5/5.0

Relationships: Hookups, Casual Dating, Chats

Match System: Search by age, location, gender, orientation, and other factors

Our Experts Say: “Flirt.com is a discreet dating site that can keep the secrets of gay men seeking a casual hookup or sexy friend. No need to pay any money or use your real name on this sex site for men...”

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Flirt.com is a hookup site where gay singles can blow off steam and up their flirting game. The sexy network has millions of members in the U.S. and Europe, and it supports a diverse gay dating scene.

Single men can create a Flirt.com account, upload photos, search for matches, and send likes for free. They can also send a mass text message to every profile that meets their standards. Flirt.com limits the number of free messages a single man can send online (all female users chat for free) to cut down on spam and harassment.

The free features on Flirt.com can be enough to spark interest, but it’ll take a paid membership to turn an online flirtation into a dating reality.

11. Grindr

Grindr isn’t just well-known in the gay community. The gay dating app has become world famous for having the world’s largest social network dedicated solely to gay, bisexual, trans, and queer men.

Since 2009, Grindr has seen over 27 million signups and been translated into 20 languages in Android and iOS. All messaging between mutual matches is completely free on Grindr.

Screenshot of Grindr

Grindr is a popular gay app that help men up their dating game.

Although the Grindr app markets itself as a general social network, its members tend to know exactly what they want, and it’s usually not new friends or platonic chats. Thanks to its young and carefree members, Grindr has become a casual hookup app where sexual appeal plays a major factor in every online match.

12. SCRUFF

SCRUFF is all about helping dudes make new friends and find romance. The online community has over 20 million members worldwide. And all of them have been verified as real men.

The gay dating app features a constantly updated swipe list, events calendar, and social groups to help individuals find their tribe. The app is totally free to download, and it offers free matching and chatting. However, becoming a SCRUFF Pro member gives a man access to advanced search filters, stealth browsing, and videos.

Screenshot of SCRUFF

A free membership on SCRUFF can open men up to a world of flirtation.

The idea for the SCRUFF dating app began in 2009 with two men in New York City, and it has grown into a gay phenomenon over the last decade. The app powers local gay matches as well as LGBTQ travel adventures, so gay men never have to look far to discover romance.

13. Gaydar

Gaydar welcomes all types of guys. It doesn’t matter if you’re a bear, a queen, or a sugar daddy — this gay social network does not judge anyone for their personal style and preferences. As long as you are friendly and authentic, you will always belong on the Gaydar site and app.

Screenshot of Gaydar

Gaydar is an international social network made by men for men.

Gaydar has become one of the most popular gay dating apps by offering free content with no strings attached. Members can get a Gaydar VIP upgrade, but it’s not necessary if all you’re interested in is chatting up local singles and playing the field.

“Gaydar not only revolutionized gay dating,” the Gaydar team said, “it has been bringing friends and favorites together way before the social networking revolution.”

14. Tinder

We couldn’t very well exclude Tinder on a list of popular dating apps. It invented swipe-based matching and remains a powerful force driving hookup culture and swiping fever. Since its launch in 2012, Tinder has been downloaded over 400 million times and created an estimated 55 billion matches.

It doesn’t matter what your dating interests or sexual orientation is — Tinder has a little bit of everything and everyone.

Screenshot of Tinder

Tinder can act as a fantastic wingman for men seeking fast and fun dates.

Tinder has gotten more gay-friendly in the past few years. In 2016, Tinder expanded to include 36 gender options. By 2019, the app boasted over 50 gender options and nine sexual orientation options. The More Genders feature has sparked 80 million matches so far.

Tinder’s efforts are a wonderful sign of progress, and it has rightfully won over millions of gay, bisexual, and queer men in the dating scene.

15. OkCupid

OkCupid offers 100% free messaging to all users. And you don’t need to make a mutual match to say hello. The free dating site and app has developed a smart system to calculate compatibility and guide singles to their most promising matches.

Gay singles have the ability to shape their dating experience on OkCupid. Users can choose to answer questions about their hobbies, ambitions, political views, personality quirks, and a range of other topics. Or they can start swiping with a basic profile and save all that for later.

Photo from OkCupid

OkCupid has taken a multifaceted approach to generate strong matches.

Since its launch in 2004, OkCupid has become a popular forum for young singles looking to fool around, chat people up, and see what happens.

In 2014, the dating site and app expanded to become more inclusive of people in the LGBTQ+ community by adding dozens of genderfluid and nonbinary sexual orientation options to its profile setup.

16. Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish began as a humble Canadian dating site in 2003, and it grew into an international dating service thanks to the popularity of its forever free messaging. Today, the POF community has over 150 million users in 20 countries, and a significant number of them identify as LGBTQ+ people.

Many singles have praised Plenty of Fish for its low-key atmosphere and affordable membership plans. It doesn’t have the most robust gay dating scene, but it allows LGBT singles to search other cities, provinces, and states to find a worthwhile match.

“[Plenty of Fish] worked for me,” one Reddit user said. “I met an amazing guy in Utah a year ago, and we’re still together.”

Screenshot of Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish sees approximately 3 million daily active users.

All communication is free on Plenty of Fish, and users do not need to worry about mutual matches or character limits harshing their vibe. The only restriction the POF team places on chatting is a cap on how many unsolicited messages a single person can send in a day. The cap is 55 messages within a 24-hour period.

17. Badoo

Since its launch in the U.K. in 2006, Badoo has amassed a sizable following around the world. The dating site and app have seen nearly 500 million registrations collectively, and it continues to grow at a remarkably fast rate.

Badoo is a massive dating pool to dive into, but some guys love that because they know they will never run out of swiping and chatting opportunities. No matter what time of day or night it is, Badoo is always teeming with activity.

The Badoo logo

Mixing and matching on Badoo is 100% free from start to finish.

When ranking dating sites by the most users, Badoo always comes out on top. But when ranking the best free gay apps, it’s near the bottom of the heap because it doesn’t cater solely to gay men. Badoo caters to everyone.

What Are Free Gay Dating Sites?

You can think of free gay dating sites as a virtual nightclub where singles have free entry and no curfew. These flirtatious spaces bring gay singles together and help them find potential partners in their area. The upside is you don’t have to rely on your gaydar to find a hot date — because every profile you see will represent a gay, bisexual, or queer man.

How Do Free Gay Dating Sites Work?

The first step to join a gay dating site is to fill out a dating profile. That may require an email address, phone number, or Facebook login to confirm your identity. You will also need to upload a picture of yourself. Different sites have different requirements regarding photos (nude pics are generally a no-no), so check the rules to make sure you’re in compliance.

Photo of a man texting on his phone

Single men can signal their romantic interest with the press of a button on a dating app.

Once your online dating profile is finished, you can start searching or swiping for matches. A gay dating website can offer filers by age, ethnicity, religion, education appearance, or other compatibility factors to make things easier.

Every dating site has established its own matchmaking and chat system. Some only allow mutual matches or paid members to send messages, while others take a more free-for-all approach.

How Do I Choose the Best Free Gay Dating Site?

Singles can connect in the gay dating scene without leaving home thanks to popular apps and sites. But it can be difficult to choose which gay dating app or site suits your needs and inclinations the best.

Reading reviews can make the options clearer. Or you can ask a friend for recommendations. And you can always create a free dating profile on multiple platforms to test the gay dating waters for yourself.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to figure out what matters most to you. Do you want a free chat room where the pressure to meet is low? Or would you be willing to invest in a more serious dating site for gay relationships? Whatever your intentions, if you put in the effort, you’re going to make headway and see results.

Are Free Gay Dating Sites Safe?

Yes, meeting new people on a gay dating site is perfectly safe. Don’t let stories of Craigslist killers and fake Nigerian princes freak you out. Those dangers are real, but rare. Online dating safety protocols can help people avoid falling for a romance scam or placing their trust in the wrong person. For instance, singles can check if their online match is a catfisher by asking for a selfie or video date, or they can arrange a meeting in a public place to vet someone in person.

Before you get romantically entangled with someone new, it’s always a good idea to do some background research on Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

Photo of a computer keyboard

Online dating is safe as long as users take precautions and exercise good judgment.

When you’re on a dating site, you have a screen between you and the stranger danger, and you can easily hide your identity by browsing under a nickname and keeping your profile details to a minimum.

Gay dating platforms are particularly sensitive to privacy issues because not all members have come out of the closet yet, and some could be subject to harassment or even dating violence if outed. That’s why some apps have implemented Incognito browsing, which means only people you have liked will see you. Plus, all dating platforms have real-time blocking tools that give gay users more control over their online dating experience.

Are Paid Gay Dating Sites Better Than Free Gay Dating Sites?

Paid dating sites tend to be more secure and feature-rich than free dating sites, but they also tend to be less populated and, of course, more expensive. So a single person has to weigh the pros and cons to decide whether they care more about features and security or popularity and affordability.

Gay singles should be aware the free dating sites can come with some noticeable drawbacks. Like a screen covered in advertisements, or an inbox full of spam messages from fake profiles. Not all free dating sites do a good job at removing bad actors and policing conversations, and that can cause issues for online daters in search of a genuine connection.

Paid dating sites often use a membership subscription as a quality control feature. It basically keeps the riffraff away. By buying their way into a paid chat room, a gay person can rest assured that their matches are not just bored or curious — they’re invested in online dating and take it seriously.

Can You Search by Sexual Orientation on Mainstream Dating Sites?

No, mainstream dating sites tend not to ask users to choose a particular sexual orientation. Instead the question is “What are you looking for?” and provides a dropdown of gender choices. Sometimes the site only allows for a binary choice between men and women. But gay dating sites are particularly good about offering non-binary gender options and allowing users to select one or more genders in the “looking for” category.

Of course, sometimes a gay app won’t give users a choice when it comes to gender. The Surge app assumes a user is a man looking for a man, and it doesn’t have dating options for anyone who identifies as a woman.

Screenshot of Surge

Surge offers men a fast and private way to meet local gay guys.

Sexual orientation is not typically a match criteria on dating sites because its inherent fluidity leaves too much room for interpretation or miscommunication in the match list. Singles are welcome to identify themselves as lesbian, gay, queer, or anything they like in their dating profiles, but such labels will not factor into their online dating experience.

Gay Dating Sites Support Single Guys in the LGBTQ+ Community

No matter who you are or where you come from, one universal truth connects us all — everyone loves free stuff. The world’s most popular dating sites and apps have found innovative ways to balance free features and quality matchmaking. That way, singles can save money and pick up dates at the same time.

Online dating is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to meet like-minded people. Local singles can explore the gay community by joining an LGBT dating site that reflects their values and goals.

Whether you’re looking for a gay hookup or a long-term relationship, the best free gay dating sites can keep your romantic dreams alive without hampering your budget. Happy hunting!

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