I’m a tech guy who wants to help others keep safe. If you’ve never felt the urge to use LGBT dating apps or websites to meet other people for dating, hookups, sex or window shopping then you’re probably sickenly in love. Or have been living in a cave, without internet. Even if you’re a veteran of the dating app world there are probably a few tricks that could help to improve your experience.

I’m going to go through a few general tips for your own safety, and then list some of the main LGBTQI+ dating sites that you could try. There’s a lot more out there – just a quick look at the Google play store and you’ll find dozens of these types of apps, most of which you won’t have come across before. As if you need this extra bit of advice, but I’m reminded of Hill Street Blues (google it): “Let’s be careful out there.”

LGBT dating apps – general tips for your own safety

Meeting new people is exciting, but you should always be cautious when interacting with someone you don’t know. Here I get to the top and bottom of the tricks to follow when going out on a date with someone you have just met:

  • When you look at LGBT dating apps and sites, it is a good idea to acknowledge that if you’ve had a drink or three, or are under the influence of drugs, prescribed or not, your reasoning might be impaired. No judgement here, just a fact to keep in mind.
  • Personalising your profile is vital to finding hookups or dates with your same mindset. Still, there is a big difference between personalising your profile and oversharing your personal information on your profile. Look at other profiles to get a feel for the sort of info that people post.
  • When meeting someone for the first time, always keep it in public, and be careful about what possessions you take with you. This way, you can find out more about the person while you are safe and surrounded by others. Be aware of possible escape routes. And it’s easier to walk away if your hookup or date is not what you were looking for.
  • Whilst chatting using LGBT dating apps, trust your instincts. If your gut is telling you, “that doesn’t seem right, or to be a good move,” then you might just want to rethink, and make your excuses. Same if you’re meeting face-to-face. If someone is making you feel uncomfortable on an app, you may choose to block them (most apps have a block button). Many apps and dating sites have Community Guidelines – so you may be able to report them to the moderators of the app.
  • When you meet with someone, don’t go hard on the drink, even for that extra bit of courage. Keep yourself aware of what’s happening around you. Know your limits with alcohol, don’t accept any strange drinks or drugs, and keep an eye on your own drinks.
  • Always tell / text someone about your destination. You could tell your closest friend about where you are going and who you are going with. Don’t just go out secretly without letting anyone know about your plans.
  • Always arrange you own transport, and don’t accept any helpful offers of picking you up from your home. Keep your specific address secret to avoid unwanted trouble. Most people are ok and reasonable, but you never know who you might be meeting.

You may wish to read my article Romance fraud – how to protect yourself, which talks about Brian, and how he was sucked into a romance fraud, losing several thousand pounds.

Some dating sites include their own safety tips, e.g.


LGBT dating apps / LGBTQ+ dating sites

These aren’t necessarily the best LGBT dating apps and sites, but they include the ones mentioned when I asked a few friends. Most apps have free membership, which is usually enough to at least test the app. You might get a restriction on the number of profiles you can look at, or the number of messages sent or received. Or the paid version will be without ads. If you need help in using these apps and sites, please get in touch. If you’re local, I may be able to take some pictures for your profile as well.

LGBT dating apps / LGBTQI+ sites listed here include Grindr, Caffmos, Scruff, OkCupid, Tinder, HER and Recon.


Probably the widest used gay hookup app.
For mobile phones. Available in App store and Google Play.
More info: https://www.grindr.com/

Started in 2009, Grindr is the number one gay dating app in most of the world. People use it in over 200 countries worldwide to find ‘gay’ sex right now. The grid-style layout is location-based, so you see hot guys in your area based on which ones are closest to you, making quick sex easy to organise. It can be surprising to find that the nearest person on the app is really so close, distance wise – closer than you might imagine. But it’s been criticised for issues with racism, transphobia, internalised homophobia.


Caffmos Community – Not just a gay singles site, but a gay community where friendship matters

Launched in 1998, Caffmos is one of the longest running gay dating sites. It is a web-based social and contacts club for older gay men and their admirers, young and old. There are various paid for levels of membership. Free membership includes messaging, access to audio/ gay video chat rooms and unlimited searching for other members. If you’re an older man, or you’re into older man, this is one of only few sites that are aimed at you. As well as an opportunity to meet other men, there seems to be more of a focus on a sense of community and friendship, particularly when compared to say, Grindr. The sites name comes from: Contacts And Friendship For Men Over Sixty – Caffmos.


For mobile phones. Available in App store and Google Play.

Launched in 2010. Designed with so-called “scruffier” men and bears in mind, Scruff is one of the top-rated gay dating apps and one of the more popular gay hookup sites after the likes of Grindr. Working in Grindr-style with a geolocation-based grid view, you can see the people near you within a couple of taps.

Just bear in mind (see what I did there?) that the pool of guys seems smaller than Grindr.

Scruff allows you to send private nude albums (or face pics if you’re not out) and you can also “woof” at people you think are attractive. The app is free to download. Users can opt to purchase a paid membership, Scruff Pro, to access additional features.


https://www.okcupid.com/ and for mobile phones. Available in App store and Google Play.

Women, men, queer, genderfluid, non-binary et al! Matches based on values & political stances. OkCupid has developed a strong cult following of LGBTQ+ people over the past 10 years or so, making it a decent way to meet gay guys, lesbian women, queer & non-binary people.

OkCupid is an internationally operating online dating, friendship, and formerly also a social networking website and application. It features multiple-choice questions to match members. Registration is free. OkCupid is owned by Match Group, who also own Tinder, Hinge, Plenty of Fish, and many other popular dating apps and sites. Using the app, there are literally hundreds of pronouns & sexualities to choose from. You need to answer a lot of questions when you sign up, but they’re designed to match you with someone who shares your political beliefs and ideals. If you’re a leftie liberal, you’re unlikely to meet an out and proud gay right winger, for example.


For mobile phones. Available in App store and Google Play.
You’ve probably heard of Tinder. Creator of the “Swipe Right” phenomenon. It’s not just for basic straight people, apparently. According to some, Tinder can be where LGBTQ+ people go to look for love and more serious dating.


For mobile phones. Available in App store and Google Play.

Launched in 2018. Designed just for women, HER has ice-breakers for new members, including niche groups such as “newly out” acting as a support network for new members of the community. Users can join the app with their Facebook account or email address. Cisgender men are not allowed to create profiles on the platform. According to HER, “No matter your background, life experiences, or current circumstances, HER is a home for all lesbian, bi, queer, non-binary, trans women, trans men, and gender non-conforming folks.” All the app’s core features are completely free, so finding your person or your community is accessible for everyone. With the free version of the app, you can add friends, view profiles, start chats, view events, and join communities.

With a paid subscription, HER offers more benefits.


https://www.recon.com and available in App store and Google Play.

Recon is a location-based online dating application and service specifically for gay men interested in fetish and kink. It launched as a website in 1999 and as an iOS app in 2010. According to Recon, “Due to content restrictions put in place by Google, we aren’t able to continue to offer the Recon app in the Google Play Store. If you’re a user of our no longer offered Google Play app, we will soon stop supporting this so we need you to update to the Recon X app as soon as possible.” Recon X is available from https://www.recon.com

Standard (free membership) is available, and fixed term paid memberships with additional benefits are available.