For years I’ve heard people say that Bumble is the best dating app in the world. Where Tinder fails, Bumble succeeds.
I’ve heard women say that Bumble is the only app they use because it’s tailor-made for them. I’ve even heard guys say they get lucky much easier with Bumble than they ever did with Tinder.
Is it true? Is Bumble for hookups?
For this Bumble review, I put this unique dating app to the test. I scoured Facebook for my best photos and wrote a cool Bumble hookup bio.
Well… cool in my opinion.
And of course, the question on everyone’s mind…am I going to share details about my hot Bumble date or am I going to say, “None of your beeswax”?
You know, because bees.
Bad jokes aside, I will indeed share some inside details. So without further ado, let’s talk about how I “hacked Bumble” to actually get some promising dates and hookups.
Is Bumble For Hookups? App Review
What is Bumble?
The Bumble App is a hookup app designed for women, by women. Famously created by female Tinder co-creator Whitney Wolfe Herd, Bumble is a dating and hookup app where women make the first move.
In other words, once you and her get a mutual match, only SHE can decide to send the first message.
This helps to stop women from being flooded with messages and d*ck pics from desperate men… a problem that turns a lot of ladies away from conventional dating apps. And to be honest, I can see how it would get annoying.
Bumble has some other unique features which we discuss in this review, but women “making the first move” is the big USP here!
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Bumble Review – A Quick Summary
- Easy Hookup Score: 8
- Male to Female Ratio: 7
- Fun Community Atmosphere: 7
- Lifestyle Versatility: 7
- Pricing: 4
- Easy to Use: 6
- Socially active community
- Not all women on Bumble want “meaningful relationships” (wink, wink)
- Local searches or travel searches from home
- Decent proportion of women to men
- Nicely designed app with unique twist
- One of the top hookup apps right now
- Bumble Premium is probably not worth it
- Bumble for Business and for Friends is kind of pointless
- Takes a while to get replies and in-person dates
- Got be transparent – it’s time to link your social media pages!
- Designed more for serious relationships than hookups
Though it’s not perfect, the Bumble hookup app seems like the perfect antidote to Tinder’s soulless speed dating approach. Everything not to like about the average dating app, Bumble fixes.
For instance, as you might know by now, Bumble makes female users initiate contact first – men cannot send the first message.
That takes a lot of pressure off of you! No longer do you as the average man have to come up with lines like:
As to why I picture the average man looking like Bluto from Labyrinth, well, that’s anyone’s guess.
But that’s what it feels like to be an attractive woman on most dating apps. You’re hounded, objectified, bored, and horrified by all sorts of lame comments (and d*ck pics) from horny dutes.
Now just imagine you’re a woman for a moment.
If you have a surplus of quantity (namely all sorts of dudes who want to date you for sex), your first instinct is to go after quality. Someone special, someone who can give you the experience you want – not just what he wants.
So that’s the Bumble difference. All those silly guys are filtered out and not allowed to bother women or send them unsolicited pictures of their netherregions out the blue.
Women make the first move based on your:
- Attractive photos
- Interesting bio
- Common interests
- And that something “extra” that all the other guys don’t have
It’s more convenient for women too, because although it does put pressure for them to say something interesting, it also eliminates all those dumb Bumble conversations she probably doesn’t want to have.
The question is, did Bumble’s Unique Dating Proposition actually work for me?
Who am I? Why should you listen to me anyway?
Before I go into detail about how I improved my Bumble game, let me first tell you a little about myself so you’ll know who you’re competing with.
I’m a cis-het man in my late 20s and am not the best looking guy in the world. I’m better looking than Steve Buscemi. Not as rich or beloved as him though. But also younger than Mickey Rourke. So I have at least two things going for me, fairly good looks and fairly young.
But I’m no Timothee Chalamet!
Long story short, I’m an average guy and am in OK shape. I’m the “dude” that every woman sees on Bumble and thinks about for a second…as her finger slowly…swipes…left.
That means I have to catch her by surprise in my profile. I have to show her that I’m someone special offering something different and exciting.
Free Bumble vs. Premium Bumble – Is Premium Worth It?
Much like Tinder and other popular dating apps, Free Bumble has some of the best online dating features for single guys like me:
- Live video chat
- Local swiping
- Mutual matches chat
Bumble Boost costs $16.99 per month (for some extras) or $39.99 per month (for unlimited extras) or $229.99 for a lifetime membership.
Yes, that means forever.
On Bumble Boost, you get really cool features such as Travel Mode, which allows you to organize Bumble hookups and dates with locals before you go on a trip.
All in all, Bumble Boost/Premium gets you:
- Travel Mode
- Advanced online dating filters
- See people who liked your profile
- Undo accidental left-swipes
- Extend time on current matches (i.e. over 24 hours)
- Superswipe – let someone know you REALLY like them
- Spotlight on you – free promo for your hookup app profile
- Incognito mode – lets you go invisible and browse anonymously
As you can see above, wanting to know who’s already liked your profile is incredibly enticing.
There are definitely plenty of guys who would like the extra features that Boost/Premium Bumble can offer, though the free version of Bumble is worth trying first.
Make sure you like the vibe before putting money down.
Bumble vs Tinder – Which Hookup App Is Superior?
Bumble is probably the best of the dating apps out there. It’s well known but also practical.
Dudes may prefer Tinder matches, thinking that sex comes easier on Tinder and that Bumble is all about “meaningful relationships” because that’s what girls want.
When women are the ones looking for a date, and you’re a guy that knows how to talk to women (I mean at least a high school level conversation!) then you will have better odds at looking for a hookup.
Of course, this all depends on your “game”.
What I like about Bumble
It’s no wonder this hookup app is female-focused, since about 35% of Bumble users are female compared to Tinder’s 28%. Bumble is equal to Tinder in technology, but better overall because of the controlled environment.
- Women make the first move (She matched you and she is interested in you – investment!)
- Intellectual & charming guys go to the front of the line
- Nationwide search (premium only)
- Video chat option (great for establishing trust and making an in-person date)
- Singles, poly, married, threesomes, it’s all on here
Just because women are in control doesn’t mean it’s a serious relationships app.
Nonetheless, you should make your intentions clear from the get-go if you plan to use Bumble as a hookup app.
What I did not like about Bumble
I’m going to be honest here. I don’t care – at all – for Bumble BFF or Bumble Bizz.
- Bumble BFF = Bumble for friendships
- Bumble Bizz – Bumble for business
- Not being able to message first – I understand that’s the point of this app… but it’s still frustrating as a man sometimes
When it comes to BFF and Bizz, I don’t see the point. I don’t want to do professional networking using a dating app! (I use LinkedIn, thank you)
Is it like… sexy LinkedIn? Flirty GMail? It’s weird.
I also don’t want a woman to friend-zone me because I used the platonic “Finding Friends Tool” for its dating possibilities. It’s counterproductive. I don’t make friends just to creep on them and hope for some accidental sex… That’s stupid.
It’s also surprisingly convoluted to switch back and forth from Friend, Date, and Business mode.
I don’t get it. Is this for when you want to have sex with your platonic friends? Or when you want to hook up with your co-workers or clients from the “Scranton Branch?” while on a work vacation?
But you know, if you’ve used Bumble Friend Finder to hook up with a friend who you turned into a sex buddy, and then turned into a client for business…good for you, dude.
It just seems like a weird in to me.
Also, as I mentioned, not being able to message women first can be frustrating… especially if she’s super your type and you want to try and get the ball rolling.
I know that’s the point of the app, but still.
Complaints aside, using Bumble for hookups worked for me
The first time I tried Bumble hookups, it didn’t work. So here’s the part where I complain about all the fake profiles on Bumble, right?
Two things: Sure, there are fake Bumble profiles. There are fake profiles on every single dating app out there, even the fancy ones you can’t join.
But that doesn’t mean that every person who ignores you is a bot, or a hooker or a mean old witch. Sometimes matches just don’t work out.
Sometimes a woman will like your profile in the moment and then literally forget why she ever matched with you in the first place! It happens on every dating and hookup app.
My advice is to accept the fact that you will probably swipe right 100 times and get maybe 5-10 matches.
You may be ghosted too after the opening question, so stick around. Be persistent. You get 25 swipes every day so plan for the long-game, not a short sprint.
It took a while, but I did get lucky, as you’ll see below…
Using Bumble for Hookups – The 10 Girls I Matched With
I matched with 10 different real women.
Mind you, it took me all of two weeks of constantly swiping right on a lot of different types of ladies.
The 8 Runners-up
Here are the dates and hookups that nearly happened, but didn’t quite reach the finish line.
- Nelle: Kind of sarcastic and we had a few laughs. But she wasn’t serious about dating in person.
- Jazzy: Lot of fun but she said she was a Pentecostal Christian and well, I’m agnostic, so you know, not a great match beyond the physical.
- Dawn: Ghosted me after a few memes and jokes. But we had at least two good conversations.
- Elizabeth: Nice girl, but had a boyfriend. And uh…she was definitely not polyamorous. And almost needless to say, she ghosted me!
- Marionne: She was not much of a laugher. We had very serious chats…and she got bored of me, I guess. Oh well, fun while it lasted.
- Cassie: Made her laugh, but she ghosted.
- Naomi: She was uh, not for me. Let’s just say she had a very, very particular list of wants and I could not meet that standard.
- Deanna: Beautiful woman visiting from Australia! I super-liked her. We laughed, talked, but…she ghosted. Too bad, I would have conquered 1,000 kangaroos for the chance to visit the land down under.
Bumble Match #1 – Erica
If I’m being honest with you guys, even after trying my Bumble hacks I only got two real dates out of my most recent experience. One was very successful and one is still kind of pending. I’ll explain that in a second…
As I said, Erica seemed very busy after we matched. Her lack of quick response indicated to me that she was not that into me. But to my surprise, she consistently messaged me back.
So after she found me on Facebook and Instagram, and was convinced I was a decent fellow and not a psycho (very important, guys!) we went on a “linner” date to Olive Garden.
Erica told me she’s just not the casual affair type of girl. At first, I thought that meant the date was over – take my breadsticks and piss off.
But no, she actually liked me. We talked a lot, several hours actually, until the restaurant closed.
And I was surprised to learn that I was still interested in her, and getting to know her, even though I wasn’t planning on starting a real relationship.
But feelings change. I found myself actually questioning if I wanted this to go somewhere. Like I said, keep things open-minded.
I still talk to Erica and we take things slow going on a few dates a year, because we do have very busy lives.
Bumble Match #2 – Joan
Joan didn’t say much at first but used some funny emojis. I wanted to swipe left when I first saw her profile…but on a whim I swiped right instead.
As soon as I sent her a few messages she jarred me with a request: “My friends and I are going to The Right Place” (a local bar).
Now my first reaction was, Nah, I don’t want to meet all your friends. But I also kind of knew this was a test and a moment of truth. If I really wanted a no-strings-attached date, I had to play the part. I had to be fun, gregarious, and basically a clown for the night.
So I decided to go.
And yeah… Joan and her catty friends were really Kardashian material. Joan was pretty and down to earth. She was actually kind of shy compared to her louder friends. The girls spent the night drinking and I bought a few rounds for everybody – and just pretended to be Jimmy Fallon, you know, crazy, awkward, whatever.
Not really my usual scene, but why not try something new?
The girls laughed at me, mocked me, insulted me…but ultimately gave me the seal of approval. Besides, all I really cared about was what Joan thought of me. And she was impressed that I showed up and partied with her friends.
So Joan eventually ditched all her friends and we decided to talk around the neighborhood to keep chatting. As I suspected, Joan was very into me and dared me to kiss her in an empty parking lot with some nearby walls of an abandoned store that provided a good hiding place.
Eventually, I figured out, Joan didn’t want to take me home and didn’t care where I lived. But she still really, really liked me. Just goes to show, you never can tell when a hot Bumble girl might make the first move on you!
(Don’t worry, Joan is not her real name and I even got permission to brag about this story!)
So, does this dating app work for hookups?
Yes, but everything comes at a cost. I had to clown all night for some casual fun.
In the case of Erica, I really had to decide that I was interested in a relationship (but not exclusive, obviously) and not just a hookup because she wasn’t into that.
Bumble is definitely the Lady’s Choice of dating apps and you have to follow the lead of the lady! I mean that in every sense of the word. She makes first contact, and she basically decides if this relationship is going to be casual or serious.
You may ask her out on a date initially, but women have the power here.
And yes, that is why Bumble is a better app to meet women on, and possibly an app that will get you a girlfriend or a few one-nighters, if you’re willing to play by their rules.
A Non-Player’s Guide to Browsing Bumble For Hookups – 9 Steps
One of the best compliments you can give Bumble is that you don’t necessarily have to be a player or a “seductive guy” to get laid.
No, you just have to be good at conversation, post some good photos, and be honest…about the most awesome things in your life!
Bumble girls do seem more empowered to me. That said, here are some ideas that worked for me, and they’re all based on being what I call a more feminist male.
If you’re not on the feminist side, you might struggle!
1. Get verified to increase your trustworthiness
Bumble’s photo verification system is a pain in the ass, no argument.
But in the end, if you’re “real” then you need to show these ladies that you’re serious about meeting and are not just going to ghost her. The Blue Shield Badge is the first thing that catches her attention and it shows there’s nothing “off” about you.
That’s a great start!
2. Write a quick but fun Bumble bio to grab her attention
I know Tinder encourages a little bit of trolling in the bio. But here, I think it’s more important to get across what’s special about you. Don’t just share your interests, focus on fun facts.
Give her a hint of your fun personality. Talk about your hobbies and interests but make it funny. Talk about cool things you do, but make it snappy and short.
No long paragraphs. Think more “comedy sitcom” one-liner than a Bumble profile.
Also, if you’re looking exclusively for hookups, you might want to mention that. You don’t want anyone to accidentally catch feelings after a hookup.
3. Connect your social accounts to reassure her that you’re real
Going one step beyond site verification, you can connect your Facebook and Instagram profiles to Bumble and bond with potential matches over common interests, or shared tastes in music. You may have even been to the same restaurants or clubs.
The little coincidences like that always matter more than cheesy pickup lines.
It’s also nice for users to browse your socials and get a deeper idea of who you are as a person.
4. Pick the right time to maximize your chances
Bumble’s own research suggests that people really do date according to their moods – and these moods are vastly influenced by certain days of the week.
Everyone hates Monday. Statistically speaking, you’re more likely to get nitpicked and left-swiped on a Monday.
But Friday and Saturday are better days for women saying, “Meh, why not?” and that’s all it takes for your luck to change. It also helps to be closer to the dating hour, like around 6 or 7 PM.
Women are more inclined to right swipe someone they can meet – like right now – and not chat with more days or weeks on end.
Assuming you want a hookup, that is.
You see, the longer you wait, the more distractions come up. She might meet someone else, match with someone more exciting, or some terrible tragedy may happen in her life.
But time is of the essence. Some surveys have even said that users get more right-swipe happy during big thunderstorms, or pandemics. So if there’s a BIG THING going on at the moment (whether good or bad) that might actually work to your advantage in getting matches.
Bumble suggests replying to her opening message on Sunday (a little bit later, like around 10PM), since that seems to be “wind down time” and the best time to catch her for a longer conversation.
5. Keep it short and funny – we’re not here for Shakespeare
While a lot of guys are tempted to be “interesting” and write their ass off for a Bumble date, I found the opposite to be true. Fast was better. Short was awesome. And yes, even emojis and GIFs got the point across better than long paragraphs of pontificating.
Women on Bumble want to date Kevin Hart, not Shakespeare!
You know, generally speaking.
Also, make your intentions clear if you’re using Bumble for hookups instead of dating. They actually give you an option for declaring this, which will be shared publicly unless you say you’re “not sure yet”.
6. Make it EASY for a woman to make the first move
Although it’s true that women make first contact with Bumble, that doesn’t necessarily mean the pressure is on them. It’s still on you, Bruh, you just got to make it EASY for her to start a conversation.
My advice is to put something funny or “mysterious” in your bio. Make it so ridiculously easy for her to respond to you… give her something that she can’t resist. Sometimes a woman will swipe right on a guy who seems like he’s easy to talk to, versus a guy that’s attractive but too intimidating to approach.
Try to come up with an ice breaker on your bio, one that seems like you’re “just saying” something but which is obviously a ploy to get her to ask you a question. She won’t care if the ploy is obvious.
Well, hopefully.So whether you say:
- “Ask me about my (pet) monkey!”
- “I just got back from London and I met a celebrity!”
- “I just got a promotion and I’m happy!”
- “Pineapple on pizza is amazing, fight me”
- “Marvel vs DC – discuss…”
All of this is good. It lets her feel comfortable asking an obvious question or just starting a convo out of nowhere, so the pressure is back on you, not her.
That’s the way Bumble likes it.
7. Get personal quickly – small talk is boring
Don’t say stuff like, “Hey there” or “How are ya?” Not only is it dull, it’s just the opposite of personal.
Use her name. Talk about her career, her interests, something that you both have in common.
Bumble’s founder Whitney Wolfe even said that men who use a woman’s name in the first message get 60% more responses than men that keep things vague.
Yes, 60% more.
Sex is very personal so why not personalize the conversation?
You can also escalate sexual tension or “personal touch” by mirroring her energy, her conversation style, her sense of humor, and her level of enthusiasm.
The more hesitant you seem, the farther you’re pushing these fun dates away.
Close in on interaction and do it fast. Don’t be lazy. Don’t postpone. Don’t write her a love letter before you even meet her. Fast, punchy, more GIF than intellectual. Just get her interested in you and then show her a fun time.
It’s not rocket science.
8. Be adorable and just generally not a creep
Okay, here’s what worked for me. Full body shot, so they know you’re in modestly good shape. Somewhat closeup of your face, mostly so she can see your eyes. A lot of women do gauge attraction by a man’s soulful eyes!
Finally, smile! Don’t forget to smile. A smile sells you!
But avoid the most common mistakes guys making on Bumble:
- No teethy smiles (Don’t look too exuberant for no reason)
- No nerd smiles (Don’t look like a virgin on purpose)
- No jock smiles (Don’t show yourself laughing with your drunk bro friends)
- No Trump smiles (Don’t do that fake smile thing)
- No cult smiles (Don’t do that creepy thing “I like you…” head tilt thing)
Take it easy on the smiles, fellas.
Just give a genuine half-smile that shows you’re a fun guy, mysterious guy, but ultimately a SAFE guy – as proven by your social media accounts. That’s laying all your cards on the table and that’s what got me results.
I’ll also say that if the supermodel-looking girls don’t seem to want to date you… you may just be out of their league.
I mean, if you’re not a beefcake yourself, then why do you expect supermodel girls to date you? You might need a slight reality check, dude.
Someone had to tell ya.
9. Finally, take a chance on someone completely different
Be open-minded is all I’m saying. Be willing to date someone outside of your comfort zone. Don’t eliminate sweet ladies who might want to date you just because of one “flaw” that you fixate on for no good reason.
We’re all guilty of this.
Take a chance and maybe you’ll be surprised by how much you like dating someone completely different. I didn’t want to swipe right at first on Joan’s profile at first, but I’m glad I took that chance.
Alternative Online Dating Apps if Bumble Isn’t For You
Okay, so you’ve looked through your Bumble matches and you’ve tried to use Bumble for hookups, but you can’t find any other person who wants the same thing as you. It happens.
If you want to try a different approach than the Bumble app, here are some alternatives to consider:
Adult Friend Finder – Straightforward hookup site where sex is always on the table
Zoosk – Decent hookup app with cute features like virtual gifts & currency
Dirty R4R – Reddit’s seedy side with 100% free and anonymous hookups online
Fetlife – Fetish-based hookup site for BDSM, sub/dom relationships & more
Tinder – The hookup app everyone hates…but still uses at 9:30 PM!
Ashley Madison – The hookup app for married individuals
If you’re looking for a hookup and Bumble isn’t cutting it, it may be worth giving one of the apps above a try… or you can check out our list of the best hookup sites for even more options.
And if you’re not sure what you want, maybe you should read our guide on Hookups vs Relationship Sex – Which is Better?
Conclusion – Bumble for Hookups Works, Mostly
Bumble is the dating app for women, made by women, and one that requires a higher quality of man. Bumble is a breath of fresh air, even though setting up a profile can try your patience as a male user.
However, if you are patient, you will find Bumble is one of the best ways to casually date and see where everything goes. Give it a chance and tell me it’s not just as rewarding an experience (and perhaps better!) than Tinder.
If you don’t find that Bumble works for you, hookup sites like Adult Friend Finder or FetLife may be more up your street due to their “no bullshit, let’s talk about sex” approach to things. There are definitely some powerful women on those sex-focused apps!
So whether you find Bumble hookups, AFF hookups, or anything in between, just remember to play safe, have fun, be respectful, and most importantly… good luck!
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