According to studies from the Pew Research Center, 57% of people dating online lie to each other, while 55% have experienced a threat or security breach related to online dating.
No wonder finding a discreet dating app is a priority for many people.
Also, some of us just like our privacy… whether it’s for personal reasons, professional reasons, or anything else!
That’s why in this article we’re going to talk all about discreet dating and which casual sex apps do the best job at matchmaking and keeping things quiet.
By the end of our discussion, you’re going to know what apps are worth signing up for and what features to look for in discreet dating.
Let’s start with a preview of our winners’ list!
Top 10 Discreet Dating Apps
- Best discreet dating app overall – Ashley Madison
- Self-destructing chats! – Pure App
- 100% free & anonymous personal ads – Reddit R4R
- Threesomes, swingers, orgies, oh my! – Adult Friend Finder
- Best interface & panic button! – Victoria Milan
- Most romantic booty call app – Zoosk
- Anonymous to a fault? – Craigslist Activity Partners
- Best free private dating app – Plenty of Fish
- Verified people with secrets to keep – Our Secret
- Matching bears & otters since 2009! – Grindr
A familiar name came in first, but when it came to keeping secrets, all these apps were on board.
1. Ashley Madison – Best Discreet Dating App Overall
- Blur, block out, or mask your public profile photos
- Sign up anonymously
- You can even pay with a money order
- Enable 2-step verification
- Free profile browsing
- Women join free
- 70 million members
- Some fake profiles
Buy credits at:
- $249 – 25 cents (1000)
- $149 – 30 cents (500)
- $49 – 40 cents (100)
Note: When you first sign up you also have to pay a $19.99 Unlimited Mobile Access fee.
Ashley Madison is our top pick because it’s the world’s most popular discreet dating site and was designed from day one for anonymous sex. Can you say giggity?
Founded in 2002, it’s hugely successful.
The mask and blur option is one of the best features for protecting your identity. If you choose a blurred or masked photo for public viewing, and make all your other photos private, you never have to share any personal information.
You can also hide your profile just in case you’re not looking and avoid anyone accidentally recognizing you. (Although if they’re on Ashley Madison, are they really judging?)
Ashley Madison is pricey but also lets you buy batches of credits rather than a full membership. The app also occasionally runs specials on a smaller bundle of credits for $10 or $20 for sampling the chat features.
You can pay by Paypal if you’re nervous about using a credit card, or even send a money order or cashier’s check through the mail.
Ashley Madison is where people go for “easy dating” and in our estimation, it’s also the safest place to go. Aside from payment information, you don’t even have to use your real name. Use a money order for the highest security. You can also turn on 2-step verification requiring a phone code.
That will keep snoopers out!
Even if you’re downright paranoid about your information leaking, Ashley Madison has you covered.
2. Pure App – Best “Destroy the Evidence” Discreet Dating App
- Very secure environment
- Self-destructing photos & chats
- Local or worldwide search
- Women join free
- Send gifts and get
- Practically no free preview
- Only 500,000 users so far
- $14.99 a week
- $29.99 a month
The Pure App starts with you typing in your fantasy or scenario that you want to explore with a partner. When someone likes it you are notified and can start a chat.
Filter your search for sexuality preferences, gender, or photos only. Once you match with someone, you can share photos and even video chat face-to-face to make sure there’s mutual attraction and no one is catfishing you.
Regardless of what happens on your date, you can rest assured that after 24 hours your chats self-destruct, including photos and voice messages you shared.
No one can copy or save a photo.
You can store photos temporarily, within the 24-hour time limit, or you can even choose “self-destructing photos.” Turn on the “self-destruct” mode and let your partner see you one time before it disappears forever.
Even if one of you takes a screenshot, the other partner is immediately notified. This is the best protection against someone trying to scam you, or even blackmail you with suggestive photos.
You can also manually delete your chats sooner. But it’s all left up to your discretion. If you and your match are both game, you can turn off the 24-hour timer and continue to chat, until it’s time to say goodbye.
You can still maintain your account with Pure, and store photos privately on their server. That way you can easily upload your photos for a new ad anytime you’re ready. Photos taken with the Pure App are verified as “true photos.”
3. Reddit Dirty R4R – A Completely Free Dating Platform
- 100% free chat & photo sharing
- High female-to-male ratio
- Online adventures or in-person fun
- Basic moderation
- Join anonymously with just an email address
- No site-wide features
- No filtered searches
- No matchmaking
- No special security features
- Or buy “award” coins for $1.99 for 500
Reddit is one of the top sites on the internet, bar none.
It’s also one of the few sites that can boast a large female-to-male readership, with at least 30%. Even if you break it down to subreddits, there is still a huge base of horny anonymous users on Dirty R4R, surpassing 750,000 people.
Reddit Dirty R4R lets users post adult personal ads with basic moderation. While there are many predictable M4W ads, most of the “hot new performing posts” are F4M ads. Some ads are for virtual and anonymous fun, while others are ads for in-person meetings, usually in a big city.
Reddit doesn’t charge for membership and is our top 100% free site. You can text chat, share photos, and even stream a live video.
You can get verified by posting a photo of yourself with the subreddit name, and then get a special status from the moderators of that subreddit and any other partner subreddits. But it’s questionable verification at best.
While Reddit doesn’t require any personal information to sign up, there is not much in the way of security – except of course, good old fashioned common sense.
4. Adult Friend Finder – Best One Night Stand App for Threesomes
- Very filtered searches
- Swingers & threesome couples everywhere
- Niche forums & kinks
- Live video
- You can hide your profile
- Not particularly known for discretion
- Some fake profiles
- No blurred photos allowed
- Only accepts credit cards
- $39.95 for 1 month
- $26.95 for 3 months
- $19.95 for 12 months
Founded in 1996, and still with over 80 million members worldwide, Adult Friend Finder is one of the best hookup sites of all time.
You can join the X-rated community and hide your real identity from the regular community that wouldn’t understand your secret life.
In terms of privacy and discretion, Adult Friend Finder does offer private photos and public photos, as well as anonymous handles. You can even take a body shot of yourself, without your face showing, and hold up your login information for anonymous verification.
It’s also the best place to find swinger couples, threesome-friendly couples, and other non-monogamous options.
Still, because AFF is a community-first app, it suffers as an anonymous sex finder app. While you are not required to verify your identity, blurred photos aren’t allowed. It seems like the community is dead-set on you showing something for your profile, even if it’s not your face.
Still, you can basically keep your identity a secret by using a username, uploading “altered” versions of your face or body, and keeping chats very non-specific.
5. Victoria Milan – Best Booty Call Protection – A Panic Button!
- Panic button
- Anonymous sign up
- Option for verified profiles
- Masking tools
- Heavily moderated
- More expensive than Ashley Madison
- Not as many members either
- $65.99 for 3 months (no free credits)
- $49.99 for 6 months (500 credits)
- $39.99 for 12 months (1000 credits)
With 8 million members worldwide and a history dating back to 2010 (and founded by a happily married woman), Victoria Milan puts the fun factor back into secret affairs.
Instead of sharing personal info from the get-go, you can choose three scenarios of what turns you on, from “experimental and playful” to “unpredictable” or even “a bit shy.” Then you list your physical appearance and wait for the browsing to begin.
Right away, we like the “Panic” feature of VM, which redirects you to YouTube just in case someone walks in – like you know, your mother or something.
Mom, come on! Some space?
Designed similarly to Ashley Madison, Victoria Milan also offers three kinds of discreet photo editing – blurs, block-outs, and three types of digital masks to cover your face.
The blur doesn’t work as well as Ashley Madison’s blur tool, however. So a mask, or your own specially made photo hiding your entire face, may be safer.
Once you’re logged in you can search for other members by location, or who’s nearby, or even with a filtered search. The best filter option? Of course, the partner that has a “secret love nest” because hosting is a headache!
The prices are steep but the panic option is our favorite feature.
6. Zoosk – Most Romantic Hookup App
- Unique “Great Dates” virtual option
- Swipe, search, or get matched
- Over 27 million members
- Founded in 2007
- Verified members by phone and photo
- No masking tools
- No special security features
- $19.95 for 180 coins
- $39.95 for 480 coins
- $99.95 for 1800 coins
Zoosk doesn’t exactly have the reputation of being discreet, but it has some helpful features, not to mention a stellar reputation dating back to 2007.
The profiles on Zoosk are more detailed than other dating sites. For example, from a profile you can find out astrological sign, religion, relationship history, as well as whether they are verified and phone verified.
You can run a filtered search, or choose the swipe “carousel mode”, chat with whoever is online, or let the system find you a match with SmartPick.
The app has also introduced a Great Dates one-on-one video chat, but with a twist. Now you can invite your match out on a virtual date.
No, not to a virtual McDonald’s, but to an exotic place like Athens, Paris, Naples, or even Kyoto, Japan. Virtually tour the city and chat with your new date in real time.
We’re living in the future.
7. Craigslist Activity Partners – A Weirder, Free Version of Pure?
- Free personal ads
- Anonymous email
- Missed Connections also works
- No security features at all
- Phone verification required for ads
- Not the best reputation
Craigslist is not as anonymous as you might remember, unless you’re answering an ad. But posting an ad now requires a phone number for traceability.
People do still post casual sex ads and may want to start a conversation with an email or cell phone number. That’s right, cell phone number – not the most discreet option!
Simply put, while you can reply to ads via anonymous email, there are practically no security features with Craigslist. There are also not a lot of guarantees about safety after you answer a personal ad and go god-knows-where for a first date.
But the site is not just a group of out and out perverts! Craigslist simply doesn’t have much in the way of rules or safety protocol. If you’re going to go that anonymous please read our safety tips down below.
8. Plenty Of Fish – Best Discreet Dating App for Introverts
- Huge member base
- Multiple ways of meeting people
- Free for mutual likes
- You can hide your profile
- Premium perks, not a huge deal
- No extra security features
- $10 a month for 12 months
- $15 a month for 6 months
- $20 a month for 3 months
Plenty of Fish is easily one of the most enjoyable dating apps in the world due to, if nothing else, its variety of approaches to dating. You can run a filtered search, a username search, or find partners online now, by specific location, or the newest members to join.
Take your pick.
You can also chat with live streamers on POF, or try the swiping game and even throw in a “maybe” option just in case you change your mind. So no one’s questioning POF’s interface or membership – with a whopping 90 million users and a reputation going back to 2003.
As far as security goes, Plenty of Fish doesn’t require any personal information, which is good, but it also doesn’t do you any favors. The premium version of POF doesn’t do much besides unlock lengthier profiles, boost your profile, and delete the annoying ads.
Introverts will like the site, but they should still exercise caution.
9. Our Secret – Where to Find a Verified Online Dating Profile
- No private information collected
- Panic mode takes you offsite in an instant
- Members can choose to get verified
- Fairy new company
- Not a lot of members
- $289 – 29 cents per credit (1000)
- $169 – 34 cents per credit (500)
- $59 – 59 cents per credit (100)
Keep secrets much?
Our Secret’s search starts with you describing what you’re looking for, a tag line, and what you offer. From there, you can upload private and public photos and begin your search for a secret partner.
Overall, the site is fairly discreet, though lacking originality.
Our Secret lets you search by geographic location or by nearby proximity. You can also filter searches for better results, talk to whoever is online, or sort by last login activity.
The verification option is nice but not necessarily the best option for someone trying to keep things discreet and secret. On the other hand, the site doesn’t request any private information, besides payment.
10. Grindr – Best Discreet Dating App for Gay Men on the Down-Low
- Free LGBTQ dating
- High member count
- Location-based dating
- No extra security features
- Not the best reputation
- $9.99 for 1 month
- $6.99 for 3 months
- $4.99 for 6 months
- $3.99 for 12 months
Launched in 2009, Grindr is just as well known as Tinder for easy hookup dating, and has over six million users. Grindr is not just gay but LGTBQ inclusive.
But you know… it’s mainly cis gay men.
The dating app works by local geo matching, and so whenever you find a nearby match you can choose the “send location” feature to see how far of a ride it is to this, er, ride?
Premium Grindr increases your perks like more profiles, more photo filters, icebreakers, and more Grindr “tribes” for specifying if you’re a bear, daddy, geek, jock, trans, twink, otter, or a few other choice descriptions.
Some closeted men also use Grindr to find sex discreetly.
The app is moderated, though the owners also ask users to report suspicious profiles. Not much in the way of extra security. At least the Incognito mode is cool, when it lets users hide their profile from searching and from popping up on any “Viewed Me” lists.
Grindr may be just the discreet gay hookup app you need.
Related: The Dark Side Of Gay Dating Apps
FAQs About Discreet Dating Apps
Don’t be afraid to raise your hand. Better you learn now from our FAQ than asking an AITA question on Reddit later on!
What makes affair dating apps discreet?
While most discreet dating apps let users sign up anonymously, not all sites are specifically designed for the “discreet and looking”.
Discreet affair apps should allow not only the option of a blurred or masked photo, but they should also make it easy for you to alter your photos for discreet posting onsite like Ashley Madison does.
Another option is anonymous browsing, which may involve an “invisible” mode, or a “hide my profile” option for when you are no longer looking.
These discreet dating apps may also have both public and private photo album features.
What sites let you sample online discreet dating without signing up?
Reddit Dirty R4R only requires an email signup to the general Reddit website.
Meanwhile, Craigslist lets users send an anonymous email with just a link.
The options are limited, but they’re kind of there. You can always use a throwaway email address.
What is a safe discreet dating app for unhappily married people?
Apps like Ashley Madison and Victoria Milan were designed as married and looking websites, appealing to people who couldn’t date openly.
In modern times people might also have open marriages, or might be bi-curious, and so use a marital affairs dating site for their own personal reasons.
What are the most discreet hookup apps?
Ashley Madison, once designed as a married dating app, encourages users to hide their faces with online masking filters.
It also allows payment in the form of a money order, (or PayPal) which will make even the most paranoid of users feel safe.
How to easily spot the real age of an anonymous user?
Sure, it’s easy to lie on a free discreet online dating service. That’s why the only way you know for sure if you’re talking to the real deal or being catfished is video chat.
Some affair apps like Pure, Plenty of Fish, and even Tinder allow for one-on-one video chat. It’s a lot more reassuring to see a live video of someone rather than just glancing at a photo.
Is identity theft or fraud common in discreet dating?
According to one government source, romance scams had a peak year of $304 million in losses for 2020.
Fraud happens. Blackmail happens.
And in a worst-case scenario, you could even meet a dangerous person catfishing you for criminal purposes. I mean, why would YouTube sensationally lie about that sort of thing just for hits?
Seriously, scandal, fraud, and assault are just an everyday part of meeting new people and dating strangers. To be safe, never give out personal information and always tell a trusted friend or family member where you’re going if you’re meeting up with someone new.
Your Guide to Discreet Dating (by a Paranoid Dude)
It’s 2022 and believe it or not, some people don’t want to live stream their dates for Instagram or TikTok! There is such a thing as privacy and discretion, and it’s the sort of thing you don’t miss until it’s gone!
Don’t risk it – download an app that caters to discreet dating and make sure you always maintain control of your reputation. Let’s review some blunt tips on how to date safety and avoid trouble before it even starts.
1. Hide your face on all public profiles.
While it’s true that people who click on your profile want to see a friendly face, it’s just too risky to post a public photo. Even if someone doesn’t recognize you, someone might know someone who might think it’s “interesting” to see where you spend your nights.
Post a body shot or blur/mask your photos to show them the basics. Then, befriend your potential partner and give them access to the private gallery… privately.
2. Deactivate your account when you’re not actively looking.
If you’re going out of town and turning on the app while on vacation, don’t forget to deactivate or “go invisible” until you’re ready to date again.
Keep your profile on the down-low.
3. You don’t have to give out your real name, birthday, or other vitals.
There is no reason for a website to collect information on your name, birthday, or physical address. True, you may have to give this information if you use a credit card.
Then again, some sites also let you pay via money order or Paypal account.
While it’s true you can “get verified” by uploading your ID, if discretion and privacy is your biggest concern, don’t risk it.
4. Don’t talk too much about your “real life”.
You can easily fill out an interesting and sexy profile and not give away your whole life’s story. You’re not looking for a therapist. All you have to do is tickle the curiosity of a potential partner.
Build on the attraction one step at a time.
Meanwhile, scrap all the identifying information about your job, your family, your home life, and your public activities.
Why not focus on a private hobby, or sexual fantasies, or something you can only discuss with a sex partner? Save the personal stuff for family members or friends.
5. Don’t date too close to home.
If you really want to lower the risk of starting a community scandal, it’s best to not date too close to home. No, literally. Don’t date anyone in the same geographical proximity to you.
That’s where problems start, dating people too close to your drama-free home life. Most apps let you choose a city manually. So choose a city where you go on vacation or at least one that’s like 50-100 miles away.
6. Don’t leave your phone, desktop, or tablet unattended.
Finally, if mom, papa, or your pesky little brother is checking up on you all the time, maybe you shouldn’t leave windows up to be discovered.
- Use an incognito browser
- Log in manually with a password – no autofill
- Log out after use
- Protect all devices with a password
- Use a new email to sign up
- Don’t use your personal phone
- Use Paypal instead of a credit card
It just makes sense.
Keep Your Love Life Private with a Discreet Dating App
Ashley Madison was our top pick for its discreet and anonymous encounters. Not only did the face-masking filters help, but the ability to pay in credits and accept alternate methods of payment reminded us that Ashley Madison is as private as they come.
It’s understandable why discretion has to come first. Public figures use dating apps. Wealthy people use them. Unhappily married people use dating apps, and so do happily married people who are in an open relationship with their partner.
One thing’s for sure: they don’t want their private life all over social media! Date with peace of mind using an app built for that purpose.