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Top 5 Best Gay Dating Sites That Make Guys Feel Welcome

gay dating sites

If you’re gay or from the LGBTQ+ community and are struggling in the dating world, you’ve come to the right place. Gay dating sites and apps can make meeting new people easy as pie.

Dating is hard, especially in the gay community. Fortunately, online dating is more popular than ever, and there has even been a surge in gay dating sites, making it easier for gay people to start dating online without fear of judgment.

More dating sites have become more inclusive and LGBTQ+ friendly, making it a safe space for people from all walks of life to start online dating.

When you choose the correct dating site that caters to your needs and interests, you will feel much more comfortable reaching out to someone online.

In this article, we have reviewed the best gay dating sites to make it easier for you to find a reliable dating site and start meeting people. So, dive into our comprehensive article and start chatting with interesting matches.

Top gay dating sites to try in 2023

Thanks to the rainbow pride being louder than ever, more and more online dating sites cater to gays.

Below, we have taken a more careful look at the best gay dating sites.

  • Best mainstream site for gays – OKCupid
  • Best for gay men dating – Men Nation
  • Best for gay matchmaking – eHarmony
  • Best for non-binary – Lex
  • Best for gay bears – Scruff

1. OKCupid – Best mainstream gay dating site

okcupid logo


  • Select only to be shown for gay people
  • Reliable and trustworthy
  • Good for newbies


  • Messaging allowed only when both match

OKCupid started in 2004 and today, it has over 30 million members, making it one of the most popular online dating sites in the world.

Even if you’ve never done online dating before, there’s a chance you have heard of them through their extensive marketing campaigns.

In its first years, it was designed mainly for straight people, but some years ago, it went through a makeover and started advertising itself as a more LGBTQ+-friendly site. Today, you can find people from different sexual orientations and feel much more comfortable meeting other than regular straight folk.

OKCupid is a comprehensive, trustworthy, and popular dating site that also caters to gay people. You can choose what kind of a date you seek from the jump and even decide not to see or be shown to straight people in the search results.

As OKCupid is one of the biggest online dating sites with millions of members, finding someone to talk to shouldn’t be too hard.

The downside is that you won’t be able to talk to other people unless you both have matched.

You can sign up for OKCupid for free and create a profile, but to start using all their available features, you will need to upgrade your membership. The site offers a few different membership options, so you will indeed find one that suits your wallet.

>>Try OKCupid today

2. Men Nation – Best for gay or bisexual men looking for other men


  • Excellent for gay men
  • Good safety features
  • You can start for free


  • No app available
  • Most members are 50+

Founded in 1996, Men Nation is one of the oldest gay dating sites in the world.

Men Nation caters specifically to men interested in casual encounters and hookups, so there may be better places to start if you seek a long-term relationship. However, it’s easy to get started and chat with people who are seeking what you desire.

Being one of the oldest dating sites for gays, it has gathered over 100 million members over the years. That being said, finding someone like-minded shouldn’t be too tough.

The best thing about Men Nation is that you can get started for free, and you don’t even have to give out specific personal information. On the other hand, this creates an opportunity for fake profiles and bots, so beware of those as you scroll through your matches.

Another big plus is that even though there may be fake profiles, the moderators are pretty quick to delete them and are big on the safety and security of their members.

One thing that many members seem to be missing is better visual design. The site looks a bit outdated, so we’re hoping it will soon get a facelift and get put on the 21st century.

All in all, Men Nation is an excellent site for gay men who are looking to hook up or meet casual dating partners online.

>>Sign up for Men Nation today

3. eHarmony – Best for matchmaking and long-term relationships

eharmony logoPros

  • Good for long-term relationships
  • Excellent matchmaking process
  • Millions of members


  • A bit on the pricier side

Many might remember that eHarmony started in 2000, designed for straight Christians.

Fortunately, that’s not the case anymore, and since 2009, the LGBTQ+ community has felt more welcome to sign up as a member of eHarmony. Nowadays, eHarmony is much more inclusive, making it possible for gays and others in the LGBTQ+ community to meet like-minded people.

If you want a long-term relationship and serious connections, this is the site for you. After signing up and creating your profile, you will be prompted to fill out an extensive compatibility questionnaire. This questionnaire aims to help you get matched with like-minded people who share your interests, views, and goals.

While the questionnaire is quite extensive, it’s worth taking the time to fill it out – it will only help you in the long run.

As eHarmony offers many features, focuses on safety and security, and offers wonderful matchmaking algorithms, the site is definitely not free.

While you can get started for free, you will need to upgrade your membership to start chatting and utilizing all features on the site. The price is not the lowest on the market, but after all, you get what you pay for.

>>Meet a match on eHarmony today

4. Lex – Best for non-binary and LGBTQ+

lex gay datingPros

  • Very inclusive, including gender fluid
  • Queer groups and events
  • Mobile app available


  • Outdated user interface

Lex is an online dating app for queer, non-binary, gay, and others that may fall into the LGBTQ+ category.

If you are used to the traditional kind of dating sites, such as OKCupid or eHarmony, this site will make your jaw drop.

Instead of focusing on catalog-style, photo-based profiles, Lex reminds us of Craigslist. You can post little blurbs, chat with people, and meet up. The user experience is more community-like and makes the whole feel different.

Also, you will be able to find queer events and groups locally, so you might be able to meet a whole bunch of new people, from friends to casual connections and long-term relationships.

Many people have said that Lex feels like home, and it makes them feel welcome. If you are looking to date, meet friends, and make new connections in the queer community, this might be for you.

It’s also worth mentioning that Lex offers an easy-to-use app for iOS and Android, so if you’re on the go, you’ll still be able to stay in touch.

The only downside is that the user interface seems to be a bit outdated. While the Craigslist approach is fun and different, it makes the site look a bit older. But if this is okay for you, you might get curious about Lex.

The cherry on top is that this site has a zero-tolerance policy for hate and creepiness, so you can be yourself and enjoy the company of kindhearted people.

>>Try Lex today and meet new queer people

5. Scruff – Best for gay bears and scruffiness

scruff logoPros

  • Great for gay men and GTBQ community
  • Geolocation
  • Travel map


  • Lots of ads
  • Not best for long-term relationships

Scruff is an online dating app especially designed for men to meet men from all over the world. The site is specifically designed for the LGTBQ community, and they have a bunch of fun communities to choose from: they include, for instance, bear, muscle, bisexual, discreet, drag, jock, cub, daddy, military, otter, poz, trans, and more.

Scruff is an excellent app for anyone looking for hookups and casual encounters. The app includes a geolocation feature that shows hot single men near you, so you can even meet new people while traveling.

While the app has many fun features, the cherry on top is the possibility of planning a travel map. You can publish your travel agenda and arrange your hookups accordingly – how fun is that?

The app is easy to use and allows you to connect even on the go. A minor inconvenience with this app is that it crashes from time to time.

Also, another downside is that you will see a bunch of advertisements on the site, which can get annoying after a while. However, if this doesn’t bother you, you’re on for a fun ride with Scruff.

Remember that as Scruff is not really meant for long-term relationships but rather light encounters and hookups. Be aware of catfishing and take all necessary precautions.

>>Sign up for Scruff and try your luck

Gay dating sites vs heterosexual dating sites

Gay dating sites are meant for gays so that you can be yourself without the fear of judgment.

Trying to find gay matches on heterosexual dating sites can be scary and challenging, so many gays prefer to start dating on an online dating site meant for gays. This means you can expect everyone you meet to be gay, nonbinary, trans, or other, so initiating a chat is easier and more comfortable.

When it comes to features, usability, or price, gay dating sites online don’t really differ from sites meant for heterosexual dating. You can browse matches, chat online, and use any interesting features the site offers. Also, pricing for gay dating sites is around the same ballpark as on other dating sites, so no loss there.

The amount of people who join gay dating sites is generally lower than on other dating sites, as there are far fewer gays in the world than heterosexual people. Still, you will have a better chance of meeting someone in your sexual orientation when you focus your dating efforts on a site with a specific focus.

Benefits of gay dating sites and apps

Gay dating apps and sites have many benefits, so there has been a surge in them in the past few years.

In fact, according to Insider, the LGBTQ+ community uses online dating sites nearly twice as much as straight people. Gay dating sites allow a judgment-free zone for the LGBTQ+ community to chat, connect, and date without fear of getting hateful messages or experiencing uncomfortable encounters.

The best benefit, however, is that you will be able to find much more people in your sexual orientation than on generic dating sites. Though the user amount may not be as high, you will likely meet more compatible matches easier.

Safety of gay online dating sites – are they safe?

For the most part, gay dating apps are safe, just like other dating apps online.

But the truth is, you never know who you will meet, and catfishing is still a very real thing and quite a big problem. This is why ensuring you have a good idea of who you are meeting is essential. For instance, a video chat option before meeting someone in person is a good idea as a layer of extra security.

Also, you should take into account the area you live in. If the city or town you reside in is predominantly homophobic, it goes without saying you should be more careful before trusting someone.

In addition to video dating or chatting before meeting in person, you should also consider meeting in public for the first time.

While gay dating sites online are generally safe, you can never be too careful.

How to choose the right gay dating site or app?

Using gay dating sites and apps online can be a fun experience as long as you choose the right app and make sure the app caters to your needs.

Before you sign up on a gay dating app or a website, you should consider some main factors that will help you decide which one is right for you.

How much are you willing to pay?

We all know that you get what you pay for, and this rule also applies to gay dating apps online.

While some free dating sites are out there, the best ones usually include different subscription options. The good news is that many sites offer a free trial and different membership tiers, so you will have some options.

Do they offer safety features?

Safety is essential for anyone dating online, but especially for gays, considering the high chance of hate and judgment out there.

When choosing the right dating app, consider any possible safety features it offers. For instance, are profiles screened or do they do background checks? Are conversations monitored? Do they quickly delete fake profiles?

Who do you want to meet?

Gay-friendly and LGBTQ+ dating sites tend to be quite open and allow for all kinds of matches, but some sites are more geared towards gays, some for lesbians, and some for others.

If you are a gay man wanting to meet another gay man, you might join a different site compared to a transgender female who wants to meet a lesbian, for instance.

Are there free online dating sites for gays?

best gay dating sitesYou may run into some free online dating sites for gay and LGBTQ+ people, but there is one essential thing to keep in mind: safety.

Many free sites are not high-quality, they don’t monitor users or profiles, and you may run into fake profiles, bots, and people who are not there to meet gay people at all. So, while the word “free” might make you curious, remember: you get what you pay (or don’t pay) for.

Free vs. paid dating sites for gays

While completely free dating sites probably aren’t the best gay dating sites, the good news is that some offer a free trial.

Many gay dating apps and sites allow their users to try the app for free for a few days, or the app may have some features available for free.

These free trials are an excellent way to get an idea of what the app has to offer before upgrading your membership.

Are mainstream dating sites gay-friendly?

Some mainstream dating sites are good for gays too, such as OKCupid.

This site allows the user to choose not to see or be seen by straight people, making it an LGBTQ+ friendly site. However, not all sites offer this choice to compare sites and their features a bit before joining.

How to get matched on an online gay dating app?

You can get matched on an online dating site for gays easily.

First, you should take your time and fill out your profile carefully. Tell the reader about your interests, hobbies, and goals, and don’t forget to add flattering pictures. If you don’t have any good pictures of yourself, take a few minutes to pose for a selfie.

After filling out the profile information, you may be able to fill out a compatibility questionnaire on some sites, such as on eHarmony. Even though these questionnaires may seem tedious, they will help you to get matched better, so you should take a few minutes and fill it out.

The next step is to start browsing matches and getting in touch with interesting people. Don’t overthink it – just say hello!

Best first date ideas for gay (maybe-to-be) couples

After you’ve matched with someone and gotten to know each other a bit, it may be time to suggest a date.

Meeting in person for the first time can be exciting and scary. However, if you choose a nice place to meet and come up with something fun to do, you will feel much more comfortable on your date.

The number one thing to remember when choosing a place to meet and deciding something to do is to meet in public. This is a safety precaution everyone should take because you never know who you will be meeting. Safety first.

Also, if you are having difficulty deciding what to do on your first date, the best thing to do is ask your date what they might want to do. If you have common interests, such as sports or karaoke, you might find something fun and enjoyable to do easily.

However, brainstorming some date ideas beforehand may be a good idea if you are both shy or unsure.

Below, you will find a few first-date suggestions:

  • Go to a museum
  • Enjoy a theatre performance
  • Get tickets to see a movie
  • Plan a dinner together
  • Go to an amusement park

Granted, not everyone is “out” or wants to be seen in public with anyone just yet, and you should respect that.

If this is the case, you might consider meeting somewhere further away, such as a neighboring city. This way, you’ll still be safe and meeting in public while keeping your business your business, without anyone in town getting a whiff of what’s going on.

How to stay safe on gay and LGBTQ+ dating sites?

Finding serious relationships, hooking up, and casual encounters can all be found on an online dating platform.

However, safety is of utmost importance, no matter if you are gay or straight.

Fortunately, you won’t need to become paranoid or have a bodyguard with you when meeting new people, but you should use your common sense when diving into the world of online dating.

Keep your information private

First things first: keep your private information to yourself. This means not revealing too much about yourself in your profile or during your first conversations with someone new.

For instance, you shouldn’t reveal your full name, address, phone number, or place of work to anyone until you know them much better. Giving out personal information can leave you vulnerable to scams and people with bad intentions.

Better to be safe than sorry and keep your business, your business. Chat with your match lightheartedly and get to know them better; video chat and meet in person before giving out any sensitive information.

Beware of fake profiles

The internet is full of scams, catfishing, and fake profiles, so you have to stay alert and keep your eyes peeled for any red flags.

This is especially important if you choose to use a free online dating site. You will be much more likely to run into fake profiles and catfishers than on a reputable dating website where background checks and profile screening are conducted regularly.

This reason alone may be enough for you to use a subscription-based online dating website.

Don’t fall for scams

Unfortunately, dating scams have been on the rise in recent years.

The best way to protect yourself against scams is to refer to our first tip: keep your private information private.

Scammers often try to scam money from their victims by first making the victim fall in love with them or at least get interested, then by telling them about their financial hardships to pull at the victim’s heartstrings, and finally, ask them for money.

Sometimes, asking for money comes in the form of a ban wire, and sometimes flight tickets or something else. Don’t fall for it: you should never give money or personal information to anyone you don’t know or haven’t met.

Best tips for staying safe when meeting in person

While it’s essential to keep safe online, you should also take safety precautions when meeting your date in person.

After all, sexual harrasment and assault are real threats to anyone who meets new people online. Even if you chat with someone online, you won’t know who they really are until you meet them in person.

Below, we have listed some useful safety tips for meeting new people for the first time.

  • Meet new people ina public place, preferably during day time
  • Don’t tell them your personal information, such as your address, work place, or phone number
  • Tell a friend or family member who you are meeting and where
  • Meet with your date on a video call before meeting in person
  • Look your date up on social media: the age of the account or amount of friends may reveal a lot

Video calling before your date is an excellent safety precaution

gay video chatUnfortunately, many gays and LGBTQ+ people experience judgment and hate in their life one way or another.

Even though meeting people on gay-friendly online dating sites is more accessible and safer than on many other platforms, the truth is that you never know who you are meeting.

This is why using video calling or a video chat feature many online dating sites offer is an excellent idea. You will get to see the person you’ve been talking to face to face and ensure that they are who they say they are.

It’s good to remember that pretending to be something or someone else is easy when you chat and write. It’s much harder to keep your true nature in check when you meet face-to-face or speak on the phone.

So, a video chatting feature is an excellent way to keep yourself safe.

Choose an app with a video-calling feature

Nowadays, many online dating sites offer a video chat feature.

If you are worried about safety, choose a site such as eHarmony or similar that offer video chatting features.

Gay dating sites – FAQs

Online dating for gays can raise some questions, especially if you are new. Below, we have gathered some of the most frequently asked questions to help you navigate in the online dating world.

What are the best gay dating sites?

The best gay dating websites are sites that cater for gays or the LGBTQ+ community. While general dating sites may also offer variety, you will be much more likely to find matches on a site that specializes in serving the LGBTQ+ community.

How to find the best gay dating sites online?

You will be able to find the best gay dating sites online by reading dating site reviews and making comparisons. You can even join multiple dating sites and take advantage of their free trials to get an idea of what each site offers.

What’s the best online dating site for gay hookups?

For gay hookups, you can look at apps such as Grindr. However, more comprehensive dating sites, such as eHarmony or OKCupid, also offer a chance to meet people who are only looking for casual encounters.

Where do gay people meet?

Gay people can meet other gays on dedicated online dating apps and sites catering to gays and the LGBTQ+ community. By joining a gay dating site, you will likely meet someone seeking what you seek.

Is there another app like Grindr?

Grindr is an excellent hookup app for gays, and very few apps or sites are quite like it. However, there are some trustworthy mixed and gay dating sites, such as OKCupid, eHarmony, or Scruff, where you can also meet people for casual hookups.

What’s the difference between Tinder and Grindr?

Interestingly, Tinder is probably more well-known than Grindr even though Grindr came first in 2009 and Tinder followed in 2011. The main difference between these apps is that Grindr is directed towards gay and bisexual men whereas Tinder is for everyone.

Also, their layout is different: Tinder shows only one person at a time, whereas Grindr shows a grid of people.

Best tips for dating on a gay online dating site

Online dating should be fun, but for it to be so, keep in mind a few valuable tips we have listed below.

Be transparent about your intentions

This does not mean that you should tell your date about how you want to be married within the next three years.

However, it is recommended that you tell your date about what your intentions are for your date.

For instance, if you simply want to grab dinner or a cup of coffee and head home afterward, you should let your date know this. It would be awkward to have your date be prepared for dinner and breakfast while all you want to do is to have dinner…

Trust your intuition

If you feel like something might be off, it probably is. Your own body and subconscious mind will know much more about any situation than you think.

Gut feelings are real and you should trust them. If you feel like your date might not be totally honest with you or you feel uncomfortable for any reason, skip the date or skip out of the date – you do not need to go or stay if you don’t want to.

Don’t be embarrassed to talk about STI testing

gay date stiThere is nothing wrong with having casual encounters, hookups, or physically enjoying each other’s company. However, it’s still important to stay safe sexually as well.

Talking about STDs or HIV status may feel uncomfortable, but it’s essential to your health and safety. If your partner doesn’t bring it up, you can bring it up yourself by simply telling your partner what your STI status is. This alone will likely prompt your date to share their status, too.

Also, getting tested before engaging in a sexual encounter is always a good plan. If not, at least keep protection handy and remember to use it.

When should I bring up STD testing or HIV status?

Sexual health is essential, and you should keep yourself safe.

The best thing to do is to talk about any STD questions before having a sexual encounter, especially if you are looking for a long-term relationship.

While it’s important to bring up any active STIs you may have, you don’t need to bring it up unless there’s a chance or a discussion of having sex. In other words, there’s no need to slip this information in within the first five minutes – it can wait to be brought up until you’re comfortable.

However, always remember to be considerate and not only protect yourself but your date, too. If you know that you are HIV positive or currently testing positive for any other STI, it’s considerate to disclose this information honestly so you can both be protected.

Are there HIV+-friendly apps?

If you are HIV positive, you might be a bit hesitant to join online dating apps or sites.

Not to worry, there are HIV+ friendly options available as well: for instance, Grindr has a section in thei app called “Poz” that’s meant for HIV+ people.

However, even if your chosen online dating site doesn’t have a separate category for HIV positive people, don’t get discouraged. Simply talk about your status openly with any people you might want to date long-term or if you are looking to hook up.

Choosing the right gay dating site may help find the right match

Choosing the best gay dating site is essential when you want to ensure that you will have an enjoyable dating experience.

There are numerous online dating sites for gay people and the LGBTQ+ community, and you simply have to choose the one that caters best to your needs.

Some online dating sites and apps cater to people looking for hookups and casual dates, whereas others are good for long-term relationships: make sure you join the site with members with similar interests.

By making comparisons, testing different sites, and even joining a few are excellent ways to get an idea of what the sites offer and which one catches your interest. You can even take advantage of free trials offered by some of the sites to try the features out before making a commitment and upgrading your membership.

All in all, gay online dating sites are a fantastic way for gays to find dates, love, hookups, or long-term relationships – just make sure to choose a site with all the features you need.

ALSO READ: Best Black Dating Sites

    • Meet the unrivaled master of all things dating. With a charisma that could rival Iggy Pop himself, this Iggy rocks so hard he will knock your socks off — unless, of course, you have a peculiar penchant for sockless adventures. But fear not, for Iggy has standards that even the boldest adventurers must adhere to. […]

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