Chappy: A Cheeky Gay Dating App

Remember when the most prominent way to meet guys was to get dressed and put on your best pair of jeans that hugged all the right assets, then go to the club and wait for that chance meeting? Usually it involved a subtle glance from a handsome gentlemen across a crowded room. I don’t know about you, but things have changed for me. A chance meeting is becoming the obsolete way to score a date, as there are now numerous ways to meet your next boyfriend, and most of them use algorithms. Today a lot communication is done via social media, chatting apps, texting and dating online. People are more likely to use apps to organize a gathering. The same now applies for the dating world. The need for people to meet each other in a crowded room across a smoke filled bar has dwindled. The tools we have now allow us to emulate those chance meetings, with a swipe.

Much like meeting someone in a public setting, the online dating market can be a crowded scary place. In the gay dating app world I can get discouraged by faceless profiles, body part references and quick fixes. Challenged with the quest to find a tool that focused less on hookups but more on attracting similarities, I tried Chappy, a new dating app specifically for gay men.

Chappy gives users a choice between looking for more serious relationships, ‘Mr. Right,’ or more casual hook ups, ‘Mr. Right Now.’ The app, which initially rolled out in London, New York City and Los Angeles is the brainchild of Max Cheremkhin, Ollie Locke & Jack Rogers, and is backed up by Whitney Wolfe, the co-founder of Tinder and CEO of Bumble. Similar to Tinder, the app approaches simulating a initial attraction with a swipe left or right. Swipe left for a dislike swipe right for a like. The main distinguishing feature is the ‘Chappy Scale,’ a sliding scale which allows users to slide between ‘Mr. Right’ to ‘Mr. Right Now’ depending on whether they are looking for a relationship or something more casual.

“We are passionate about helping people connect in a safe environment where users feel empowered and confident. Bumble has made great strides for women in the dating space and we believe at Chappy that we can do the same for gay men. Being backed by Bumble definitely provides strong infrastructure, wisdom and support.”

My first thought when downloading the App, was . Chappy is a refreshing way to find a guy, that doesn’t make me feel like I need to go take a shower to feel clean again. One of the things that sets Chappy apart form the rest of the pack, is that you must match with someone before you can send a message. The break from constant unwanted messages like “Looking?” and “Horny?” seems hopeful. I find the quality of the connections made to be a bit higher than using some of the other gay dating apps known for just casual meetings. If you’re a switch hitter, make sure you choose the right photos for your profile that would appeal to both a trick and a husband. The app is location specific so you have to try opening it up in different areas or expand your search radius if you run out of potential matches.

Did I find a date? A few! Can you find a date? This largely depends on your own actions after a match is made. Remember these apps are simply tools. The next and crucial step is to start a conversation and ultimately get out of the app into the real world. I personally like the funny messages built into the Chappy app to serve as conversation starters or to add spice to a chatting session.

“Recognizing that the gay community is in a state of flux, we set out to change the way people meet. Chappy offers users what they want most – choice – when looking for relationships.”

Chappy builds in some unique cheeky reminders to probe people to start a conversation. If a match is made the app sends a notification letting you know there is a new suitor. If the user has not started a conversation within a given period it sends subtle nudges with messages like ““. After getting my first reminder, I made it a habit to at least say hello to every new match. It seems to be working on the other end to help the response rate as well.

Gay Dating Apps Us

Launched in 2017, Chappy is one of the newer dating apps to come along. Chappy allows guys to chat with other men without all of the stigma attached to gay dating apps. Chappy adds a number of Grindr was the first big dating app for gay men. Now it’s falling out of favor. The Los Angeles-based company has received backlash for one blunder after another. The new wave of online dating apps is right under your nose. When it comes to hookup apps, two platforms dominate the market for queer men: Grindr and Scruff. Launched in 2009, Grindr quickly became the most successful app in the world for men seeking connection with other men—with more than 10 million users worldwide. Once you’ve decided to use a gay dating or hookup app it can be tough to figure out which ones to use. Typically, most guys ask their friends or do a little bit of research. The problem with getting advice from friends or online critiques is that they basically amount to anecdotes.

Is there a better Created as a counterpoint to other prominent gay dating apps — and to put a greater emphasis on safety — Chappy (Android, iOS) is backed by Bumble and part of the bigger Badoo network of dating 13 Best Dating Apps (2018) Besides the convenience dating apps have brought into our lives, there are also ones that are saving us money while we search for a hookup, date, relationship, or whatever else our heart desires. Here are our 13 Best Dating Apps, chosen not just for their lack of price but for their reputations, features, and uniqueness. GHunt is the best when it comes to providing gay dating service to kinds of guys from all over the world. It is a gay hookup app for all single gay men to connect with each other via swiping right to match with thousands of compatible partners. Grindr is the world’s 1 mobile social networking app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people to connect.

Chat and meet up with interesting people for , or upgrade to Grindr XTRA for more features, more fun, and more chances to connect. Grindr is faster and better than ever: • NEW – Assemble your crew with Group Chat! • See people nearby based on your location • Browse re Choosing a premium dating app, such as SilverSingles, sets your online dating experience with us apart and enables you to join a platform that is serious about dating. When choosing gay dating apps for older guys, it often pays to be selective.

Gay Dating Apps Us

BEST GAY DATING APPS 2019

Scruff app is known as the best LGBT dating apps and the most reliable app like Tinder for gay, bi, trans, and queer guys to connect. Over 15 million guys worldwide are using Scruff to find friends, hookups, relationships, events and much more. This Tinder alternative provides its users with huge browsing and searching data every day. Here’s the Cut’s list of the best datings app of 2019. Start with one, or download them all — and good luck out there. 1. Hinge Chappy is Bumble’s gay dating app. Standing in stark contrast to the notorious gay hookup app Grindr, Chappy prides itself on being the gay relationship app. It works pretty much exactly like Bumble, except To help you avoid some of the many dating mistakes I’ve made as a gay man, here’s an honest list of all the various gay dating & hookup apps that I’ve used – my personal experience and reviews of the best (and worst) gay apps. The best dating apps 2019: straight, gay or bi, find love whatever your orientation.

By Staff 4T11:33:09Z Mobile phones Take a look at our pick of the best dating apps – catering to a Best Gay Apps For Android & iOS 2019. Grindr; This is a hook up for everyone and is popular with many users all over the world. The app is to explore with enough privacy options. You can hunt your date without letting know others about it or publicly using this app. But mainly Grindr is known as one of the best gay dating apps. Grindr is easily one of the most well-known Gay dating apps for gay people. It stirred a revolution with gay dating apps when it came out. Grindr was started as an alternative to Tinder, but for gay people only. Grindr follows the similar generic location-based dating.

BEST GAY DATING APPS 2019

10 Best Gay Dating Apps of 2021 (Most Popular!)

The world of online gay dating has changed a lot in the last ten years. In fact, ten years ago it was really difficult to find a dating app that was aimed specifically at gay dating. Now, you’ve got too much choice! 

In other words, you’ve got so much choice that it’s hard to know where you should spend your time. Which dating apps are going to yield you the best results? And which ones are going to make you puff your cheeks out in exhaustion after dates keep flaking on you? 

It’s cool – I’ve got the answers. I’ve given the best gay dating apps a test run and put together an article that will help you make a better decision. Here, you’ll find something for everyone – those who are looking for something longer term (maybe even marriage), as well as those who just want a friend with benefits. 

I’ll break each gay dating app down and take a look at who it’s for, how much it costs, and what its benefits are. 

10 Best Gay Dating Apps of 2021 (Most Popular!)

The 10 Best Dating Apps of 2019

Maybe you’re newly single and ready to try your luck at the dating game … again. Or maybe you’ve been dating for a while, and you’re looking to change it up a bit. Either way, it’s a big dating-app world out there, with plenty of people and difficult decisions to make. Before you start stressing out about crafting a witty bio, or choosing photos that make you look both hot and approachable at the same time, you have another all-important choice: which dating app to use. Here’s the Cut’s list of the best datings app of 2019. Start with one, or download them all — and good luck out there.

1. HingeHinge makes itself unique by providing prompts to answer instead of making you sweat through the bio-writing process: from, “The key to my heart is…” to, “Where to find me at a party?” and, “I’ll pick the first part of the date, you pick the second.” Additionally, Hinge opts out of the swipe-based premise by allowing users to like or comment on individual profile photos and prompt answers. From there, the liked user has the option to start the conversation.

Pro: Meaningful conversations and connections flourish on Hinge (the reason for the app’s motto: “Designed to be deleted”), and it is well-loved for good reason.

2. The original swiping app, with a simple premise: Swipe right if you like someone. If two people swipe right on each other, they’re given the opportunity to start a conversation. Be warned: Reputation-wise, Tinder is still perceived by many people to be a hookup app.

Pro: High number of users means many, many possibilities. Con: Quantity does not always equal quality.

3. Bumble differentiates itself from Tinder by identifying as the “feminist” dating app. While Bumble works similarly to other apps with its swipe-based system, only women have the power to start conversations. For those looking for same-sex connections on Bumble, either partner can choose to start the chat.

Pro: Fewer creepy men (read: fewer unsolicited dick pics) and an effective team that is quick to ban those who are creepy.

Con: The requirement to send the first message can sometimes be stressful, and while putting women in charge always has its pros, the drawback is that many men use the app to simply pump up their egos with incoming messages without ever replying.

4. The League is a more elitist choice for a dating app. While you don’t necessarily have to be famous, users must submit an application to have an account, and it can take months to get accepted. As you can guess based on the name, the point is to find people in your “league,” whatever that may mean.

Pro: Connects to both Facebook and LinkedIn, effectively doing the internet stalking for you.

Con: Lengthy application process and totally classist.

5. OkCupidOkCupid is unique in that it matches users based on their responses to a survey. Instead of just swiping on someone based on a blurry selfie, users are connected with people through shared values and interests. Fun fact: According to their site, OkCupid has the most New York Times wedding-section mentions over other apps!

Pro: A different kind of intimacy due to the comprehensive survey.

Con: OkCupid doesn’t quite have the same young, fun, and carefree reputation as Bumble or Tinder.

6. Think of Raya — the most elite of the dating apps — as the Soho House of dating apps. Most widely known as the go-to celebrity dating app, most of the users have at least a few thousand Instagram followers. So, if you’re lucky enough to get accepted, know that your potential matches are likely big-time influencers.

Pros: You could match with a celebrity; or, if you are a celebrity, you might get some privacy with their no-screenshot policy. As a Myspace-era bonus, your profile is synced to a song of your choosing.

Cons: The premise is, of course, extremely elitist. It also does not operate based on location because the assumption is you’re probably wealthy enough to hop on a private jet and meet your match wherever they may be.

7. Herthe dating app for queer women — “from lesbians to queers, bois, tofemmes, trans to fluid, and everyone in between.” More than just a dating app, Her prides itself on also being a social community for womxn in the LGBTQ+ community.

Pros: Queer-inclusivity, and the ability to meet people when traveling abroad through the global app.

8. ChappyChappy is Bumble’s gay dating app. Standing in stark contrast to the notorious gay hookup app Grindr, Chappy prides itself on being the gay relationship app. It works pretty much exactly like Bumble, except for the fact that it’s exclusively for gay men, and anyone can start a conversation.

Pro: 24/7 community moderation which strives toward a discrimination-free space.

Cons: Some users lament that, much like its parent company Bumble, Chappy does not provide enough profile information. As a result, the entire swiping process winds up feeling a bit superficial.

9. Coffee Meets Bagel attempts to take a more personal approach than most of its competitors. Users are given leading prompts, such as “I am …” and “I like …” to include in their profiles, and every day at noon, they receive matches that Coffee Meets Bagel has chosen for them.

Pro: Starting conversations is easier since the app gives users personal topics to discuss with potential matches.

Cons: Confusing interface; less detailed and personal prompts than Hinge.

10. HappnHappn is a dating app not too dissimilar from craiglist’s “missed connections.” The app only shows users people they’ve crossed paths with, literally, whether that be on the street, at a party, or in their favorite cafe. Once users find people (or the person) they’re interested in, they have the option to “like” their profile and wait to see if it’s a match.

Pros: There’s a bit of a romantic notion to the idea that the universe might make your ideal person cross paths with you.

Cons: Only being shown people you’ve physically crossed paths with can be a limiting or overwhelming experience, depending on where you live. And — is it creepy? We’re not sure.

The 10 Best Dating Apps of 2019

Gay dating app Chappy joins Bumble in Austin

AUSTIN, Texas — Gay dating and friendship app Chappy now calls Austin home, after joining Austin-based Bumble earlier this year.

Chappy was launched in 2017, and aims to end the stereotyping of gay men in dating and friendship.

“We are founded on the principles, with the foundation of, an online digital space based on kindness and respect and equality and just empowerment of men,” said Sam Dumas, cofounder of Chappy.

In June, the app launched „Chappy Friend Mode“ to help gay men expand their social circles.

“Some of the most impactful relationships in my personal life have come from my dearest gay friends,” said Dumas.

“Austin feels like home – it’s a really progressive city, a lot of people think because we’re in Texas and it’s a red state, the truth is that we feel at home here – we’ve received a lot of love from local businesses and local communities,” said Dumas.

The move to Austin came as the app became owned and operated by Austin-based Bumble. Dumas said the relocation will allow Chappy to tap into the marketing and operational resources of Bumble, allowing quicker growth.

Chappy is just one company of dozens to relocate to Austin’s LGBTQ+ business-friendly environment.

“We celebrate our diversity and inclusion and the businesses all across the globe have really discovered that about Austin in the last few years and we’ve seen that explosion of major brands all the way down to small mom and pops,” said Tina Cannon, executive director of the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

Cannon said Austin’s talent pool is part of the reason companies are attracted to the area.

“Austin provides an opportunity for companies to celebrate the diversity and inclusion within their ranks so that their employees can be 100% present,” said Cannon.

Dumas said the space Chappy provides didn’t exist for gay men before the app was created. Other apps for gay dating, he said, were full of discriminatory language.

“Until we end the stereotyping of gay men, we won’t be finished,” said Dumas.

The best dating apps for gay users, since meeting people IRL is hellish

Most people have at least one horror story about online dating. It’s a rite of passage that single people love to hate.

But the horror stories look a little different for members of the LGBTQ community. On top of the classic awkward Hinge date anecdotes and screenshots of a corny bio seeping with secondhand embarrassment, gay singles deal with all sorts of alienating interactions. Baseless questioning of sexual history, harassment, and fetishization — most of it coming from cis straight people who shouldn’t have popped up in your feed in the first place — don’t exactly give one butterflies.

Still, dating apps have become crucial means of introduction for gay folks looking to settle down. A 2019 Stanford study and 2020 Pew Research survey found that meeting online has become the most popular way for U.S. couples to connect — especially for gay couples, of which 28% met their current partner online (versus 11% of straight couples).

But the Pew survey also dredged up those ugly experiences with harassment. This could be where options that bar heterosexual users, like HER and Grindr, come in. Their perfectly-tailored environments are so well-known in the gay community that they’re essentially in a league of their own.

That’s not to say that they’re in the queer dating app market alone. Apps like Zoe, Taimi, and Scruff exist. But their plateauing popularity can be attributed to similar complaints: too many scam profiles and too few legitimate users (ones within a reasonable distance to plan a date, anyway). Chappy was a promising app for gay men that shut down just as it was gaining serious traction.

And at the end of the day, „everyone“ apps are simply where masses of queer users are. Keeping Tinder on the back burner isn’t just a straight people thing, especially for those who live in less-populated areas where Grindr and HER have slim pickings. Plus, some mainstream apps do deserve credit for the steps they’ve taken to create a more inclusive atmosphere. Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge now offer lots of sexual orientation and gender identity options. OkCupid gets kudos for making that change years ago, as well as making social justice a core part of compatibility scoring — which kind of self-curates the type of people on the app.

If you’re LGBTQ and hate leaving your home, you’re not alone. Here are the best dating apps and sites that’ll maximize your opportunities while minimizing your human contact. Bless. (For the best dating apps specifically for lesbians, go here.)

Chappy Joins Forces with Gayming Magazine and Ditch the Label with the ‘Find Your Player 2’ Campaign

Gaymers if you didn’t know, it’s Gayming Live! The week-long event that is starting today, the 30th of September. It’s an exciting moment for us all at Gayming Magazine, and we’re so overjoyed to share it with Chappy.

If you didn’t know, Chappy is a gay relationship app for men, and has teamed up with Ditch the LabelGayming Live series. The series of events, which are free to attend, will be taking place from Monday, September 30, until Saturday, October 5, at the Jägermeister Soho pop-up shop in Great Windmill Street, London. The week will feature an in-store activation hosted by Kitty Powers, drag show from Ginny Lemon, and more.

“Chappy has always been focused on providing gay men a safe, judgement-free space for meaningful connections,” said Chappy’s Co-Founder and Head of Brand Sam Dumas. “We are committed to improving the experience for gay men online, especially in the gaming community which has been identified as a toxic environment for many.”

Dumas goes on to say: “This was a natural partnership for us, especially after our launch of Chappy Friends, the friend-finding vertical of Chappy. Whether you connect with someone before Gayming Live and meet with them at the event or you mutually match during the event itself, gamers can platonically connect with their fellow ‘gaymers’ in a safe, pressure-free environment. This collaboration only puts us one step closer to cultivating a digital universe of safer, more accountable connections.”

A special Chappy event will take place on Wednesday, October 2, at the famous Admiral Duncan where the hilarious Ginny Lemon will perform her 8-Bit Drag Show alongside special guest queens Lydia L’Scabies and Khom Queen. Additionally, legendary game developer and Drag Queen Kitty Powers will be hosting an event which consumers can attend for a chance to win over £1,000 of goodies, including a PlayStation 4, Switch Lite, and many more games prizes, during the morning of Saturday, October 5, at Soho Radio.

Robin Gray, Co-Founder of Gayming Magazine, said: “Gayming Magazine has a key focus on bringing people together – helping people connect with their local gaymer group, and bringing the industry closer to the community through interviews and features on LGBTQ+ companies, developers or other notables. We’re delighted to be working with Chappy on the ‘Find Your Player 2’ initiative, which matches the goals of Gayming Magazine. Online gaming can be a toxic environment for LGBTQ+ people, so Chappy is a great – and safe – way for gaymers to make new friend connections.”

Liam Hackett, CEO of Ditch the Label added: “We know from our research – and also from personal experience – that LGBTQ gamers are more likely to suffer from bullying online. So we wholeheartedly welcome this initiative to allow gaymers to connect with others in a safe environment.”

Chappy Friends was launched in June 2019 and now accounts for more than 15% of daily activity on the app, squarely challenging the long-held stereotype that gay dating apps facilitate casual hook-ups only. Users must mutually swipe right to match and initiate a chat, just as they would in Chappy Date.

In Date Mode users can connect in Commitment, where they embark on an exploration that can lead to something a bit more serious; match in Casual, where it might be light speed, but it’ll be seriously fun; or stargaze in All Dating, where they can go along for the ride and match with people in Commitment and Casual.

Chappy is available for free in the App Store and Google Play in US, UK, Canada, Australia and Ireland.

Best gay dating apps 2019 reddit

Our experts have done some of the heavy lifting by narrowing down the 4 Best Gay Dating Sites for Relationships. These time-tested sites have vast user bases and smart matchmaking tools. It may take some commitment, but the following dating sites can open you up to romantic opportunities in your neighborhood and around the world. Holiday Guide 2019. Trending Black Friday check out the best dating apps that will help you find the Right One or the Right Now. Created as a counterpoint to other prominent gay dating Best memes of 2019 Reddit 50/50 MCU movies order The 8 best gay hookup apps you didn’t know existed the company has unveiled an iTunes app for gay men based in London. Chappy’s angle Have tried online dating. When I started doing it, I was a dumbass and kept doing the “hey, how’s your day going” thing without anything specific about their profile or anything. Eventually I got more creative with openers to the point where I was showing genuine interest and creativity.

You probably also have questions about or paid dating apps, or what platform they are available on. Regardless of what you are looking for, I’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at the very best dating apps to close out 2019 and star 2020 off with a bang. Here’s our running list of the best trustworthy, scam- hookup apps available in 2019, whether you’re looking for a f buddy who shares your kinks, a safe space for non-monogamy, a couple The best dating apps for 2019 Looking for love or just some fun? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019 By Mark Jansen November 6, 2019 11:15AM PST Our experts reveal the best dating apps of 2018. Find out which have the most engaged communities, men/women ratio and overall best chance for a match. Best Dating Sites According to Reddit; Dating App News; Experts. Home Dating Sites and Apps Best Lists The Best Dating Apps of 2019. Dating Sites and Apps; Best Lists; The Best Dating The 37 Best Dating Apps of 2019 for Every Style of Dating.

2019 has been the year of the dating app. There are now so many dating apps on the market catering to every niche and marketing its different, unique features that it’s no wonder singles don’t know what to do. So, EliteSingles has done all the research so you don’t have to

A Letter From Our Founder

In 2019, it’s clearer than ever that the digital and physical worlds are irreversibly, undeniably blended. We live trying to reach through screens, and the evolving effects of technology on human connection — positive and negative — are near impossible to capture. We’ve decided to try.

Since 2017, Chappy has existed as a digital first platform aimed at providing a connection experience for men seeking men that “raises the gay bar” from what has existed in the space. We’ve always understood that if we’re going to move the needle as a culture, we can’t do it alone. We need to make sure we understand the needs of our community.

This inaugural Chappy Report is so critical because it provides us with valuable insights into what it means to be a man seeking connection with another man today. The themes that came through are tied to really deep, often painful histories. We’re digging into the toxic parts of gay life — racial and ethnic discrimination, body image, the pressures of masculinity, and loneliness — and that helps us build a better space for ourselves as a team and for others.

There’s a lack of research conducted by queer brands, but with these survey results, Chappy is able to more accurately identify pain points within the gay dating space. We were founded as a social connection app on a mission to end the stereotyping of gay men and we’re so proud of our mission, but we’ve realized that gay dating apps as a whole need to do so much better. The more we understand about ourselves and our users, the better we can implement change.

We’re excited to present The Chappy Report: The State of Gay Dating and Friendship in 2019. And we want to hear from you! Our hope is that this starts a conversation led by the readers of this report and the community we serve. Please send your reflections, comments, and questions to .

“Asking Simple Questions”

This process started by asking a simple question: What is it like to be gay in 2019? And thus, The Chappy Report was born. In collaboration with 4Media Group, we set out to survey 1,000 men, gender non-conforming people, and non-binary people seeking men for dating and friendship. The idea was to take 1,000 of the people who our platform is designed to serve, and again, to ask simple questions.

The insights we found ranged from where we find love and belonging to how the rise of technology has changed our lives and the challenges we’re still up against. What’s very clear from the findings is that who we are and how we connect, online and off, are intertwined. That has, in turn, greatly affected the conversation about dating apps: they’re designed to expand the available pool of partners available to us and simultaneously help us narrow that number of partners down. They’re supposed to give you more information about a potential match than you might have if you saw the person across a room, but they might also allow us to curate personas that don’t represent who we really are. The culture around dating apps and websites like Chappy is, in a word, complex.

But we’ve come a long way since online dating began its meteoric rise in 2000. The ever-growing number of available apps and websites has been helpful in connecting our communities together, whether for casual connections or long-term relationships, and they’ve been a welcome addition into our lives; in our survey, 93% of respondents say that dating apps have become an important way to meet like-minded people.

This number won’t come as any surprise to our community, though. Geolocation-based dating has its genesis both in gay cruising culture and in apps designed to serve the gay audience, initially in the pursuit of more immediate sex. It was our community that set the standard for what is now widely accepted as one of the best ways to find what you’re looking for, and over the last two decades apps designed to show you the people around you have become commonplace for finding both love and friendship. Queer people continue to be the cultural vanguard around the world, and when society has told us for so long that how we love is wrong, it only makes sense that we would keep rewriting the rules of sex, dating, and friendship.

In fact, research from 2017 revealed that 65% of same-gender couples met online (compared to 39% of straight couples) and 62% of respondents to our survey say dating apps make it easier to find love. Dating apps have, in many ways, become an integral part of our social and romantic lives, thanks in no small part to the immediacy, convenience and inherent match-making they provide.

That immediacy has obviously come with its downsides; it’s like screens get in the way of kindness and authenticity. In our survey, 60% of respondents say someone has made a hurtful remark about their physical appearance in the last year, over half of respondents had experienced racism on dating apps and of those who no longer use dating apps, 32% cite being judged on their appearance as a deterrent. Two-thirds of respondents say that their least favorite thing about dating apps is catfishing, or the use of fake profile photos or information to fabricate an online identity and mislead others. In one of the most illuminating statistics of our report, more than half of the respondents to our survey say they feel pressure to present themselves as more masculine online than they are in real life. These findings beg another question: Where do we go from here?

As a team of queer men, this year’s survey findings struck a chord with all of us at Chappy HQ, and it started some real discussions about how to keep improving as we develop a space for gay dating and friendship. Some of what we found in the data reaffirmed what those of us at Chappy have experienced ourselves, and some of it reminded us that, to keep building this the right way, we have to listen to experiences outside of our own. All together, the findings reveal that queer communities are continuing to carve out space in the digital and physical worlds, and platforms like Chappy have a responsibility to make our users safer from racism and discrimination — 70% of people said so. We’ve approached these subjects from a place of vulnerability, and now we’re sharing what we’ve heard.

As the world rages around us, the LGBTQ community is still divided from within and threatened from without. In a time of such division, we wanted to understand how queer men are forging intimate relationships, how we claim space, and how we support one another. We’ve always found new and novel ways to surmount the obstacles before us, and whether we meet online across borders or IRL, our community continues to show that it is love, understanding and friendship that keep us moving towards better futures.

Is The Online Gayborhood Possible? 

To have a discussion about standing our ground in 2019, we have to acknowledge that we stand on the legacy of trans women of color at Stonewall. 50 years later, we remember The Stonewall Riots of 1969 as the events that thrust LGBTQ liberation onto a national and global stage. In fighting back, though, they weren’t only claiming their rights to live and love freely; they were protecting the physical community and spaces where so many of them found refuge and kinship. Since long before the first major turning point of queer liberation, gay neighborhoods or ‘gayborhoods,’ like Stonewall’s home in New York City’s Greenwich Village, were teeming with communities of people who fell beyond the limits of societal acceptance. As far back as the Harlem Renaissance, neighborhoods like Harlem and port cities around the country had become queer enclaves, spaces where we were more free to convene, let our hair down, find work, and look out for each other. The communities that frequented (or were forced onto) the streets of these neighborhoods knew better than most that having the support of a community of people like you can be a life-saving intervention in a world that doesn’t think you deserve to live. 

In the 50 years since Stonewall, however, much has changed about queer life, and in many cities, the gayborhood is quickly becoming a safety of the past. In January 2018, journalist Zach Stafford wanted to understand what was happening to Chicago’s historically-LGBTQ neighborhood Boystown. It had long been a meeting ground and safe space for Chicago’s vibrant LGBTQ communities, but as he describes in his article’s title, “Gentrification Takes Its Toll On Nightlife in America’s Oldest Gay Neighborhood.” As in other LGBTQ neighborhoods — The Castro in San Francisco, The West Village in New York City — rising rent prices and the forced displacement of queer gathering spots meant the neighborhood was vastly becoming inhospitable for the queer people who made it so vibrant in the first place.

For many in the modern LGBTQ liberation movement, integration of queer people out into the open has been one of the main goals. In this way, integration can be seen as a product of equality, and so the closure of LGBTQ venues — or the transforming of LGBTQ neighborhoods — can be viewed by some as progress. “The rapid rate at which sexual minorities are blending into American society represents the most impressive civil rights triumph of our generation,” says Amin Ghaziani, an associate professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia, and author of the book There Goes the Gayborhood?

But the gayborhood, as important as it is for our community, still implements an often dangerous hierarchy, with more affluent, cisgender, white gay men at the top and the trans people of color and the homeless at the bottom. In this way, we can see how ‘integration’ comes first to those who resemble people in power on the other side of queerness. But for those among us yet to be welcomed by mainstream society, for those among us who live without access to these queer enclaves, LGBTQ spaces still have a chance to be vital for community and safety. Does a shift toward online platforms offer an opportunity for safer spaces to more people? What if everyone could feel the robust sense of connection that people find in Boystown? Is the online gayborhood possible?

In our recent survey to better understand the dating and relationship landscape in 2019, 65% of respondents say the rise of technology has made it easier for them to connect to likeminded men. Some suggest that the community is leaning into technology as a response to the closure of LGBTQ venues, and others posit that LGBTQ venues are closing in response to people finding community online, but we find it hard to draw one correlation. What we do know, however is that 73% of respondents say that social media platforms are helping them build new friendships, with 42% saying they use dating apps to find new friends. What’s more, 51% of respondents say they find like-minded men for friendship through other friends. It would seem that men are recreating the offline spaces our communities once frequented in gayborhoods, or at the very least, using online spaces with the explicit intention of finding friends.

All of this presents an interesting use-case for dating apps and the potential that platforms like Chappy have to ensure that we meet the need to find friendship alongside opportunities for romance and short-term connection. In June, we introduced Chappy Friends as a vertical within the Chappy app devoted to platonic connection. It’s meant to untangle the mixed signals that come when we use dating or hookup apps to find friends, as many of us do. This year, Chappy Friends has been one of our largest accomplishments in carrying out our mission.

Perhaps with the rise of technology and the changing landscape of LGBTQ neighbourhoods, how and where people meet may be less important now; the key is finding others to connect with. In the same way, a snapshot of queer spaces in 2019 must mention that the recent rise in closures of LGBTQ publications has further reinforced the idea that we are in desparate need of platforms to share our ideas and experiences. Still, 65% of respondents say that LGBTQ-only venues are important to them, suggesting there is — and will continue to be — a demand for LGBTQ spaces, synergy between our on- and offline selves, and a persistent desire to find people like us with whom we can build our lives. We’ve got to stand our ground.

“Who Are We When Nothing Holds Us Back?” 

As we reorganize and build online spaces in response to the closure of physical spaces for queer people, we may also be bringing into these spaces some of the more harmful behaviors experienced offline. In a viral 2017 article, “The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness”, writer and journalist Michael Hobbes addresses some of the long-standing issues gay men experience as a result of both extended periods of time ‘in the closet’ and the relatively negative experiences we can have when entering the gay scene, calling out the hierarchy of gayborhoods in an apt quote:

“You grow up with this loneliness, accumulating all this baggage, and then you arrive in the Castro or Chelsea or Boystown thinking you’ll finally be accepted for who you are. And then you realize that everyone else here has baggage, too. All of a sudden it’s not your gayness that gets you rejected. It’s your weight, or your income, or your race.”

This holds true in the data. In our survey, 60% of respondents say someone has made a hurtful remark about their physical appearance in the last year while using a dating app or site and 57% of respondents say their lack of self-esteem and confidence hold them back from being themselves when making connections online. Hobbes points to “several studies [that] have found living in gay neighborhoods predicts higher rates of risky sex and less time spent on community activities like volunteering and playing sports.” If dating apps are the new gayborhoods, are they also providing easy access to harmful methods of dealing with rejection? Are we building each other up or breaking each other down? 

Because the gay scene has been in large part focused on sexual connection, and sex is so intimately associated with power, the move to finding partners online might naturally bring with it some of the behaviors we’ve come to understand as par for the course, including a desire for men who present as more masculine. 52% of our survey respondents say they feel pressure to present themselves as more masculine online than they are in real life and 72% think online dating over-emphasises physical traits. One-quarter of respondents say they’ve lied about their body build or stature online in order to impress a the hypermasculine sexual and body standards in our community have been said to be rooted in damaging ideas about what it takes to be both desired and accepted. A growing number of studies reveal not only the emotional and mental cost of living our adolescence in the closet, but the price men pay for trying to reach or maintain the ‘gay masculine ideal.’ 

In short, these statistics point to the persistence of our shame and trauma. So much of our aspiration to conventional masculinity and our internalized homophobia comes from society’s association queerness with femininity and with femininity as weakness. Historically, the hypermasculine ideal became widely imprinted on gay men and gay culture at the height of the AIDS crisis. Masculinity, muscles and gym-fit bodies were a way of showing that we were not ill — we were virile, healthy, and stronger than HIV/AIDS. Further, in our bid to separate ourselves from women, the ways we express queerness as men have long been cited as expressions of misogyny, from well-worn tropes about bottoms as effeminate to a general distaste towards femme expressions of our sexuality.

Justin Lehmiller, a psychologist at the Kinsey Institute, recently told them., “A big part of the reason people in the LGBT community have more mental health issues is not only because they experience high levels of marginalization from society at large, but also because of the intense pressure to be, look, and act in a masculine way.” In the same article, Ryon McDermott of the University of Southern Alabama, says research shows there is some freedom to be had in divorcing ourselves from rigid masculine norms and that “men who are more flexible in their gender roles tend to be healthier at nearly every level.”

In effect, racism, ‘femmephobia’ and ‘fatphobia’ have become the largest and most pressing criticisms of queer men’s dating culture. We must do better.

It is promising, then, that 32% of respondents to our survey say they find it easier to be themselves online. From blogs to dating apps, men are finding spaces full of people with whom they can be themselves, exploring parts of their identity and desires free from the internal and external pressures to conform to any ideals of what it means to be a ‘real’ or desirable man. And it appears that men are looking beyond the limits of dating apps and sites to find who they’re looking for. For those who remember Myspace and AOL chat rooms, this won’t be news; and for a younger generation forming and forging friendships with people across the globe via Snapchat, Instagram, and the cultural institution of ‘Gay Twitter,’ there are ever-increasing opportunities for self-expression in ways that both challenge dominant narratives about what it means to live and express ourselves as part of the LGBTQ community. We can see that social media, including dating apps and sites, in its myriad forms and all its documented flaws, can also have a positive and life-affirming place in our lives.

Discussions about the masculine ideal beg the question: Who am I when nothing holds me back? At Chappy, we’re focused on finding ways for our community to express itself beyond binaries and tribes, on finding substantive ways for our users to find what they’re looking for in an emotional connection beyond physical characteristics. Since we launched, every Chappy user has signed a pledge to speak with kindness, to see beyond the conventions of masculinity, no matter when and how we’re ‘looking.’

As a next step, we are excited to introduce profile badges this year! Badges will make it easier to signal things like your interests, hobbies, relationship goals, and sexual health information. From the beginning we’ve been devoted to creating a platform without headless torsos, and now we’re going even further, past smiling faces, to help more people spark conversation.

As the world shifted online, so did our romantic pursuits, but finding love online used to carry with it a real stigma. Alongside the concerns that people we met online and in chat rooms couldn’t be trusted, there was an implicit suggestion that searching for love online meant there was something wrong with a person, something that prevented them from meeting people ‘in real life.’ Attitudes have certainly shifted, and it’s clear that, with all its implications, good and bad, the Internet is real life. 

With the obvious convenience of searching for potential partners in an increasingly digitized world, people and platforms alike are taking more steps to ensure that online communities are safe, that people are who they say they are and that these online meeting places can be incorporated seamlessly into a vast array of lives. In one of our most salient statistics, and one that speaks to us most as a platform dedicated to eliminating fake profiles, we know that two in three queer men name catfishing as their largest concern when dating online.

Perhaps a more unforeseen challenge, and one rearing its head in our polar political climate, was how our online behavior would shapeshift with the rise of technology. Social media platforms and dating apps alike are now rife with accounts of language that dehumanizes and excludes people, and it would seem that the rise of technology has impacted our interpersonal communication skills in ways that we could perhaps not have fully fathomed. 41% of respondents to our survey say that interactions on dating apps are not as polite as offline interactions, with 28% of respondents concerned about using dating apps because it would open them up to discriminatory language and 25% of respondents admitting they are less likely to worry about hurting someone’s feelings online; the screen clearly changes how we act.

But it’s worth considering that racism, femmephobia, fatphobia, and other forms of discrimination are not technology’s fault — it may just exacerbate problems rooted deeper in our society. Kai Cheng Tom, a therapist for queer and trans young people, is increasingly concerned with why people within the LGBTQ communities can be so mean to each other, both online and off. They ask, “What happens to a community of people who have been raised with the sensation of constant, looming danger, of being fundamentally wrong in the way we love and express ourselves? What impact might that collective trauma have upon our bodies and spirits?” Just as the rejection of ourselves and others who fall outside of our ideals has transferred into our online spaces along with us, so has unresolved trauma that prevents us from connecting with others in more generative and meaningful ways.

The inability to communicate with each other has effects far beyond blockading digital connections: it presents a disconnect between what we say we’re looking for and whether or not we’re acting like it. For example, 89% of respondents to our survey say they’re looking for a relationship, with 54% wanting a relationship that is committed and monogamous. Yet 50% of respondents name ghosting as what they like least about using dating apps and 1 in 4 respondents have cancelled a date in the last year because ‘something didn’t feel right’. If communication is the cornerstone of a healthy and fulfilling relationship, no matter its length, ‘ghosting’ — cutting off communication with a partner suddenly and completely — presents a unique and modern lens through which to examine the necessity of better communication. Maybe more than ever, we are leaving each other on “read.”

Esther Perel is a renowned couples therapist and relationship expert whose podcast, Where Do We Begin?, dives deep into the relationship problems plaguing our modern society. She says, “Ghosting, icing, and simmering are manifestations of the decline of empathy in our society — the promoting of one’s selfishness, without regard for the consequences of others. There is a person on the other end of our messages (or lack thereof), and the ability to communicate virtually doesn’t give us the right to treat others poorly.” Whether it’s ghosting, icing (coming up with excuses to dissolve a relationship), or simmering (reducing the frequency of your contact over time), all three terms point to a lack of care further enabled by technology. She suggests that an increased pool of potential partners at our fingertips, coupled with our inability to engage fully in intimacy building, has resulted in what she calls ‘stable ambiguity’ — “a holding pattern that affirms the undefined nature of the relationship, which has a mix of comforting consistency and the freedom of blurred lines.”

What we see playing out, in both anecdotal and quantitative data, is the confluence of miscommunication that may be preventing us from establishing the types of restorative, kind relationships we ultimately deserve. If we are searching for love and relationships in digital spaces where we feel less inclined to worry about the feelings of others and impose rigid ideals about what’s desirable, we’re only putting up more barriers to what we’re looking for. But each of us deserves happiness, kindness and love. 

Each of us, across racial, gender and ideological lines (to name just a few) must be able to venture into digital spaces aware of who we are, what we need and what we’d like to give to others. A commitment to self-awareness might look like us stepping closer to real communication. Perel goes on to say that we deploy these forms of miscommunication (catfishing, ghosting, icing, simmering) at the expense of our emotional health. “Act with kindness and integrity,” says Perel. 

In essence, dating apps and sites are tools for connection; they cannot, on their own, solve the wider societal ills discussed, including miscommunication. But they can be geared towards us communicating with each other in ways that amplify our humanity, and they can help facilitate us taking up space to explore who we are, what we want and to find people to reaffirm and love us when the dominant culture so often treats us like we don’t belong. On Chappy, we’ve got photo verification technology in place and 24/7 moderators to ensure that catfishing, miscommunication, discrimination, and racism can be dealt with, but our ability to create a safe, photo-verified platform requires the commitment of our users. All of what’s been described here points to a greater need than guardrails — we need a culture change.

The Way Forward

Chappy is designed by members of the queer community to be a better tool for the queer community. Across the company, there are people asking many of the simple questions we’ve laid out in this report, people who bring their lived experience to work and ask, “How can this digital world be better for us?”

We hope this report has provoked your thoughts and your sense that you deserve more love, more respect, and more kindness. So we’ll keep this part short.

We have grown to accept the toxic dynamics of gay culture as a way of life. All it takes is a quick search online to see that the phrase “Gay culture is -” is most often tied to ideas around inauthenticity, performative masculinity, and shame. These problems are nothing new, yet we treat them like they’re as undeniable as gravity. It doesn’t have to be this way.

It’s time we all started asking questions of ourselves — about what we hide, who we hurt, and how we heal — and trying to give better answers with our actions. Once we all ask these questions, of ourselves and of the many platforms we trust to preserve space for us, we might be able to move together toward building a community that walks arm in arm, step by step, to lift each other up on the mountains we have yet to climb.

We didn’t write this as a claim that Chappy has it all figured out; we wrote this as a continuation of our commitment to asking questions and to trying.

We’re going to keep building this ethos into our platform, and we’re going to keep peeling back the thick skin of shame that queer people have built up, and we’re going to stay the course toward change. 

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DatingXP provides impartial advice to millennials and adults to help them succeed with online dating. The content on our website is based on individual experience and journalistic research. Our authors are not liable for content and services on external websites.

Seal the Deal With a Sexy Meal

Chappy has some other cool features built into the application. The rating scale being one of them, allows the user to specify what they are currently looking for. The rating scale is represented as a sliding scale at the top of the app. The user can change it whenever they want based on their preferences. After changing the rating scale the app filters your potential matches on people looking for a similar encounter.

“Chappy users that choose to match with ‘Mr. Right Now’ or ‘Mr. Right’ using the ‘Chappy Scale’ are only matched with other users that are interested in the same thing, at that time. If their mood changes, users can easily adjust the scale to fit what they are looking for.”

The dating world is evolving to a mix of online dating and meeting in real life. Chappy is a part of that evolution helping people to find meaningful connections and giving the users a preference with the Chappy scale. The user base is picking up so your ‘Mr. Right’ or ‘Mr. Right Now’ may be joining soon. App’s are merely tools to enhance our real life experience so why not try a tool that makes our dating life a bit easier. After using the app for a few weeks I was successful in setting up a few coffee shop meetings, my way of having a quick 15 minute meeting to determine if there is a real match. But that’s a different blog post. No ‘Mr. Right’ yet but I will continue to use Chappy as a way to find my future prince charming. It might take a year, it might take a day, but what’s meant to be will always find it’s way. Happy swiping!

Friday

Chappy, a two-year-old dating app for gay men, moved its headquarters to Austin earlier this year. The app is owned and operated by Austin-based Bumble, the popular women-focused dating app that has more than 65 million users worldwide.

Now, a majority of Chappy employees are based in Bumble’s headquarters on North Lamar Boulevard. The company was previously headquartered in the United Kingdom.

Sam Dumas, head of brand at Chappy, said the transition to Austin would allow the startup to use resources from a more established brand like Bumble.

“The beauty of that strategic business move is that we can now capitalize and tap into those resources from a brand that has blazed a trail unlike any other,” Dumas said. “It just made sense to capitalize on the existing resources here.”

Both Chappy and Bumble are part of MagicLab, the umbrella organization created by Bumble co-founder Andrey Andreev.

Bumble has about 95 employees in Austin. The company declined to break down how many employees work for Chappy. A spokeswoman for Bumble said many employees work between both brands.

Chappy has about 610,000 registered users, according to the company.

Bumble has invested in Chappy since its launch in 2017, praising the app for providing a safe environment for gay men compared to competitors like dating app Grindr. Dumas said apps outside of Chappy are often discriminatory and don’t provide strong safety and moderation measures.

Grindr, the most popular dating app for gay men, faced pushback for years over security issues. In 2018, a report found that the app’s security holes that could expose location data of more than 3 million daily users.

“We are targeting and dedicated to making the experience online for gay men specifically one that’s more positive and safe and respectful,” Dumas said, adding that Chappy has 24/7 site moderation.

Chappy allows users to select from three modes for dating: casual, commitment or exploring.

The company in June also announced the launch of “friend mode” — a feature for gay men to expand their social circles without feeling pressured to date. Chappy designed the platonic connection feature in partnership with the Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to suicide prevention for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youths.

Dumas said he hopes to keep growing the company and its user base to „create a larger community of safety.“

The company is trying to expand its presence in Austin, where Bumble and Chappy participated in the city’s Aug. 10 Pride Parade.

Chappy and Bumble also hosted a „Pride Ride“ at Love Cycling Studio and a Pride Parade after-party featuring „RuPaul’s Drag Race“ star and Dallas drag queen Alyssa Edwards. Guests were required to show their Chappy profile to enter the venue.

Chappy’s expansion in Austin comes as other dating app startups choose the city for their home.

READ MORE: Austin app lets users do volunteer work together on a first date

This year, Brooke Waupsh and Jeff McMahon co-founded Swoovy, an Austin-based dating app that offers volunteer opportunities for first dates.

Bumble continues to be the breakout star in Austin, where Whitney Wolfe Herd and Andreev founded the app in 2014.

Now, 4 1/2 years in, Bumble is expected to pursue an initial public offering to fuel international growth.

In an interview with television network CNBC, Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd said the company’s growth is outpacing expectations and Bumble is „actively pursuing“ an IPO.

“We are at our annual run rate of $200 million for 2018, and we’re only in year three,” Wolfe Herd said in the interview. “We’ve been a profitable business since year two.”

1. Match

Match is one of the world’s biggest, most established dating sites. It’s a premium matchmaking service that’s home to millions of members worldwide, and it’s perfectly suited for gays looking to date – or even find their life partner. 

The first thing Match dating site asks is whether you’re looking for a man or a woman. Then, it asks for your gender. Once you’ve entered this information, you’re taken through a (fairly brief) step-by-step process that sets your profile up. You need to enter your height, your relationship status, your build, etc. 

Then, you just need to write an “About Me” paragraph and upload the main profile picture. 

Once your profile is up and running, you’re free to browse other profiles, either the extensive search filters or a “Matches” tab which suggests potential matches for you. However, you can’t send or receive messages (or see who’s “liked” you) unless you upgrade your account.

The dating site Match is really easy to get the hang of. The search filters are extensive, and you can tweak them according to interests, location, lifestyle, and even looks. This makes it easier to find someone who’s compatible with you. 

However, I strongly suggest filling out your profile with lots of information about yourself, because this is what most Match members tend to do. The more information you give out, the easier it will be to find a match. 

It’s also important that you’re respectful with your messages, and I also found that using the MatchPhone feature is a great way to build rapport with someone before meeting up. 

2. Grindr

Grindr has more active users than any other gay dating app. It’s also free to send and receive messages, and there are more than 20,000,000 pics shared each day. It’s absolutely ideal for men who are looking for gay hookups, primarily because literally everyone is on here. 

Grindr is the Tinder of the gay dating app world, and its sign-up process is just simple. You can link your Facebook account for faster registration and you don’t even need a valid email address. All you need is the main photo that the Grindr team then needs to approve (approval tends to take just a few minutes). 

Once your profile is up and running, the app puts potential matches in front of you based on location. The closer someone is to you, the more likely it is that they’ll pop up in front of you. The idea is that you match with people you could possibly meet tonight. 

It’s worth mentioning that Grindr allows graphic pics, so if you’re into exchanging pics of your penis and other such things, this might be the right dating site for you. 

It’s not hard to score a match on Grindr, but a common complaint is that people don’t talk, or they disappear after one or two messages.

A lot of guys don’t fill most (if any) of their fields out, because most of them aren’t mandatory. However, I found that the best way to increase your chances of success is to link to your social media accounts and to fill out at least a few fields. The Stats field (such as your height and weight) is important, as is the “I’m Looking For” section. 

Also, filling out the Sexual Health field can increase your chances of success. 

3. Zoosk

Zoosk is one of the most popular dating sites that’s home to millions of active users. It’s been around for almost two decades but was recently given a revamp so that it now looks and feels better than ever. This dating site is stuffed with features and can work for those looking for something short-term, or something longer-term. 

Signing up on the Zoosk dating site shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes and you don’t even need to upload a photo initially. All you need to provide is the most basic of information about yourself and then you’re up and running. 

However, whilst it’s free to browse profiles and send smiles and hearts, you need to upgrade your account to send messages. 

Finding members works two ways: You can either tweak the search function and look for users manually, or you can use a matchmaking feature called the Carousel, which puts suggestions in front of you. 

There’s also a SmartPick feature that picks out matches according to your behavior on Zoosk. 

You can also write stories in your profile to attract more matches, and actually sending and receiving messages is really straightforward. 

I had a fab time on Zoosk dating site because there are so many active, genuine users here. The matchmaking functions are really cute, and as long as you take the time to fill out your profile and add some nice pics, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t enjoy success, too.

And if you’re a bit shy and aren’t sure how to compose an opening message, you can send virtual gifts, smiles, and hearts. Also, every single profile is validated by Zoosk, which reduces the risk of fake profiles getting into this dating site. 

4. Growlr

Growlr is a gay dating app that’s simple to use, and which comes with a free version. However, it’s entirely mobile-based and can’t be accessed on the desktop. It’s also predominantly aimed at gay men looking for bears. 

Growlr is best seen as a social networking app for gays who want to meet bears, either for friendship, hookups or even relationships. The sign-up process takes two minutes and there’s no need to wait around for your photos to be approved. 

Once you’re in, you can search for members via the search function, or you can start chatting by commenting on a user’s pics or blog (yes, you can post your own blogs!). By using the SHOUT feature, you can boost your business or your profile so that you’re seen by more members.

Growlr is one of the most user-friendly dating apps out there. I made it a point to chat to as many people as possible, and while some conversations died out, a lot continued until we either went on video together or met up. 

I also made sure to keep checking the ‘Events’ section to see what bear events were happening near me soon. Other features include ‘Meets’ which lets you know which bears want to meet you. 

Overall, it’s impossible not to do well on Growlr if you’re a bear or a man looking for a bear who’s friendly, talkative, and a bit extrovert. 

5. Scruff

Scruff is a popular hookup app aimed at all members of the GBT community. It’s also ideal for gays looking for new friends, but it’s generally seen as a place where you can find someone who’s looking for no-strings-attached sex as soon as possible (maybe even tonight).

Scruff requires your device location before you can sign-up, and also need to describe your profile pic (to categorize your account). Other than that, Scruff requires the barest of personal details and the whole sign-up process should take a minute or two. 

Once your profile is ready, you can search for members according to those who are online now, those who are new, and those who are the most popular. You can also check out how responsive a user is before messaging them. 

There are all kinds of communities to flip through, such as Bisexual, Twink, and Bear, which makes it really easy to find what you’re looking for. Messaging people is free, but if you’re not sure what to say, you can just send someone a ‘Woof’ to let them know you’re interested. 

I did really well on Scruff for a few reasons. First, Scruff is full of active members. Two, as long as you state what you’re looking for, like-minded people are easy to connect with. Three, there’s no need to get caught up in lengthy messages or small talk. People on Scruff tend to be very direct. 

However, a large number of people will flake, but that’s common for all dating sites. 

6. Surge

Surge prides itself on being a safe space for gay and bisexual men who are free to find a hookup or love without being judged. There’s no need to put yourself in a box here, and with more than 4 million members, Surge is increasing in popularity. 

Surge requires a valid email address but the whole sign-up process takes just a minute. You can sync your Facebook account if you wish but you don’t need to spend time filling out a bio. 

Once your profile is ready, you’re free to swipe right or left on members. If you match with someone, you can then start chatting and sending pics. You can also send videos. However, pics and videos soon vanish – like on Snapchat. 

Because Surge provides a safe space for people, the contacting features have been designed to ensure people feel respected and secure. As such, you cannot message anyone you haven’t matched with. 

As I said, Surge is like a mix between OkCupid and Tinder. Anyone who’s used those dating apps will know how challenging it can be to find a match.

I soon learned that it’s not easy to find a match on Surge unless you pay extra for features such as the Power Like. The Power Like is a 10x version of the normal “like” button, and it guarantees that the other person will see your profile. In other words, you’ll be at the front of their queue. 

This is key because, even when you “like” various people, there is no guarantee that they’ll even see your profile. That’s common on all dating sites with swiping features. 

I used the Power Like a few times, landed myself a few matches, and started chatting. Even then, people still have the right to “unmatch” you, but if you’re respectful, polite and 100% yourself, success can be achieved on Surge. 

7. ROMEO 

Romeo is well-known for its high active user base. It’s open to all kinds of gay men (including transgender’s), it’s free to send and receive messages, and several special features enhance your enjoyment. 

The quickest way to set up an account is to link your Facebook profile. However, you’ll also need a valid email address to verify your account, and you need to input your location.

Then, you’ll be taken to the profile builder, where you’ll be asked a few questions about your relationship status and your sexual orientation. 

Once your profile is done, you can look for members via the search function. If you see someone you like, you could go ahead and send them a message, or you could be a bit cute and send them a ‘footprint.’ This just makes things a bit fun by encouraging you to send someone a sticker with a description of what you like about them (“hot butt” or anything like that). 

Also, Romeo puts members into one of seven categories (Twinks, Jocks, etc) that makes it easier to find compatible users. 

I did well on Romeo, and I expect most people do really well too. The fact that everyone is categorized makes life a lot easier, as does the fact that there is a search function (swipe dating apps can be a drain). 

I definitely recommend that you make use of the special features (such as the aforementioned footprints) because these will increase your chances of success. Romeo is a fun gay dating app designed primarily for hookups and casual sex, so there’s no point wasting too much time sending long messages to people ?

Also, there is a feature called ‘picture rating’. This gives you the chance to rate other peoples’ pictures according to how sexual they are. The more pics you rate, the more visible your profile will be to other people. 

8. OkCupid 

OkCupid is one of the world’s most popular dating sites. It has millions of members and it’s very LGBT friendly. It’s used widely by gay, bisexual and queer men, as well as transgenders who see it as a ‘safe space’ free from judgment. 

OkCupid is free to send and receive messages, and it’s aimed at those looking for hookups, friends, or something more serious. It’s also ideal for gays who are looking for proper emotional connections. 

Signing up on this dating site rakes a bit of time because you have to fill out a questionnaire that seeks to learn more about who you are and what you’re looking for. You can also fill out your bio. But while most users take the time to add a few lines to their bio, you can use the prompts (such as “last show I binged on”) if you’re stuck for something to say. 

Then, you can either use the search function to find members, or you can use a free feature called Double Take which puts potential matches in front of you. 

However, whenever you message someone for the first time, they can’t actually see your profile just yet. Instead, OkCupid sends them an email to let them know “someone” has messaged them. Then, they have to “like” you back before they can see your message. If they don’t like you back, you won’t be able to send them a second message. 

This dating site makes things a bit tricky by putting restrictions on your messages (see above). But I quickly learned that most people who use this dating site are switched-on, engaged people who have taken the time to fill out their profiles. As such, they want respect from you, and they also want to develop meaningful connections.

If you’re prepared to take the time to make those genuine connections, you can find what you’re looking for. My top tip is to add a few pics, as well as at least a few lines in your bio. 

9. Chappy (BUMBLE)

Chappy recently merged with Bumble but continues to be a fun gay dating app that’s perfect for casual sex and something longer-term. 

A one-click registration process ensures that signing up to Chappy is a breeze. However, you can’t sign-up unless you have a Facebook account. You also need to turn on your GPS. 

Because all your info is taken from your Facebook account, you don’t even need to spend time creating a bio! 

Like Bumble, there’s no search function. Instead, a roulette-type matching feature puts potential matches in a queue and you have to swipe left or right. If you’re not happy with your matches, you can adjust them using the ‘ChappyScale.’ 

Once you’ve matched with someone – and only once you’ve matched – you can start exchanging messages. 

I found success easy to come by on Chappy. There were lots of active users in my area, and many of them were up for a quick chat before moving things away from Chappy. 

I quickly learned that you don’t need to spend too much time getting to know someone on Chappy. Instead, it’s a good idea to exchange a few light messages before asking if they want to meet up. 

That said, most members are actually looking for something serious so you don’t want to move too fast. But this isn’t a dating site like eHarmony. Instead, Chappy is a dating app that people use on the move. It’s something they dip in and out of during the day and – generally – they want to move things forward quickly. 

Also, if you’re not getting the matches you want, you can adjust your Chappy Scale. This allows you to search for users that are either “Cute”, “Sexy” or “Who Knows.” Each of these terms reveals a person’s intent (hookup or something serious or “I’m not sure”).

10. Her

Her is a dating site aimed at lesbians and bisexual women. It’s the biggest dating app of its kind, and it’s completely free to send and receive messages.

Her has only been around for a couple of years but it’s rocketed in popularity thanks to an easy-to-use app that’s for those looking for a hookup and those who are looking for something more serious.

You can’t sign up to Her unless you connect a Facebook or Instagram account first. Then, the dating app grabs photos from your social media accounts and the whole registration process takes a minute or less. 

Once you’re up and running, you’re free to add as many as 8 photos and each for other users. You can also amend your profile so that your personal details are included, such as your gender identity (there are lots to choose from) and your height and sexuality.

Like many dating apps these days, Her is a “swipe” dating app that doesn’t come with a search option. As such, the only members you can send messages to are those you’ve matched with or your existing friends. 

I’m not a woman so Her obviously wasn’t a dating app intended for me. However, I’ve read a number of user reviews, and people, in general, are very impressed with this gay dating app. The advice is that you add at least 6 – 8 pics to your profile. If you add any less than that, your profile might not stand out. If you add too many, people might feel overwhelmed.

Another good idea is to use the “Events” feature that lists the best upcoming lesbian events near to you. This is a great way to get involved with likeminded people and set updates. 

Overall, many people have enjoyed success with Her, including those looking for something casual, and those looking for something longer term. 

The Top Dating Industry News for Feb 18th

OPW – Feb 18 – Gay dating app Chappy shutting down, Facebook Dating Launch in Europe Postponed, Tinder’s New Social Features, GDI & Global Love Conference.

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Gay Dating App Chappy Is Shutting Down

PINK NEWS – Feb 17 – According to the app’s website, Chappy’s team will join up dating app Bumble. No matches made on Chappy will be carried over to the Bumble. The app recommends users to exchange numbers with any matches they’ve made using Chappy before it closes down. All matches will be wiped from February 28. Chappy was founded by Made In Chelsea star Ollie Locke and Jack Rogers in 2017.

S’More Dating App Doesn’t Rely on Swipes

NEW YORK BUSINESS JOURNAL – Dec 17 – New dating app S’More, which stands for „Something More,“ prioritizes getting to know a person before users see profile photos. Photos start out blurry. The more users engage and chat with each other, the more their profile photos unblur. S’More offers a collage-like feel and can be customized to reflect the personality and priorities of the user. S’More requires photo verification that reduces „catfishing:“ and helps prevent underage users. All profiles also feature a publicly visible rating score, based in part on user behavior. Investors liked this unique spin on the dating app model, including Benson Oak Ventures, which led a recent $1.1M seed round. Social Discovery Ventures CEO and Founder Dmitry Volkov also joined the effort, along with investor Joshua Black and SideCar Angels. Aslatei most recently served as managing director of Chappy, Bumble’s gay dating app. Before that, he consulted for The Meet Group.

Chappy Breaks Into the World of Gay Male Dating

AUSTIN MONTHLY – Dec 2 – Created in the same spirit as its sister company Bumble, Chappy is cultivating a welcoming atmosphere that challenges deeply entrenched negative norms between gay men. Similar to Bumble, the app’s branding and marketing revolve around empowerment, accountability, acceptance, and kindness. Chappy limits matches to people who are mutually interested in one another, and users need to verify their identities.