Ranking the top dating apps for gay men

Photo by Luke Sarazin


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How it works: you are limited to a single profile picture and a 250-character bio. You are given a large variety of stat options to fill out (height, weight, body type, position, relationship status, etc.). This goes into heavy detail and reveals all your secrets right away. You also have standard settings for age-range and distance, etc.

My experience: It was my initial go-to app for exploring the world of online dating when I came out of the closet, mostly because it was the only gay-specific dating app I had heard about. While scrolling through local men, you’ll notice a broad mix of smiling faces, torsos and unclear faces or blank squares. This in itself speaks to the variance in expectations people have when using this app and the possible frustrations it can cause for users. I went into this app looking for dates, so obviously I gravitated to those who had clear photos, while finding those who concealed their identity annoying. I think the notion of how many people use the app as a platform to remain anonymous speaks to something greater. Grindr acts as a hub that provides a comfortable space for men to explore their sexuality while only showing face at their own pace. On the other hand, Grindr has a reputation for being a hook-up app. So, if you’re looking to fool around literally 15 minutes from when you flick open the app, you’ll be pleasantly welcomed by many guys looking for the same. This also brings some issues into play though, with the many unsolicited dick pics and creepy sexual messages you’ll receive. Just because you’re comfortable with sharing photos of your genitals, doesn’t mean other people are comfortable with receiving them. Consent is key, gentlemen — remember that.

Ranking: 4/5


Navigation: Swipe left, swipe right, swipe up

How it works: You can display up to six images on your profile and write a bio with a 500-character limit. You’ll modify settings based on what you’re looking for — distance, age, gender, etc.

My experience: It’s a fun app — we all love playing the swipey-swipe game that is tinder.

I’ve had friends find their partner just three swipes into using the app. As happy as I am for them, I’m mostly just bitter that I don’t have that kind of luck.

That being said, Tinder has been the most successful for me for connecting with other guys, having interesting, in-depth conversation and landing dates.

Surprisingly, I found that the majority guys on here choose to pursue dates over hooking-up. The greatest obstacle with Tinder is that in a smaller city, like Waterloo, you can run out of local guys to swipe fairly quickly, so you might want to raise your maximum distance pretty high and try hitting up some dudes from the GTA.

Note:  You can’t send photos over Tinder, so choose your profile pics wisely.

Ranking: 3.5/5


Navigation: Swipe left, swipe right, click the heart for Super-Swipe (you have to pay for this which is BS and not worth it)

How it works: This app is widely known for straight-couple dating where women hold the agency to send a message within 24-hours of matching or the connection expires. The rules change a bit for same-sex dating. Upon matching, either man has 24-hours to start the conversation, followed by a 24-hour reply-time by the other individual. If the clock runs out, it sucks to be you.

My experience: Bumble is my third highest ranked dating app. Most guys are looking for dates over fooling around.

My biggest issue with this app is that guys seem to be less engaged, which is problematic because of the time-limit you have to initially answer someone before they vanish into oblivion. I’m also the type of guy to get distracted and have a day or two where I don’t check a dating apps, which also didn’t mesh well with Bumble.

There’s literally nothing worse than being busy for a day, checking back on Bumble and realizing you’ve forever missed your chance to talk to a potential suiter. I could have literally missed out on meeting “the-one” and now I’ll never know because they’re nothing more than a faded icon on my screen.

All I can do is look at it and wonder if we would have been married one day.

Ranking: 3/5

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