The Best Apps For One-Night Stands

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
According to Vanity Fair, Tinder is the harbinger of today's hookup-fuelled "dating apocalypse." But the truth of the matter is, hooking up isn't anything new (and may in fact be hardwired into our genetics). And as for Tinder, sure, it can be used for swiftly finding a one-night stand, but there are plenty of other apps that are better suited for that task.
If your life is too busy to squeeze in the time-consuming intricacies of a long-term relationship, or you're just looking for a little low-stakes fun, you need a quick, surefire way to find a quality fling. Dance clubs and dive bars may have worked in the '90s, but now, even if you’re out, your phone is a much easier way to find someone to "Netflix and chill" with (especially someone you won’t regret tomorrow). And the great thing is, whether you prefer chatting extensively with your new crush first or a little fantasy in your play, there are diverse options to suit your every whim and desire. Here's our guide.
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Tingle

If you're going on vacation and looking to meet singles, Tingle (free on iOS and Android) is the app for you. Its Teleport feature lets you browse profiles in the city of your choice before you get there, so that you have a hookup buddy on lock before you even get off the plane. Or use the app's Radar feature, which notifies you when you're in close proximity to a potential match.

And if you're unsure about taking things offline with a match, Tingle also lets you video and voice chat with matches in real time so you can get to know them better before exchanging digits.
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Bumble
On the surface Bumble (free on iOS and Android) might seem just like a copy of Tinder. Swipe left, swipe right - we've heard it all before. But what makes Bumble stand out from the crowd is its focus on turning the dating world on its head.

Traditionally men are the ones who approach women, but with Bumble its down to us girls to make the first move. Men can match, but only women can start conversations. That should make it easier to avoid those dreaded dick pics (in theory....). But how best to start a conversation? "Personalised lines are the best. We ran a study comparing people who just said 'hey' and those who said 'hey' with a first name, and that made such a difference," Bumble's founder, Whitney Wolfe, told Refinery29.
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Feeld
Feeld cryptically describes itself as "A private space where you can meet couples or singles with minds that breathe freedom. A field for you to discover your sexuality and explore it by yourself, with your other half or with any human you'd like."

If your curiosity is piqued, you'll have to take a leap of faith with this app: Users aren't required to use their real names, though all members are Facebook-verified. You can, however, choose to be hidden from friends, ensuring at least some level of privacy. Get matched with people around you and start a chat, where you can send messages that disappear after being viewed.
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Stud Or Dud
Despite its name, this app actually has nothing to do with sorting potential dates based on physical attractiveness. If you want to make sure the bae you're hooking up with doesn't have a shady past, you can use Stud or Dud (free on iOS) to quickly look up publicly available information about their identity. The app can show you whether they have a job, whether they're married, and whether they've been to court for various issues. If you're paranoid the guy you just met might be an axe murderer, this app should help you rest easy.
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Klique
If you'd prefer to meet your date in a group setting, go with Klique. After matching with someone, the app lets each person bring other friends (who are also on the app) into the conversation so that you can all make plans together — and your friends can weigh in on your date.
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Wild
Wild is an aptly named app for someone seeking a no strings attached situation. The free app lets you browse anonymously and has photo verification so you know if your match is real or not — catfishers beware. The best feature for someone wanting a hookup is the filter search tool, which lets you find others who are on the app with the same goal in mind.
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Casualx
For those who feel like they encounter too many relationship-minded people on Tinder, Casualx is billing itself as the answer. The app's bold slogan is "Tinder minus marriage-minded daters." Given Casualx's more risqué selling point, there are additional safety features built in, such as a pattern lock that only you know the sequence to unlock. The app also promises that it reviews each profile manually which may be feasible with smaller numbers of users, but has us questioning what it will do as it grows larger.
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Mingle2
Instead of swiping, Mingle2 has users tap a heart to indicate that they like someone. You can also "nudge" someone, which is similar to when you'd "poke" your crush on Facebook in ninth grade. If you want a "premium" dating experience, a one-month package isn't cheap at £9.99, but comes with perks including read receipts — so you don't have to wonder if someone actually read your message or not — and invisible browsing.
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Blendr
Open up Blendr (free on iOS and Android) when you’re sitting at the bar, rather than on your couch. This chatting app for hetero singles uses your location to find matches near you. With 200 million users, there are a lot of potential matches to be made for no-strings-attached fun — and its bevy of male users aren’t shy about reaching out and chatting you up. Unlike many dating apps, you don’t need to provide a lot of personal details to get going on Blendr: just a photo and some basic information — you don’t need to input anything personal if you don’t want to, or even your real name. The app, which is powered by the social network Badoo and made by the same folks who created the gay-male hookup app Grindr, requires a monthly or yearly subscription £60 for a full year, £36 for six months, £24 for three, and £10 for one month).
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Hitch
Hitch (free, iOS and Android) is centred around shared interests. Start off by making a profile as you would on any other dating app. Then, check out trending conversations among people located nearby and join discussions centred around specific categories, such as travel and events, food, and fashion and lifestyle. Meet someone in a group that you want to chat one-on-one? Just reach out to get the conversation started.
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Veat
Miss the good old days when you would meet people in person and actually hear their voices right off the bat? The Veat app makes your swipes that much more more real. Instead of photos, each person uploads seven-second video profiles. Yes, they're short, but the recordings give you a better sense of someone's mannerisms and tone. Use the app for finding friends, planning dates, or making a match for a one-night stand.
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Tonight
Tonight cuts to the chase. The purpose of the app (free on iOS), which was founded by a former OkCupid employee, is to get people off their phones and on an IRL date. Just tap a button by 6 p.m. to indicate you're interested in going out that night. The app shows you others who are also interested in going out. Select people you'd like to meet and Tonight sets things up for you, even going so far as to pick a cool spot to meet. It doesn't get much easier than that.

The sole downside is that the app is currently only live in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
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Photo: Courtesy Pure.
Pure
Pure (free on iOS and Android) cuts to the chase: It’s about meeting with someone for a hookup, right now. All you have to do to get started with the app is upload a selfie. Then, once you and another user both like each other’s profiles, the two of you can begin chatting to figure out the details, or decide to move on. The app initiates a one-hour chat limit in order to eliminate annoying noncommittal conversations that drag on and on. According to the app’s description: “We promote a sex-positive attitude, free of judgment and the weight of social constraints.” Amen!
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Beacon
Beacon isn't a dating app per say, but it can be used like one. Unlike most other apps that have you log in through Facebook, Beacon has you log in with your Twitter account. You can create "events" — see if others want to meet up for a drink or pool for a Lyft — and then either limit the invite to mutual Twitter followers or make it public. The app is a leap of faith since you don't know who will join your event (it's also very new, so its pool of users doesn't seem very big yet), but it might be worth a try if you're burnt out on other options.
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Once
If you're tired of incessant swiping, Once (free for iOS) might be up your alley. The app's matchmakers will pick matches they think you'll like and send you a handpicked few everyday at noon. You take it from there. If you want to give the matchmaker a clue about who really gets you excited you can pair your Fitbit with the app — a heartbeat spike indicates your interest.
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Photo: Courtesy Whiplr.
Whiplr
If you’re more of a Rocky Road type than a vanilla, download Whiplr (free on iOS and Android), an app for finding others based on sharing similar kinks and fetishes. The app is anonymous and private, and lets you select what types of play you’re into (and what you want your partner to be into) before you start chatting. All content shared in the app can be deleted, so if you send a nude to someone, then decide, “Eh, not so much,” you can delete it from their phone — well, as long as they didn’t take a screen grab. You can pay for a monthly subscription if you start using Whiplr a lot, but its initial free search and chatting preferences are decently robust, including starting up to 10 chat sessions a day, browsing 100 profiles at a time, and swiping through 25 profiles a day.
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Photo: Courtesy HER.
Her
Her (free on iOS) is a dating and social network app exclusively for lesbian and queer women. Unlike some of these other apps, which prize anonymity (that may be good for you, but bad if you want to guarantee the person you’re meeting is who she says she is), this app features verified accounts. It also includes more of a community, with a timeline on your profile for sharing photos and comments, and it serves up links and articles relating to lesbian news and culture. But just because it aims to provide a more social network-style experience doesn’t mean there aren’t girls out there just looking for some quick action. Several early users of Her were surprised by the number of bisexual, queer, and lesbian women in their community.
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Photo: Courtesy Tinder.
Tinder
A number of women have found their soul mate on Tinder (free on iOS and Android), but it’s super-quick swiping-based interface is also perfect if you’re looking for a connection that needs to suffice only for tonight. After signing up, which requires a Facebook login, you swipe right to Like one of Tinder’s suggested profiles, or swipe left to Pass. If the other person also likes your photo, you’re matched, and can start chatting. The app has made more than 6 billion matches so far. You may even match up with someone famous — the app recently introduced verified profiles for celebs and public figures.
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Photo: Courtesy OKCupid.
OKCupid
Dating-site staple OKC (free on iOS and Android) is designed with lots of questionnaires and matching algorithms so that you find someone you’d actually be interested in spending time with. But if you’re up front in your profile about your wants and needs, you can also have hookup success. Set your preferences so that you’re looking for new friends, short-term dating, and casual sex; keep your questionnaire answers on the short side; and for optional questions, answer as many of the sex-related ones as you can, so you’re matched with someone who’s compatible to your personal desires. OKCupid also has an Apple Watch app that can show you matches who are nearby. How's that for high-tech? You can use the app for free, or upgrade for extra features starting at under £10 a month
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Photo: Courtesy Happn.
Happn
You and a cutie on the subway locked eyes for a smouldering second before you had to run off and catch the express. Fret not; you may be able to find him or her on Happn (free on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone). In this app, you can browse singles and see how many times you've crossed paths (and where).
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Tastebuds
Tastebuds.fm (free on iOS), works a little different to your average dating and networking site – it matches you up to your potential partner based on your musical preferences. Founder Alex Parish stated that, “The site was designed to make it easy for people to meet others who share their musical tastes, in whatever capacity.” Tastebuds is now available on Spotify, which scans your most played tunes and matches you up with people near you with similar music tastes.
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Spark
Ever caught the eye of a fellow commuter and wondered whether they were single or not? With rush hour making it almost impossible to spark up a conversation with a potential suitor, Spark allows you to simply send over a 'spark', giving the receiver 24 hours to respond. Underground? No worries. The app works via Bluetooth, so you can connect almost anywhere.

CEO and co-founder Dave Marsden announced, “Every day we see people that catch our eye, and in that second we form a picture of who they could be and how we might get on" he continues, "It’s so much more than just an image. This is a real person who we all-too-often fail to speak to and we want to change that outcome.”

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Huggle
According to Huggle (free on iOS and Android), you are no longer what you eat, but where you go! You are connected based on what you do, where you go, what you're interested in and how you live your life. Co-founder Valerie Stark told Bustle, “Your looks do not say anything about who you are as a person; your lifestyle and interests do. You’re more likely to get along with someone who has similar interests to you than someone who you are just attracted to."

Huggle's blog doesn't forget to mention, 'Finally, no more annoying messages or dick pics growing dust in your inbox. Just people who share your lifestyle and interests!'
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Badoo
Badoo works kind of like Happn — you have the option to start chatting with people nearby and people you've bumped into — but its user base is reportedly bigger than Tinder, Happn, and OkCupid combined. This means you have more luck finding instant love at the club (or coffee shop) on the app than you do anywhere else, especially if you're traveling abroad. Badoo also recently acquired Lulu, a similar see-who's-nearby app, boosting its user base.
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Zipskee
Travelling solo is something most women should try at least once. But if you're also looking for some action, you may want some help meeting the local flavours — and for that you need a local. While this isn't a dating app, Zipskee (free on iOS) will pair you with a local guide on your trip to show you around. Your male or female guide should know the spots you should hit so you can meet someone worthwhile while you're in town.
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