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If you’re uncertain where to turn to in the absence of Craigslist dating, you’re not alone. The now-defunct Craigslist Personals section used to be the Wild West of hookups—a naughty classifieds site where anything was possible.
Yes, there were fake ads, escorting, and some problematic stuff happening, but the original CL Personals just had a gritty feel to it that was strangely sexy and exhilarating. Sadly, this classic classifieds site isn’t coming back any time soon.
So what about a Craigslist Personals alternative?
While nothing quite compares to the original, we’ve scoured the internet to find you some of the best Craigslist Personals alternatives around, whether you’re looking for classifieds sites, personals-style dating, or traditional dating/hookup sites.
10 Best Craigslist Alternatives For Casual Sex
1. Adult Friend Finder—Find A Casual Sex Partner
- Large active user base
- Wide array of dating features
- Great for couples and singles
- Live cams, erotic stories, nude photos & more
- Fake user profiles
- Premium membership is best
If you’re searching for unconventional encounters, you might like AdultFriendFinder.
AFF quickly filled the void left behind by the closure of Craigslist Personals and remains one of the best alternatives to the popular personal ad site, especially for more mature 30+ users looking for fun.
AFF offers classic dating features, such as personal ads and less traditional relationships for those with specific interests.
If you want to explore a quick fling, find strangers interested in the same kinks as you, or are looking for an adventurous encounter, then AdultFriendFinder might be a good site for you.
Like Craigslist Personals, AFF is a non-judgemental site full of open-minded users. You can filter the personals section based on fetishes, location, age, and so on, so you can find the perfect hookup tailor-made for what you’re into.
What more can you ask for?
2. Ashley Madison—Great for Discreet Encounters
- Committed to users’ security
- Recommends you create a new email for maximum security
- Free for women
- “Panic Button,” face-blurring and more privacy features
- Not focused on singles
- Previous site security issues
The AM dating app focuses on providing users with access to casual dating or hookups, emphasizing discretion.
While some AM users are single, the site is primarily used by those who are married or in a relationship. AM will never ask to be linked to any of your social media and provides an option to blur or mask your photos for anyone you haven’t connected with.
The site’s commitment to privacy draws in a large user base with a wide range of interests.
AM also is available as an app, so users don’t have to rely on constant access to a computer to connect with others. The site has an international member base for users interested in casual dates outside the United States.
3. OutPersonals—Best Gay Personals Site
- 500,000-plus users internationally
- Active members
- 100% free to use
- Small online community
OutPersonals is one of the largest LGBTQ dating sites that primarily connects gay men with one another. This site has a very active member base, making it more likely for users to match, connect, and meet up.
The site’s user base tends to be on the older side, so it’s perfect for mature gay men who are looking to connect with others.
OutPersonals is also great if you want a more in-depth experience via the blog-post feature and advice lines. You can choose to share blog posts and advice for anyone on the site to view and engage in a lively online community.
The site has many online chat rooms available for you to join and offers live video chat features for users who want to jump straight into flirting.
Outpersonals connects people from different cultural backgrounds and different countries. Both singles and couples use the site to find casual hookups.
4. HER—One of the Top Dating Sites for Gay Women
- Huge number of users
- In-person events
- Good for lesbians and queer women/people
- The base version is free to use
- A limited number of swipes without membership
- Bisexual users attracted to non-females tend to use two dating sites
While OutPersonals is the best online dating app for gay men, HER is the best site for gay women. HER provides the largest online community for women who want to connect and meet, with a massive user base of over 7 million.
HER women come from diverse backgrounds and might identify as lesbian, queer, bois, femmes, and trans to fluid. HER’s inclusive environment promotes positive and non-judgmental user interactions.
This lesbian dating app even hosts events from time to time to provide safe in-person meet-and-greets, which offers users authentic and engaging interactions.
HER has strict requirements for interested users to sign up to ensure the site remains a safe space, so you can rest assured that most people on this dating site are the real deal and you’re probably not being catfished!
5. Seeking—Pay to Meet Young Attractive Sugar Babies
- Verification process
- Greater number of female users than male
- Ability to bid on dates
- Meet young attractive “Sugar Babies”
- Must pay for a membership, but discounts are offered
- Fake profiles
- Caters to rich users
Free for women to join, Seeking is an online dating site for those who want an unconventional and mutually beneficial relationship based on financial stability and reliability.
Unlike Craigslist, this site primarily connects women looking for financially and successful stable men. Users on Seeking are straightforward about what needs they want to be fulfilled by partners who won’t play games.
Essentially, you’ll be a sugar daddy.
With all this class and luxury dating, Seeking is committed to protecting users’ privacy and has a robust verification process, so users know they’re talking to real people.
We love to see it.
Seeking has a reputation of attracting successful men, including celebrities. While Seeking dates can undoubtedly end in hookups, the site’s primary purpose is to provide companionship … for a price.
6. DoubleList—Classified Site Similar to Craigslist Personals
- Free to use
- Similar layout to Craigslist Personals ads
- 3 million weekly users
- 40 million members worldwide
- More men than women at a 65% to 35% ratio
- Spam and fraudulent accounts
If you’re looking for a hookup site where you control who you connect with, you might like DoubleList.
Unlike many other dating and hookup websites, DoubleList doesn’t have a matching algorithm. Instead, you can search the personals section and filter your results to suit your interests.
Sounds like Craigslist, no?
DoubleList welcomes people from all sexual orientations. The site is inclusive and has diverse users from many different walks of life or cultural backgrounds worldwide, just like Craigslist.
Although DoubleList isn’t as popular in the United States as other sites, it might be a good fit if you do a lot of international travel and want to have a casual encounter.
7. Pernals—Best Craigslist Alternative for Young Adults
- 80% of users are from US and Canada
- Users can browse ads easily
- Promotes safer online interactions
- One-step signup process
- Expensive paid membership
- Doesn’t use a matching algorithm
Pernals is the modern alternative to Craigslist personals and attracts many younger users in their 20s and 30s. Pernals, formerly known as Cragly (both are awful names if you ask us) allows you to scroll through profiles in your area to make quick connections for fast hookups.
Like Craigslist, you can quickly set up an account with Pernals via its one-step process and immediately post personal ads. Because the app doesn’t require you to use your real name, singles like you can browse through tons of profiles using a pseudonym.
Pernals adds an extra layer of security and safety for users by reviewing all new profiles and pictures before they become available on the app. The site veers away from the Tinder-style swiping system to encourage you to look beyond a person’s appearance.
8. Pure—Hookup App to Find Sex in 24 Hours or Less
- Women can join for free
- 8,000-plus members in US, 3,000 regularly active
- App deletes conversations after 24 hours
- Great for dating or hooking up
- Men have a free 3-day trial, then must pay
- Only one selfie per profile is allowed
The Pure dating app helps users find people to hook up with quickly and anonymously. Pure doesn’t use a traditional matching algorithm to connect users, but allows you to post ads that remain active over 24 hours.
The personal ads disappear after 24 hours to ensure anonymity and safety. Users can browse Pure’s personals section to find others they want to connect with.
Pure is a great alternative to Craigslist Casual Encounters if you’re looking for casual dating or adventurous sexual encounters, as the app allows you to look for casual sex, it encourages conversations in 24 hours or less, and there is a growing user base in the US.
It also has a really cool design, so that’s nice!
9. Alt.com—Best for Kinksters
- Easy to find users who share your interests
- Free membership options
- Kinks and fetishes galore!
- Expensive premium membership
- Small member community
Alt.com is primarily for users who enjoy particular fetishes and BDSM in their casual encounters. Members can find a community of like-minded people who are interested in anything from dating to quick hookups or adventurous encounters.
Because the site is used by many people who are part of the BDSM community, the site is very concerned with users’ safety. Alt.com wants its users to feel safe at all times, both online and in person.
Any good casual encounters site will care about its users!
Alt.com prohibits certain topics and words from being discussed on its site to create a safe and open community for its members, so you can discuss your sexual fantasies without feeling too at risk.
10. ClassifiedAds.com—Most Like Craigslist Casual Encounters
- Extremely similar to Craigslist Personals
- Missed connections section
- Great personals section
- Not strictly for hookups
- Scams & fraudulent profiles
ClassifiedAds.com provides users with a very similar experience to Craigslist personals, perfect for those who miss the traditional classified ads interface.
Although ClassifiedAds.com isn’t strictly for casual encounters, it’s still possible to find other people here who are interested in a quick hookup.
One of the best features of ClassifiedAds.com is its “missed connections” section, which mimics the popular and much-loved feature that had previously been part of Craigslist.
This site also offers a lot of the same features once used on Craigslist and serves as an excellent replacement to the closed-down site.
If you miss the feel of a personal ad on Craigslist, you may want to check this website out.
5 Things to Keep In Mind for Alternatives to Craigslist Personals
If you’re looking for a great alternative to Craigslist Personals, you might want to keep a few things in mind during your search.
1. How many active users are there?
Dating and hookup sites typically display how many users are regularly active.
While it’s great to see how many overall members a site has, the number of active users is who you’ll be interacting with most regularly on a daily basis.
Some sites have a massive amount of members, but only a fraction of that number are active daily or weekly.
2. Are you safe and secure on this website?
No matter what you’re doing on the internet, it’s essential to protect yourself. You might want to investigate how a site keeps your personal information safe before you get started.
If you don’t want your photos or information to be searchable or shared for all users to see, you might prefer sites like Seeking or Ashley Madison. These sites let you choose who to share your photo with or offer ways to blur your face.
Keep your privacy intact!
3. Is the website free, paid-for, or a mix of both?
If you’re new to using dating or hookup sites and aren’t sure if you’ll enjoy the experience or not, you could consider only using a site that is either completely free to use or offers a free trial period.
Many sites on this list are free to use and don’t require a hefty investment to get started. Sites like Adult Friend Finder have great premium subscriptions but also offer a great free version too!
4. Do you prefer matching algorithms or personal ads?
Many dating and hookup sites use a matching algorithm to quickly connect you to people who share your interests or geographic location.
If you’re interested in having a program do the legwork for you, then you may enjoy a site that uses the matching algorithm. However, some users prefer to search through personal ads themselves by doing a general search or using filters.
Several dating sites offer each of these options.
5. What is the site’s primary purpose?
Some sites clearly define what kind of people will enjoy their service the most. For example, HER is oriented towards LGBTQ+ women.
However, other sites are more difficult to pick apart and understand, so you may want to do a bit of research on what the most successful relationships or encounters are on a particular dating site.
There’s no point looking for casual sex on a Craigslist replacement site that’s geared toward serious relationships!
FAQs About Alternatives to Craigslist Personals
Why did Craigslist close its personal ads section?
After Congress passed a bill to combat online sex trafficking in 2018, Craigslist decided to shut that section down. While sex trafficking is a pervasive issue that can likely be found on any site, Craigslist personals started to draw in a large number of sex workers.
Still, there are many new personals site options to choose from.
How can I use online dating apps safely?
Dating apps can be targets for fraud and scams. In order to protect yourself, it’s a good idea to stick to using your username and not give away personal information.
Protecting your personal info can seem difficult since dating apps are inherently personal, but protecting information about your location, name, age, financial information, and so on can help.
If you decide to meet up with someone in person, you should schedule your meetup in public. It’s also a good idea to tell a trusted friend or family member where you’re going. Take your own transportation to and from an in-person meetup.
How can I avoid being scammed on a dating app?
Although dating sites are great for connecting with other people, there always is a risk of encountering fake profiles. You can report suspicious profiles to the site directly by clicking on “report this user,” which is typically found on the profile itself.
You should also listen to your gut. If a profile seems too good to be true, then it very likely is.
Is paying for sites like Craigslist worth it?
Whether or not you’ll feel satisfied with a paid membership depends entirely on your preferences. While there are a number of sites that are entirely free to use, it’s more common to find online hookup sites that offer free memberships with limited features.
You get what you pay for!
Depending on which site you’re using, a paid membership will allow you to message other users and interact on the site in a more meaningful way. A paid membership may increase your chances of meeting someone you share interests with, but it isn’t guaranteed.
On sites like Adult Friend Finder, paid memberships can also give you access to cool features like live sex cams, erotic stories, and more.
Why use an online dating site as your Craigslist Personals alternative?
Online dating sites increase your chances of meeting like-minded people who share your interests. If you want to have more casual encounters, a dating site can be easier to use than traditional in-person meetings.
You also can filter who you connect with and have straightforward expectations.
Bottom Line—The Best Alternative for Craigslist Personals
After reviewing the 10 most popular dating and hookup websites, we’ve chosen AdultFriendFinder as the winner of the best alternative to Craigslist Personals.
AdultFriendFinder has a large active user base of almost 100 million and caters to all kinds of interests, from fetishes to special arrangements. The site is easy to navigate and provides the same popular features as Craigslist Personals without being a replica.
AdultFriendFinder doesn’t use a matching algorithm, creating a similar experience that users once loved on Craigslist Personals. In other words, you go and search for the kind of person you’re looking for manually.
It’s like the ‘90s all over again.
Whichever classified site or dating site you decide to choose, we hope you find the Craigslist Personals replacement site you’re looking for! Remember to stay safe, weigh up your options, and most importantly … have fun!