Finding your ideal hook-up app

The hottest hook-up apps for students

Illustration: Samantha Bullis/The Dialog

Illustration: Samantha Bullis/The Dialog

 

OKCupid Quickmatch

OKCupid seems to be the standard go-to dating/hookup tool for students. While it’s ostensibly a dating site, the relatively new “quickmatch” function operates much like Tinder and facilitates similar casual interaction. However, it differs in that it also provides a match score and generally features more fleshed-out written profiles.

Use it if you’re:
Interested in a more information-based approach. You can learn a little more about your matches via the available connection to their full profiles if you’re interested.

Avoid if:
You find the idea of potentially seeing the personality traits and sexual proclivities your friends/colleagues laid out in a handy bar graph format awkward. Coming across the profile of an acquaintance is an inevitability—I probably had 10 acquaintances recommended to me in the first couple of weeks alone.

Tinder

Based almost entirely on photos and brief self-descriptions, Tinder abandons any pretense of being about dating and romance. Users “swipe” potential matches they like and are notified if the mojo is mutual. While its primary function is unabashedly for casual sex, stories of romantic relationships started there aren’t unheard of.

Use it if:
You’re curious what percentage of Toronto men describe themselves as artists, comedians, or musicians (Hint: it’s almost everyone).

Avoid if:
You have limited interest in women who describe themselves primarily with Marilyn Monroe quotes.

Grindr

Grindr is an enormously popular hookup app for queer-identified men. It has something of a reputation for an aggressively forward and explicit culture, but is the biggest app of its kind around and encompasses a very broad range of users.

Use it if:
You’re a queer man looking for a large variety of potential matches.

Avoid if:
Potentially aggressive come-ons are something you prefer to avoid at all costs. Though to be fair, this is always something of a risk for anyone on any hookup or dating app.

 

Growlr

According to GBC student Albert, who did not want to disclose his last name for privacy reasons, “the thing that differentiates Growlr from most gay social apps is the demographic target. For people that are unaware, the bear community is a gay subculture that embraces many things that would be considered undesirable. Things like body hair, facial hair, being above average size, people that don’t fit the typical gay stereotype. It’s for bigger guys and their admirers.”

He also considers it a more welcoming community than the alternatives. “Some guys may feel attacked when using social apps such as Grindr, Scruff, or OKCupid because they don’t fit the description of being a young, skinny, hairless guy,” said Albert. “Growlr is a gay social app that allows someone who just doesn’t fit into that description to be more comfortable.”

Use it if:
You are a bigger, hairy queer dude or an admirer of the same.

Avoid if:
You’re a bear of the snarling, teeth-and-claws ursine variety.

 

Wing Ma’am

Wing Ma’am offers essentially the same functionality as Tinder, but caters exclusively to queer women. “Wing Ma’am’s major flaw is its poor user integration,” says Sarah, a GBC alumnus who prefers to use only her first name as she isn’t completely out. “It relies heavily on user-generated or posted events which are scant unless it’s around Pride. The other 11 months of the year, it’s a ghost town.”

Use it if:
You’re a queer woman who prefers an online space designed with your needs in mind.

Avoid if:
You’re a queer woman who prefers an online space where there are other women present with whom you can interact.

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Finding your ideal hook-up app