Casual Dating Sites Explained

How to get started in the world of affairs and casual romances…

Best Casual Dating Sites

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Ashley Madison

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Red Hot Pie

The adrenaline rush, the goosebumps on your skin, the rapid beating of your heart in your chest – these are some of the sensations that casual daters feel when they’re amid a steamy rendezvous. Casual dating may seem like a foreign concept to some people, but to others, it may be a completely logical way to live their life. While casual dating may currently be having a moment in the spotlight, it’s been around for decades. Commonly lumped in the same category as hookup culture and therefore, teens and young adults, casual daters do in fact span a wide age spectrum. As with most things, the media often portrays only part of the story, so if you’re interested in exploring this lifestyle, this guide will tell you all you need to know.

In this guide:

Who’s Casually Dating?

The people who are in the casual dating scene range from teens and young adults who aren’t ready to commit to a long-term, emotional relationship to married individuals who are looking for an exhilarating affair. Other people turn to casual dating for the sheer ecstasy of sexual pleasure, while others use it to explore their sexuality. There is no one correct way to casually date, as is evident from the vast array of individuals and couples in the casual dating pool.

Moreover, the reasons for turning to casual dating are as varied as the individuals themselves. Some people are getting over a breakup and want to get their sexual mojo back. Others want to experience a range of sexual encounters to figure out what they want out of a partner. Some are others who are bored housewives or rich old men looking for a sugar daddy/baby relationship. There are also couples, known as swingers, who are in an open relationship and are seeking multiple sexual partners to engage in threesomes, group sex, or one-night stands.

Experts often identify the basic casual dating niches as adult dating, friends with benefits, or sex with an ex. In general, casual dating is for people who want to satisfy their sexual desires without the emotional attachment of a serious relationship. They want to feel free to pursue pleasure without being tied down by societal restrictions.

erotic picture of a couple dating casually

Where Can People Find Casual Dates?

When it comes to finding like-minded people in the casual dating sphere, the Internet is the best resource. There are hundreds of thousands of people online who are looking for no-strings-attached sex or friends with benefits. If you’re to busy for a long-term, committed relationship, or even going on dates around town, you can turn to the Internet for a quick fix. Whether you’re brand-new to the scene or have 20+ years of experience, there’s an adult dating platform for you.

That said, there are countless casual dating websites out there, so it helps to know which niche best suits your preferences. There are sites for just about everything from BDSM and fetishes, sugar daddy/mommy/baby partnerships, extramarital affairs, and much more. You can even find sites that cater to specific ethnicities if that’s what you’re into.

Why turn to an online dating website? For one thing, it saves a lot of time. It’s much quicker and easier to meet like-minded people on the Internet than through daily interactions. Plus, you can choose a site that caters to the exact kinks or benefits that you’re seeking, be it adding another person to your current relationship, finding a hookup for the evening, or engaging in some sexual roleplaying. Not only do certain platforms focus on niche dating, but they have advanced search filters that allow you to find people based on location, age, sexual preference, and more.

two people on a casual date

Guidelines for Using a Casual Dating Platform

Most people are familiar with traditional dating sites, but they may not realize that there are sites and apps designed specifically for casual daters. Below are some tips on how to use these platforms and find a compatible match while staying safe.

How Does it Work?

Most of these platforms offer free registration and require basic information, such as a username, your age, general location, and what kind of individual or couple you’re looking for. The primary difference between these websites and traditional dating ones is that casual dating platforms tend to cut right to the chase. There’s less getting to know each other and starting a meaningful conversation. People on casual dating platforms know what they want and they aren’t afraid to ask for it.

Making Contact

Depending on the site, there may be a few different ways to get in touch with another user. Lots of websites allow you to like photos or send winks and flirts to others. Chat rooms and one-on-one messaging are often available, albeit usually for paying customers only. Many websites are also available via mobile app, which makes finding a sex buddy or one-night stand on the go even easier.

Making it Work for You

To boost your chances of success, many sites offer advanced search filters. These allow you to specify your search criteria and find people who meet your preferences. You can filter through users based on age, location, and of course, appearance.

Speaking of which, your profile will greatly improve your chances of finding someone. The most common things that people put in their profiles are hobbies and interests, sexual orientation, and physical attributes such as body type, height, and weight. However, the crown jewel of your profile is the gallery of photos you upload. Given that casual dating is meant to satisfy carnal desires, users first browse through profile pictures before even considering engaging in conversation.

On the majority of adult dating sites, anything goes in terms of photos. Some platforms will censor nudity while others allow users to upload public and private galleries. Many people use their photos to showcase their personality, physical appearance, and sexual kinks and fetishes. The key to a riveting profile is a stunning gallery as well as a bio that shows some wit and sass.

Staying Safe

Casual dating sites can be loads of fun, but they also pose some obvious dangers. As with any online community, users shouldn’t share personal information or details that could compromise their safety. Unfortunately, hookup sites are the most susceptible to fake profiles and scammers. Be extra cautious around anyone who asks for specific info such as your address, where you work, or how much money you make. A bit of common sense and Internet safety can keep you from falling into a financial trap.

Besides staying safe online, casual daters need to understand their boundaries and be sure to make these clear to any partners or sex buddies. Not surprisingly, men and women tend to approach casual dating in different ways. Men usually turn to casual dating to satisfy their erotic desires and fulfill sexual fantasies. Meanwhile, women who casually date often do so to build their sexual confidence and empower themselves. It’s crucial to know what the other person expects out of a hookup or friends-with-benefits situation so you don’t overcomplicate things and get your feelings hurt. After all, casual dating is about avoiding emotional attachment.

Finally, the topic of safe sex can’t be ignored, especially when it comes to casual dating. Many hookup platforms post information about safe sex as well as tips on how to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and maintain healthy boundaries.

To Pay or Not to Pay?

Perhaps one of the reasons why there are so many adult dating websites out there is because most of them charge a fee. While there are free memberships, they’re often limited to the bare basics, such as browsing profile pictures and sending likes. It’s difficult to find a match without communicating one-on-one, but this is typically a paid feature.

Websites vary in how much they charge for a premium membership, but it’s often more expensive than traditional dating apps. That said, adult hookup sites usually provide more value and exciting features like live webcams, private photo galleries, steamy chat rooms, in-person meetups, and photo contests. For the right person, it may be worth indulging in a premium subscription or at least a free trial.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Casual dating can be a breath of fresh air for some people, but it may not be the right fit for others. On the one hand, a steamy hookup can be just the ticket for jumping back into the dating game and boosting your confidence, both for young people and recently-divorced adults. It can also be a means of exploring your sexuality and discovering what you want out of a sexual encounter. There’s something deeply satisfying about knowing what you want in bed.

On the other hand, some people don’t take well to having sex without any emotional connection. It can feel empty and unfulfilling. There are also concerns about physical and emotional safety, including STDs, meeting strangers over the Internet, and becoming emotionally vulnerable. It’s up to the individual to decide if this lifestyle is right for them. It’s okay to take your time and see how casual dating works for you.


  • Avoid emotional messes and complicated relationships
  • Boost confidence and self-esteem
  • Explore your sexuality, fantasies, and kinks
  • Get out of a sexual rut/relieve boredom
  • Satisfy sexual urges


  • Many apps/websites cost money
  • Physical/emotional safety concerns

Wrapping Up

Casual dating certainly isn’t for everyone, but for some people, it’s just what they need to get out of a funk, ignite their passion, or build their sexual confidence and identity. If you do join one of these sites, be sure to stay safe and establish your boundaries early on. That will allow you to have lots of fun, meet new and exciting people, and fulfill your erotic urges, whatever they may be.