The 23 Best Online Personals Similar to Craigslist Casual Encounters

The 23 Best Craigslist Personals Alternatives You Need to Try
10:31 AM, Jul 18, 2022

Have you noticed that Craigslist is dead lately? Is it just me or did there used to be a lot more single people mingling on there?

Back in 2009, I could start chatting with a few different real people in “Casual Encounters” (Craig’s version of the Best Online Personals) and they were always ready to meet up in person!

And true, I did get rejected by all of them.

But that’s not the point. The point is…opportunity!

The good news is all the singles and not-so-singles you remember have moved on…to other online dating sites.

So to help you find your tribe of people looking for intimate encounters, we’ve compiled a list of the 23 best craigslist personals alternatives. Review and compare and then go find what you’re looking for!

For starters, let’s give you a sneak peek at who made our list and why.

  1. AdultFriendFinder - Best online personals site that’s better than Craigslist
  2. Ashley Madison - Most discreet cheating app
  3. Seeking - Best “pay for a date” sugar daddy experience
  4. Senior Sizzle - Best hookup site for people over 50
  5. Fetlife - Best BDSM dating site

The 23 Best Craigslist Alternative Sites

Who came in at #1? A site almost as old as Craigslist but still thriving!

1. Adult Friend Finder — Best of the Craigslist Personals Alternatives

What we liked

  • Over 80 million members
  • Open-minded community for casual dating
  • Multiple ways of reaching out
  • Magazine articles & erotica journals
  • LGBTQ friendly

What we didn’t like

  • Non-existent free membership
  • High monthly fee

Adult Friend Finder may not have exactly 80 million active accounts but even with a percentage of that number, it’s the largest dating pool of any site. It’s also one of the few dating site brands that has been around since the late 1990s.

While the style isn’t quite online personal ads, Adult Friend Finder is the most like Craigslist personals because it has a variety of users and numerous ways to communicate.

You can use a Facebook-like social media feed, or find your niche group for a chat (sort of like Fetlife), video chat with amateur kinksters or supermodels (like OnlyFans), or even hook up with local chat roulette (like Tinder).

In fact, AFF is known as one of the best hookup sites online.

Adult Friend Finder lets you post classified online personals ads to narrow down the huge dating pool and focus on finding your soulmate of sex. That certainly doesn’t mean the site is kink-shaming. The site feels like it was made for one-night stands, F-buddies, hot wife couples, and friends-with-benefits.

The Adult Version of Facebook

And just in case you tire easily, you can access the database of member-written erotica and blog journals, as well as pro-level magazine articles on dating. What better ice breaker than to comment on your crush’s blog?

While the free membership isn’t amazing, you won’t regret purchasing a premium membership since this gives unlimited video time, private messages, direct chat with anyone, and access to the full site. 

Of all the best dating sites online, AFF is the safest and the most titillating option in our opinion. No sex workers are allowed and no illegal stuff either. It’s the Craigslist of old without the creepy factor.

It’s $39.95 a month or $19.95 for a year-long membership. Why not sign up for free?

2. Ashley Madison — Best Married Dating Site

What we liked

  • Definitely for the unhappily married
  • The best mobile app
  • Anonymous and discreet
  • Cool free membership option
  • Selectively share photos

What we didn’t like

  • Not the best reputation
  • Not for all tastes

Ashley Madison has a lot of bad publicity associated with its name - but try to understand that’s decades-old news. The data leaks and even the “get laid guarantee” are a thing of the past.

But the modern Ashley Madison is still a thriving adult community of…well, mostly unhappily marrieds. That hasn’t changed! It’s still the best site to find married guys, some sugar daddies, some married women, and some single women looking to experiment. 

Of course, it’s not the most ethical site in the world, but you probably already know that.

The free and generous preview option is the best reason to use Ashley Madison over competing hookup dating sites. You can create a profile, like public photos, and even search all available partners by city worldwide.

No, you can’t start a chat until you pay for a premium membership. But your profile works as a personal ad. You can state what you’re looking for and view profiles of people looking for the same casual encounters.

Ashley Always Keeps Your Secrets

Unlike other sites, Ashley Madison lets you hide the photos you want, share the photos with people you really like, and even blur or mask your face for all public photos.

Of all the Craigslist Personals alternatives, this site is the most discreet and the least likely to get you in trouble. You don’t need a phone number and you can even pay with PayPal to keep things on the down-low.

The site is 100% free for women and charges men for a premium account. For 100 credits, you pay $49, although you can buy 1000 at a discount for $249.

3. Seeking — One of the Best Sugar Dating Sites

What we liked

  • Most well-known sugar dating website
  • Amazing 10-1 female-to-male ratio
  • Option for verified profiles
  • Customize your own perfect relationship
  • Verified profiles

What we didn’t like

  • It’s pricey…very, very pricey (for men)
  • Not for all tastes

Seeking.com is a casual dating site with a sugar dating theme. That is, wealthy and successful people who “buy” dates by paying the suggested price. This type of online dating is not for sex, just time, companionship, and basically a person’s undivided attention.

Yes, the classified ads here do cater to successful older men and younger women who want to be pampered and paid just for going on a date. The men enjoy the experience, with no expectations, and it makes everyone feel groovy.

So, does casual sex happen on these dates? Probably, but that’s the choice of the people who match. Besides paying for a date, Seeking Arrangement allows for gifts, wishlists, and other exchanges.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!

Seeking.com has also moved beyond just men seeking women. The site also caters to sugar mamas, LGBTQ casual dates, and other miscellaneous dating needs.

You can run personal ads or simply mingle with a “Verified” profile to show everyone you are real as they come.

Whether you want a serious relationship with a qualified spouse or hot threesome adventures, you can probably find someone interested on Seeking.

Women join for free but men pay $90 a month, or $80 a month for 3 months, and $70 a month for 6 months.

It’s a small fee for what amounts to a very costly investment - but if you’re rich enough to be a sugar daddy or sugar mama are you really complaining?

4. Senior Sizzle — Best Casual Sex Site for Over 50 Adults

What we liked

  • Over 50 demographic
  • Good mobile app
  • May/December relationships are OK
  • LGBTQ-friendly
  • User-friendly interface

What we didn’t like

  • Not much of a free membership
  • Not for all tastes

Nobody really likes to admit they are in a senior category - even though, you know Boomers and Gen-Xers are getting to that age where 50 and 60-year-olds are looking more like our friends and companions, and less like our “grandparents.”

Sigh.

The good news is that sites like Senior Sizzle are made for over 50 demographics. The site claims to have over 100 million members, and while that’s doubtful, we assume at least a percentage of that is legit.

The site offers multiple lines of communication, from photo and video sharing to instant messenger chat, private email, and even a two-way webcam experience. 

Senior Sizzle - Boomer and Gen-X Friendly!

Unlike other senior dating sites, Senior Sizzle welcomes casual hookups as well as kinkster dating. So not only could you use the site as a Craigslist replacement and find a companion to live with, date, and have fun with…

But theoretically, you could look for a younger/older lover and embrace your fantasy in a sex-positive community. With other online personals alternatives, such relationships might not be so feasible. I mean, have you tried hooking up with someone 25 years younger or older on Tinder?

It never ends well…

LGBTQ dating is also encouraged. No surprise there, because as many of us know, Boomers fought some of the hardest battles in establishing gay rights.

This aspect of Senior Sizzle makes it one of the best Craigslist personals imitators, because if you remember Craigslist List in its heyday, it always had some very spicy senior-aged singles looking for fun!

The price is $27.95 a month or $14.95 a month for 12 months.

5. Fetlife — Best Craigslist Personal Alternative for Fetish Dating

What we liked

  • Basically a free dating site!
  • Fairly large membership
  • Free photos & blogging
  • BDSM and LGBTQ friendly
  • A social media-like interface

What we didn’t like

  • Videos and photo archives cost extra
  • Paid ads
  • Not actually so easy to find a date

Fetlife is so much like old-timey Craigslist, you might want to spank yourself in disbelief! One of the best dating sites for kink fans, the site has everything “blue” that Craigslist Casual Encounters had.

It’s not the best place to find true love or a vanilla relationship, but it’s 100% the best place to find someone who understands your kink and can give you the fantasy experience you want.

Even better is that the site has an entire dedicated personals section AND numerous groups devoted to specific kinks. You can post an ad as if you’re on a classified site, or join a discussion among groups of members fond of the same niche.

Like Craigslist personal ads, the site has loose rules - no harassment or illegal stuff, obviously - and members can chat with other members freely.

Fetlife is Kinkier Than Craigslist

For the best results, don’t add friends too quickly or else you might seem like a Spammer. But you can follow people you find interesting, write on their wall, and start a conversation pretty easily.

This site is the most like Craigslist dating because it’s both a personals sites and a sex-positive community. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to find a date (some of the members don’t even respond, so don’t take it too personally) but it’s sure a lot of fun checking out everyone’s page.

On the other hand, Fetlife does get a bit extreme sometimes. So if Neopolitan sex stuff makes you feel uncomfortable, you’ll be tapping your shoes saying there’s no place like home!

The price is a meager $5 a month which only supports the site’s hosting fees.

6. Out Personals — Best Alternative Website for Gay Personals

What we liked

  • Designed around online personals
  • Fairly large & active community
  • Online magazine
  • Anonymous dates
  • Sign up as a couple

What we didn’t like

  • Not the best site design
  • No lesbian or heteroflexible dating

Out Personals is one of the most successful LGBTQ dating sites right now, with positive word of mouth, and a growing membership of one million. The site lets you sign up as a gay man, gay couple, bisexual couple, trans person, or a group of friends.

This online personals site gives you a lot of options!

While there doesn’t appear to be a lesbian option (see #11 for that) it’s doubtful any bear or cub would notice. It’s the more hipster-friendly version of Grinder and is just as anonymous and discreet.

The site lets you instant message your new friends and make a connection with locals or even people across the country. You can choose your sexual orientation, body type, race, and marital status and then create a profile describing the experience you want.

While the site doesn’t make sign up easy, it is one of the better Craigslist Personal alternatives because of the ability to create a profile, which is like your classified ad. It really has that old-fashioned personal ads feel that brings nostalgia to many of us.

The price is $29.96 a month or $8.95 a month for 12 months.

7. Reddit Dirty R4R & R4R — 100% Free & Anonymous Personal Ads

What we liked

  • 100% free casual dating site
  • No signup required
  • Active community
  • Photo sharing, online personals style
  • Moderated subreddits

What we didn’t like

  • No real dating site features
  • No browse or search options

Reddit is one of the most active casual dating forums online, speaking mostly of the subreddits of Dirty R4R and regular R4R.

Reddit is a 100% free site to use and you can start looking up singles ads in major cities all over the world.

All you need is an email address to start posting and or replying to other classified ads. You can start a chat, send a private email, or share photos.

Unlike other sites for casual dating, however, Reddit is a forum - not an actual online dating match website. That means there is no real matching, right and left swipe, or any of the normal features associated with a site like Adult Friend Finder.

Because of this forum design, it has a very “online personals” feel to it.

The individual subreddits ARE moderated so trolls are not as big a deal as you might think. The main problem is that most activity is limited to major cities like New York, Los Angeles, and so on. It’s more difficult to find a Reddit posting nearby if you live in a small town or in the countryside.

Still, as far as free dating goes, it’s a much friendlier site than Fetlife and a great place to chat with people and get to know them by clicking on their comment history!

8. Doublelist — Best Protected Online Personals Site for Free Members

What we liked

  • Secure and protected community
  • LGBTQ+ friendly
  • Over 40 million users
  • Upload photos and videos
  • Platonic, romantic, or casual dates

What we didn’t like

  • No preview until you sign up
  • Some fake accounts
  • Free account has limited browsing

Doublelist is more of a traditional Craigslist Personals replacement since it’s a community site that lets people post their own ads for a variety of purposes. This might include e-commerce, jobs, or free stuff…but what matters to us is the casual dating section.

Doublelist has that and it’s one of the best Craigslist Personals replacement sites out there because of its high membership, and LGBTQ-friendly profile creation. The site lets you choose your gender and upload photos and videos to help boost your profile.

You can filter search other singles in the area, and even narrow your search by gender, body type, and other demographical information, as well as location.

Although it’s a pain to sign up, membership is free.

9. Be Naughty — Open-Minded Non-Monogamous Fun!

What we liked

  • Non-monogamous online dating
  • Fun features 
  • Good matching algorithm
  • Helpful icebreaking games 
  • LGBTQ options

What we didn’t like

  • Some fake profiles 
  • New company, fewer members

Be Naughty is made for couples, singles, and marrieds looking for their ideal relationship. That might be a one-night stand, friends with benefits, or a long-term adulterous affair. Whatever your needs, Be Naughty will help you to be as naughty as you’d like.

That’s what makes it very much like Craigslist Personals, that and the ability to post a profile ad to help your search.

You can also customize your gender and sexual preferences, so you can look for LGTBQ connections as well. The premium membership offers private chats and lets you find dates based on shared interests or narrow your search with the usual filters.

The algorithm will find you compatible and local partners and you can even play a game as you get to know each other. The icebreaker games and topics of conversation do make this a more fun mobile app (and PC dating website) than the norm.

While the site doesn’t have as many members as our top choices, you can still post ads, find local dates, and send and receive private messages.

The price is $45 a month or $16.20 a month for three months.

10. WellHello — Best Casual Sex Site for Swingers

What we liked

  • Couples and swinging!
  • Singles can join too
  • Find LGTQB partners too
  • Mobile app makes things quick & easy
  • Great price for 12 months

What we didn’t like

  • Limited free version
  • Higher male-to-female ratio
  • Questionable site security

WellHello has a great pitch - why cheat when you can share? WellHello offers an online dating site made for swingers and no-strings-attached affairs between three or four partners - or more if you want to go full Caligula.

Don’t mind if we do!

WellHello is a very welcoming site, which is good, but this does tend to attract lots of single guys who just want to date hot wives. As a result, it doesn’t have a great female-to-male ratio like some of our other sites.

The mobile site works better on a tablet or phone than a PC, and in fact, some Malware software will block the site from opening because of some high-tech security issues.

Furthermore, the free preview for WellHello is very limited, but once you pay you do get a swell mobile app that works on any device and plenty of LGBTQ-friendly options.

Craigslist Personals was well known for accommodating swingers and threesome unicorn hunters, so in that respect, WellHello is Craigslist Personals’ best successor.

The price is $24.95 a month or $7.45 a month for a year.

11. HER — Best Craigslist Personals Alternative for Lesbian Dating

What we liked

  • Lesbian, bi & trans-friendly
  • Incognito browsing
  • Fun profiles 
  • Matching algorithms
  • Completely free - with paid goodies

What we didn’t like

  • The app layout is questionable
  • No men! 

HER is to women what Grindr and Out Personals is to men. The app (no desktop version) lets you chat with queer women, trans, non-binary and other non-conforming users.

Craigslist had some lesbian dating back in the day, and like CL, HER has a thriving community. You get features like verification, incognito searching (you can see them but they can’t see you), and fun profiles with icebreaker questions.

With over 10 million members, the site is growing and it offers real online dating as well as casual encounters matching.

In fact, the only complaint against HER (well, besides all the cisgender men complaining they’re not welcomed) is that HER’s design and layout is awkward and hard to manage. Still, with community events hosted in real places regularly, HER really helps bring this often-ignored side of the queer community together.

The premium version ($14.95 a month) includes benefits like ad-free, enhanced search, unlimited swiping, Incognito mode, and see who’s viewed your profile.

12. Kijiji - Best Canadian Craigslist Personals Alternative

What we liked

  • Many Canadian users
  • Sections similar to Craigslist personals
  • Active community
  • Free posting
  • Social categories like Missed Connections

What we didn’t like

  • No actual dating forums
  • Not much use for Americans

Kijiji is one of the best Craigslist alternative options for Canadians, as it has some of the same categories that relate to community as well as cities within Canadian provinces.

While it doesn’t have an actual online dating section, it does have some interesting community categories like Friendship, Missed Connections, and Lost Lost Relationships.

It’s very similar to Missed Connections on Craigslist, but without all the sleaziness of the old Craigslist.

The site is free and heavily moderated.

13. The Craigslist App - A Revamped Version of Old Craigslist Site

What we liked

  • Free to use!
  • All over the world
  • Thriving social community
  • Free email forwarding for replies
  • Craig was a cool guy in his day

What we didn’t like

  • Over-moderated
  • Hardly any Missed Connection posts anymore
  • Must have a phone number to post

It’s hard to argue that one of the best Craigslist personals alternatives is a revamped version of Craigslist itself!

While there are no more Craigslist hookups, the site still has some categories of interest like Missed Connections, Activities, or even the local Rants and Raves section.

The Craigslist App makes things much better to read on a smaller device and it doesn’t look as 1990s bulky as the original PC site did.

Modern Craigslist is perhaps over-moderated, and most online dating ads are deleted within a day. But some of the Missed Connections stay up…at least until you turn the rest of the dating community against you!

Our 10 Online Dating Site Runner-Ups

14. Locanto - Top Craigslist personals alternative worldwide but no dating ads
15. Gumtree - Easy classifieds site with general help but no dating section
16. Geebo - Better for job hunting than dating
17. Free Ads Time - Free personals & business or products listings
18. Want Ad Digest - Mostly for community & automobile classifieds
19. Hoobly - Community pages with sections for pets, events & announcements
20. Penny Saver - Long-standing company for posting community ads but no hanky-panky
21. Tinder - It’s basically Casual Encounters in app form, but be warned - it’s weird AF!
22. Grindr - The gay men answer to Tinder with local swiping & anonymous fun
23. Bumble - Like Tinder but more catered towards women & intelligent conversation

Best Online Personals and Craigslist Alternatives FAQs

Still have questions about your first casual encounter and the like? Read on!

What Craigslist alternative is the best for easy sexual relationships?

Check out a paid membership site from a top hookup site like Adult Friend Finder or Ashley Madison.

Not only do members claim they have found casual encounters on sites like these, but the sites also PROTECT you from fake ads and dodgy users.

Still, you should always have your wits about you!

Which best online personals site (besides Craigslist) is completely free?

Why waste your time on Craigslist when you can join a 100% free site that allows online personals? Reddit, Fetlife, Doublelist, and even the cringy “Tinder” app allow free members to hook up.

There is also a free version and low-cost trial version of casual hookup sites like Adult Friend Finder and Ashley Madison.

Is using an app for a casual hookup safe?

The best dating apps try to make things safe for you by deleting suspicious accounts and banning users reported for harassment or offering illegal activities.

But you must also have good survival instincts in order to be “safe” and not rely on a dating platform to save your life!

Remember these dating tips as if your life depended on it:

  1. Never give out personal information to a stranger
  2. Don’t use an email OR a handle that can be Googled
  3. Do not meet a stranger at their home or a far-away location
  4. Always tell a friend or family member where you’re going
  5. Try to find your date on social media
  6. If someone seems crazy, they probably are
  7. Don’t give anyone any money regardless of their sob story
  8. Be cautious - if they really like you, they will respect your boundaries

How can I increase my chances of getting laid using a dating platform?

Glad you asked! Here are a few tips to improve your dating game without paying for intimacy..

  1. Shower, wear deodorant, shave, and comb your hair
  2. Dress “up” rather than overly casual
  3. Make eye contact and try to relax
  4. Be light-hearted and funny - avoid any negativity
  5. Be a fantastic listener - and react to what your date is saying
  6. Ask questions and show an interest in their topic of conversation
  7. Talk about stuff you’re passionate about
  8. Don’t treat your date like a therapist. Have fun!
  9. Be patient - a lot of people avoid one-night stands
  10. Post lots of video content on dating sites of you looking all fine and dandy!

Find a Craigslist Personals Alternative Website for Better Dates!

While the glory days of Craigslist personals are long gone, you can still find a thriving adult community with our list of dating sites and Craigslist personals replacements.

What you want is a site that gives you connections and lets you create online personals ads or a profile that can attract the right partner to you.

But the lone wolf approach doesn’t work as well as joining an active community, and that’s why we think Adult Friend Finder, Ashley Madison, and Seeking are the best options.

Adult Friend Finder even has live chat rooms and cams (the coolest feature of the three!) and frankly, has gotten people laid more than any other site - and it has the Reddit Confessions to prove it!

Rather than risk using an unmoderated site, try signing up for a free preview at a popular casual dating site and see how easy it is to make sexy new friends.

Good luck, have fun, and stay safe!

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