Chances are, at least one person you know has
met their partner using a dating app. Male, female, or non-binary, regardless of how you identify or what you like in bed, we all use them. And yet, most apps are still designed with only cis straight people in mind. What gives?
By its very premise, which requires the woman in a match to send the first message, Bumble assumes that its users are
straight. And as a lesbian woman who's spent a fair amount of time on both Tinder and OkCupid, I can tell you that the apps aren't great at weeding out men who don't belong (sorry for the immediate swipe left, Scott, Todd, and John, but I don't know how you got here).
Of course, that doesn't mean that queer women have to stick to meeting a new love interest in lesbian bars (
which are dying, anyway). In fact, I met my current girlfriend on a dating app, so I can 100% confirm that it's possible. All it takes is knowing the best ones to download and how to work with them.
Ahead, we've rounded up some of the best apps for queer ladies looking for
love or hookups online.
No surprise here, since HER is one of the only popular dating apps that was actually created by and for queer women. Although it's known as a lesbian app (and "her" implies women), HER is actually a good space for
both cisgender and non-binary people looking to meet other queer women or non-binary people. It's different from traditional dating apps in that it also allows users to create a social media-like presence through profiles and suggests queer events users can go to in their area to meet people IRL. More
Though less popular than HER, SCISSR was also created specifically for queer women and non-binary folks. Along with dating, it's also meant to be a "cultural network app" that queer women and non-binary individuals can use to make friends or just to chat. More
Okay, Plenty Of Fish's website looks like something from our old desktop that we had to access via dial-up, but don't let that deter you. They put a lot of effort into matching people based on chemistry, asking more than 70 questions related to personality in addition to a 30-question psychological assessment. The downside? Users are unable to choose a bisexual or non-binary option.
There aren't many dating apps made specifically for lesbians and bisexual+ women, so anything made with us in mind feels like a step-up. Lesly works similarly to Tinder, with photo-based profiles that you can swipe left or right. Except on this dating app, you'll only find other queer women.
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Tbh, Coffee Meets Bagel isn't the
best app out there for queer women. At first, it wasn't possible for bisexual people to choose to see for matches for more than one gender, but Coffee Meets Bagel changed that in the last couple years to make their app more LGBTQ+-friendly.
Once you're on the app, it's similar to other swipe-left or right dating apps, with the exception that CMB will send you a certain number of high-quality match or "bagel" per day. You choose "pass" or "like" and then a chat window opens for 7 days.
Hinge used to work by connecting you to friends-of-friends via your Facebook profile, but recent changes open it up for a wider dating pool. The app lets you answer a few questions about yourself in your profile, so it's more in-depth than Tinder but less detailed than OkCupid.
You won't run into profiles for men who don't belong on Fem. This is a dating app "geared for lesbians and people who are interested in meeting lesbians." While the language isn't very inclusive, the app isn't just for lesbians — queer women of all sexual orientations (and gender presentations, so you don't have to be femme) can use it.
Fem is slightly different from other apps in that it encourages users to create video profiles instead of just uploading photos, and it also allows for group chats. If you're too shy for a video, don't worry. It's not mandatory to make a video profile, and plenty of people use Fem like they would any other dating app — by uploading their best selfies.
I tried for years to avoid Tinder because I'd heard horror stories from other lesbian women about all of the random dudes that somehow find their way onto your feed. But online dating is partially a numbers game and the fact is that Tinder is one of the most popular dating apps out there. Just a few months after I finally swallowed my pride and created a profile, I went on my first date with the woman who's now my girlfriend. I guess that's karma for you.
So if you're only looking for women, it's worth the thumb energy it'll take to swipe past all the unnecessary dudes who pop up on the way to your dream girl.
I know I already said that Bumble's very premise is incredibly hetero-focused (and I stand by that), but that doesn't mean this app is worthless to queer women. The "rule" that women send the first message obviously doesn't apply to a woman-woman match, but there's one more Bumble "rule" that makes it slightly different than other dating apps: Bumble requires users to send a message within the first 24 hours. So Bumble is a good option for anyone who needs the motivation to actually say something to their matches (you know who you are).
Like many other apps, OkCupid started out focusing solely on straight people, but it has become
much more queer-friendly in the last few years with the addition of a bunch of new gender identity and sexual orientation options. Because OkCupid has more extensive user profiles than apps like Tinder or Bumble, it's also good for anyone who's looking to connect over more than just a pretty face. More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? Allosexual, Demisexual, Bicurious — & Other Sexualities You Need To Know How You Get Wet, Why You Get Wet, & How To Stay Wet If You’re Into Kink, You Need to Join One Of These Dating Apps