Lady Friday Rates The Hook-Up Apps

Hook-up apps are the new future of no-strings dating – and with the launch this week of one designed just for threesomes, they’re getting specific. Lady Friday reviews the options…


Hook-up AppsLeft to right: Tinder, Pure and Down, courtesy app distributors.



Tinder was launched in 2012, and was clearly inspired by Grindr, the hook-up app for gay and bi dudes. Tinder, however, is for all genders, tastes and ages, and is one of the most popular hook-up apps in the world.

The way it works? Potential local matches’ photos flash up on the screen – it can linked to Facebook, to display your most flattering moments – and you click ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ depending on whether you like their look.

If both of you click ‘Yes’, you’re then allowed to text each other to arrange meeting up.

One problem: Tinder ‘hacks’, which involve automatically liking every woman in your match category for you, have started to take over the system. So take that ‘like’ with a pinch of salt.



Pure is a hook-up app with a difference: it’s time-specific. It only hosts your information and photos for an hour at a time before wiping them from the system.

The upside? It’s great for protecting privacy – it’s the same parameters as Tinder (an ‘Okay/No Way’ swipe to match up with users in the area) but in a way that protects your information.

You can also be frank about what you want – like whether you need people to have had recent STD tests.

The downside? It’s not free. After the first five hours, you need to pay to continue for each hour-long attempt to reach people, and all communication with potential hook-ups must take place within that hour. Worth it? Depends on your success rate. But it’s definitely not for people looking for romance.



This was once called ‘Bang With Friends’ and has now rebranded, but still preserves the same idea: riffing through your Facebook friends for a potential hook-up.

However, it’s now changed to make it more romantic and a bit less likely to match you with your cousin.

When you’re presented with photos, you can either swipe for ‘Get Date’ or ‘Get Down’, or skip them entirely. Nice to have the option. It also presents the possibility of friends of friends on FB, rather than just people you’ve already got to know.

This app depends on you using Facebook for more than just people you already know very well, as a kind of acquaintance-gatherer, so if you’re not into social media, skip it.



We have no idea how to pronounce it, and it’s still in development, but 3nder is all about arranging threesomes for those who can’t get a third from the people they know.

You can sign up as either a single looking for a couple or a couple needing a third, and is more like OKCupid than Grindr, in that it lets you set up a secret profile and browse discreetly.

The more intimate method is probably better than a standard in-your-local-area hookup app, since threesomes are notoriously difficult to navigate. However, we’ll have to wait until the proper launch to assess it.



This was the original, and possibly still the best, of the hook-up apps – it was made by the same man who invented Grindr, specifically for straight users. (There’s another option, Brenda, for gay women.)

Blendr is less a hook-up app than one based on finding friendship and dates, though it’s certainly used for getting into bed too.

It uses GPS-based location data to fix you up with people in your area, but instead of the minimalist profile of other apps, it required you to fill out a more detailed profile, and matches you with users based on interests.

Meeting people on Blendr has become the reality for people looking for connection rather than just bedroom fun, but you can generally gauge peoples’ interest in genuine intellectual spark by whether their profile is one line long.



The largest flirting-based app in the world, according to its publicity, Skout uses the GPS-based system of many others, finding users in ‘walkable’ distance (no public transport needed!).

It’s had a few problems, though. Its ‘teenage’ section had to be suspended after a few incidents of older people posing as teenagers for hook-ups with underage people, and its privacy system has been revealed to be flimsy, with identity info able to be exploited.

So while it’s widely used, I’d be careful about what you put on it…


Taking the pillow talk out of the bedroom, every Friday…
Lady Friday xx

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