While Craigslist is most associated with being a classifieds site where people sell personal items, it was also one of the most popular dating sites.
But that all changed in 2018 when Craigslist shut down its personals section.
So if you are interested in a no-strings-attached hookup, like those posted on sites like craigslist, don’t worry – the now-defunct craigslist can replace personals with over a dozen other hookup sites that work just as well, if not better.
And we’ve compiled the best Craigslist Personals alternatives to help make your casual encounters online as smooth as possible!
Reviewing The Best Craigslist Personals Alternatives
|Website||Editor’s Notes||Score||Is it Free?|
||97%||Free trial is available|
|⭐Craigslist Missed Encounters||
||92%||Free for women|
||73%||Free to join|
1. AdultFriendFinder – Best Craigslist Alternative
AdultFriendFinder is one of the larger online communities of singles looking for casual sex – so you can easily find a suitable match for you! They also have handy guides for how to date and different categories to meet your specific needs.
- A huge user base
- Webcam and live chat option
- Free trial available
- Mobile apps to use on the go
- Not ideal for a serious relationship
- Lots of fake accounts.
Overall, AdultFriendFinder is one of the top picks because, like Craigslist personals, it is a hookup site where you can find just about whatever you want.
It’s easy to use and the website provides guides to help you more successfully connect with a casual partner.
If you’re into casual dating and you like personal sites like Craigslist, you will want to check out AFF – and it’s free to join!
2. Craigslist Missed Encounters – Free Personal Ads Site
Craigslist Missed Encounters is very similar to the original Craigslist personals.
Missed Encounters has been around since 2000, but after Craigslist shut down its personals section in 2018, Missed Encounters became the personals section replacement to help you find matches with specific kinks or fetishes.
- Completely free to use
- Similar to the original Craigslist personals
- Personal ads are welcome here
- Not always has profile photos
- Not ideal for long-term relationships
It’s not surprising that a great alternative to Craigslist personals popped up on Craigslist. While not explicitly a personal ad dating site, Craigslist Missed Encounters has taken on the role of an online hookup site.
But whether you use it that way is completely up to you!
Because it is not designed for sex, you can also use Craigslist Missed Encounters for more wholesome socializing, like meeting people with similar interests. It is a pretty diverse community here.
3. Reddit Dirty R4R – Similar Site to Craigslist Personals
Reddit is an interesting place. Unlike Craigslist, Reddit is not explicitly designed for selling anything but rather for education. It is a place where people who share hobbies come together to form communities known as subreddits.
And it should come as no surprise that there are countless subreddits devoted to sex, kinks, and discreet hookups.
For example, sex workers will form communities on Reddit to get advice and have discussions. There are also hookup subreddits such as Dirty R4R, where you can set up a no-strings-attached hookup like you would on Craigslist personals.
- Totally free
- Large community
- Plenty of active users
- Subreddits are moderated with rules
- Decentralized & chaotic
- Many trolls who are not serious
While Reddit Dirty R4R is diverse and open and resembles Craigslist personals, it’s not optimized for online dating or sex.
Location is not factored in, which means anyone from around the world, including trolls, can answer personal ads.
But the subreddits are a great way to get to know the community if you are curious, and Reddit more generally has a large community of sex-curious people.
There are subreddits devoted to almost every kink and fetish you can think of, so in time, you will almost certainly find something you like.
4. Ashley Madison – The Discreet Married Dating Website
Ashely Madison is probably a name that you’ve heard of. This Canadian-based website is popular among married people because of how discreet it is.
Best of all – it’s also free for women!
- Specifically designed for married people
- Best privacy features
- Easy to use
- Women use for free
- Men have to pay a steep fee
- Users are generally older
- The site is majority men
The motto for Ashely Madison is pretty simple: “life is short, have an affair.” So if you are looking for a discreet way to have an extramarital affair, Ashely Madison might be your best option (though we in no way condone having affairs!)
As an alternative to Craigslist personals, it’s also much more secure and discreet – so you won’t have to worry about your personal info while on there.
But that privacy comes at a cost.
Unlike personals sites like Craigslist, Ashley Madison has a high membership fee for men who want to join.
5. Doublelist – Personals Site Like Craigslist
Doublist is a classified ads site that highly resembles the Craigslist personals section. It has millions of accounts and works equally well for men and women.
Started in 2018, users go to Doublelist because it is a non-judgemental way to explore sexuality and find casual partners. There are over 3 million active users in the USA.
- Free to use
- Men & women are successful
- Similar to Craigslist personals
- Trolling & bot accounts are common
- A daily limit on how much you can post
- Not suited for long-term relationships
Doublelist resembles the original CL personals section so much that you might just think that Craiglist made it. So, if Craigslist personals were your jam, then you will probably love Doublelist.
Doublelist is extremely similar to Craigslist casual encounters, and it is equally easy for men and women to connect for a one-night stand.
Even though it has a daily limit, it’s free, and you can start exploring at no risk today.
6. Locanto – Personal Classified Site Like Craigslist
The Locanto personals section, while not explicitly designed as a dating website, works similarly to how Craigslist functioned.
Plus, It’s free and available all over the world.
- Free to use
- Premium account option
- Available all over the world
- Good website layout that is easy to get around
- Not optimized for dating
- An unfocused and large audience
- A lot of fake ads
Locanto is similar to both Craigslist and Doublelist. It is first and foremost a classifieds site where people sell cars and other used items. But Locanto personals are the section of the site where adults can connect for meet-ups, sex, and dating.
While Locanto does have a premium option, the benefits aren’t that great, and most people will easily use it for free.
The website is easy to use and can be accessed from around the world. Unfortunately, it is not optimized as a dating site, and it has a lot of fake users, ads, and bots.
7. Alt.com – A BDSM Themed Dating Site
While most of the previous alternatives to Craigslist personals were more generally themed, Alt.com is the place to go if you are into BDSM.
It’s not that you can’t find BDSM partners on those other services – some of them even have sections for that, but this is a community mainly devoted to BDSM.
- Optimized for BDSM
- Free to use
- The website appears outdated
- There are many fake accounts
It’s not that you can’t find fetish categories on other dating services, but the truth is that you never know who is into what. Also, it can feel embarrassing to speak about a kink or fetish when you are not sure how the other person will respond.
But if you are using Alt.com, you can guarantee that you’re in a judgment-free zone of people who love BDSM and want to connect.
It’s free to use and is basically like a BDSM-themed version of the Craiglist personals section.
8. FetLife – Kinky Dating Forums
FetLife is more of a social networking website than anything else. It is a place where people interested in fetishes and kinks, including BDSM, can come together to discuss their interests, making it easy for you to connect with like-minded individuals.
It was launched in 2008 and currently has over 6 million members.
- Over 6 million active users
- A non-judgemental community
- Ability to create a personal ad
- A directory of all fetishes
- Free membership has limited access
- Mobile apps not available
- Men make up the majority of users
FetLife is an interesting option because, in reality, it is not a classifieds site for casual sex, even though it gets used that way.
FetLife is primarily a social media site for adults, and it is a way for them to share their fetishes and kinks in a non-judgemental way.
But users do create personal sex postings here, and other members can respond to them. This website is not the place to go if you want a more vanilla hookup. Other websites are better for non-fetish sex, and they are better optimized for meeting people.
But if you want an alternative to Craigslist personals and have a particular fetish in mind, then FetLife could end up being the perfect place for you to find your match.
Best Craigslist Alternative Dating Sites: The 10 Runner ups:
- What’s Your Price – Online classified site for dating
- Swingers Date Club – Casual encounters with swingers
- CasualX – Best dating app for a casual encounter
- Whiplr – BDSM, fetish, and alternative lifestyle dating site
- BangLocals – The personals site to hook up with locals
- GumTree – Classified ads site like CL personals
- Bumble – Best dating app for women
- Tinder – Popular for casual dating and hookups
- Scruff – Popular gay dating app
- Senior Sizzle – Classified site for older people
Best Craigslist Personals Alternatives: FAQs
Now that you have seen the top Craigslist personals alternatives, you might have a few specific questions about how it works and which one will be best for you.
While none of these questions have a one size fits all answer, they should help you settle on the best method of casual dating for you.
What Is The Best Craigslist Personals Alternative?
The answer to this question will depend on what casual encounters site best fits your needs.
If socializing with other fans of fetish is your thing, then Adult Friend Finder might be best. And if you are a fan of BDSM, then a dating site like Alt.com is your best bet.
But overall, the best alternative to Craigslist would have to be Adult Friend Finder.
Like Craigslist personals, it maintains a large user base of people looking to find casual hookups in all kinds of categories, so you can find a match for you. However, it’s not really for serious relationships or serious dating online.
Can I Use These Craigslist Personals Replacements for Free?
Many of these Craigslist alternatives have free membership options or are just generally without any premium options.
But like many casual hookup dating apps, many of these classified sites have both free members and paid members. The motto of “you get what you pay for” holds for these replacements.
Plus, free members cannot access all the features, so it is usually worth paying for a complete experience.
It is also worth noting that some casual hookup sites charge differently for men and women. But, generally speaking, men are more active on websites for casual dates.
Websites will therefore incentivize women to join with less pricey options. On AshleyMadison, for example, women can sign up for free!
What Are Some Precautions to Take Before Using Online Personals for Casual Hookups?
The level of precaution that you should take depends on the specific dating services you want to use for your casual hookups.
With Craigslist casual encounters and other sites like Craigslist, you should always be aware of fake users and other scams.
Sites like Craigslist and Reddit, where just about anybody can browse listings for hookups or one-night stands, often have a large and diverse crowd that can sometimes be unsafe.
Because, unlike other more restricted sites, personal ads on Reddit risk coming from fake users and trolls.
Why Did Craigslist Personals Shutdown?
Considering the number of alternatives that exist, you’re probably wondering exactly why Craigslist had to shut down its personals site.
The details involve legislation passed in 2017 called FOSTA (Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act), which made the hosts of online sex sites potentially liable.
Previously, selling sex advertisements was one of Craigslist’s primary sources of revenue. But as in similar shutdowns in the past, the same content essentially moved to other site sections.
In this case, Craigslist Missed Encounters and Missed Connections both serve as Craigslist personals replacements.
How Do I Use These Sites Safely?
Depending on the website you choose, you might need to be aware of fake accounts, misleading ads, and other scams.
Generally speaking, higher-paying websites like AshleyMadison will be safer than free alternatives.
But whatever you choose, here are some rules to follow to keep you safe:
- Trust your instincts. If you do not think someone is authentic, they probably are not
- First meetings should always be in a public place
- Keep personal information private and only communicate through the apps
- Never disclose financial information
- Tell a friend when you are going on a date and when you expect to be home
- Use your own mode of transportation, and don’t share rides on a first date
While there is no way to be 100 percent safe, following these rules will give you the best chance.
Conclusion – Best Craigslist Alternative Dating Sites
If it has been quite a while since your last hookup and you are looking for a Craigslist replacement, then hopefully, this article has given you a lot to think about.
From options that are almost identical to Craigslist to options that are fetish-specific – you can connect with other adults easier than ever!
The clear overall winner for the best alternative would have to be AdultFriendFinder. Its webcam chatting, large user base, mobile usability, and free trial make it the best way to connect with other adults.
All of these options serve as an excellent replacement for the casual encounters on Craigslist personals, happy searching!