When it comes to finding a hookup on dating apps, it’s truly a numbers game. But what does the lead time between a match and a sexy rendezvous look like for dating app users and what percentage of Americans’ matches are converting into a hookup (i.e., any activity beyond kissing or making out)? We went straight to modern-day daters to find out.
We surveyed 1,000 U.S. dating app users across genders, sexual orientations, generations, and more to find out how many dating app matches it takes to find a hookup and which apps have the highest hookup success rates. We also shed light on the mileage driven to meet a hookup as well as user intent: are the majority of users on dating apps for casual hookups or to find something more?
What Percentage of Dating App Matches Lead to Hookups?
In the swiping saga of modern dating, where does love — or at least, a good time — actually lie? According to survey results, the average U.S. dating app user matches with 25 people per month. Of those matches, two will convert into a hookup, on average, meaning just 8% of the average Americans’ dating app matches will result in a hookup. And it will take the average user 12.5 matches to find one hookup.
But, we see the results twist and turn with each demographic. When it comes to gender identity, 18% of male dating app matches will result in a hookup, compared to 9% of non-binary matches and 4% of female matches. Women get nearly three times more matches than men each month (33 vs. 12), but fewer of those matches will lead to sexual play.
When it comes to sexual orientation and dating app usage, here’s the scoop: gay men are finding more success in the hookup scene, with a striking 20% of their matches leading to something steamy, outpacing straight men who clock in at 15%, gay women at 4%, and straight women at 3%.
What’s more, 21% of Grindr users’ dating app matches evolve into hookups. Compare that to Tinder’s 8% and Hinge’s modest 3%, and the picture gets clearer. Grindr, the reigning king of casual encounters, stands in stark contrast to Hinge, the app that’s literally “designed to be deleted” for those seeking long-term love.
When it comes to age range, the baby boomer “zaddys” aren’t just in the game; they’re rewriting the rules. Baby Boomers are turning 18% of their matches into hookups, compared to 7% of Gen Z matches and a mere 4% of millennial matches. Millennials get more than twice as many matches as baby boomers each month (29 vs. 12), but fewer of those matches will turn into bedtime rodeo.
All in all, Grindr users, gay and straight men, baby boomers, and paying users have the most impressive hookup success rates on the apps.
Match, Chat, Hookup, Repeat: The Best Dating App for Hookups
In the digital age of love, the quest for a quick romantic connection is made easier by dating apps. 71% of dating app users have used a dating app solely to find a hookup at least once in their lifetime, and 92% of users agree that the apps significantly lower the barriers to finding a casual fling.
Further, when asking respondents which is the best dating app for hookups, Tinder was the clear MVP among 57% of overall users, followed by Bumble (18%), Grindr (16%), and Plenty of Fish (13%). The fact that Tinder celebrated its 10th birthday in 2022 and is still the go-to app for hookups in 2024 is a testament to its staying power.
So are the majority of people using dating apps to round the bases on a casual date or to find a long-term commitment? The answer is both.
Overall, dating app users are relatively neck and neck between seeking long-term relationships and casual hookups. When asking overall users why they’re on the apps, here’s how they weighed in:
- Long-term relationships: 32.0%
- Casual dating and hookups: 30.7%
- Cheating: 11.5%
- Entertainment purposes: 10.8%
- Friendship or companionship: 8.3%
- Expanding social circle: 5.2%
- Other: 1.5%
By a tiny margin, more people are swiping right for long-term partnerships than for casual hookups. Shockingly, 12% of users admit that they’re on the apps primarily to cheat or find a casual relationship with someone who is not their committed partner.
When we peek beneath the sheets at different demographics, bisexual and gay users are more likely to use the apps for a casual fling, while straight users are playing the long game. And for those splashing cash on premium dating app features? More often than not, they’re in the market for casual dating or hanky panky, rather than a committed relationship.
Either way you sway, 88% of dating app users say they make it clear with a dating app match what they are looking for (i.e., something serious or casual) before hooking up with them.
How Far Will Users Travel to Meet a Hookup?
In the world of dating apps, convenience is king, and a long drive for a little romance? Not so much. Nearly three fourths of dating app users (74%) aren’t willing to drive more than 25 miles for a sexual tryst. And when it comes to gay and Gen Z swipers, half of them draw the line at just 10 miles. But paying users (41%) are twice as likely as non-paying users (20%) to drive more than 25 miles for a hookup.
Most users say it would take a very strong physical attraction to encourage them to travel more than 25 miles for a hookup. It turns out the road to romance isn’t as long as we thought!
Other Dating App Hookup Statistics
How quickly are dating app users getting frisky after matching? The largest share of users say they go on one date with a match before hooking up, and most users say the lead time between matching and hooking up is within one week if they’re interested in the person –– talk about fast-paced romance! What’s more, 45% of users are willing to go all the way (full penetrative sex) during a first-time hookup with a match. Safety first, though –– 67% of users say they “always” use protection while hooking up with someone from a dating app. 24% say they “sometimes” use protection, while 8% say they “never” do.
And because safety isn’t just about protection, 41% of savvy swipers go as far as to share their location with a friend or family member before a date. Life360 and friend-tracking have become the latest buzz in the dating world, which makes sense considering over a third of dating app users (38%) have felt unsafe meeting up with a match at least once.
When it comes to the ideal scenario of meeting a potential hookup, 57% of dating app users would rather meet a hookup organically, in person, than through the algorithmic matchmaking of a dating app. This figure, while a majority, is surprisingly lower than we anticipated. It’s a telling sign that the digital realm of dating, particularly the expanding metaverse, is nudging daters towards a more virtual approach to finding connections. In the future, we may continue to see more love stories start in pixels and VR, rather than in coffee shops and bars.
Lastly, 48% of users have walked out of a date early because their match didn’t look like their dating app profile photos. Sometimes matches turn out to be more catfish than Casanova.
In the tangled web of online dating, the journey from match to hookup is as varied as the profiles you’ll encounter. And one thing is clear: no two journeys are alike. Sexual health and wellness expert Dr. Evan Goldstein weighed in on the insights:
“When looking at these survey results, we found it extremely interesting only 6% of straight users’ monthly matches will result in a hookup, while 20% of gay men’s monthly matches result in a hookup. This is a huge margin of difference.”
“This, coupled with the 21% of Grindr matches resulting in a hookup compared to only 3% for Hinge matches, clearly shows gay men are more actively participating in hookup culture. This is a major reason we have made it our mission at Bespoke Surgical to educate on the importance of comprehensive sexual education –– so everyone can have safe and worry-free fun.”
To find the percentage of dating app matches that will result in a hookup as well as the other dating app hookup statistics in this study, we surveyed 1,000 active dating app users across the U.S. from December 20 to December 22, 2023, with a representative sample across genders, sexual orientations, and generations. A “hookup” was defined for survey respondents as any sexual activity with a dating app match beyond kissing or making out.
About the Author
Consistent, proactive, and thoughtful healthcare is not only a priority, it is a demand by men who live well. Bespoke Surgical is built on this understanding. Today's modern, urban male has become adept at making the most of life, believing in living fully and completely in all aspects of work, fitness, relationships, and family. This makes excellent health more important than ever.
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