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Thirsty? It’s time for the hook-up apps! 

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Nov 06, 2023

Thirsty? It’s time for the hook-up apps! 

There is a time and place for romance and love, courtship and chivalry, but sometimes, sapphos (in the wise words of Cyndi Lauper) just wanna have fun. Look, boys, you’re not the only ones who crave a good bone, a romp in the sack, a deep carnal inspection… you get the idea. 

FLINTA hook-up culture is very much alive and well – or at least, there are plenty of horny honeys lusting to strap, scissor, squirt, and suck until the sun goes down and cums up again. 

But where do you find these beauties, you ask? How do you know who’s “looking for something more” and who’s DTF with no strings attached? 

Well, you can get your casual sex in a lot of creative ways, but these days, a lot of pleasure seekers are turning to dating apps (aka hook-up apps) to score successfully. (We, of course, recommend giving HER a ride so that you can also ride 😉.) 

Want to hear more? Read on!

Two cute lesbians flirting after meeting on a hook-up app

Source: Whisper

To start from the beginning, hook-up culture refers to the world of casual, dynamic, and lustful physical intimacy – sometimes (but not necessarily) with a specific structure or goal, sometimes unplanned (but not necessarily unintentional), and always focused on pleasure. By this definition, some casual dating and most casual sex fall under the hook-up culture umbrella. 

Those participating in the hook-up may not know each other – if they pick each other up in a bar, club, or other public space or of a hook-up app – but they also might. Friends with benefits (FWB) much? What about the lusty impulses of two previously non-sexual acquaintances or friends who suddenly need to fuck each other’s brains out? It happens. 

Hook-up culture supports all the ways in which two (or more) hotties might come together to enjoy each other’s bodies and pleasures, whether that’s for a sloppy (but consensual) one-night stand or a longer stint. 

Hook-up culture includes all of the DTF, HMU, J4T, and other seriously direct abbreviations you’ll find across the hook-up apps that spell out how and when (and if!) things are going to go down.

Hook-up culture comes alive in sex party dark rooms, grimy bar bathrooms, cheap hotel rooms, neat and tidy bedrooms, and sandy beach shores under the stars (true story; it was a super hot personal experience). 

However you relate to or pursue them, hook-ups have been happening for ages, and though the hook-up culture occasionally evolves, it’s definitely not going away. After all, sometimes, some of us will always just need a good fuck. 

Is there a sapphic hook-up culture? 

Two lesbians hooking up as part of sapphic hook-up culture

Source: LovePanky

You betcha! One of the biggest myths that I’ve persistently seen about sapphic/wlw hook-up culture is that it’s simply obsolete or irrelevant – as if men were the only ones who have a spontaneous and debaucherous libido. To this, I, and the exasperated sapphic internet, say absolutely heck no. 

In the words of some honest Reddit users: 

  • “I love the romance too, but sometimes a girl just needs that silicone.” – F.
  • “Wouldn’t it be nice to just hop on [to a sapphic Grindr alternative] and go ‘need to be strapped down, who’s the closest?’” – F.
  • “Hell, bring back cruising! Bring back the hanky code!” – S.
  • “Oh boy, do I feel you. How do I respectfully give off “I’ll pin you down and give you the strap” vibes to someone I just met??” – Q. 
  • “Get that silicon lmao.” – Q. 

Obviously, these wlw are looking to get some, but even just looking at my own queerdo network of friends and lovers in Berlin and beyond, I can confidently confirm that there are many wlw who find it easier at times (and more desirable) to jump someone’s bones than to take on a relationship marathon. 

(Of course, loads of wlw are also looking for love – or at least tend towards casual dating a little more than casual sex – and that’s also great. If you fall under that category, you may also be interested in these dating tips for distinguishing and clarifying your intentions.)

Lesbian hook-ups through the ages

It’s a huge misconception that cruising (the art of the anonymous queer hook-up) only belongs to the gays, because honey, lesbian cruising has a legendary place in sapphic tradition. In fact, while these practices have mostly died out in the mainstream, some sapphic spaces and neighborhoods today still keep them going strong.   

There was a time – during the existence of actual and prolific lesbian hotspots – when casual sex was as easy as walking into a bar, club, cafe, bookstore (totally), or bathhouse. For sapphic elders in progressive locations, everything was almost literally all laid out there. 

And oh, the signaling. How great it must have been to be out on the street and glimpse a strategically placed hanky inviting you to be ruthlessly forward with your desires toward the bearer, no strings attached.

Leather jackets, labrys symbols, esoteric jewelry, even decorative cock rings – not only were lesbians self-identifying in plain sight, but they were shamelessly expressing (and acting on!) some very explicit and creative fantasies! 

Now, circumstances have changed. Sapphic spaces are disappearing, and hook-up culture is centered more than ever on hook-up apps, which offer more clarity, control, and safety than before. There’s still plenty of in-person action – commonly manifesting through the FLINTA* “play date,” which is exactly what the name suggests – but digital sexuality can’t be ignored. 

However, always remember – we have a hook-up legacy in our sapphic roots, so if this practice calls to you, know that you are more than well-equipped for it through your lady-lovin’ lineage.  

Safety tips and advice for no-strings-attached action

From those who have been around the block a time or five, there are some things anyone pursuing a sapphic hook-up should keep in mind to keep things safe and comfortable:

Always consent! 

It doesn’t matter the circumstances – if consent isn’t part of the picture, it’s almost certainly not a healthy or safe situation. Be clear about your intentions – and those of your new friend. Say no when you don’t want to and yes when you do, and respect others to give you their own answers in return. Consent is simple, and consent is sexy. 

Meet potential hook-ups publicly

It’s age-old advice, but still worth considering: if it’s your first time meeting up, meet in a public place whenever possible, especially if you have any doubts or questions. This isn’t a foolproof protective measure, but there’s a good chance that far less would go wrong when others are present around you – or that something can be stopped if it does.

Have an accountability/check-in buddy

If you can’t meet publicly, or even if you simply want more support during your experience, enlist someone as your check-in buddy to bail you out or step in to help if the worst happens. 

Consider the risk of STDs and/or unwanted pregnancy 

Women and lesbians have different bodies and genitals, so it may be that your lesbian sex puts you or your partner at higher risk of STDs, pregnancy, or HPV. Investigate what’s applicable to your body and preferred partners, and then take the steps to test, vaccinate, and/or protect as needed. 

Also, be open to various forms of protection – condoms, dental dams, gloves, etc. – that someone may want or need to be safe. 

Stay playful!

At the core, hook-ups are about having fun and being playful, whatever that looks like for you. Let that play be your guide! Also, if you’re in the pre-hook-up negotiations of “Will we, won’t we?,” remember the sex is more likely to happen when you remain playful – and not stressed – about making it happen!  

Remember that a hook-up isn’t a proposal

To all you U-hauling sapphics out there (and to all the poly folks who are relationship trigger-happy), remember: just because you hook up with her doesn’t mean you have to date, or marry, her. It doesn’t even mean you have to be friends with her, or speak to her ever again. Sometimes, your connection can start and end with the hook-up alone. It’s allowed.

What makes a good hook-up app? 

 Woman looking for sapphic hook-ups on a hook-up app

Source: Astrologify

There’s no such thing as a perfect hook-up app… or is there? I’ve compiled a list from sapphic voices far and wide of some characteristics and functionalities that make up a great sapphic hook-up app:

Detailed relationship matching system

These are questions or options that allow you to dig deep (and break the ice) with your intentions beyond the initial match. For example, it’s great to have clear options for “Hookups” or “Something casual” in the Looking For section!

Diverse options for self-identification and expression

It’s good to know what your matches are looking for, but it also feels so sexy to be transparent in your desires as your most authentic self. 

Detailed stickers, profile questions, and toggle options across the entire queer spectrum are all great ways to both express yourself and let others know the treasure that is on offer. 

Inclusivity for the sex-positive AND emotionally mature

Being a horndog doesn’t mean that you’re inevitably intellectually stunted, emotionally devoid, and commitment-avoidant. Sapphos hook up for all kinds of reasons… which don’t lump them into a horny one-size-fits-all, even if there are no strings attached.

The perfect lezzie hook-up app celebrates the richness of its users by facilitating honest conversations around who wants what, when, and with whom. Whether through diverse search and identification options, spicy public “Wanted Ad” threads, or naughty suggested match questions to fan your hook-up’s flames preemptively, let’s keep it mature AND sexy by making our interests well known. 

Immediate hook-up filters

While you can certainly make hook-ups happen in hook-up apps, it isn’t always straightforward to make one happen that same hour or night. Sometimes, you just won’t have the time later, or, more importantly, you’re horny NOW. This function mediates this difficulty — and makes it explicitly clear that your window of opportunity is literally now or never.

Profile spotlighting

People come to dating apps for many reasons… and with different commitments to their search. If you’re looking for a hook-up, chances are you’re hoping to find someone cute who will actually respond! 

Profile spotlighting – yours or theirs – shows that this person means business… and that they might also have some interesting overlapping desires with your own.

Sex-positive and sex-first! 

It might seem obvious, but above all else, a fantastic hook-up app is a dedicated sex-first sapphic platform! No more mingling with the tentative romantics or the “Looking to take things slow.” No more settling for the unicorn hunters. 

Of course, it’s fine not to want casual sex… but it’s also fine to want only that. This magical sapphic Grindr-equivalent would be the place for you to let loose and be very very clear about what it is you’re looking for. 

Thirst Mode to fulfill your sapphic hook-up dreams! 

Thirst Mode on HER app – What makes a good hook-up app?

Source: HER 

While we wait for the ultimate perfect sapphic hook-up app, let me tell you about what is already available for the voracious hook-up queen – Thirst Mode on HER! 

Thirst Mode gives you a chance to maximize your hook-up potential and basically reach the biggest possible pool with the greatest visibility. It’s about deciding your commitment to your lust is strong enough today and telling all of us on the app very plainly, very publicly. It’s about saying, “I will get some tonight!”

Specifically, Thirst Mode offers: 

  • Unlimited swipes
  • A complete view of everyone who’s liked you
  • Spotlighting your profile

You can always use HER as you usually do, but enabling Thirst Mode is specifically about taking your hook-up game to the next level. After all, what is Thirst Mode without your thirst? 😉

Read more about Thirst Mode and the fun science behind it. 

Some lesbians come to dating apps looking for love, but plenty of wlw come to hook-up apps for lust. There’s a whole horny world of cuties out there who are practically on the verge of exploding for some sapphic touch, so don’t think you’re alone in this if you can relate. 

For this reason, I encourage you not to be shy – update your HER profile with a steamy description (being as mysterious or obvious as you’d like), slide into your matches’ DMs, and later (hopefully), let your bodies do the rest of the talking.  

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Jillian Gogel is a writer and editor living her queer futchy dream life in Berlin. When not writing for clients, she is sharing her poetry and building intimate, creative, queer-celebrating community on her Joy Journeys Substack publication (@jillianjoy). She cares about dogs, yoga, sexual liberation, and holding space for exploring self-intimacy in all ways.

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