Exclusively for gay and bisexual guys
Easy and quick registration
More than 3 million members worldwide
This article contains affiliate-links.
In-Depth Review of
Founded in 2012 by UK based entrepreneur Jimmy Forrester-Fellowes, the original Only Lads operating philosophy was that gay dating apps of the time lacked a certain professional quality. Gay and bisexual singles deserved a matchmaking platform that catered exclusively to their interests, while also presenting itself in a modern and efficient design.
Pulling up Only Lads website, you can tell immediately that these design principles were taken to heart when constructing the platform. Advertising itself as made by gay men, for gay men, the platform’s success has already garnered over one million users. With such success in under a decade, it is easy to assume that Only Lads easily beats out the competition. But is this the reality?
Large user base
Accessible on desktop, mobile, and tablet devices
No fuss experience
Lacks some advanced features
Very focused on photos
Only Lads Cost
Per month: 9.18 £
Total: 9.18 £
Signing Up for Only Lads
Signing up for Only Lads is a tribute to the websites overall design: quick and intuitive. You have the option to sign up through Facebook if you want an absolutely hassle-free registration, but you may forego that option to create an account directly on the site.
When making your account, you will need to provide some pretty basic personal information that will be used for your profile. You will be asked your name, and they suggested that you use your first name, but there is nothing requiring it, and nicknames are also recommended.
Additionally, you will be asked to provide your birthday (your age will be displayed on your profile), your email, and your sexuality. Only Lads is designed for gay and bisexual men, so they intentionally provide a place for you to specify that.
Given its founder is based out of the UK, it may come as a surprise that Only Lads now has the majority of its members in the United States. Despite this, there are still plenty of members from other countries, with the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand being extremely well represented. France, Germany, and some other major European Union nations also have fairly active users.
As might be expected, the userbase is 100% male, with women not being allowed to create profiles on the platform. When visiting Only Lads webpage, you may notice many posted profiles are in an older age range, but the majority of members on the site are still in the 25 to 34 age group.
However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a wide age range across the site entirely; and with this age range comes a mix of different relationship desires. Only Lads is committed to connecting singles, but does not claim to foster any particular type of relationship. This means that users may be looking for deep connections and something more casual too. Users can also list their relationship status, so some may be participating in open relationships or looking for something with their partner.
While Only Lads relatively recent creation means it benefits from a lot of modern dating design principles, one area it does fall short in is the matching process. No matching algorithms or complicated compatibility equations here. Users will have to sift through profiles on their own, and determine for themselves what might constitute a good match.
The services also suffers from a pretty rudimentary search function. While you can change your location manually to affect the profiles you are shown, that is the extent of the search functions available to you. There isn’t a way to search by specific traits or profile entries. You will just be shown a series of men in your area, and you will then go through them at your own pace to determine any possible connections.
On the other hand, what Only Lads truly benefits from is an extremely viable free profile service. While a lot of dating platforms restrict free users from even the most basic features, Only Lads offers a lot to get user interested in the platform. Free users can send ‘Icebreakers,’ view photos at standard definition, view up to 50 profiles a day, send three messages a day, browse through 10 search result pages, have up to 10 friends in your friends list, up to 20 users in your favorites list, and even preview who visited and favorited your profile (a feature VERY often locked behind premium membership).
Having a premium account, conversely, gives you unlimited access to all of the aforementioned features, with the addition of high-quality photos and the ability to turn off advertisements. Overall, this means that making matches isn’t limited to just premium users like many other services, and the userbase is greatly expanded to free users and passive users.
Getting into contact on Only Lads is similar to most other dating platforms. Icebreakers are available in the forms of winks, smiles, waves, and pokes. These are all designed to be a flirty opener to show interest, without committing to a chat. With that, it’s also a good time to mention that users have the ability to start chats with other users. This is a pretty standard feature that serves free and premium users well. It is the way most matches will be initiated, and works well for continued communication.
For profiles you are interested in but might not have the time to reach out to, a favorites list is available where you can organize and keep track of those users that catch your eye. In addition to this, a Friends list is also available. This is one of Only Lads’ more community minded features. It includes all users who have accepted your friend request, and serves as a more personal and permanent alternative.
Only Lads App
Only Lads does have a mobile application available on both iOS and Android. It continues the tradition of a sleek and modern design, with all of the features found on the full website.
Optimized for use on the go, the only additional feature it has is displaying the general distance other users may be away from you.
Only Lads is a popular and growing dating site that caters directly to gay and bisexual men. While it might be tempting to call this a successful example of a niche dating platform, the sheer number of users seems almost a counter to the term.
While some of the features of the platform might be basic, Only Lads makes up for reduced search features with a free membership program that works to garner and maintain the interest of more passive users. The site also fulfills its goal of being a modern and professional dating platform, made by gay men for gay men.
If you are looking to enter the world of online dating without breaking the bank, Only Lads may be the perfect option for you.