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2024 Hud Review: Is It One of the Best Hookup Apps We've Tried?

Screenshots from reviewing Hud

With the competition so fierce on mainstream dating apps these days, it’s little wonder that more men are considering lesser-known apps like Hud. Some 50% of those under 29 have tried dating apps, according to a study published in International Journal of Sexual Health. But a lot of them are struggling. Pew Research suggests some 47% of Americans say dating is harder now than it was 10 years ago, when online dating was only just beginning to get popular. So, if you’re a man struggling to stand out in such a crowded dating market, is Hud the answer? 

This is the question I’m aiming to answer in this Hud review.

But first, let’s talk about some of the top dating apps and sites out there that will actually help you meet new people. Below is a summary of the top performers when it comes to helping people meet up and hook up:

SiteOur ExperienceOur RatingFree Trial Link
Best For Relationships
Experience Highlights
Experience Highlights
  • Easily the best option for long-term relationships
  • 75% of all online marriages start here
  • 70% of users meet their spouse within a year
  • In-depth signup and matching process
9
Try eHarmony
Best For Casual Fun
Experience Highlights
Experience Highlights
  • The best way to meet women for casual relationships
  • Best results for regular guys
  • Over 60 million active members
  • Not good for long-term relationships
9
Try AFF For Free
Great If You're Handsome
Tinder Highlights
Tinder Highlights
  • Great if you're pretty good looking
  • Very popular, especially if you're 18-22
  • Really focused on photos
  • Becoming more of a dating than hookup app
8
Try Tinder

I’m an experienced online dating expert who has reviewed dozens of apps like Hud for Beyond AgesAlmost all of the Hud reviews you see online have been written by people who spent about 20 seconds using it and it’s almost impossible to find anyone’s experience with their paid features. Fortunately, after spending several weeks using both the free and paid versions I’m ready to share my review of the Hud app.

Hud popped up in early 2018 and has been gradually growing in popularity since then. I can tell you straight off is that Hud is not a scam site. Still, does that mean it’s worthwhile? We’ll get to that in a moment.

Any time we’re dealing with hookup sites you’ve got to be careful. Some 50% of online dating users have encountered fake scam accounts, according to Pew Research. There are only a handful worth using, especially for guys, and lots of new sites popping up that end up being big time wasters.

First, a quick rundown on the process I use each time I review a dating app.

Review Methodology: How I Reviewed Hud And Why It Matters

The Beyond Ages team and I have reviewed over 100 different hookup sites and apps by now. We sign up for paid memberships and test every aspect of these website to really understand if they’re worth using and who will have success using them. Nobody else does reviews like this and most reviews you see are written by professional writers who haven’t used a dating app in their lives.

We’re different when it comes to our HUD review.

The HUD review process
To review HUD comprehensively and accurately compare it to other apps, I would need to stick to the same methodology used to rate other dating apps. Here’s the methodology I used to review Hud. 

  • I’ll always start with as much of a blank profile as the app allows No photo, no bio text or other information, unless I’m forced to in the profile creation steps.
  • I’ll leave it empty for a couple of days to see if I get any messages in my inbox – No real user will ever contact a blank profile so if I get messages during this phase, I know I’m looking at a scam app. At the very least, an app that lets scammers run rampant.
  • I’ll fill out every detail of my profile and start using it daily for a week – This gives me a feel for the user base, how to actually use the app and whether or not it’s possible to have real conversations as a free user. Usually, I’m aiming to set up dates, but I can get by with just exchanging contact info with my matches.
  • After my week as a free user, I move on to using it for several weeks with a paid account – Now it’s comparison time — does my premium account give me any tangible advantage? More matches, visibility or conversations?
  • I send out dozens of messages based on our vault of effective openers – I send messages to 50 women in the target area, keeping note of how many respond within a week.
  • I do my best to set up as many dates as possible from the conversations I started – I followed up consistently using tried-and-true techniques that we teach that have led to hundreds of dates for me personally. The goal is to inspire the women who respond to swap contact details with the intention of meeting for a date. 

Comparison time – I then compared my findings to those from the 100+ other dating and hookup apps we have recently reviewed to understand where Hud stands. Our review should mention the fun and unique features that come with the app, but ultimately our verdict is mostly based on how easy it is to meet up with great women.

All in all, this process works nicely and I end up with a detailed understanding of what the app is like to use first hand. That means a better review for you and a lot of low-quality apps avoided.

Hud Dating App Review — The Complete Rundown

App features

Time to start talking about my experiences with this app. First up, a comparison of the HUD app against AFF. As the hookup app where regular guys tend to get the best results with women, it’s ideal to compare against. When you know how something compares to a top-end app it makes it much easier to make a decision regarding which app you should try first.

It never hurts to try both out and see for yourself but you only have so much time to spend looking to meet other people. We’re just trying to help you avoid the worst and start with the best so you can see results fast.

App logo Adult FriendFinder logo
Overall

Our team rates each site objectively based on many hours of independent research, the features each site offers, and how it compares with other sites. The ratings are the opinion of our editors and their extensive experience.

5 9.5
Quality of Women

Our opinion of how attractive the typical woman is that uses this site and how easy they are to connect with compared to other sites.

4 9
Popularity

How many people are using this site to actually meet people compared to other sites.

2 9
Usability

How easy is this site to use and how quickly can an average person begin meeting people compared to other sites.

9 10
Privacy & Safety

Does this site take proper precautions to safeguard its members, their identity, and their data.

9 10
Effectiveness

Our opinion of how easily an average person will be able to achieve their dating goals with this site compared to other sites.

1 9
Value

Will the time and money spent using this site pay off for an average person based on the opinions and experience of our editors.

1 10
Our Recommendation

Clearly, AFF (which has a great free trial) is the winner here. In fact, with an overview like that, I can think of a long list of better options than the Hud app. It’s not that the app is dangerous, it’s just boringly quiet which is a shame. The idea behind it all is appealing and has a lot of potential.

Great features, but hardly any users

SAFE Integration

Most apps these days are so basic that it’s exciting to see some features that stand out. In the case of the Hud app, which is primarily a hookup app, I found some interesting features that would have been useful:

  • The Hud Bedroom: this is where you can share a ton of information about yourself ranging from the basics (e.g. height, smoking, drinking, etc.) to kinks (e.g. bondage, tickling, etc.).
  • SAFE Integration: you can show a verified STD Safety Badge on your profile. This is something that should probably be more common in hookup apps. After all, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in five Americans have sexually transmitted infections. The World Health Organisation reports that over a million potentially curable STIs are acquired every day, most of which are asymptomatic. “Silent infections, along with shame and national shyness have made the STD epidemic a dangerous secret,” says Felicia H. Stewart, MD, Director of Reproductive Health Programs at Kaiser Family Foundation. So, it’s great that Hud have stepped to help stop you from becoming a part of this so-called secret. “Men and women who are unaware of their infections needlessly risk their own health and the health of their partners”, Stewart added.

Alongside that, Hud functions much like Tinder where you tap the heart icon on a profile you like and the X icon on a profile you’re not into.

It’s no match for AFF

In essence, during out Hud review, we’ve learned that it may have been a pretty good hookup app at one point, but it’s pretty quiet now. I got zero matches, and it’s not from a lack of trying! I usually get a decent number of matches on other more popular dating apps. I also noticed that I quickly ran out of matches after seeing just a handful of profiles.

This is thankfully not a problem on AFF, one of the most consistently reliable hookup sites I’ve tried. While it’s been around for nearly two decades, it still maintains a sizeable, active userbase. Finding people to talk to and eventually meet up with is always easy on AFF. And since it has a ton of users all over the world, even users in smaller cities can still find hookups.

While the Hud dating app has some cool features and an attractive interface, it’s ultimately useless because of its lack of users. This is why we recommend you try the AFF free trial instead. Click here to get started with your AFF free trial.

Positives and negatives of HUD

Despite my low ratings for the app, there are a few positive things I encountered during my HUD review.

Positives
Negatives
  • An intuitive interface
  • A broad, inclusive concept
  • No signs of scam or spam activity
  • I managed one conversation in two weeks. One match.
  • Overall low-quality profiles

What the Hud dating app is all about

How it works and how to find matches

Positioning themselves as the “#1 Hookup & Casual Dating App,” their purpose is pretty clear. While they’re not against people finding love, they’re really here to make hookups happen.

From the sign-up process to the info you see while swiping, the HUD dating app is all about getting straight to the point and I like it.

There’s a high demand for this in the United States, for sure. One in six Americans have used a dating app solely for the purpose of having sex, according to the latest Esquire Sex Survey.

In terms of actually finding people, it’s a very familiar interface. You’re presented with a stack of profiles and you indicate whether you like them or not. While you can’t swipe left and right like most of the competitor apps, you tap the heart or X icon to indicate yes or no. If you both “heart” each other, it’s a match and you’re free to start chatting.

With a free account, you can use basic filters like age, gender and distance. If you upgrade to a paid account you have so many more filters to choose from including their sexual preferences and kinks.

It’s a real shame this app is so quiet.

The Top Alternatives To Hud For Hookups Actually Recommended By Dating Experts

If you’re ready to get some real results with women you need to be on the right apps. Most guys really screw this up and waste a ton of time on an app that is never going to work for them. These are the best options right now if you’re looking for something fun and casual:

SiteOur ExperienceOur RatingFree Trial Link
Best Hookup Site Right Now
Experience Highlights
Experience Highlights
  • Top option for local hookups by far
  • Best results for regular guys
  • Over 60 million active members
  • The design needs an update
9.5
Try AFF For Free
Great If You're Handsome
Tinder Highlights
Tinder Highlights
  • Great if you're pretty good looking
  • Very popular, especially if you're 18-22
  • Really focused on photos
  • Becoming more of a dating than hookup app
8
Try Tinder
2nd Best For Most Guys
Experience Highlights
Experience Highlights
  • 2nd best option to find hookups
  • Attracts an older crowd than most hookup apps
  • Pretty popular
  • Solid free trial
8
Try Passion

Your Hud “bedroom”

The Bedroom feature shows other users your kinks

Hud has a simplistic design that’s easy to navigate. “The one design principle I always follow is “don’t make me think.” I believe in minimising the amount of thinking and the time it takes for the user to interact with the app,” said the app’s founder Edward Chen. 

The one positive thing I also noticed during my Hud review is the profiles. Profile setup for Hud is a bit more involved than you might expect from a hookup app. You start off with fairly basic things like height, whether or not you drink, smoke or do drugs. After that, things get a little more personal.

Once you hit the “My Bedroom” section of the setup, you have a list of sexual interests/kinks to choose from. There are so many options to choose from and the first few are visible in the screenshot below.

For example, you can answer if you’re into bondage and whether you like to give, receive or both. It’s the same for all relevant options in the list. Although this is an optional part of the setup process, I’d recommend doing it if you’re going to use Hud. Ultimately, the more info you provide about yourself, the more likely people are to pay attention.

SAFE integration

This is something I’d never even considered in a dating app before and it’s a great initiative. SAFE offers cheaper STD checks and integrates with Hud. That means you can show a verified “STD Safety Badge” on your profile too.

Especially for a hookup app, this is an excellent idea and I’d love to see some of the other major brands pick it up too.

“This is unique among dating apps, and one of the features we are proud of, because it further highlights our commitment to safe, consensual dating”, said Chen. 

Adding profile photos was a nightmare

To make sure people are using quality profile photos, the Hud app has an automated system that checks over your photos and rejects anything that doesn’t meet their requirements.

For me, that meant about half of my usual photos were rejected. Not because they’re actually bad but because it must have tripped something in their automated tool.

I have a set of quality, current profile photos I use for my accounts. They’re all pics of just me and a mix of face, upper body and full body photos so people can see what I look like.

Em, one of our expert dating consultants on Beyond Ages, writes, “Women want to know you’re an honest, genuine person.  Lots of creeps post deceptive photos, or lie on their profiles.  After a couple bad dates, women are sick of this.  When we see you’re confident and honest about who you are, we’re into that.”

The only ones Hud seemed to be happy with were the face and upper body pics.

Although I understand what they’re trying to do, I personally appreciate full-body photos in a profile. It gives a far better idea of what someone actually looks like and leaves no room for creative angles to mislead you. A recent study from The Match Lab found that profiles with both close-ups and full-body shots were more likely to attract attention on dating apps.

Although I understand what they’re trying to do, I personally appreciate full-body photos in a profile. It gives a far better idea of what someone actually looks like and leaves no room for creative angles to mislead you.

A great concept but not enough of a user base

Hardly any people on the appThis is something I’ve come across with a few legit websites and I hate to see it — a legitimate website with a great concept but just not enough users for me to stick with it.

I like the fact that it’s openly a hookup app. I think the idea of showing your “bedroom” preferences right from the profile stack is great. Letting you filter by those kinks is even better. With a bit of work, even the profile photo filtering system could be a big step in the right direction.

Having to set my range to hundreds of miles to have a conversation mitigates all of these positives. One caveat I will offer here is that maybe, just maybe, it’s dead in my city. If you live in a large city like LA or NYC (the two most popular cities for online dating, according to a Business Insider study) you might have better luck. If that’s the case for you, Hud is a great option and you should sign up for premium.

“In a bigger city/area there are simply more options than in a more rural setting,” explains marriage and family therapist Nicole Richardson. The downside to that is there’s more competition for your beau’s attention. “It can mean that attention spans are far more limited,” Richardson agrees.  

A paid membership didn’t help at all

No matches despite paying for a membershipThe Hud user base was so limited that I didn’t find any difference at all in moving to premium. I mean, it’s all good and well to be able to message users without matching or to get unlimited swipes but if there are only a handful of women in my area, what’s the point?

There are some 366 million online dating users, according to 2022 data from Statista, yet seemingly only a tiny percentage of those are on Hud.

Paying for a premium membership will give you:

  • Unlimited messages
  • Advanced search filters
  • The ability to see who has viewed your profile
  • Unlimited location changes
  • Unlimited potential matches on your feed
  • Unlimited “rewinds” if you actually tap “X”
  • Read receipts for your in-app messages

Some $2.86 billion is spent on online dating per yet, according to Statista, but I currently see no reason to spend your hard-earned money on Hud. If they can find a way to bring more users to their platform, I’d say the paid membership is absolutely worth the money (if for no other reason than to support the developers).

How Do Other Users Feel About Hud?

Most Hud reviews are complaining either about some bugs within the app or the fact that they can’t seem to find even a conversation with a decent woman. 

Jeffrey Wentz – Google Play Store

“No interaction at all. Several matches and messages to women, literally 2 have replied. This app is more dead than Tinder.”

Ital Boogie – Google Play Store

“App doesn’t work and you never meet anyone.”

Richard – Google Play Store

“Has anyone ever actually gotten a response back? I’ve messaged over 43 people over the course of 2 months and I have not gotten a single reply back.”

How to stay safe using hookup apps

I didn’t find any hint of fake accounts or scammers during my tests of Hud, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible for some unscrupulous users to get past the app’s safety nets. Here are some tips to keep yourself protected when 

Don’t be too vulnerable too quickly.

“When we are making decisions that make us vulnerable, we need to also be thinking about safety” says psychotherapist Kelly Scott. We might be excited about finding a match on a hookup app, but it’s important to keep our feet on the ground. It’s common to fall for online romance scams when we use our emotions instead of logic. “There’s a lot of physical and emotional vulnerability in dating,” Scott explains.  

Move the conversation to social media.

Once you’ve made a nice connection on a hookup app, move the conversation to a social media app, so you can learn more abou your match, including whether they were representing themselves accurately on the app. 

Arrange a video call.

Video calls will allow you to test your match to see if there’s in-person chemistry and whether they are who they say they are. 

Meet in public.

Yes, Hud is a hookup app, but there’s nothing wrong with meeting in public first, even if it’s just for one drink at a bar. This is a smart step for your safety. 

Trust your gut feeling.

If something seems too good to be true, it usually is. “Trust your instincts,” says cybersecurity engineer and ethical hacker Precious Olives. This becomes easier when you’re not too desperate to find what you want too fast on a dating app. “Also, trust gradually,” Olives adds.

Practice safe sex.

There’s an undeniable focus on casual sex within Hud, so it’s always worth being prepared with condoms before any date. “Condoms remain essential in the fight against STIs, as well as HIV, and we recommend using them for sex with any new or casual partners,” says Dr Elizabeth Carlin, President of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH). She might say she’s on the pill or that there’s nothing to worry about, but it’s your role to take responsibility for your own sexual health. “We urge anyone who is concerned about their sexual health, or risks they have taken, to have a check-up and be tested – it is quick and easy to do, “ Carlin adds.

Hud Review: Frequently Asked Questions

Got some burning questions about HUD that we weren’t able to answer above? Here are some FAQs to help you out.

What is Hud?

Hud is a hookup dating app designed to match people with similar sexual interests. It’s very inclusive no matter your gender or sexual preferences and lays your cards out on the table.

Who actually owns Hud?

Hud is owned by HUD Studio Limited, a company registered in New Zealand.

How can I contact Hud?

Hud has a contact form that you can use to send in issues, questions and feedback.

Is Hud real?

Yes, Hud is a real dating app, though it’s not as active as other more popular sites.

Is Hud legit?

In the time I was using Hud, I saw no evidence that anything fishy was going on. The one user I got to interact with seemed entirely legitimate and that was it.

In terms of your credit card staying safe, payment is made via Apple or Google, so you’re protected there too.

Is Hud a scam or fake?

No, Hud is not a scam.

Is Hud safe?

Yes, Hud is an app that’s safe to use.

Does Hud really work?

The short answer, sadly, is no. It’s a legitimate app but lacks an active user base. In a few weeks, I managed one short conversation. Hardly inspiring.

What are Hud alternatives?

While Hud is a safe, legit site, we would recommend other options. We’ve compiled a list of the best dating apps and sites for finding hookups.

How does Hud work?

Once you have a Hud account, you’re presented with a stack of profiles and you indicate whether you like them or not. While you can’t swipe left and right like most of the competitor apps, you tap the heart or X icon to indicate yes or no. If you both “heart” each other, it’s a match and you’re free to start chatting.

Is there a Hud app?

Yes, Hud is primarily an app.

How much does Hud cost?

Hud Premium access only has one level, although it gets cheaper the longer you sign up for it. Below are your pricing options right now.

  • 1 Month: $24.99
  • 3 Months: $16.66/month or $49.99
  • 6 Months: $11.67/month or $69.99
  • 12 Months: $16.67/month or $199.99

How can you use Hud for free?

You can access all the features of Hud for free. However, with a paid membership, you can use more filters, see who viewed your profile and view unlimited profiles.

How do you search on Hud?

Being an app, there’s no real “search” function. Instead, you’re shown a stack of nearby profiles. Presumably based on a proprietary algorithm, you can filter the results down to suit your preferences.

As a free user, you can control filters like age, gender and location. If you upgrade to a Premium account, you can go much deeper than that. Since Hud gives you the option to identify your sexual preferences, you can also search by this.

If you’re looking for someone that’s into specific things, upgrade to a Premium account and filter to show only those people.

Can you send messages for free on Hud?

Yes, you can send messages for free on Hud.

How do you cancel your Hud membership?

Signing up for a paid membership is done through your Apple/Google account. So, to cancel that subscription, that’s where you need to cancel it too. Just follow the steps below for your device.

Hud on iOS

  • Open Settings
  • Tap your name at the top
  • Tap Subscriptions
  • Tab the subscription you want to manage
  • Tap Cancel Subscription

Hud on Android

  • Open the Google Play store
  • Tap Menu
  • Tap Subscriptions
  • Select the subscription you want to manager
  • Tap Cancel Subscription
  • Follow the steps from there

How do you delete your Hud account?

Deleting your Hud account is simple, just follow the steps below. Note that deleting your account doesn’t automatically cancel your subscription! See the instructions below to do that separately.

  • Open the app and tap your profile photo in the top left corner
  • Tap the gear icon for Settings
  • Scroll down and select Delete My Account
  • Select whether you’d like to disable (temporary) or delete (permanent) your account

References:

Attract More Matches. (n.d.). Study reveals what women really want on Tinder, Bumble, Hinge.

Business Insider. (2016). Most active cities on Tinder.

Castro Á, Barrada JR. (2020). Dating apps and their sociodemographic and psychosocial correlates: A systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(18), 6500.

CDC. (2021). CDC releases 2021 STI treatment guidelines.

Dixon, S. (2023). Online dating – statistics & facts. MindBodyGreen.

Elite Daily. (2019). Is it harder to stand out on first dates in big cities? Here’s the truth.

Esquire Editors (2017). The great Esquire sex study. Esquire.

gov.uk. (2017). Campaign to protect young people from STIs by using condoms.

KFF. (n.d.). Sexually transmitted diseases in America: How many cases and at what cost?

Precious Olives (2017). Growing online dating scam leaves victims heartbroken and broke. LinkedIn.

Tandon, N. and Battle, M., M. S. (2023). Dating app safety. MindBodyGreen.

WHO. (2023). Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). WHO.


Contributing Authors:

Joe Elvin

Joe Elvin is an internationally known confidence and dating coach with nearly a decade of experience. He is the successful author of several dating and confidence books that have helped thousands of men find success. While traveling the world Joe consistently finds new and valuable ways to meet and attract women. Joe has a Bachelor’s Degree in Multimedia Journalism from Bournemouth University and he has been featured in many large publications including AskMen, TSB Magazine and The Good Men Project.

As one of the most prolific writers on Beyond Ages, Joe has reviewed over a hundred dating apps. He is the site’s foremost authority when it comes to selecting what dating app works for whom. From an app’s mechanics to its algorithm to telltale signs that a dating app is a scam, Joe’s is able to expertly discern between dating apps that provide value and those that don’t.

Em

Em is the author of the popular dating books Stand Out and Get The Green Light. Em is an online dating consultant specializing in practical, actionable advice for leveling up your profile, photos, messaging, and mindset. Since 2014, she’s helped thousands of men improve their online dating results, and her insight has been featured on Lifehacker, Thought Catalog, and numerous podcasts.

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