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The gay scene

Personal ads

Times may have moved on but guys still use them.

Whether you’re looking for friendship, a relationship or sex, contact or personal advertisements can deliver just about anything that appears in print. You’ll find them in magazines and newspapers, and the gay press includes more explicit ads.

It can be an exciting way to meet men and, in some cases, dispenses with the niceties (or otherwise) of cruising. For some, it provides opportunities to meet men who prefer not to use the scene or who don’t have easy access to pubs and clubs. Answering ads is relatively simple and most papers and magazines operate a similar process:

  • Find an ad you like and reply in writing. Advertisers often want a photograph and preferably not from a photo-booth at 9am on a Monday morning when you’re hungover
  • Put the letter in an envelope with its box/reference number clearly marked on the outside
  • Post it to the advertiser care of the publication including a first class stamp (for each reply).
  • Wait and hope!

If you’re placing an ad check out the costs and the terms and conditions first. Advertisements are usually charged by the word which is why they’re short and why a dictionary of abbreviations has evolved; eg: corporal punishment – CP, sadomasochism - SM, or defined by hanky codes.

If a guy is explicit about what he’s looking for sexually then it’s reasonable to assume he’s being honest. Some ads are prone to gross exaggeration and dick size can often stray into fantasy world. By all means have the fantasy but you may be disappointed. When it comes to writing your own ad, phrases like ‘genuine’, ‘seeks similar’ and ‘for good times, maybe more’ are fine but just scan through the ads and they appear with unerring regularity.

While phrases like ‘would like to meet a guy who’s DNA hasn’t fallen off the back of a lorry’ and ‘you’ve tried the best… now I’m the rest’ may not be your cup of tea – your eye does at least stop on the page. Think about what you’re going to say and try to be original.

ALA – All letters answered
ALAWP – All letters answered with photo
BND – Boy next door
CS – Clean shaven
CT/A – Can travel/accommodate
GL – Good looking
GSOH – Good sense of humour
NSc – Non scene
NSm – Non smoker
NTW – No time wasters
SA – Straight acting
SL – Straight looking
VGL – Very good looking
VWE – Very well endowed
WLTM – Would like to meet

 Lonely hearts club band | The Guardian | 27 Jan 2009

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