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Lavalife
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I’m liking Lavalife!

I need to go on record as saying I am attached, very attached, and forever attached to the person of my waking dreams and any interest in this dating site is strictly professional. Even so, I thought one true way to review the site was to actually sign up for it.

What’s so great about Lavalife? It caters to almost every possible dating scenario: There are three categories (called communities) to search within - if you’re single just looking for people to hang with (dating); if you’re looking for something more serious (relationships), or if you’re looking for nothing more than a one-night stand, some casual sex, specialized sex or are already in a relationship and looking for something extra (intimate encounters), you’ll find folks out there waiting to hear from you.

Then there’s womanline and manline for gays and lesbians. It has the same categories of dating, relationships, and intimate encounters and there are plenty of ads to be found there as well….

You are allowed to browse the ads in Lavalife without becoming a member of the site. You can listen to ads via a phone line, and they have video streams of members. And when you join Lavalife, you get additional benefits.

You can join Lavalife for free or do what’s called a “full membership” that gives you access to all benefits and options they offer. If you don’t want to do either of those, you can use a “pay as you go” membership option where you pay for emailing of instant messaging someone. It’s always free to respond via email or instant message.

Once you’re a member, you can create a profile to show in any or all of the communities. You can post a photo for everyone who sees your profile can view, and you can create a “backstage” photo gallery where only invited visitors will be able to view. (Note Lavalife has an anti-porn policy, so you won’t be able to post anything too risqué) You can create a “hotlist’ of your favorite people, and send a smile to someone you like. A smile is a free icon you send to someone to let them know you’re interested without sending an email, or other communication. (I got one of those my first day in!) When you click on it, the sender’s profile opens and you can respond if you wish.

You also have access to a custom search that asks a page of questions and when you respond and click enter, those profiles matching your criteria appear and starts you off with a specific, qualified group. That can assist you when you want someone who lives less than twenty minutes away, or is into music, and candlelight dinners, or whatever it is you’re looking to find.

As a guest, you can see who’s online, browse profiles and see pictures, use the search tool and read the relationship, dating, and sex advice. (That is, if you can find. One of the flaws of the site is that those sections aren’t clearly marked from every page.)

A Free Member can create up to 3 profiles, reply to message, post up to 10 pictures, save searches, create the backstage gallery, send backstage passes and smiles.

The full membership costs $14.99 USD and with it you can do everything the free member can do plus send mail, send instant messages for 20 minutes or 1 hour, but it will cost you credits which are sold in packages from $14.99 for 50 credits to $39.99 for 200. I don’t quite understand why one would buy a membership and not be able to send a message without an additional $14.99 being spent so you can contact someone. That seems a bit of a sham. So the person that send me the smile, can only receive a smile back from me and we can’t carry it any further unless they’re a full member. It would seem since you spent some money, you should be allowed to send a few emails or messages.

Overall, I’ll say it again – I like it. I like how it gives an avenue for whatever kind of relationship you’re looking for. If you don’t want anything that even remotely looks like a relationship, you can avoid all those people that are; that alone should improve relations between men and women.

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