This article is from the Internet Personals: Advice for Gay Men FAQ, by Fred Young email@example.com and Dean Esmay firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Glad you asked.
Okay men, we have a small problem. Straight men outnumber any
other group in the general alt.personals.* newsgroups. Later in
this FAQ, I will shed a few ideas on how we may better identify
ourselves in the postings to save everybody time.
Men are generally more inclined to post ads than women, and this
includes gay men. But for those who are very closeted, even
through anonymous services, it might be extremely difficult and
nerve wrecking to even think of posting an ad... but many of these
same people will respond to your ad if they see it. It is thus
always worthwhile to post your own ad, because it greatly
increases your likelihood of meeting others. Muster up the
courage and just do it!
And when you do post an ad, try to keep the following in mind:
1. Follow all the advice I have given so far. It's all very
2. Don't sound desperate. The old rule is very true: the harder
you look for a boyfriend, the harder one will be to find. Be
patient, and avoid sounding pathetic, excessively horny, or
desperate. It will not help.
3. Be patient. One ad may net you no responses at all. If you're
extremely lucky, you may get as many as a dozen responses. More
likely, you will get from one to three.
4. Be prepared to post your ad again. Do not expect one ad to get
you lots of responses. Instead, prepare yourself for a bit of
a wait. Post your ad once, and see what happens. Wait a
couple of weeks, and post it again. You may want to "tweak" or
fine tune it each time you re-post it. If you aren't getting
many responses, you may want to re-write it. But in any case,
keep posting it until you get a response.
The readership of Usenet personals groups, especially of the
alt.personals.* hierarchy, changes on a regular basis. Some
people only come in once in a while, some may only come in once
every few months, some may come in only once ever! Even
regular readers may not notice your ad the first few times they
The thing to remember is that the audience is NOT static.
There is a constant influx of new people, and there's a
constant outflow, too. So, while you may not find anyone at
first, if you're patient and you keep at it, chances are very
good you'll eventually get some nibbles.
5. Don't post your ad too often in the same place. This may seem a
contradiction, but it's not. If people see ad after ad from
you, you may look desperate or stupid, or at least annoying.
Also, if you're using the Usenet, it can take as long as two
weeks for a message to be completely distributed to all Usenet
sites, so don't post much more often than that. Posting a new
ad once every ten to fourteen days seems the most reasonable
TO SUM IT ALL UP: write a good, creative, intelligent, and
thoughtful ad that's specific about what you do and don't want.
Take all the space you need to get it right, but don't ramble;
remember that too long is as bad as too short. Post it every
couple of weeks in several different places, tweaking it now and
then, and trying various experiments to see what works and
doesn't. Keep posting ads until you are positive you've got a
serious relationship going with someone. And most of all, just be
patient, with yourself and others.