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RequestADate.com is a dating site that helps gay and bisexual men meet others looking for friendship, casual dating and relationships. In comparison to other sites in this category it looks pretty good. However, once you start using the site you realise its limitations; browsing and searching are unnecessarily laborious and the layout can be a little confusing.
As you might expect, signing up is a quick and simple affair. You can register with the site and create a profile free of charge. Remember that you'll need a valid email address in order to validate your membership. Once this is done, you'll be able to have a look around the site. Sadly, you are restricted in what you can do with a free membership (e.g. you can't exchange emails although you can send a message but won’t be able to see the response), but you can hopefully hook up with other members via different means (see below).
The site itself is a little clunky and confusingly arranged. It took quite some time to get the hang of navigating. The search facility is particularly strange and like nothing you'll see on other sites. Whilst you will find a few basic type searches, there is no real advanced search. Instead, you'll see a list of profile criteria that you can browse. There's also a lot of advertising on the site, cluttering the page to quite an annoying degree. The site also has a lot of hyperlinks around, which can make it difficult to spot the information you need. In short, you have to get through a lot of unnecessary text to find what you want, so it isn’t very user friendly.
Most of the members are from the USA. There seemed to be a disproportionally large number of profiles featuring 'cowboy' types, with Stetson hats and bushy moustaches. Whilst you will find other types, most of the guys (and girls) on the site do seem to be fairly butch. When contacting other members, there are a variety of options available, depending on your membership level. For example, you can 'request a date' for free. By clicking on this button you are then required to answer a number of questions by the person you are interested in. Once completed, you're given a score and asked where you'd like to meet, etc. It's a fairly simple and quick way of hooking up with other members. It's also possible to exchange emails with other members, though you'll need to upgrade your membership first. In addition to these, you can also flirt with members by 'winking' at them or voting for them as being 'hot' (there are several permutations of hot available, from mildly to smokin'). So, it's perfectly possible to meet others without upgrading your membership, but you'll just be a little restricted in your communications.
In terms of other features, the personality and dating quizzes are fairly weak features and easily forgotten. It would have been an idea if you could publish results to your profile, but this doesn't seem to be possible. If you look around the internet you’ll find a number of dating sites which offer a much more comprehensive personality testing package, which is put to much better use. This just seems a bit of a half-baked idea on RequestAdate.
The chat forums are fairly varied, and include a wide range of topics there for you to comment on. These include issues to do with love, sex, dating and relationships, fun stuff, including humor, hobbies and interests, businesses, events and classifieds. Whilst being broad and well attended for the most part, they are, nevertheless, somewhat unexciting. Instead, you're better off checking out the chat rooms, in which you'll usually find people to chat with. Or of course, you could start your own topic to see what happens.
There are plenty of detailed pages on the site, all of which contribute to the community feel. For example you can access pages based on which “scene” you’re interested in, which ranges from gay bear to blue collar, gay nerds to military dating. There are also pages dedicated to particular physical traits such as ethnicity or for short or tall people. This makes things feel fairly inclusive, although of course some pages are more active than others. The site has a groups section but at the time this review was written, this was simply a “coming soon” note.
The site is available in several languages and does have an international membership, which makes it a good place to meet men from all over the world. Since all accounts have to be verified by several simple tests to make sure users are human, we generally assume that the vast majority of profiles are genuine. Members can also upload multiple photos and have other users comment on them, which is a good way to get conversations started.
It's possible to plug in your own webcam for live video/audio chat, though there was little evidence of members taking advantage of this opportunity at the time of the review. Whilst being better than the lamentable excuses for chat rooms on other sites, what you'll find on RequestADate.com still doesn't compare with the likes of AdultFriendFinder.com. Still, it might be worth giving it a go, and it’s a useful feature should you find someone you click with, as it means you can get a bit more up close and personal.
If you can make sense of the rather confusing layout, you just might lassoo a cowboy (or cowgirl, there are also women on the site, although far fewer than the men). Whilst you can't freely email without upgrading your membership, this isn't strictly necessary as there are other avenues to hook up for free. Whilst the features you'd expect are there, it's all just a little lacklustre. Probably better to saddle up and ride off into the sunset than to hang around this one-horse town too long.
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