Today's assignment was to review a personals site called Meet Locals, and since I'm always happy to meet guys in my area - and other areas, for that matter - I headed right over to check it out. The site tour didn't really tell me much what to expect, just that there were hot guys in my area (it listed my city on the page) and the free signup form was right there, so I signed up, logged, in and decided to look for some men.
A quick search of guys of all ages in Southern California (my search was for Los Angeles) listed well over 1000 members of all types. I was pretty excited to see twinks and daddies, average Joes and grandpas, military men, truckers, and surfers - just about every type of guy including plenty of black, white and Latin members. Each is listed with username, age, city, state and country, what kind of person they're seeking - men, women or transsexuals - and how many photos they have listed. Unfortunately when I refined my search to show only guys who were online, there were only three. That's right - three out of many more than one thousand, and it was 9 pm PST, so not really late or early. When I changed my search to look for guys in the UK, I came up with the same list of guys from Southern California again.
Neither the advanced nor the basic search here include options like height, cock size, or for that matter, what type of relationship you're looking for. A member could be looking for a platonic buddy to go to the movies with or a quick, anonymous blowjob - there's nothing listed to show whether each member is looking for friendship, romance, sex, or just want to meet online. They might mention this in their profile (which free members can't read), but otherwise you may have to ask, which seems pretty awkward when it could have been listed right there.
Something I really liked was that even though I was using a free membership, I wasn't bombarded with ads. True, whenever I'd try to check out a profile I found myself at the upgrade page, but there were no banner ads to annoy me, which I appreciated. And members can browse the site via their iPhone or Android phone as both have the free Meet Locals app.
Let's talk about the different Meet Locals membership options. There are three kinds of memberships: The free membership, which is basically a trial, plus two kinds of paid memberships - silver and gold. Free members can search the members and send messages, although they can't view member profiles and I don't think they can read emails in their inbox as free members. I could be wrong, though - there's no page specifying free member privileges. Silver members can view all profiles and photos, watch member uploaded videos and send and receive messages, but only the gold members can send emails to and receive emails from free members. Since there are probably more free members than paying, being able to contact free members seems like a good thing, but keep in mind that the gold membership does cost more than the silver.
Now I'd like to address some issues. First, there's a pre-checked offer (called a cross sale) on the join page that will sign you up to "Gold Highlight in search results" and recurs monthly. If you don't want it, it's easy to uncheck. Meet Locals isn't a gay-specific site, and unlike at a lot of other dating / hookup sites, you can expect to see pictures of female members in the new members and popular members sections. Also, sometimes it appears that pictures get mixed up, as there are some pictures of women listed with men's names and descriptions. In fact, there are thumbs of naked women in the lower left corner of the page I'm on now in the "Member Uploaded Photos" section.
I enjoyed browsing all the guys in my area at Meet Locals even though, as a free member, I wasn't able to check out their profiles. There was plenty of variety, from college guys to grandpas, chunky to fit and athletic, and I even spotted someone I've seen shopping locally - but while there were tons of men near me, very few were online, which was disappointing. Most personals sites I've reviewed gave more access to the free members - here you can't check out member profiles or full-sized pics without a paid subscription. And some of the guys are listed with women's pics, so I'm sure they must be getting some odd responses to their listings. Still, like with any personals site, the best way to decide if Meet Locals has what you're looking for is to sign up for a free account and take it for a spin.