What are those phone chat lines are really like
By Craig Allan, Staff Writer
With quarantine in full swing and nothing to do in the morning, I find myself staying up late at night and watching TV. Between the reruns of Scrubs and Kenny vs. Spenny, I see ads that remind me of my teenage years. Ads featuring soft music and women saying how they have found “some really great down to earth guys” on Quest, or saying they found “the best place to find local hot singles” on Lavalife. These ads have run frequently on late night TV for what feels like the entirety of cable TV’s existence, and they are all the same, featuring beautiful women and social distancing deniers saying how they’d like to meet someone new to hang out with. During this age of social isolation and with no one to talk to, I figured I might as well give one of these numbers a try and find out what the hell they are really like.
I decided to go with Lavalife since they are well known I felt it was the least likely to be a scam. The set up you need to do in order to get started is quite tedious. It involves a lot of setting up your profile and a voicemail about who you are. They say to put some thought into it, but I wanted to see what the site was like before I committed tons of time to a great voicemail so I just recorded a quick one. After I spent 28 minutes setting up my profile, I decided to go to the Lavalife lounge for a more expedient result. The lounge connects you with people right away. I had 60 free minutes—this is where the real comedy begins. (The website states that all guys can get a 30 minute free trial.)
The first person I got was someone who seemed to be looking for a fun, non-sexual experience, but as she was talking, I could hear what I’m sure was children in the background. I didn’t say yes to her because the whole message was a little garbled and odd. I did send a request to the next woman, but she turned me down through an automated message.
The next woman though was a real doozy. Here are some quotes from her message. “Hi… I’m a very fit, very sexy… very bored woman… I like role play, I like groups, I like… mmm, all kinds of dirty fantasies.” She would pause throughout the message to sound…sexier, I guess? After passing by some women who told me in a raspy smokers voice that they were not going to take my money and all sounded like they were in their 60s (no judgement on that, they just seemed fishy), I decided to message the sexy-voiced woman, as she was the most decent of the bunch and was 184 kilometres away so I felt safe that I couldn’t be kink stalked. I sent a message but got nothing back. Since I couldn’t find anyone to talk to, I decided to try again another time.
Over the next two days, I kept going back and the pattern was the same. I would listen to messages, send some voicemail indicating I wanted to make a connection, and I would just be stuck on hold until I gave up. Throughout all this I noticed something. As I tried to make a connection, my allocated minutes were going down. With no connections being made and my deadline to submit this article now passed, I decided to finally give up on making a connection.
Some may wonder if these services are a scam or not. From my experience, it is not the service I thought it would be. In terms of the women you can find on the site, it’s pretty bad. If I were to make a Venn diagram of women on Lavalife it would consist of women who are 50 years of age or older, women who are probably plants by Lavalife to talk about how horny they are but will never connect with you, and imposters who are either men in poorly disguised women’s voices (this is likely due to the site’s policy that says women can flirt for free), and women who sound like they are in their 60s claiming that it’s their 18th birthday and how great it is that they are legal now.
The other aspect that I think is awful is connecting with anyone in general. When you buy minutes, your minutes are counted also when you listen to voicemails. This means that you can buy a $49.50 for 440 minutes package but spend the majority of those minutes listening to voicemails and being put on hold. I’m not going to say that people don’t actually make connections on Lavalife, but with how much time you have to spend, and the number of fake people you have to wade through, it’s best to save your money.