Capped at a couple dozen words, they offered the new to town, the lonely, and the, well, different, a shot at companionship. Before online dating websites there were personals, and Style Weekly was the first to offer them in the Richmond area.
The ads were free to place, but to respond readers were directed to Style's 900 number. At a cost of $1.95 a minute, you left a message in your future date's temporary voice mail box. From there, the love blossomed.
They may have seemed a bit campy at the time, but compared with what you're likely to find today on sites such as Craigslist, they were downright poetic. A small sampling from the Jan. 17, 1995 issue:
Women Seeking Men:
Face: no fur; Body: functioning; Hair: yes, Clairol #124; Eyes: two: It's okay. I'm not used to this either. Voice box 12156
BLIND AS A BAT II
The Sequal (Zoro Still At Large). Tornado brings your rider home, the dog and I miss you both. Attractive, fit, independent, DWF, 42, needs hercaballero. Non-smoking/drinking/drugs. White or Hispanic SM preferred. VOICE BOX 12130
Men Seeking Women
1ST MATE 4 YACHT
Well, okay. It's only a 19' boat ... but, "The Rivah" is calling. DWM, 50, looking for a loving first mate (SF) to replace the one I "fired" last year. Other interests include: computers, reading, cooking for two, bed-and-breakfasts, my puppy, fireplaces, snuggling. Drinker/smoker definitely preferred! Call to learn more! VOICE BOX 5059)
I DOUBT FIRE
Could evaporate this maid's burning desire to become SWF's personal servant. Discreet or public servitude, 45, sincere, obedient, uniformed French maid. ISO select assertive women. No guys, manipulators, borderlines, mean spirits. VOICE BOX 12162
BLACK SATIN I
You emerge from the shower soaking wet and glide to the veranda where the balmy night breeze carries the sensually sweet scent of mimosa to your flaring nostrils. Droplets of water on your black satin skin gather the moonlight and scatter it like a thousand diamonds on black velvet. VOICE BOX 12243
Looking to correspond with SWF with sense of humor. I'm SWM, 40's, incarcerated and would like friends to write to. VOICE BOX 12120
Men Seeking Men
Work, work, money, money, gym, gym, bored, bored. Nice looking SWM, flat stomach, brown/blue, 40ish, zip social life, seeks modest younger whitebred workout regular with solid IQ. Looking for relationship, will settle for pizza. VOICE BOX 12098
ANY CHUBBY GUYS?
SWM seeks guys 300 lbs plus, for fun friendship or more. I am a 30-year-old SWM, 5'7", 190 lbs., brown/blue If you're interested drop me a line. VOICE BOX 12296