There is a delicate art to the writing of the personal ad. While you want to make sure the wolves can’t smell even a whiff of desperation, how do you get across that you really want to get banged? Or just go on a date? Or maybe you’re looking for a lifelong partner?

“Personality” is the keyword here; the best ads are unique, funny, and interesting — don’t get lazy and resort to the tired old “I enjoy long walks on the beach” cliché. (Unless you’re just doing it, you know, ironically.)

Comparing tastes in bands, books, and movies is an old standby for sorting the dating pool wheat from chaff, but it’s always a good idea to mention any other interests you might have, especially anything extraordinary or weird (foosball addiction, collecting Magic cards, bukkake, etc.).

The fastest way to the heart (or crotch) of your personals-perusing match is a clear statement of what exactly you’re looking for. Avoidance of the phrases “single white female,” “sleepless in Seattle,” or, god forbid, “must love dogs” is required, unless you’re a huge fan of stalkers or schmaltzy romantic comedies.

Overall, just be yourself. The beauty of the personal ad is that it isn’t like walking up to someone in a bar and possibly staring rejection right in the face — if someone’s not interested, all they have to do is move on to the next ad. Luckily, you can do the exact same thing.