Streamate (or StreamMate as some people write) really got going in the last quarter of 2003 and since then has been one for the largest webcam sites on the internet. It has taken a while to build up the girls on line. By the end of last year they had 120 girls registered, but still only one or two online at a time. Now, however, I count more than a thousand girls registered and on this Friday night as I'm writing there are about 75 cams online; with a mix of girls and couples and about 30 or 40 single guys.
Apart from that though the site is still pretty similar, they have not changed any of the layout and still do not offer any free chat, no gallery pictures etc. I would rather go to Flirt4free or Cumtv which both have nice free video chat, or other adult webcam sites like ifriends or imlive which has big webcam archive.
I'm told Streamate now has cam-to-cam which means both you and the chat host can see each other (if you have a webcam), as well well as a rating system for hosts so you can see which ones are "better" -- like imLive or ifriends have -- trouble with these systems of course it that it means new hosts don't get much attention because they don't yet have good reviews. So hunt around for newer models who sometimes can be more interesting -- lets say a little less jaded and hence more fun to be with.
If you try the link called "free chat" it takes you to a form that gets your name and address -- then on the next page asks for credit card number. This is the usual "age verification" thing -- previously they did not clearly say what they were charging; at least now there is a clear statement "Today's charge for Streamate is : $0.00"; though I think it would be better to be a bit clearer still -- what about "tomorrow's" charge!
Credit card processing is by PAYCOM.NET which is moderately well known -- no issues there as far as I know. If you don't want to give your credit card details out then you can view and chat, in free chat, with the same girls at camcrush.
Once you do sign up and log in the first thing you will see is a warning that you have to turn off your pop-up blocker before anything will work. That's going to irritate all those people who have Windows XP SP2 now which has the built in pop-up blocker. But still, all you have to do is disable it for this site.
Video chat windows appear in a new window so that you can see the online model list still in the window behind.
The video window is pretty big, perhaps slightly smaller than Cumtv but not much. Quality varies according to the girls camera and internet connection as always but at best is a little jerky, this is not streaming as such.
The video technology being used is Flash so it should work on almost any PC; not sure about the Mac crowd though.
You can free chat with any of the girls and then if you want to go private click on the "premium chat" button directly below the chat window. Free chat has no nudity, it's most bra-and-panties with some fishnet thrown in.
Once you are in paid chat then you get audio. There is a button also for "full screen" which is not really completely full screen but is sure much larger than anything else I've seen. A little fuzzy of course when you make it this size but still pretty good.
Girls are doing shows for a range of prices from as little as 1.99 to I saw some about 3 dollars a minute.
Most of the girls I looked at seemed to be studio girls and a few looked bored while others were pretty and enthusiastic; there are enough girls to be able to find something you like --
On the left there is a drop down menu that allows you to select various categories you might want to view.
If you want to find something specific then click on the "my Streamate" tab to go to the advanced search where you can select by many attributes such as appearance and skills. I'm not sure it is working though because I tried something as simple as looking for shaved girls and it said none found. Like I believe that! The age search works fine though.
Once you have joined up you can see the gallery of each performer as well as their bio. Usual stuff here. Pictures are mostly standard webcam pics while the bios of course vary according to the performer. I guess it is fair to say most of them are not there due to their writing skills. As of mid 2006 the bio pictures are updated in real time from the hosts chat session, so you can see what she is wearing and what she looks like today. This does not include private time of course.
The list of performers is long enough that they have an "add to favorites" so you can record which ones you like best and come back to them easily.
To join as a performer you have to complete the online application form, but I couldn't see the details of the terms without completing the form which I don't link. I mean I think sites should explain what the deal is before asking for all those details.
As a registered member you can also send emails to performers, so you can have an offline communication as well. This is great if you want to get to know one of the girls, though watch out that you are really writing to her and not a studio typist.
Stremate supports "Block" shows where the viewer and the model agree in advance a longer show. e.g. 1 hours. This is for custom shows where the host has a lot of things to get ready and to make sure that it will be worth while her making that preparation.