Well, it's obviously a euphemism for something else. Many of the ads that weren't from scammers were from prostitutes. The ads are so obvious that it's surprising the euphemisms are effective in fending off law enforcement. Then again, maybe they are law enforcement. Amidst all those failures, I had one near-success. A woman wrote in response to my sweet "cuddling first" ad saying she was in town for only a couple of months, and that she was frustrated she couldn't find a relationship.
When she sent her pictures, she looked plain but attractive. We exchanged a couple of e-mails over the course of two hours, tossing back and forth lists of interests and the like. She made it clear that she wanted to meet up, and while she talked about starting slow, it was clear that it would indeed be a casual encounter. But when I suggested a time to meet — the last message from me before I would reveal myself and back out — there was no reply. At least, not yet. The next day, she e-mailed me saying she was deeply apologetic and that she'd fallen asleep.
She said she'd like to meet up sometime. So yes, there are women on Craigslist. Well, at least one! You've probably guessed by now that the experiences for heterosexual men and women on Craigslist's casual encounters are quite different.
I observed that for every ad a woman posts, there are at least 20 from men. If nothing else, that imbalance ought to alter the experience. To get the female perspective, I did two things: I posted a fake ad as a woman to see what kinds of responses I would get, and I interviewed two women who have had success hooking up on casual encounters in the past. As for potential suitors, I asked only that they supply a photo and "be attractive and not creepy.
There was a five minute delay before my ad appeared, then I started receiving about one response per minute. Most of them were careful to say "I don't do this often.
Some sent pictures of themselves naked along with the word "Hi. There were a lot of expressions of sympathy over my fake breakup. I was hearing from men of all types, and it seemed I had my pick of the litter. After about thirty minutes, though, my post was flagged for removal. I thought I'd made it look legit, but as we learned earlier, folks have good reason to be hawkish about scammers.
After the end of my test run with Craigslist casual encounters, I decided to get more insight into the female experience with the site by interviewing two women who said they had successes meeting up with men on Casual Encounters.
Their problem was the opposite of mine. They had too many options to pick from, but they both dealt with the numerous choices in the same way. Both women ultimately responded to men who they felt put effort into writing long, personal messages as opposed to quick notes. Multiple paragraphs of insightful and relatable prose won out — but only after the initial test of physical appearance.
Both said they immediately eliminated men who opened with pictures of genitalia — a very common practice. However, looks were important. One of the women I interviewed said she once had a crush on a client at her job, but couldn't make a move without compromising her professionalism. However, she was looking through Casual Encounters and saw an ad from a man, and she recognized his writing style — it was her old client!
She sent him a message to see if it was him, asking a question only he would be able to answer. He proved his identity and they ended up hooking up. One of the women said she would go to Casual Encounters when she was looking for a very specific sexual experience — something you can't always count on from a one night stand that starts at a club or bar.
The other said her reasons could be summed up as "curiosity, boredom, and convenience. The trick is to keep an open mind and not have any real expectations. At the very least, it's mildly entertaining. After all this exploration, I'll say that Craigslist casual encounters is a place where people go to find very specific things from each other that they might not be able to conveniently locate in the real world. Some of those things are very alternative.
It's a last, best hope for some people who are looking to make a personal connection, but it's full of spam, unwanted attention, crime, and, well You might not find what you're looking for, but you're sure to find something interesting regardless.
Image courtesy of iStockphoto , nights , geotrac. Samuel Axon is a digital content producer in New York City. He has worked as an editor at Engadget, Mashable and the Joystiq network, and currently leads content strategy as Editorial Director at Sprout Social. We're using cookies to improve your experience. Click Here to find out more. Entertainment Like Follow Follow. The Experiment I began with a listing announcing myself to the women of my city.
Barking Up the Wrong Tree All the responses I got from real people on my first day weren't from women — they were from men. But where were they? I was only getting messages from gay or bisexual men! He started with fake ads for dryer lint and old aluminum foil, but quickly realized casual sex would bait more chumps.
Over one year of unemployment, Los Angeles civil attorney Henry Russell posted prank ads seeking sex on Craigslist. The result is his first book, Craigslist Casual Encounters: In it, the year-old collects his 29 best ads. Among the most PG-rated are the man who tries to pimp his wife for Lakers tickets and a woman hoping to get it on in a bear suit with a jar of honey and video camera nearby. Posted in 50 U. You three battle it out, and the one with the highest score wins me.
Rock bands have groupies - why can't Guitar Hero superstars have groupies? So many people take that game so seriously, they were Guitar Hero nerds talking about their scores. It just amazed them that someone was interested in combining their two top interests in the world, Guitar Hero and sex. It just blew them away. I can't drive because my son is here sleeping. I would respond by telling them they had to put the baby outside on the porch or lock them in the bathroom.
I recall one person saying, "I don't feel comfortable coming over if you're going to have to lock your kid up outside," but I think everyone else was agreeable with an arrangement like that. I gradually changed my responses. Now, the baby was going to be in the same room with us. It's disappointing that guys were okay with that.
If someone would be willing to pick me up a volcano tacos, baja chalupa, and a pepsi, I would be forever thrilled. That was one of my favourites. It was a lot of fun because the guys would respond and ask to see a photo, so I would send them photos of the food I wanted. Most people were willing to do it. I think some guys were hoping for sex even though the ad explicitly said there would be no sex. I think at that time of night, some guys are just lonely and happy with any kind of contact.
I just want to punch you in the face, but am open to other ideas if you have any. I would bring my best friend along just to be safe. Some of the guys weren't willing to be punched in the face but a lot of them were. I had this really long conversation with a guy. At some point, I just kind of dropped it but he kept e-mailing me. His final comment was how disappointed he was that he couldn't even get punched in the face on Craigslist. Some guys are happy just even having a fist on their face.
I'll fix up my bedroom with forest decorations to give the whole scene some more authenticity. There were people who claimed to have some experience with that. That just shows the lengths people are willing to go to have sex: I had guys hoping to call me, ready to audition their bear growls....