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The most common scams are "safe dating" websites. An alleged woman will write a man saying she's interested, but that because of the Craigslist-based serial killers and rapists in the news, she needs some extra assurance that it's safe.

If you follow the link she provides, the website asks you for your credit card number — y'know, so it can do a background check to make sure you're not a criminal. One individual tried to get me to buy him or her virtual currency in online games like MapleStory before agreeing to hand over contact information. Yeah, right — moving on! What little luck I'd had so far. The week was half over and I hadn't had a single bite.

I decided I would have to take the initiative, so in addition to posting my own ads, I started responding to every ad from any woman who seemed at all interesting. I cast a wide net in my searches, looking up posts by straight or bisexual women between the ages of 18 and 35 who lived anywhere in Chicagoland — a large metropolitan area that's home to close to five million females. Most of the women wanted something very specific they couldn't find in their normal lives: Someone to help play out a particular fantasy, someone vastly older than them or someone of another race.

Very few of the women who were advertising seemed to be looking for anything I would consider a "normal encounter. I typically wrote two or three paragraph replies and matched the tone of their own messages, then attached a couple of tasteful photos of myself. I didn't get a single reply from an actual prospect this way. It turned out that most of the ads were fakes from scammers, and quite a few fell into another category all together.

Prostitution is what made Craigslist controversial. There's technically another section for that — "Adult Services," formerly "Erotic Services" — but that's not the only place you'll find practitioners of the world's oldest profession.

The prostitutes of Craigslist speak in code, but it's not a difficult one to learn. They advertise "French lessons" — an odd thing to advertise under "Casual Encounters," don't you think? 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. Near-immediate, easy, anonymous, it served as a playground for my not-insubstantial id. All manner of perversions were laid bare, all interest groups represented. Men sought women, women sought men, multiple men sought men, couples sought women and all other permutations one could calculate.

It was an underbelly of sorts, but a beloved one. Where else could a woman decide she might like to engage in some light bondage at 2 a. Even as technology advanced and others moved on to Tinder and other apps, I remained loyal to Craigslist, preferring the anonymity of the platform as well as the democratic base of people attracted by the free, low-commitment interface.

The message users receive if they attempt to click on any of the personals sections reads:. I was capable of losing a whole day to the section, refreshing my email inbox and responding in a trancelike state. The section enabled my addictive personality, allowing me to too easily engage in behaviors that became unhealthy for me. I found myself in dangerous situations that sometimes had consequences.

In my 20s, I went through extensive therapy for sexual trauma and addiction, during which I had an extensive system of passwords and blocks set up to keep me off the section.

...

Oh, and also for posting pictures of your genitals and telling the world that you're a "bottom. If you're confused, you've probably never checked out the "Casual Encounters" link in the Personals section of Craigslist. And don't worry, for your emotional health, we've excluded the listings that feature stranger junk.

I'm staying at the Bensalem Hampton Inn. Room door will be unlocked and I'll be asleep. Just walk in, drop your shorts and bury your dick in my jock-strapped ass. What We Can Assume: This is pretty cut and dry. We have a submissive bottom, who wants one or more guys to enter his hotel room and sodomize him while pretending that the act is actually being carried out by force.

Thanks to the torso picture we also know that this fellow seems to be somewhat athletic, which may explain why he sleeps in a jockstrap. This could easily be one creative man setting up another man for an unexpected ass raping. Where It Went Wrong: Unlike some of the other solicitations featured, we are genuinely concerned for this listing's author.

Maybe this is prudish, but it seems dangerous to let the world know the exact hotel where you'll be staying, that you plan on leaving the door open and that you expect to be brutalized. Not everyone is into rape.

Some people are more into robbery and gay bashing. Chance of Getting Laid: It's also possible that this is one of the cruelest pranks ever perpetrated using the Internet. That whatever educational institutions this man has attended have failed him. Any attempt to read this listing will confound even the most skilled codebreaker. However, we can glean from the photos that the author has studied a martial art, wears a referee jersey while tending to small children and competes in bicycle races.

It doesn't seem like much of a stretch to speculate that his dad is just barely out of the frame of the bicycle race, having just let go of the seat of his bicycle. Where do you start? First off, any "clein" woman looking for a hook up needs to understand this strange secret language to communicate her interest. For regular human females, the logistics of using email to set up a place to rendezvous with a guy who has no grasp of the written word or any understanding of basic syntax will seem daunting.

And, if that's not enough to scare them off, he mentions tonight, "tomarow" and the weekend as times he's available. Sounds like our little buddy here isn't the most popular mental defective in Houston. I am a well built and drug free gentleman with a strong sexual drive. I have a desire to be with an expecting mother Pregnant and want to make this fantasy come true. There is something so beautiful about pregnant women and I would love nothing more than to please one.

I play no games and ask that you do the same. Right away, we know Damion is a polite guy. He opens by offering thanks for reading his listing and signs off with "sincerely" just to let you know that he's not kidding about wanting some pregger's poontang.

He does mention that he plays no games, which probably means breast-pump bingo is out of the question. From the photos, we can also note that while not chasing women with child, Damion hangs out in abandoned train yards and old water-damaged barns. Clearly, the photos are pretty damning. Had Damion went with a single photo, one might think, "Weird, he looks kinda gay. They've got enough problems without introducing a sexually-confused lover into the mix.

Also, "I am also a massage therapist" is doing Damion no favors. Roughly three out of five guys who post attest to being massage therapists. Basically, it's code for, "I promise to provide half-assed foreplay before wanting to bang.

She probably doesn't need the heaping second helping of mommy issues this guy's clearly bringing to the table. Age and body type have intriguingly not been specified.

By leading with all physical attributes including age, hair and eye color, height, weight and the description "attractive athletic," we know this guy is proud of what he looks like. The fact that he wants to meet up for a drink and exchange oral sex in a car, well, that leads one to believe that he probably lives with someone. If it's a girlfriend or wife, that's one thing. If it's his parents, that's kind of sad, plus it might mean the car he's proposing to make out in is owned by his folks.

If any bodily fluids are spilled, be prepared to be handed a Wet- Nap. Meanwhile, he completely forgets to give any sort of indication about what type of woman he's looking for, which gives off the impression that he'll pretty much let anybody gargle his goods.

The fact that he spells maybe, "mabey" not once, but twice is also somewhat troubling. Women who like their sexual organs to be treated like the African monkey trap. If you've been there and done it, you already know and understand what's written below What follows that quote is about words describing "fisting" in extreme detail You can click on the pic for the full ad, if you must.

The verve he uses when rolling out the numbered steps of the process makes it evident that this guy will approach a possible encounter like some sort of demented camp counselor demonstrating macrame. The header reads "Getting to be popular fun! More than likely, it's not the type of experience she wants to have just so she can share the story at the watercooler with her fisting-enthusiast co-workers.

Also, he might want to edit the tidbit about it taking " days for vagina to return to original state. Don't be a chicken. I have rented a residence in North Vegas, off Craig street. If interested please email me for a appointment. I am very willing to please you. Additionally, it's been indicated that our cross-dresser lives in North Vegas. And while everyone knows what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, few are familiar with the North Vegas slogan, which is: What happens in North Vegas will haunt your dreams forever.

All manner of perversions were laid bare, all interest groups represented. Men sought women, women sought men, multiple men sought men, couples sought women and all other permutations one could calculate. It was an underbelly of sorts, but a beloved one. Where else could a woman decide she might like to engage in some light bondage at 2 a. Even as technology advanced and others moved on to Tinder and other apps, I remained loyal to Craigslist, preferring the anonymity of the platform as well as the democratic base of people attracted by the free, low-commitment interface.

The message users receive if they attempt to click on any of the personals sections reads:. I was capable of losing a whole day to the section, refreshing my email inbox and responding in a trancelike state.

The section enabled my addictive personality, allowing me to too easily engage in behaviors that became unhealthy for me. I found myself in dangerous situations that sometimes had consequences. In my 20s, I went through extensive therapy for sexual trauma and addiction, during which I had an extensive system of passwords and blocks set up to keep me off the section.

It just got a little bit harder to engage in risky behavior around anonymous sex, which for me personally may ultimately be a good thing.

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