But there's another function: I decided to dive into Craigslist's "Casual Encounters" — a section made for no-strings hookups — to see if any of what I assumed about that virtual place was true. Is it populated entirely by perverted sexual deviants, serial killers, prostitutes and scammers as rumors insist? Or can two regular people really make the connection that the section's name suggests?
I should admit that I had no intention to actually hook up with someone, should the opportunity arise, if for no other reason than it would be inappropriate and manipulative to an unwitting partner to do so and write about it. But it's not a stretch to say that even if you abstain from the goal, spending a week on Casual Encounters can teach you a lot about human beings and how the web has changed how we pursue one of our most essential and important desires.
It goes without saying that the content of this article is not intended for children or those made uncomfortable by such topics. But if you're interested, read on for the story of my seven days on Craigslist's Casual Encounters — my failures, near misses, discoveries, insights and successes.
Following that, I interviewed two women to learn how they used the site successfully for their own fulfillment. Each day I tried a different approach to see what would be most effective, though I never lied or posted fake photographs. One day my message was intended to be sweet and normal; I suggested starting with drinks and fun conversation to see if we had chemistry, then going back to my place to cuddle on the couch with a movie and see where that led.
Another day, I described it as a rebound. In yet another, I explicitly detailed sexual activities and used very aggressive language.
Ultimately, only the "sweet and normal" was successful, even though very few posts by women had that same tone more on that later. I received about a half-dozen responses each day. Most were scams, some were men, some were prostitutes, and just one was legit.
All the responses I got from real people on my first day weren't from women — they were from men. I made it very clear in my post that I was only interested in women, but a large number of men chose to ignore that. They all offered oral sex. I responded to them politely, saying, "Just interested in women, but thanks for the offer!
Have a good one. I began to suspect that no women actually used the site. The stereotype is that women are interested in relationships, and that only men would be interested in totally casual sex, right? We know that's not true, though. In fact, I was inspired to write this article when a friend told me many of her female friends had owned up to using it.
Over the next couple of days, I actually received a lot of posts from women. Or at least, they said they were women. To be honest, I doubted the veracity of the claims. It didn't take long to realize that almost all the replies I received were scams. The situation is so severe on Craigslist Casual Encounters that posts by real women who are actually seeking hook-ups are often flagged for removal at the slightest cause for suspicion.
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.
Im safe and not looking for unsafe stuff. Plz dont text and ask for my pic. No sreenshots, no bs, im real. Im discreet and no trouble. Let try this guys. These people are plying a trade and I guess these posts are from a mixed bag of people who are just what they say they are. You can normally spot these by their length and some level of detail about themselves and combined with specifics about what they are looking for.
This is helpful when they use different come-ons to attract response. Either of which are probably not what any guy is looking to engage with. This is part and parcel of the scams here, the photos can be used to regenerate your identity or simply the person is collecting photos because that's their hobby.
Again, engaging with them is not going to produce a positive result. Engaging with these people seems very counter productive at best and dangerous at the worse. Nice to look at, but overwhelmingly not actual photos of a woman you are going to engage with.
My advice to guys on this site is to guard your identity with every click. Every time you send a photo of yourself or your phone number or your real email address, think about this: Would you want that phone number used as tool to recreate your identity? Do you want some hacker busting in to your email account? Seems to me we need the "real" women here to implement a special code to use in their ads, something that we can simply use in search to help.
We can make this a safer environment, if we all work together! I have used it in the past and will just not send phone info I am busy, give me yours and I will call you in a few or photo I have decoy pics and will not send it to the CL address, onlly to a real address.
I've messed with men posting an ad as well, to see what's out there in terms of competition. I was 'impressed' at how little info men want to give, bad pics, short emails, they want to call you, they can not 'hosts' huh? So yes, men are protecting themselves but in a slightly different way than what you and I would consider.
CL is bottom feeding of dating, but it works well for specific fetishes. I have standard email replies written up so i can communicate the first 3 emails without much effort and time. CL does work, you need to be careful and invest some upfront time.
All of this should begin to stand out to anyone who's spent a handful of nights or more exploring casual encounters. A couple things that weren't mentioned that should be are;.
Create an entirely new email for your CL late night freak business. This keeps your actual email clean and protected. As far as the "real" women implementing a new code.. The real code is to describe something, some place about the city you're advertising in that only a local who's lived there would know. I list something to the effect of "The mayfair district is home to many folks who live an alternative lifestyle.
The north mall sees it's share of snobs. This should help you to validate my authenticity as a real and local person" Something everyone local can relate to and recognize, landmarks or common opinions of the towns people "The causeway maintenance is a joke right now, when is this project going to be completed?
I have places to get to! I sometimes make people do something specific just because I wrote a lot of text and want to make sure they read the whole ad.. The rising fears that dampened her heat ran the gamut: Do not extend payment to anyone you have not met in person. Add me to the weekly newsletter. In the first line where he reveals that it's a recent picture of. Im safe and not looking for unsafe stuff.
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