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All the responses I got from real people on my first day weren't from women — they were from men.
Many people use Craigslist to find roommates, cheap furniture, used cars or part-time jobs. 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.
I began with a listing announcing myself to the women of my city.
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. 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). Most were scams, some were men, some were prostitutes, and just one was legit.