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?
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. My favorite scam: One individual tried to get me to buy him or her virtual currency in online games like Maple Story before agreeing to hand over contact information. 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.
We exchanged a couple of e-mails over the course of two hours, tossing back and forth lists of interests and the like. You've probably guessed by now that the experiences for heterosexual men and women on Craigslist's casual encounters are quite different.
They advertise "French lessons" — an odd thing to advertise under "Casual Encounters," don't you think?The ads are so obvious that it's surprising the euphemisms are effective in fending off law enforcement.Then again, maybe they Amidst all those failures, I had one near-success.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.