Have a good one." Most didn't write back after that.One responded: "Really man, can be cool and relaxing." I began to suspect that no women actually used the site.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." Nevertheless, I tailored each response to whatever they were looking for.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 didn't even know I needed to, but I feel oddly better after watching it.
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. 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. The week was half over and I hadn't had a single bite.
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.
The stereotype is that women are interested in relationships, and that only men would be interested in totally casual sex, right? 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. I was only getting messages from gay or bisexual men!
Over the next couple of days, I actually received a lot of posts from women. To be honest, I doubted the veracity of the claims.
All the responses I got from real people on my first day weren't from women — they were from men.