casual encounters: adventures with craigslist

So, apparently Craigslist is getting sued for promoting prostitution

Now, I won’t deny that this is probably going on and is a serious issue… But I’m not also going to deny that I haven’t perused the casual encounters section of craigslist before… or that I’ve posted there myself.

Before you get your panties in a bunch, you should probably know a few things.  When I first moved to the Second City, after my lovely Chrizzle moved away, I decided I needed a bit of a social life.  So I turned towards the interwebs, namely, criagslist to assist me in this.  I posted at least two ads in the w4m section (and for those of you who don’t know, that’s the “I just want a date” area)…  I got a lot of replies… And well, I checked out the m4w section… and by the end of it I had met 4 different guys.  And well, it didn’t work out with any of them

Recently, I’d been getting bored and in between looking for apartments, I started browsing various personal ads.  This eventually resulted in me wandering over to the casual encounters section.  And yes, that is the “I want sex” section.

I can’t say, no I didn’t/don’t want sex.  But I wasn’t actually seeking it there.  I was just browsing.  Window shopping, if you will.  When it comes to sex, I’ve realized it’s really hard for me to have anything causal.  I’m not really one of those one-night stand sort of girls.  I don’t really know if I’m capable of NSA (no strings attached), and you know, I’m okay with that.  Given that besides the fact that sex is fun, the actual biological purpose of it is to procreate and continue the species.. well, I’m not really wanting to do that right now.  So regardless of what ever precautions we might take, I’d like to feel at least somewhat comfortable with the person I’m willing to risk spawning an offspring with.  It doesn’t mean I want to have a baby with them, I just need to be okay with the process.

So when I posted my ad in the causal encounters w4m area, I had absolutely no intentions on meeting anyone.  I hadn’t even intended on replying.  I was mostly curious and wanted to see what kind of response I could get.  Shallow, yes.  I’m okay with that.  Now, I did my.. research.. before posting.  I wanted to see what others were posting in my section, and well, what they guys were posting too.  With the women, there are hardly any ads with pictures.  A very small percentage.  It’s not that women aren’t posting them — though, on average they’ll post them less than men — it’s mainly that any ad with pictures is inevitably flagged for removal.

This was definitely my experience.  I created a new email account just for this sole purpose of the ad.  Then I placed a really short, simple ad with a picture.  I made sure that my face wasn’t shown, and I changed the color of fabrics in the picture.  The only skin you could see was my stomach.  After four replies and only a few minutes, my ad was flagged for removal.  I tried again a day later.  I changed the wording just a little bit… included the same picture… I received over 90 replies in just under 2 hours before my ad was flagged again.  A fair number of these emails included pictures.  It was actually quite impressive how many men out there are willing to send a random stranger a picture of there man-bits.  However, it’s also impressive how many men out there are willing to display their man-bits to the masses in their ads.  Some even include face pictures.  And some of them in my inbox had definitely been posted in the m4w… (If I was going to actually go through with that, there’d be no way I’d want someone who was a frequent poster of casual encounters.)  And it should be noted, that the men’s ads are hardly ever flagged, even the few that included pictures from adult websites.

It was an interesting experiment.  I’ve definitely confirmed that if I really want to get laid, it won’t be that hard for me to find a willing person.  (And I’m not just talking creepy older men either…)  In all honesty, yes, it was a bitchy whorish thing for me to do, stringing those men’s trust along offering something I have no intentions of actually giving.  But really, you sent a picture of your junk to someone you don’t know.  Maybe trust isn’t an issue.