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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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.