When she sent her pictures, she looked plain but attractive. We exchanged a couple of e-mails over the course of two hours, tossing back and forth lists of interests and the like. She made it clear that she wanted to meet up, and while she talked about starting slow, it was clear that it would indeed be a casual encounter. But when I suggested a time to meet — the last message from me before I would reveal myself and back out — there was no reply.
At least, not yet. The next day, she e-mailed me saying she was deeply apologetic and that she'd fallen asleep. She said she'd like to meet up sometime. So yes, there are women on Craigslist. Well, at least one! You've probably guessed by now that the experiences for heterosexual men and women on Craigslist's casual encounters are quite different. I observed that for every ad a woman posts, there are at least 20 from men.
If nothing else, that imbalance ought to alter the experience. To get the female perspective, I did two things: I posted a fake ad as a woman to see what kinds of responses I would get, and I interviewed two women who have had success hooking up on casual encounters in the past.
As for potential suitors, I asked only that they supply a photo and "be attractive and not creepy. There was a five minute delay before my ad appeared, then I started receiving about one response per minute.
Most of them were careful to say "I don't do this often. Some sent pictures of themselves naked along with the word "Hi. There were a lot of expressions of sympathy over my fake breakup. I was hearing from men of all types, and it seemed I had my pick of the litter. After about thirty minutes, though, my post was flagged for removal. I thought I'd made it look legit, but as we learned earlier, folks have good reason to be hawkish about scammers.
After the end of my test run with Craigslist casual encounters, I decided to get more insight into the female experience with the site by interviewing two women who said they had successes meeting up with men on Casual Encounters.
Their problem was the opposite of mine. They had too many options to pick from, but they both dealt with the numerous choices in the same way. Both women ultimately responded to men who they felt put effort into writing long, personal messages as opposed to quick notes. Multiple paragraphs of insightful and relatable prose won out — but only after the initial test of physical appearance.
Both said they immediately eliminated men who opened with pictures of genitalia — a very common practice. However, looks were important. One of the women I interviewed said she once had a crush on a client at her job, but couldn't make a move without compromising her professionalism.
However, she was looking through Casual Encounters and saw an ad from a man, and she recognized his writing style — it was her old client! She sent him a message to see if it was him, asking a question only he would be able to answer. He proved his identity and they ended up hooking up. One of the women said she would go to Casual Encounters when she was looking for a very specific sexual experience — something you can't always count on from a one night stand that starts at a club or bar.
The other said her reasons could be summed up as "curiosity, boredom, and convenience. The trick is to keep an open mind and not have any real expectations. At the very least, it's mildly entertaining. After all this exploration, I'll say that Craigslist casual encounters is a place where people go to find very specific things from each other that they might not be able to conveniently locate in the real world. Some of those things are very alternative.
It's a last, best hope for some people who are looking to make a personal connection, but it's full of spam, unwanted attention, crime, and, well You might not find what you're looking for, but you're sure to find something interesting regardless.
Image courtesy of iStockphoto , nights , geotrac. Samuel Axon is a digital content producer in New York City. He has worked as an editor at Engadget, Mashable and the Joystiq network, and currently leads content strategy as Editorial Director at Sprout Social.
We're using cookies to improve your experience. Click Here to find out more. Entertainment Like Follow Follow. The Experiment I began with a listing announcing myself to the women of my city. Barking Up the Wrong Tree All the responses I got from real people on my first day weren't from women — they were from men. But where were they? I was only getting messages from gay or bisexual men! An Army of Scammers Over the next couple of days, I actually received a lot of posts from women.
Taking Initiative What little luck I'd had so far. The Other Perspective, Part 1: My Fake Female Ad You've probably guessed by now that the experiences for heterosexual men and women on Craigslist's casual encounters are quite different. The Other Perspective, Part 2: Interviews With Craigslist Women After the end of my test run with Craigslist casual encounters, I decided to get more insight into the female experience with the site by interviewing two women who said they had successes meeting up with men on Casual Encounters.
It looks like when I'm searching for a woman, there are tons of spammers. I know we will never be able to get rid of them completely. Have there been sites other than Doublelist that are a good alternative? Preferably free, or a legitimate site with real women. Also, I'm not single, but I don't think that really matters We've had success with Craigslist's Casual Encounters section over the years and understood that it was the only good, regional and free way to meet people of this nature.
When it left there was nothing there to replace it that wasn't full of spam or asking for money with likely no good results to be had. While we understand it will take time - we hope to provide the most important aspects of Casual Encounters with https: Not sure I like that the email address is right there in the post itself. Any plans to expand into other markets?
The email address is only in the post when a user puts it there. The site actually doesn't support any communication channels through it you must provide a contact avenue in your listing.
Yes, we're hoping to add Canada here very soon, really it's about demand, if there's people looking to use the service in areas we're not currently in we can add them. What did you have in mind? Real women that are remotely attractive and looking for casual sex do not read or post ads on those sites. I'm inclined to think you're either ugly or just have no game, because I had a lot of success there over the years dude. I'm not calling anyone ugly, but let's just say I've had a lot of luck.
Very rarely was I able to connect with a woman that posted, but I posted quite often. If you post the right thing, women will respond. You would be surprised at the number of women that I've been in contact with.
Only one, out of a lot, ended up in a bad experience. Yeah, that was meant to kind of playful, but in retrospect it was kind of mean. Sorry to the ugly dude. I had a lot of success with pretty ones and uggos on CL I even married one. But most replies were easy-to-spot spambots or camgirls.