It didn't take long to realize that almost all the replies I received were scams.
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.
It turned out that most of the ads were fakes from scammers, and quite a few fell into another category all together.
Prostitution is what made Craigslist controversial. There's technically another section for that — "Adult Services," formerly "Erotic Services" — but that's not the only place you'll find practitioners of the world's oldest profession.
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.
The prostitutes of Craigslist speak in code, but it's not a difficult one to learn.
When she sent her pictures, she looked plain but attractive.
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.
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.
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!