Many people use Craigslist to find roommates, cheap furniture, used cars or part-time jobs. But there's another function: 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?
Or can two regular people really make the connection that the section's name suggests? I should admit that I had no intention to actually hook up with someone, should the opportunity arise, if for no other reason than it would be inappropriate and manipulative to an unwitting partner to do so and write about it. 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.
It goes without saying that the content of this article is not intended for children or those made uncomfortable by such topics. 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. Each day I tried a different approach to see what would be most effective, though I never lied or posted fake photographs.
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.
Another day, I described it as a rebound. 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. I received about a half-dozen responses each day. Most were scams, some were men, some were prostitutes, and just one was legit. All the responses I got from real people on my first day weren't from women — they were from men. I made it very clear in my post that I was only interested in women, but a large number of men chose to ignore that. They all offered oral sex.
I responded to them politely, saying, "Just interested in women, but thanks for the offer! Have a good one. I began to suspect that no women actually used the site. The stereotype is that women are interested in relationships, and that only men would be interested in totally casual sex, right?
We know that's not true, though. 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. Over the next couple of days, I actually received a lot of posts from women. Or at least, they said they were women. To be honest, I doubted the veracity of the claims. 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. The most common scams are "safe dating" websites. 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.
If you follow the link she provides, the website asks you for your credit card number — y'know, so it can do a background check to make sure you're not a criminal. One individual tried to get me to buy him or her virtual currency in online games like MapleStory before agreeing to hand over contact information. Yeah, right — moving on! What little luck I'd had so far. The week was half over and I hadn't had a single bite. I decided I would have to take the initiative, so in addition to posting my own ads, I started responding to every ad from any woman who seemed at all interesting.
I cast a wide net in my searches, looking up posts by straight or bisexual women between the ages of 18 and 35 who lived anywhere in Chicagoland — a large metropolitan area that's home to close to five million females. 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.
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.
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. 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. The ads are so obvious that it's surprising the euphemisms are effective in fending off law enforcement. Then again, maybe they are law enforcement. Amidst all those failures, I had one near-success. A woman wrote in response to my sweet "cuddling first" ad saying she was in town for only a couple of months, and that she was frustrated she couldn't find a relationship.
When she sent her pictures, she looked plain but attractive. With Amazon making it easier and easier to buy things you can now buy stuff with the push of a button , after all , it's easy to forget that the digital commerce site also lets you sell things too. For anybody who is looking to sell stuff on Amazon, the platform has two subscription plans — professional and individual.
That means whether you're a small business or just looking for some extra cash by getting rid of some of the junk you have lying around, Amazon can be the perfect tool to find a new marketplace to sell stuff. The joy of Craigslist's list "for sale" section was that almost anybody could post or respond to a listing.
The downside is that almost anybody could post or respond to a listing For anybody looking for a little extra security, meet Facebook Marketplace. The tool allows Facebook users to buy and or sell items in their neighborhood. But the perk of Facebook Marketplace is that it connects to your Facebook profile and displays data that you've made public on the platform, which the platform hopes will make it easier to avoid spam and fishing.
Know where and how to search, and Craigslist can be a job hunters go-to career board. With everything from writing gigs to medical opportunities, Craigslist hosted a bevy of job listings. But for anybody looking for an alternative, make sure to check out: He passed that idea along to one of his former employees who then created Glassdoor. The company is great for job searching because, in addition to listing job openings, the site allows you to also filter through reviews, giving you a better sense of what the company culture of the job you're looking into is like, what salary range should you be asking for, and if the current employees are happy there.
All helpful information for anyone trying to find a new gig. Since it debuted in , TaskRabbit has become almost synonymous with the phrase "gig economy. To match people with jobs, TaskRabbit does two things. First, it allows job searchers, which they call "Taskers," to make a profile which lists their hourly rate.
Then it allows clients looking for help to post a task request for everything from helping build furniture to waiting in line to put in a restaurant reservation. Taskers are able to select a job around them and if a client confirms a tasker and their rate, then parties are matched. Like TaskRabbit, Moonlighting is a site and app that connects job searchers with clients, but rather than complete tasks, Moonlighting curates longer-term freelance jobs.
Moonlighting lists jobs ranging from website designer to wedding photographer, which means no matter what your speciality, you can find a gig that suits your skills. When Craiglist retired its personals section, the internet collectively mourned the loss of one of the OG places to find a quick fling online. With sections for casual encounters, strictly platonic, and misc romance, the site was a hub for anyone looking to meet others in their area.
But fear not, if you're looking for an alternative to Craigslist personals, be sure to check out: If you love Craigslist's "Missed Connections," then Happn is the dating app for you. Founded in , the app allows anyone looking for a date to see the profile of other users that they happened see what they did there to have crossed paths with.
From there, users can decide if they want to chat with that person, or to move on. Sometimes people went on to Craigslist personals to find their one true love buuuuutttt other times people went on Craigslist to find their "one true just for right now. If you're looking for an app to help you find a date, casual hook up, or more, check out Grindr..