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. My favorite scam: One individual tried to get me to buy him or her virtual currency in online games like Maple Story before agreeing to hand over contact information. 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.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!Over the next couple of days, I actually received a lot of posts from women. To be honest, I doubted the veracity of the claims.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. 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). Most were scams, some were men, some were prostitutes, and just one was legit.
I didn't get a single reply from an actual prospect this way.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.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.