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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.
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.
All the responses I got from real people on my first day weren't from women — they were from 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.
It didn't take long to realize that almost all the replies I received were scams.
Another difference is that other dating sites make you subscribe to read and reply to messages, but on Spark!
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.
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.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.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 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.