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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.

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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. I responded to them politely, saying, "Just interested in women, but thanks for the offer!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.We exchanged a couple of e-mails over the course of two hours, tossing back and forth lists of interests and the like. You've probably guessed by now that the experiences for heterosexual men and women on Craigslist's casual encounters are quite different.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. I observed that for every ad a woman posts, there are at least 20 from men.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.

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 when I suggested a time to meet — the last message from me before I would reveal myself and back out — there was no reply. The next day, she e-mailed me saying she was deeply apologetic and that she'd fallen asleep. If nothing else, that imbalance ought to alter the experience.