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.
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.
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!
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.
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.