How safe?
September 27, 2008 6:17 AM   Subscribe

How safe is Craigslist?

OK I use CL fairly often. I'm a guy and I meet men. Say 3-4 a week? Always safe, always condoms. Never use drugs, never anything with blood or scat or cutting. Test myself every 3 months, clean so far. I have a friend who I let know where I'm going when I go see a stranger so she can call 911 if I don't call her in time.

So how safe is it if I'm sleeping with a 100-odd men a year? What additional steps can I take to keep myself safe?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It depends on your definition of safe.

The problem is, the type of men who you meet on CL are _also_ sleeping with 100 men a year, right? As a whole, that's probably not the most prudent, cautious group of guys.

I dunno much about this study, but it's food for thought:
posted by paanta at 6:37 AM on September 27, 2008

Regarding avoiding STI infection, it sounds as if you are doing what you can to protect yourself. Your physical safety (regarding assault/attack) will always be a bit of a crapshoot, as I assume you are entering their homes or they are entering yours. I'm a bit more concerned for your psychological safety/stability and why you feel the drive to do this, but be safe nonetheless.
posted by Asherah at 6:40 AM on September 27, 2008

Condoms prevent body-fluid transmission, but they do nothing for the cooties side of STDs. Things like crabs and scabies are something to be concerned about. I'm not aware of any prophylactic for them, only after-the-fact treatments.
posted by nomisxid at 7:31 AM on September 27, 2008

Watch out for bedbugs. Eugh.

I think that equipping your cell with some sort of GPS tracker and allowing your friend access to that would be helpful, in case you don't end up where you say you're going and something untoward happens.
posted by sondrialiac at 9:14 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Condoms prevent body-fluid transmission, but they do nothing for the cooties side of STDs. Things like crabs and scabies are something to be concerned about. are herpes, syphilis and warts.

Condoms can help protect, but are not close to AS effective as they are in preventing bodily-fluid transmission of STD.
posted by tristeza at 9:23 AM on September 27, 2008

Let's just say that 1 in 1000 guys you'd meet on Casual Encounters would be the type who would be capable / willing to do harm to you.

If you're with 100 different guys per year, you're running a 10% chance of some seriously bad shit happening to you.

Are you willing to take those odds?
posted by BobbyVan at 9:37 AM on September 27, 2008

About the 10% figure, consider this... if there was an incident of a craigslist related murder, you can bet that it would be reported by the local media in your city. The cops would need to know how the principals met before the incident, and they are usually all about reporting these "vice" related incidents just because. So do the math... you meet 100 different guys, and each of them has probably met about 100 different guys, fudge some numbers for overlap, and consider the fact that you won't meet everybody in your town who does this, and I think you'll find that the percentage of you being held hostage is about, oh, let's say 0% over a period of a year.

Now, STDs... you'd be quite prominent in that little directed graph. There's no 0% there.
posted by sleslie at 9:48 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

sleslie, that analysis only works if you assume that a CL murderer would be caught, and if caught would admit to how they met the victim. CL related assault or robbery might not be reported by male victims who donĀ“t want others to know that they have an interest in men. So, lack of news stories does not mean that no crimes are committed.

anonymous, you will be safer if you mention to the person you are meeting that you always leave word of where you are going with someone. There is a deterrent value to a potential assailant knowing they might be caught. Your friend should also have access to your email and be able to ID which ad you responded to. Them calling 911 after an incident will do little to help you once something has occurred.
posted by yohko at 12:32 PM on September 27, 2008

OK... so you got murdered by a craiglister, and you're missing and then someone notices you're missing. The cops will investigate, and the investigation will do forensics on your computer, which will likely show that you were a heavy craiglister who did liasons with other guys. They will know the last time you left your house from newspapers, dust, whatever. The police would organize another liason with the guy, or get ip addresses (legally possible with a murder investigation, right?) More relevant to our discussion, the fact that cops know it was a craiglist related murder / kidnapping would be known. That's kinda an interesting story for the media, and then Oprah talks about it.

You can get robbed, yes, but your car can also be stolen when you park it.

Spend your time worrying about the STDs.
posted by sleslie at 5:43 PM on September 27, 2008

I would argue that craigslist is safer than picking up a random stranger in person.

What i would worry about is ending up with the same guy more than once. Which is not what you're looking for right?
posted by chickaboo at 9:08 PM on September 27, 2008

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