AFF,, craigslist CE?
March 31, 2006 9:29 AM   Subscribe

AFF,, craigslist CE experiences?

Has anyone here had any experiences with,, or craigslist's casual encounters? Or know someone who has? Successes or failures or just plain scary and/or disappointing meetings?

I realize that people who are able to answer this might not want to do so publicly, so feel free to email me (email address in profile). But, I also figure that there really are people who just know about someone else who used one of these sites.

Btw, I'm only interested in hearing about hetero experiences. I'm under the impression that the homosexual scene is different. Especially m4m.

And PLEASE do NOT email me with some sort of come-on just because I'm asking this question. Seriously. I don't want my high opinion of MeFi members to be compromised. ;-)
posted by INTPLibrarian to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

As a female, you will be inundated with emails (especially on CL), many of which will contain unsolicited pictures of men's wangs. Be prepared. Also, I'll send you an email with some additional details... don't worry, it won't have any attachments.
posted by the_bone at 11:11 AM on March 31, 2006

I have friends who have both posted and replied to Craigslist posts. Friend #1 (female, 20something) made a post and received nothing but noise and naked photos in reply. Friend #2 (male, 20something) responded to a post and met a completely normal and good-looking woman looking for an uncomplicated physical relationship. They still receive occaisional 1am calls from each other to this day.
posted by the jam at 11:31 AM on March 31, 2006

Response by poster: Anonymously posting an email answer I received:

Hi. I'm an MeFite coming to you from an anon email account. Feel free to post this in your thread, but please don't include this email address -- even though it's anon. If people have questions for me, please send them on (they should go through you). Thanks.

My wife and I joined AFF a couple of years ago. We were interested in "swinging" with other couples. My wife is pretty hot, so we generated tons of interest. Out of the 100 or so couples that contacted us, we met with about five. Out of these five experiences, four were horrible and one was fun. From what I hear, this is the norm for sites like this. It's a numbers game. Most of the time, nothing happens (people flake out and don't meet with you at the last minute). Some of the time, meetups happen, but they suck (people are lousy lovers, don't look like their pics, are mean and obnoxious, etc.) Occasionally, you find people you click with. But you have to be willing to put up with a lot of duds to find them. (We tried CL and had similar experiences.)

Though we did have some fun, it sapped too much energy (dealing with all the nut cases, etc.), so after a year of AFF, we quit and went back to our vanilla lives.

Here are a few more impressions:

-- there's a social hierarchy on AFF (and similar sites). Single women (and lesbian couples that will meet with men) are at the top. If you're a single male, and you want to meet with a woman, or if you're a couple and you want a threesome with another woman, be prepared to get in line and getr ejected often (unless you're super-super hot). Single women can pick whoever they want from many applicants, so chances are they won't pick you.

Next in the pecking order, hot couples.

Last: single guys. I chatted with many single guys who had been on the site for ages and had yet to talk anyone into meeting with them. (Usually, the chats started with "Hey, you're wife's really hot. Could I have sex with her?" I would always say no, because -- like most couples -- we wanted to meet with other couples or with women. Those poor guys hear no all day.)

-- Some couple want to meet with other couples, but most couples want to meet with women for threesomes. But they quickly realize that this isn't likely to happen very often, so they settle for couples and put up with the extra man. Having been the extra man a few times, I can attest that this isn't fun. Basically, people would say they were interested in my wife and me, but once we were all together, they would try to have as little contact with me as possible. If my wife was a little tipsy (most swinging activities are combined with alcohol), she might go along with it. So I'd wind up sitting on the sidelines, as a couple played with my wife. No thanks.

As I said, once in a while, magic would happen. But that was the exception. Obviously, your mileage may vary, but from talking to other people, I get the impression that our experience was typical.

PS. I think women seeking women do better.
posted by INTPLibrarian at 12:21 PM on March 31, 2006 [1 favorite]

(Note: I'm not single now, but when I was..) actually has a lot of.. ahem.. 'professionals' that put up fake profiles, trying to lure you in. There are actually a lot fewer members than the site wants you to believe.

As a single guy, I always found Craigslist (SF Bay Area) to be a complete disaster. Despite writing dozens of emails per day, I very rarely got any sort of response. I *never* sent any sort of nude photos. Several times I got very rude responses back, actually. Craigslist is a woman's playground. Even the fat & ugly girls get to pick & choose. When an ex & I put an ad in the w4wm section, we got a bunch of nasty (rude) emails and nothing for actual responses.
Also the huge numbers of gay men that seem to respond to every single ad regardless of what section its in or what the ad says is really annoying. Then there are the photo collectors.
Honestly, I don't know anybody that has ever had a successful craigslist meeting.

Never used
posted by drstein at 12:29 PM on March 31, 2006

Please post any more anonymized email responses you got. Intriguing stuff.
posted by lalochezia at 8:11 PM on April 1, 2006

Response by poster: Another anonymous emailed answer:

Hi there :-)

I spotted your post on MeFi, and preferred this route to reply.

If you really don't mind being a mail relay then I'm happy for you to forward any questions or comments to my address.

I'm in the UK, and I'm a guy, so my experiences may differ from yours. As in the real world, women can pick and choose. Single guys are at the bottom of the pecking order. The other posts at MeFi say this too, and it's true.

I've tried, and I've met several people through it. However, the vast majority of the people contacted will simply not reply to a single man. The women can be absolutely picky, which is fair enough I suppose. As a female, you can probably expect the absolute opposite response of course! The women I've chatted to on there are inundated. If you put a picture on the site you can expect a deluge.

Try to use all the filtering that Alt has available. You can select an option for only people who match your settings can contact you. I'd do that, it will probably reduce the flood substantially. There are other filters too, such as they must
have a picture, a fully completed profile, etc etc.

You'll probably want to pay for membership to Alt. This will give you silver or gold status. Ordinary members cannot
initiate contact (in most cases) so paying means you can approach people rather than wait. It also makes it clear that
you're probably not a faker.

And there are lots of fakers. Seriously. I've been propositioned by prostitutes many times. Never taken them up on the offer though ;-) has very slack monitoring and rule enforcement. You can put your email address in messages, although people can report you for doing so. I've always done it and never got into any trouble... and I've sent a *lot* of messages! But I've always disguised the address by spelling it: [same way that MeFi writes out email addresses in profiles] or similar, just in case they have any text-processing.

I imagine AFF to be exactly the same as Alt, since it's run by the same software, and I presume the same people. I've only just signed up to there though, so my experience is negligible.

As for single women having any luck, a female friend of mine was a regular Craigslist user and she did very well out of it.
She had "problems with commitment" so regularly posted for lovers on Craigslist in the UK. I know she also received plenty of responses, and met several nice guys. I only met one. He seemed perfectly normal. She always took her time vetting them of course, meeting for drinks and dinner etc. Plus she lived in a shared house so she was always safe from unrequited attentions.

Good luck, and do post a follow-up about your experiences :-)
posted by INTPLibrarian at 12:36 PM on April 2, 2006

Response by poster: And another one:

After a marital separation in 2004, I went through a major horndog phase and successfully met women (and men, I'm bi) on alt, AFF and CL (in Miami). My MeFi-reading girlfriend knows about all of this, but regardless I'm not comfortable sharing some of these things in the thread.

CL: As I said in the thread, watch out for random wangs... if you don't want to be swimming in pictures of men's genitalia, you may want to specify "face pics only" or "no cock shots." Also, watch out for form letters, some guys will send them to anyone posting as "w4m" or "mw4m" without even reading the ad. Again, specifying that you want more than a two-sentence reply might weed out some of the hosers and make it more likely that you'll find the casual hookup of your dreams. I met three women via CL (not easy to do as a guy, the ratio of men to women is ridiculous) and had great experiences with all of them. One of those women lives in Chicago (she was in FL on vacation when we met; we ended up having a four-day fling and it was lovely), she uses CL to hook up, and has generally had good experiences.

Some advice: Always meet in a public place first instead of just meeting at an apartment or hotel. In-person chemistry can be very different from email or phone chemistry. Always make sure a trusted friend knows where you are, don't be afraid to say "no," and if your instincts tell you that something isn't right then for god's sake *listen to them*! Obviously, this is more for BDSM-type stuff. Safety and trust are waaaaay more important when doing this sort of play with people you don't know very well, and even though I've had positive casual experiences in this direction I usually saved the ropes and riding crops for people I've been with a couple of times (although we may have talked about it right away). That stuff I wrote above about a "trusted friend knowing where you are" goes *double* when doing BDSM with a new partner... you may want to consider having someone call and check in during the session. I met one girl on ALT and had a couple of steamy experiences with her.

AFF: Almost worthless for men (I met two bi couples on there, but never single women), but might be promising for a gal. You'll get at least as many responses there are you would on CL.

I might suggest checking out some "swinger" websites... I had a profile on and got laid regularly (met a number of couples and five or so single women there) as a result. I have heard good things about as well. I found SDC to have a better class of people than AFF, but then again there were a frillion people on it in FL... it seems to be less used here in CA (not that I'm looking for partners, but still), and I don't know how many people are on it in Chicago.

Hope all of this helps!
posted by INTPLibrarian at 12:42 PM on April 2, 2006

Response by poster: Other info:

I also had other emails to me which did not explicitly give me permission to post them here. I would summarize them, but really they had mostly the same advice that the ones I did post did. Nothing else really to add.

I'd really like to thank everyone who responded to my question. I was somewhat expecting to not get any responses at all. And, for the record, I didn't get any emails that were in any way inappropriate at all. My high opinion of MeFites is now higher than ever. ;-)

For those who are following this thread -- I'm writing up a summary of my own experience and will post it later. Probably today.

Thanks to everyone again!
posted by INTPLibrarian at 12:57 PM on April 2, 2006

Response by poster: And finally, my own experience so far...

Long answer:

I have a profile on At first I had an almost completely blank profile that explained that I only had a profile because you have to have one in order to browse other profiles and that's all I wanted to do. I still got random responses from guys who obviously just email any female.

When I finally put the time in to write up an actual profile of who I am and what I was very specifically looking for, the number of responses I got rose A LOT. Still *lots* of junk responses by guys who obviously didn't read my profile, but also a number from ones who obviously did read it.

I can't imagine what the mathematical formula would be to demonstrate the increased number of emails I got once I put up a picture. Over 180 emails in two days.

Can I just say that the level of literacy in this country is in a very sad, very very sorry state? I deleted any emails that basically looked as though they were written by someone who was drunk, blind, and typing with their toes. Yes, there were a lot of pictures of male genitalia sent to me. Though this didn't bother me, sending a "real" photo -- face or casual photo made me much more interested in possibly responding. (I guess, as a female, I'm saying this as advice to any guys out there who want to try this.)

I did start emailing someone I met online and we did meet up. He was a completely "normal" guy and I'm very happy I had the guts to actually go through with it and meet someone that I found interesting and attractive. (I've explained to some people who answered via email that I was really wondering if so-called normal guys ever used these websites. I know "normal" isn't the best word to use, but it does seem to convey what I'm trying to say...)

Although it seems as though using these websites is frustrating for guys who outnumber the women, as a woman, having too many responses to wade through, trying to find any that have anything at all to do with the profile you posted is also frustrating. And I really had to get past my politeness instinct in order to just delete some of the emails without any response from me or even looking at the guy's profile. It still feels rude to do that, but otherwise I was just too overwhelmed and couldn't begin to take it seriously.

I did respond to one ad on Craigslist, but the answer I got to my response was so... ugh... insulting and horrible... it really put me off on the idea of using that site. Actually, for at least a day, I was pretty sure I never wanted to interact with another MAN every again. Obviously, I got over it. But it was very unpleasant. So, for the women, I'd advise being prepared for some emails like that and you have to be able to not take it personally.

Also, similar to what one of the anon emails above says about filtering when using, I'm going to rewrite my profile and be very specific about what I will NOT respond to and what I'm NOT interested in. I know I'll still get the emails that disregard what I wrote, but I think that will make me not feel guilty about deleting them.

Oh, one more bit of advice for guys... if you've written a thought out email, included a face photo, have a filled out profile, etc. and you still don't hear back from a woman you wrote to, give her at least a few days, if not even a few weeks. It may take a while for her to have the time to get back to you with an email that she's put time into herself and also to get up the courage to answer you. Not that the guys aren't nervous, too, but I really think that the women are much more so. Just an FYI.

Short answer:

Yea! I'm happy! ;-)
posted by INTPLibrarian at 1:18 PM on April 2, 2006 [1 favorite]

A friend of mine who frequents those websites says he would always get complimented on his grammar. Which is a scary statement, when you think about it...
posted by badlydubbedboy at 7:14 AM on April 3, 2006

Response by poster: Another anon email:

Not only have I successfully used a service like that (the quaintly named, I'm mailing you from one of my semi-bogus email accounts that I use when online dating.

So, the details: I'm a straight male, mid-30s, was just out of a long-term relationship. I didn't really have a problem getting laid, but I was looking for something a little different and maybe, I dunno, sleazier. I also knew I didn't want another relationship right away. I was also curious to see whether the whole thing was a scam or not - I suspected at least some of the ads were fake, or posted by pros.

I was in a certain mood one night and posted an ad. Uh, on sexsearch, posting an ad is free, it's sending messages that you need a membership for. Membership is free for women, men it's like $30/month I think. I figured I'd try it for a month as a social experiment and see what happened.

I sent a few messages to women, a couple got back to me. One of them and I almost-kinda-dated for a while, we liked each other, but couldn't really get over the fact that we met on a site named sexsearch and nothing - no sex, anything - came of it.

The second meeting was the successful one. She's my age, very little sexual experience, and was looking for someone to teach her the ropes. I've been seeing her once a week for six months and it's been a lot of fun. There was no dating at all - just met her once in public, then we started going to each other's places. It'll likely end soon as I start to date more traditionally again.

So, yes, it works. I'm not sure of your gender, but women are generally going to get more success out these things (depending on your definition of success).

p.s. one thing you'll notice is that 90% of the ads appear to be written by morons. I found that filtering out those ads made it a lot easier.
posted by INTPLibrarian at 8:36 AM on April 3, 2006

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