Dating goodbuy


Craiglist’s personal ads have been around since 1995, the early days of online dating, when looking for love on the Internet was heavy with stigma.In the two decades since, that stigma has lessened; 15 percent of adults report that they’ve used online dating sites or apps.But as of Friday, the site’s personal ads no longer exist. Senate passed a bill to fight online sex trafficking, which could subject websites to more criminal and civil liability for the content that third parties publish on their platforms.Never fear: The site’s Missed Connections ads, which make for some of the Internet’s best voyeuristic reading, will remain — in the community section. As a result, Craigslist decided to remove its personal-ad section, posting the following statement: “Any tool or service can be misused.We can’t take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are regretfully taking craigslist personals offline. To the millions of spouses, partners, and couples who met through craigslist, we wish you every happiness!” What is a note about happy couples doing in a move made in response to a bill to fight sex trafficking?Well, this is the vast possibility and danger of Craigslist.



As these ads go offline, we spoke to a 25-year-old man in New York who used Craigslist’s personal ads — specifically the casual encounters section — as a way of finding casual sex in his early 20s.He spoke to us on condition of anonymity, because, well, that’s what Craigslist personals were all about. Unlike dating apps that often require being linked to a social media account, on Craigslist you could be nameless and Facebook-less.“Most people didn’t even have pictures of their faces,” our 25-year-old Craigslister says. “Usually the person I would meet would be someone unattractive or would have weird tendencies,” he says.“I didn’t know what they looked like until I met them.” [ As Craigslist personal ads shut down, we’re losing an important queer space ] And sometimes he didn’t even get to see what they looked like: He estimates that he would answer hundreds of ads, which might net about 10 replies, which might then lead to one in-person interaction. In one encounter, a woman insisted on having porn blasting the entire time.

Another made him put on a blindfold the moment he arrived.

“She was going to have sex with me, but I wasn’t allowed to touch her,” he recalls.