All the responses I got from real people on my first day weren't from women — they were from men.

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!

Or can two regular people really make the connection that the section's name suggests?

It didn't take long to realize that almost all the replies I received were scams.

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.

The prostitutes of Craigslist speak in code, but it's not a difficult one to learn.

They advertise "French lessons" — an odd thing to advertise under "Casual Encounters," don't you think?

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.

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.

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.