He started with fake ads for dryer lint and old aluminum foil, but quickly realized casual sex would bait more chumps.
Over one year of unemployment, Los Angeles civil attorney Henry Russell posted 150 prank ads seeking sex on Craigslist. The result is his first book, Craigslist Casual Encounters: The Hilarious and Disturbing World of Seeking Sex Online.
In it, the 37-year-old collects his 29 best ads. Among the most PG-rated are the man who tries to pimp his wife for Lakers tickets and a woman hoping to get it on in a bear suit with a jar of honey and video camera nearby.
Posted in 50 U.S. states, the ads provoked more than 6,000 responses, mostly from "lonely men looking for sex," Mr. Russell said.
"I tried to push them as far as I could and some were really willing to go to extreme lengths just for physical contact," said the author, who uses a pseudonym after he received hate mail and threats from some of the would-be lovers, none of whom is identified in the book.
He spoke with The Globe and Mail about some of his favourite ads.
I'm a Guitar Hero groupie! - 19 - W4M
"I want to invite 3 guys over and have a competition. You three battle it out, and the one with the highest score wins me."
Rock bands have groupies - why can't Guitar Hero superstars have groupies? So many people take that game so seriously, they were Guitar Hero nerds talking about their scores. It just amazed them that someone was interested in combining their two top interests in the world, Guitar Hero and sex. It just blew them away.
Single mother needs some lovin - 26 - W4M
"I'm lookin for someone that can come over to my place for something fun but quick. I can't drive because my son is here sleeping."
I would respond by telling them they had to put the baby outside on the porch or lock them in the bathroom. I recall one person saying, "I don't feel comfortable coming over if you're going to have to lock your kid up outside," but I think everyone else was agreeable with an arrangement like that. I gradually changed my responses. Now, the baby was going to be in the same room with us. It's disappointing that guys were okay with that.
It's late and I'm hungry - 21 - W4M
"I'm home from the bars, without a car and dying for some Taco Bell. If someone would be willing to pick me up a volcano tacos, baja chalupa, and a pepsi, I would be forever thrilled."
That was one of my favourites. It was a lot of fun because the guys would respond and ask to see a photo, so I would send them photos of the food I wanted. Most people were willing to do it. I think some guys were hoping for sex even though the ad explicitly said there would be no sex. I think at that time of night, some guys are just lonely and happy with any kind of contact.
Punch you in the face - 22 - W4M
"This isn't for sex or anything like that. I just want to punch you in the face, but am open to other ideas if you have any. I would bring my best friend along just to be safe."
Some of the guys weren't willing to be punched in the face but a lot of them were. I had this really long conversation with a guy. At some point, I just kind of dropped it but he kept e-mailing me. His final comment was how disappointed he was that he couldn't even get punched in the face on Craigslist. Some guys are happy just even having a fist on their face.
Furry Sex (extreme roleplaying) - 32 - W4M
"What I would like to do is have each of us dress up in bear costumes. I'll fix up my bedroom with forest decorations to give the whole scene some more authenticity."
There were people who claimed to have some experience with that. That just shows the lengths people are willing to go to have sex: dressing up in a bear suit and being videotaped in my living room. I had guys hoping to call me, ready to audition their bear growls.
Your assignment - 26 - W4M
"In 4-6 sentences describe what you would do to me to make my toes curl. I am not looking for lengthy responses, so keep it within the length requirements, and please refrain from using run-on sentences."
That one was very similar to my "Six word story." I'm asking men to convince me why I should pick them with a writing assignment. People tried; they put a little more effort into their responses.
[Overall]the results weren't surprising, I guess. They were disappointing. For the most part, men are on that site looking for casual sex and they're willing to do almost anything to get it.