I was capable of losing a whole day to the section, refreshing my email inbox and responding in a trancelike state. The section enabled my addictive personality, allowing me to too easily engage in behaviors that became unhealthy for me.
I found myself in dangerous situations that sometimes had consequences. In my 20s, I went through extensive therapy for sexual trauma and addiction, during which I had an extensive system of passwords and blocks set up to keep me off the section.
It just got a little bit harder to engage in risky behavior around anonymous sex, which for me personally may ultimately be a good thing. And yet, something is lost. That such a free space existed for kink to flourish, for unedited human desire that was inclusive of every type of person to thrive, for consenting adults to find their complementary sexual puzzle piece, for men and women to independently and anonymously exercise their right to sexual liberty is more precious and rare in retrospect, as we look toward a digital future affected by the reach of the new sex-trafficking law.
For better or worse, the section meant something to me. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. The message users receive if they attempt to click on any of the personals sections reads: Go to mobile site.
There were no limits. A lot of people who remember the personals section on Craigslist will tell you stories about how it helped them create an active sex life for themselves. It was easy too because users did not have to register for an account or pay any membership fees like on dating sites.
Craigslist would keep things totally free and anonymous for users who wanted a casual hookup. This brought both excitement and risk to the table. After all, there was no way to know if the person that you were meeting was legitimate or not.
Remember the Craigslist Killer, Philip Markoff? He used to meet girls in their hotel room and then rob them. One girl was even murdered. By , Craigslist had become a website used for sex trafficking. There was pressure put on Craigslist to remove their Adult Services section, which they eventually did.
But the possibility for sexual encounters was still possible because of the other categories in the personals section. People who wanted to sell sex or look for sex would make discrete posts in the Casual Encounters category.