Unlike Facebook or Google, however, Craigslist has always been simple to a fault, refusing to employ advanced AI to root out problematic posts. To some extent, Craigslist can shut down its personals because it has a business model that exists outside of the section, explains Josh Millard, moderator of the community blog MetaFilter.
But back to me. Where am I supposed to go for companionship now? I met sex partners and lifelong friends. Even today, I stay in touch with guys I met on the Craigslist personals. We act as a support system to talk out problems with our partners or just to rehash things we tried sexually in the past and how we could explore them with their current partners. For others, like year-old Evan, Craigslist was simply an efficiency play.
Where do I go? Like me, he explains, many of his clients entered the world of gay sex via Craigslist because the platform made it easy and anonymous for straight guys to experiment. Before long, though, Craigslist itself became the destination, like the anteroom of a virtual bathhouse. So perhaps the deep sense of loss I and other men are feeling says more about the weight we place on online connections than anything else. As IRL gay bastions have gone away, he explains, the need for gayborhoods has expanded into virtual communities.
The gayborhood went virtual and spread across the city. Cardboard cutout glory holes and plastic rim seats. Pic collectors and catfishes. Putrid watersports and fetid scat play. The perception is that all the dregs of society consort there, looking to act out on their deviant fantasies with other men. Before I had completely come to terms with my sexuality, I experienced my first few sexual encounters thanks to the anonymity that the pic-driven profiles of the gay hookup apps frown upon.
A constellation of men cruised the sparsely designed site for similar reasons. Men with burner email accounts. Men taking body pics in toothpaste speckled mirrors. Men taking low angled dick pics attached to ads with embellished measurements. Men who would never step out publically or speak loudly enough to satiate their true desires. Disappointment after being flaked on by a set of cold feet after getting ready or guilt as I cancel a confirmed appointment when a more appeasing dick pic hits my inbox.
Chic penthouses in West Hollywood and dilapidated apartments in East Hollywood. I layed in their beds and looked at the variations of their lives. Photographs of vacations with friends sitting on a desk. A tie rack hanging off the back of a door with luxurious options. The gleam of an iPhone tucked away behind a stack of books pointed directly towards our coitus.
He apologized profusely and his erection deflated as he showed himself deleting the video from his Camera Roll followed by his Recently Deleted folder. I promised myself I would desert the site for good. For the most part....