Craigslist's Casual Encounters is gone... what now?
The sky isn't falling - you have options!
In response to HR 1865 (FOSTA) Craigslist has shut down it's Casual Encounters section of personals listings, without warning. For over a decade many people have relied on the regional listing service to find casual sexual experiences and relationships... if there was a casual sex industry, Craigslist's Casual Encounters would have been the industry standard.
The opinions shared by users and curious onlookers of casual encounters has been pretty polarized but, despite the less-than-rosy opinions of many, casual encounters was very helpful for specific situations. People's experiences tend to really vary based on location, expectations, gender and sexual orientation.
If you're a unicorn looking for a couple to befriend in a large metro area, your experience was likely much different than that of a single male looking for a single female in a rural area. It's a supply & demand thing. But, in general, it worked very well given the users had reasonable expectations and their interests aligned with what the service is actually good for... introductions to people potentially looking for the same thing you are.
CE wasn't all great, it had it's issues. To name a few:
- Spammers/Bots - Either individuals or companies looking to promote their products via fake listings. We're looking at you Rocktie and LoveVoodoo.
- Trafficking of Sex Workers/Minors
- Haters - The 'flagging' system was routinely gamed by users attempting to promote their own beliefs or feelings of rejection.
We (a M/F couple) built casualencounter.org in hopes of providing a place for a free, moderated, replacement for Casual Encounters. In the weeks since the shutdown of CE on Craigslist there have been major changes at many of the hookup/swinger websites - but ultimately none of them really fill the gap (on the contrary, it seems as though they are looking to profit from the influx of new users rather than fill the void in providing semi-anonymous hookup listings).
The things Craigslist does well are:
- It is accessible, no requiring of a mobile app, no connecting it to your facebook to log in. Works on a mobile device as well as a desktop/laptop. It's fast and lightweight, working on less-than-ideal connections. It's easy with a simple interface not designed to distract you to ads or premium features.
- It is free. As soon as you start asking for money you start disqualifying the vast majority of people looking for hookups. There's too many services out there promising that you'll get laid if you just give them $xx/m and now nobody believes any of it.
- It is anonymous. You're not required to use your real email address, upload any identifying information or provide billing details. You can feel reasonably privacy safe by using the service.
Here at casualencounter.org we aim to do the same. No app required, we don't want your social media information, or, to confirm your identity at all. It's free. It's fast. It's easy. It's also anonymous - we'll ask for an email address (no name) and that's it. No communication passes through us. We don't know who you're talking to or about what.
The biggest difference between casualencounter.org and Craigslist's Casual Encounters is that every listing on casualencounter.org is moderated. Listings not abiding by the rules are denied and not shown. No professionals, no spam/bots and no trafficking. Just real people looking for fun!