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February 12 2014

Olympians Turn to Tinder for Olympic Village Trysts

It's all snow and ice at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, but that doesn't mean things aren't getting steamy

American Jamie Anderson, who took home the gold medal in this year's slopestyle snowboarding event, told Us Weekly that the dating app Tinder "is next level" for athletes in the Olympic Village. In other words, the app is extra popular right now in Sochi.

Tinder is a dating app with a reputation for being a hook-up app that allows users to find each other and quickly meet. Users are connected to chat after they each approve the other's profile picture Read more...

More about Sex, Tech, Apps Software, World, and Sports

February 06 2014

U.S. Adults Favor Smartphones Over Sex, Study Says

You've heard it before: Our digital lifestyle is changing priorities, including in the bedroom

One in 10 Americans uses a smartphone during sex, high-tech adult toys are rising in popularity and there's a whole bevy of apps available to spice up your sex life.

Although past studies have shown that people enjoy sex more than Facebook (is that really a surprise?), new data from Harris Interactive suggests that more U.S. adults can live without sex than live without mobile devices.

Created by Statista, the following chart shows the top 10 things U.S. adults can't live without. Some, such as food, are a given — our overwhelming reliance on gadgets, however, may surprise you. Read more...

More about Mobile, Apps, Sex, Smartphones, and Lifestyle

January 12 2014

Why Amateur Porn Will Never Be Safe

When Theresa split from her partner of several years, they began the painful process of separating their lives, notifying friends as they divided the dishes and furniture. They confronted the dozens of Facebook vacation photos, the Instagrams of Sunday morning brunch, the tweets and text messages that professed their undying love.

Finally, they had to figure out what to do with their handful of amateur porn videos.

“I never wanted those videos online in the first place,” Theresa (real name withheld) tells me. “My partner put them up without asking me.”

Amateur pornography exists in many forms, beyond the videos shared publicly on porn sites like YouPorn and RedTube. It lives in the private sexts, Snapchats and videos that couples create for each other, never imagining they may eventually be used to harm, manipulate or humiliate one of the participants in the midst of an argument or after a divorce. The phenomenon has spawned an entire cottage industry of "revenge porn." Read more...

More about Video, Features, Sex, Pornography, and Relationships

August 23 2013

App Aims to Seriously Spice Up Your Sex Life

A new online dating app is looking to cut the talk and get you between the sheets. But it may be too forward for most tastes.

Pure is a no-strings-attached iOS service resembling Craigslist's casual encounter channel; a hook-up tool that lets you browse who's around and what they want.

The app, currently awaiting App Store approval, let's you request like-minded partners based on location. You designate your gender and your desired partner's and whether you're willing to host or travel. Nearby potentials pop up and if you both click and say you're interested, you're shown geo-coordinates and can chat. There are no profiles to flip through like Tinder. If your match is unrequited, it disappears. Read more...

More about Startup, Apps, Sex, Online Sex, and Mobile Apps

August 19 2013

Research Reveals How Kids Learn From 'Sex-Saturated' Online Culture

Is YouTube America's new sex-ed teacher? It's starting to look that way

New research from author and clinical psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair has found many teens are turning to Internet videos to educate themselves on topics relating to sexual health, including sexuality, dating, and gender stereotypes

Societal norms around sex and dating — especially among teens — have changed dramatically in the last few years, says Steiner-Adair, and most of the change can be chalked up to a "sex-saturated culture" and the technology used to propagate it

More about Youtube, Social Media, Sex, Teens, and Sexting

July 25 2012

October 20 2010

Facebook Stops Constantly Showing You Pictures of Your Ex

Facebook is doing its very best not to make you terribly sad. You see, it used to constantly show you photos of your ex, which might have reminded you just how great things were before he or she dumped you, but it has stopped that now. Exes no longer show up in the “Photo Memories” box.

Photo Memories appear in the top right corner of some Facebook pages, including the Friends and Photos sections. They show your friends tagged in photos long-forgotten, but the friends shown are picked using Facebook’s algorithm for figuring out whose updates you’re most interested in.

The exact nature of the algorithm is unclear, but check it out and you’ll notice one pattern: It tends to show romantic interests a lot. Is it because you’ve clicked through their photos before? Because you exchange wall messages? Who knows, but it happens — and that’s all well and good until you break up. Once it’s over, though, it can be painful to see all those pictures.

Users created a group to protest Photo Memories for that very reason. It caught the attention of not only the media, but of Facebook Photos Project Manager Sam Odio. Yesterday he commented on a post about the issue over at All Facebook, saying, “I’d like to let you know that we’re listening to your feedback. The photo memories product no longer shows tagged photos of your friends if you were previously in a relationship with them.”

It’s a welcome change, but it doesn’t completely solve the problem. What if you never declared a relationship on Facebook? Or what if it’s showing you your current squeeze (and it will — only about 1 in 10 photos the box shows me now are of anyone other than my girlfriend) with one of his or her exes? That’s no fun either.

We’d love to see a way to tweak exactly who can or can’t be seen in this box, but we’ll admit most people wouldn’t use it. Most people just don’t manage their Facebook data that carefully.

More About: boyfriend, dating, ex, facebook, girlfriend, photo memories, Photos, relationships, sex, social media, social networking, Tagging, tags

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September 29 2010

Which Words Does Google Instant Blacklist?

Some folks at the Hacker publication 2600 decided to compile a list of words that are restricted by Google Instant.

Except in extreme and special cases, Google is known for anything but censorship, but as we’ve said before, there are some terms the web giant’s new instant search feature won’t work with.

We understand Google’s intentions; the team over there is trying to make sure that no one sees pornographic or violent results they might fight disturbing unless they really mean to search for them. When asked about this feature a few weeks ago, Google’s Johanna Wright said the restrictions are in place to protect children.

But Google has opened itself up to a potential PR problem, because some of these omissions will be at best bewildering and at worst offensive to particularly sensitive (or progressive) users who don’t understand how Google Instant actually works.

For example, “bisexual” and “lesbian” are among the restricted words. Type them in to Google and the instant search will immediately stop delivering new results. You have to hit enter to confirm, yes, you really do want to know about something in some way related to bisexuals or lesbians.

Why Did Google Block These Words?

You can still search for these terms. The issue is that when you type them, Google Instant stops reporting results on the fly, and you must hit “enter” to see results.

That happens because Google Instant doesn’t just use what you’ve typed to display results. It reads data collected over the years about previous users’ searches to predict what you’re going to type. It’s the same algorithm that handles auto-complete, or the Google Suggest pop-ups in the old, not-so-instant Google search. Google searches only display for the exact text that you’ve typed after you’ve hit enter.

When results fail to appear after you’ve typed “lesbian” or “butt,” it’s not because the results are being censored. Google is struggling to prevent the text of offensive searches users have made in the past (there have been other controversies on this subject before) from jumping up in front of you when you’re looking for something innocuous.

Since countless users may have followed the word lesbian with “porn,” generating results inappropriate for children, Google’s algorithm has decided not to immediately throw 20 links to lesbian porn sites in your face when you type “lesbian,” even if that’s the most common search based on the algorithmic data.

When we contacted Google for comment, we received this statement from a spokesperson:

“There are a number of reasons you may not be seeing search queries for a particular topic. Among other things, we apply a narrow set of removal policies for pornography, violence, and hate speech. It’s important to note that removing queries from Autocomplete is a hard problem, and not as simple as blacklisting particular terms and phrases.

In search, we get more than one billion searches each day. Because of this, we take an algorithmic approach to removals, and just like our search algorithms, these are imperfect. We will continue to work to improve our approach to removals in Autocomplete, and are listening carefully to feedback from our users.

Our algorithms look not only at specific words, but compound queries based on those words, and across all languages. So, for example, if there’s a bad word in Russian, we may remove a compound word including the transliteration of the Russian word into English. We also look at the search results themselves for given queries. So, for example, if the results for a particular query seem pornographic, our algorithms may remove that query from Autocomplete, even if the query itself wouldn’t otherwise violate our policies. This system is neither perfect nor instantaneous, and we will continue to work to make it better.”

Google’s highly effective SafeSearch algorithm still applies to instant search results. SafeSearch can filter out potentially offensive search results quite effectively after a user has hit “enter” — the first page of results for “lesbian” with moderate safe search enabled is completely innocuous — and it works for searches in progress too.

Google’s current implementation is far from perfect — the company rep admitted that. If nothing else, we’d like to see Google manually re-enter safe suggestions for some common terms that have been restricted because they’re sometimes connected with sexual, violent or hateful results.

The rep told us that Google is working on improving the system, but wouldn’t give us any specifics about future changes. In the meantime, check out the complete list at 2600 if you’re curious.

[Via Nerve]

Reviews: Google

More About: blacklist, censorship, controversy, Google, Google Instant, Google Instant Search, instant, Instant Search, search terms, semantic search, sex, terms

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September 27 2010

September 21 2010

Dan Savage Creates YouTube Channel to Help Gay Teens

Sex advice columnist and gay rights activist Dan Savage has launched a YouTube channel called “It Gets Better.” He’s soliciting videos from fans who want to provide support and encouragement to gay teens who face adversity, discrimination and bullying in high school.

Savage announced the new channel today in episode 205 of his podcast. He’s also hinted on his blog that further explanation will come in the next issue of his sex advice column “Savage Love.” The channel was created after Indiana teenager Billy Lucas committed suicide in response to bullying from his classmates, who assaulted him with epithets and told him to go home and kill himself because he was gay.

Each video will feature a role model sharing personal experiences that illustrate that life for gays and lesbians improves beyond high school. That’s a theme that has come up in Savage’s columns and podcasts with regularity. Gay teens have written or called Savage in distress, saying they feel isolated and discriminated against by their peers — especially in rural schools. Savage has generally responded that they just need to stay strong and hopeful because when they become adults they’ll have the option of moving to more progressive communities and joining more accepting social groups.

Since not every teenager facing these challenges is going to write in for advice, and since many rural schools don’t offer programs to support gay and lesbian teens, Savage launched the channel to reach more people in need of support. He and his husband made the first video (embedded below), and future videos will be picked from user submissions.

It Gets Better Debut Video

More About: channel, dan savage, homosexuality, it gets better, it gets better project, LGBT, podcast, savage love, savage lovecast, sex, sex columnist, social good, teens, the stranger, video, web video, youtube

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September 06 2010

Mashable Readers Say Craigslist Should Not Be Censored

Over the weekend, we noticed Craiglist had replaced a certain notorious section of its site with a black bar reading “censored.”

A longtime and well-known digital resource for prostitutes and the people who engage their services, Craigslist has come under fire many times over the past few years for its erotic/adult classified ads. Craigslist has stated it does everything it can to comply with government and legal stipulations and has an attorney manually screen all of its Adult Services ads. The company once said that 700,000 ads were manually rejected in just one year.

Still, this hasn’t stopped sex trafficking on the site, nor has it stopped the site from coming under harsh criticism for its business.

In a recent poll, we asked if you thought Craigslist’s “Adult Services” section should be censored. Here are the results.

Our readers are surprisingly liberal-minded about the Adult Services section. The vast majority of you (71.37%) said you thought the site should not be censored for a variety of reasons:

Among our readers who thought the site should be censored, two-thirds found the Adult Services section objectionable because they felt it allowed Craigslist to profit indirectly from prostitution.

Of those who thought the site and the adult sections should remain uncensored, almost half of you (46.15%) felt the censorship was unwarranted because prostitution should not be illegal in the first place. These broad-minded folks comprise almost 33% of everyone who voted in the poll.

Others who were against the censorship in this case thought that Craigslist’s anti-prostitution policies were sufficient or stated another reason for opposing Adult Services censorship.

As of this moment, we’re not sure if or when the site’s adult section will be back online or why it was taken down in the first place. While prostitution isn’t likely to become legal in the U.S. any time soon, we’ll keep you posted on Craigslist’s dilemma as more details become available.

Reviews: Craigslist, poll

More About: censorship, craigslist, prostitution, sex

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September 05 2010

Disgraced HP CEO Mark Hurd Might Work for Oracle

Former HP CEO Mark Hurd is in talks to join computer technology corporation Oracle “as a top executive,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Hurd resigned from his position at HP after an investigation into a sexual harassment claim made by a former HP contractor. The company concluded that Hurd did not violate its sexual harassment policy, but the investigation nevertheless uncovered evidence that he violated its Standards of Business Conduct, including filing inaccurate expense reports.

Announcing his resignation, Hurd stated, “I realized there were instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at HP and which have guided me throughout my career.”

The Wall Street Journal report says that Hurd will not replace Larry Ellison as Oracle CEO, but it didn’t reveal any details about what his new job would be. Oracle and Hurd are still in talks, and the Oracle board has to approve his appointment, so something could still go wrong.

During his short tenure Hurd reportedly oversaw HP’s development into the largest PC manufacturer, and Ellison said to The New York Times that when HP let Hurd go, it “failed to act in the best interest of [its] employees and customers,” so it’s not surprising that Oracle is interested in bringing Hurd on board.

More About: ceo, executive, Hewlett-Packard, HP, mark hurd, oracle, sex, sex scandal

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September 04 2010

Craigslist’s Adult Services Replaced With “Censored” Bar

Craigslist’s “Adult Services” section — a digital red light district that has been the subject of many controversies — has been removed in all U.S. markets. The front page link to Adult Services has been replaced with a black bar that reads “censored,” an implication that the site’s hand was forced by legal authorities.

Adult Services has been a scapegoat for the prostitution problem in the media and in politics almost since its inception. A year ago it was called “Erotic Services,” but Craigslist rebranded it and implemented new policies to manage its contents to avoid legal repercussions.

That didn’t stop prostitutes and their Johns from connecting on the site. Thanks to all the media coverage, Craigslist is seen as a sort of mecca for people who are discretely looking for sex outside the mores of society.

There’s a tune of defiance to Craigslist’s decision to not just remove Adult Services but replace it with a black “censored” bar. Craigslist has responded to criticism on its blog in the past, claiming that an attorney manually screens all of its Adult Services ads. It says that 700,000 ads were manually rejected in just one year. However, you can still find prostitutes on Craigslist if you know how to look.

The narrative Craigslist would like people to hear is one of victimization by a political establishment that must have someone to blame for prostitution, but while that may be accurate, it would be naive to believe this “censored” stunt is solely a matter of principle. The Advanced Interactive Media (AIM) Group determined that Adult Services will have generated $36 million in revenue for Craigslist in 2010.

We’ve contacted Craigslist seeking the story behind the removal of Adult Services, and we’ll update this post if we hear back.

Reviews: Craigslist, aim, blog

More About: adult services, censored, censorship, classifieds, craigslist, erotic services, law enforcement, politics, prostitution, sex

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August 10 2010

iPhone Owners Have the Most Sex Partners [STUDY]

Dating site OkCupid has completed a study about its users’ smartphones and sexual history and has determined that among people who use smartphones, iPhone users have the most sexual partners, followed by BlackBerry users and finally Android users.

OkCupid looked at the data hidden in the images that users uploaded as profile pictures to see which cameras were used to take them — including smartphone cameras. With many of the site’s users also having taken personality tests like “The Dating Persona Test” or “The Slut Test,” which ask for a count of sexual partners, the site was able to cross-reference that data to complete the study.

In one approach, the survey sample was restricted to people aged 30. That way, differences in the usual ages of users of one smartphone type or another couldn’t affect the results. Among Android users aged 30, the average man had accumulated six sexual partners in his lifetime, while the average woman had accumulated 6.1. Among BlackBerry users, the number was 8.1 for men and 8.8 for women. Male iPhone users had 10 sexual partners and female iPhone users had 12.3

We’ve included OkCupid’s chart for that data below. We’ve also included another chart in which OkCupid mapped out and compared smartphone owners by age from 18 up through 40. While the sizes of the gaps varied, the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android rankings remained the same.

This data was tagged on as a bonus on a blog post about which cameras, camera settings and photography techniques resulted in the most attractive profile pictures. As you might have guessed, the higher the camera quality, the better the result in many cases.

The post is just the latest in a series of fascinating studies by OkCupid based on user data. In the past, the OkCupid blog debunked several of the biggest dating profile picture myths and found the ideal first message length for would-be lovers.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, bjones27

Reviews: Android, iStockphoto

More About: android, blackberry, cameras, dating, iphone, okcupid, Photos, sex, smartphone, study, survey

For more Mobile coverage:

August 09 2010

HP CEO’s Alleged Sexual Harassment Victim Speaks Up

Today we saw two big developments in the drama surrounding a sexual harassment claim against HP CEO John Hurd which led to his resignation. First, we learned that Hurd received $12.2 million in severance pay, and second, the woman who filed a sexual harassment claim against him stepped into the spotlight.

Today, a story appeared on PR Newswire that not only identified the woman who made the claims against Hurd, but quoted her sharing her thoughts on Hurd’s apparent firing and some aspects of the scandal that led up to it.

She is a single mother named Jodie Fisher. She was contracted as a greeter and organizer for HP. She is also an actress; she appeared in several minor films in the 1990s. In her public statement, she said she and Hurd “never had an affair or intimate sexual relationship,” and, “I have resolved my claim with Mark privately, without litigation.”

More poignantly, she expressed regret that the investigation caused Hurd to lose his job. “I was surprised and saddened that Mark Hurd lost his job over this,” she said. “That was never my intention.”

While Hurd is facing a very public kind of humiliation right now, his departure isn’t a complete disaster. According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, his severance package included $12.2 million in cash and $16 million in stock. Still, depending on what happened exactly, the consequences for his personal life and reputation may overshadow the payout.

The company claims that Hurd didn’t violate its sexual discrimination policy — as Fisher said, they never had a sexual relationship, so it’s any outsider’s guess exactly what occurred — but that he violated its “Standards of Business Conduct.” Hurd explained his departure by saying, “I realized there were instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at HP and which have guided me throughout my career.”

If you want to learn more about Hurd’s years at HP, Networkworld has written up a short but comprehensive summary of his tenure.

More About: ceo, fired, firing, Hewlett-Packard, HP, jodie fisher, mark hurd, scandal, severance pay, sex, Sexual Harassment, tech

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August 03 2010

7 Days on Craigslist’s Casual Encounters

Many people use Craigslist to find roommates, cheap furniture, used cars or part-time jobs. But there’s another function: Sex.

I decided to dive into Craigslist’s “Casual Encounters” — a section made for no-strings hookups — to see if any of what I assumed about that virtual place was true. Is it populated entirely by perverted sexual deviants, serial killers, prostitutes and scammers as rumors insist? Or can two regular people really make the connection that the section’s name suggests?

I should admit that I had no intention to actually hook up with someone, should the opportunity arise, if for no other reason than it would be inappropriate and manipulative to an unwitting partner to do so and write about it. But it’s not a stretch to say that even if you abstain from the goal, spending a week on Casual Encounters can teach you a lot about human beings and how the web has changed how we pursue one of our most essential and important desires.

It goes without saying that the content of this article is not intended for children or those made uncomfortable by such topics. But if you’re interested, read on for the story of my seven days on Craigslist’s Casual Encounters — my failures, near misses, discoveries, insights and successes. Following that, I interviewed two women to learn how they used the site successfully for their own fulfillment.

The Experiment

I began with a listing announcing myself to the women of my city.

Each day I tried a different approach to see what would be most effective, though I never lied or posted fake photographs. 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. Another day, I described it as a rebound. 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). I received about a half-dozen responses each day. Most were scams, some were men, some were prostitutes, and just one was legit.

Barking Up the Wrong Tree

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.

They all offered oral sex. I responded to them politely, saying, “Just interested in women, but thanks for the offer! Have a good one.” Most didn’t write back after that. One responded: “Really man, can be cool and relaxing.”

I began to suspect that no women actually used the site. The stereotype is that women are interested in relationships, and that only men would be interested in totally casual sex, right? We know that’s not true, though. In fact, I was inspired to write this article when a friend told me many of her female friends had owned up to using it.

But where were they? I was only getting messages from gay or bisexual men!

An Army of Scammers

Over the next couple of days, I actually received a lot of posts from women. Or at least, they said they were women. To be honest, I doubted the veracity of the claims.

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.

The most common scams are “safe dating” websites. 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. If you follow the link she provides, the website asks you for your credit card number — y’know, so it can do a background check to make sure you’re not a criminal. Right.

My favorite scam: One individual tried to get me to buy him or her virtual currency in online games like MapleStory before agreeing to hand over contact information. Yeah, right — moving on!

Taking Initiative

What little luck I’d had so far. The week was half over and I hadn’t had a single bite. I decided I would have to take the initiative, so in addition to posting my own ads, I started responding to every ad from any woman who seemed at all interesting.

I cast a wide net in my searches, looking up posts by straight or bisexual women between the ages of 18 and 35 who lived anywhere in Chicagoland — a large metropolitan area that’s home to close to five million females. Most of the women wanted something very specific they couldn’t find in their normal lives: Someone to help play out a particular fantasy, someone vastly older than them or someone of another race.

Very few of the women who were advertising seemed to be looking for anything I would consider a “normal encounter.” Nevertheless, I tailored each response to whatever they were looking for. I typically wrote two or three paragraph replies and matched the tone of their own messages, then attached a couple of tasteful photos of myself.

I didn’t get a single reply from an actual prospect this way. It turned out that most of the ads were fakes from scammers, and quite a few fell into another category all together.

Love Don’t Does Cost a Thing

Prostitution is what made Craigslist controversial. There’s technically another section for that — “Adult Services,” formerly “Erotic Services” — but that’s not the only place you’ll find practitioners of the world’s oldest profession.

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? Well, it’s obviously a euphemism for something else. Many of the ads that weren’t from scammers were from prostitutes.

The ads are so obvious that it’s surprising the euphemisms are effective in fending off law enforcement. Then again, maybe they are law enforcement. What a mess!


Amidst all those failures, I had one near-success. A woman wrote in response to my sweet “cuddling first” ad saying she was in town for only a couple of months, and that she was frustrated she couldn’t find a relationship. When she sent her pictures, she looked plain but attractive.

We exchanged a couple of e-mails over the course of two hours, tossing back and forth lists of interests and the like. She made it clear that she wanted to meet up, and while she talked about starting slow, it was clear that it would indeed be a casual encounter. 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.

At least, not yet. The next day, she e-mailed me saying she was deeply apologetic and that she’d fallen asleep. She said she’d like to meet up sometime. So yes, there are women on Craigslist. Well, at least one!

The Other Perspective, Part 1: My Fake Female Ad

You’ve probably guessed by now that the experiences for heterosexual men and women on Craigslist’s casual encounters are quite different. I observed that for every ad a woman posts, there are at least 20 from men. If nothing else, that imbalance ought to alter the experience.

To get the female perspective, I did two things: I posted a fake ad as a woman to see what kinds of responses I would get, and I interviewed two women who have had success hooking up on casual encounters in the past. First, the ad.

“I just broke up with my boyfriend and while it was the right thing to do, it’s been rough because I still have all this physical passion and sexual energy and I don’t know where to direct it,” I wrote. “I feel this is the best way because I don’t want to hurt him by hooking up with someone we both know.”

As for potential suitors, I asked only that they supply a photo and “be attractive and not creepy.” I clicked “post” and waited. There was a five minute delay before my ad appeared, then I started receiving about one response per minute.

Most of them were careful to say “I don’t do this often.” Some were attractive, some weren’t. Some sent pictures of themselves naked along with the word “Hi.” Others wrote a single paragraph making it very clear just how normal and nice they thought they were, and included the sort of photo you would find on a Facebook profile. There were a lot of expressions of sympathy over my fake breakup. I was hearing from men of all types, and it seemed I had my pick of the litter.

After about thirty minutes, though, my post was flagged for removal. I thought I’d made it look legit, but as we learned earlier, folks have good reason to be hawkish about scammers.

The Other Perspective, Part 2: Interviews With Craigslist Women

After the end of my test run with Craigslist casual encounters, I decided to get more insight into the female experience with the site by interviewing two women who said they had successes meeting up with men on Casual Encounters.

Their problem was the opposite of mine. They had too many options to pick from, but they both dealt with the numerous choices in the same way.

Both women ultimately responded to men who they felt put effort into writing long, personal messages as opposed to quick notes. Multiple paragraphs of insightful and relatable prose won out — but only after the initial test of physical appearance. One said that only 5 to 10% of the men who responded to her ad made it past the initial, picture-based judgment. Both said they immediately eliminated men who opened with pictures of genitalia — a very common practice. However, looks were important.

My favorite anecdote: One of the women I interviewed said she once had a crush on a client at her job, but couldn’t make a move without compromising her professionalism. However, she was looking through Casual Encounters and saw an ad from a man, and she recognized his writing style — it was her old client! She sent him a message to see if it was him, asking a question only he would be able to answer. He proved his identity and they ended up hooking up.

One of the women said she would go to Casual Encounters when she was looking for a very specific sexual experience — something you can’t always count on from a one night stand that starts at a club or bar. The other said her reasons could be summed up as “curiosity, boredom, and convenience.” She also said “it’s a safe way to reach out in ways you might be too shy to in person.”

“There are a lot of shady people, or at least people doing shady things on Craigslist,” one said. “But once you get over the embarrassment of actually posting or responding to something on Craigslist, it has the potential to be very rewarding. The trick is to keep an open mind and not have any real expectations. At the very least, it’s mildly entertaining.”

So What is Casual Encounters Really Like?

After all this exploration, I’ll say that Craigslist casual encounters is a place where people go to find very specific things from each other that they might not be able to conveniently locate in the real world. Some of those things are very alternative.

It’s a last, best hope for some people who are looking to make a personal connection, but it’s full of spam, unwanted attention, crime, and, well… crazy people. You might not find what you’re looking for, but you’re sure to find something interesting regardless.

Put another way, Craigslist casual encounters is a sexual microcosm of the rest of the Internet.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, 1001nights, geotrac

Reviews: Craigslist, Facebook, Internet, iStockphoto

More About: casual encounters, craigslist, dating, personals, sex

For more Social Media coverage:

June 21 2010

Would You Break Up via Facebook? [STATS]

If you’ve ever checked up on your alleged S.O.’s Facebook page only to find that the “In a Relationship” status had been switched to “Single,” you know the feeling is gut-wrenching. But breaking up via a passive-aggressive Facebook update is becoming more and more common.

In fact, a recent poll shows that one out of four newly dumped Facebook users found out about the breakup by seeing it publicly broadcast on Facebook. Ouch!

Facebook dating app AreYouInterested conducted this survey on its Facebook Page, gathering about 1,000 responses in total. The results are telling. Apparently, a lot of us are using this social network to do the “dirty work” of dating, from surreptitious splits to manipulative messaging.

  • Almost 25% of respondents found out their own relationship was over by seeing it on Facebook first.
  • Around 21% of respondents said they would carry out a Facebook breakup by changing their status to single.
  • Nearly 40% of respondents have updated their status on Facebook so the person they’re dating sees they have plans.
  • And almost 35% of respondents have used their Facebook status to make someone think they have plans, even if they don’t.

The vast majority of respondents to this survey were guys; just 30% of survey takers were women.

How would you have responded to this poll? Would you ever break up with a guy or girl via a Facebook status change? Do you think such behavior is acceptable? Let us know your opinions in the comments.

[img credit: unlistedsightings]

For more social media coverage, follow Mashable Social Media on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook

Tags: break up, breaking up, dating, facebook, online dating, relationships, sex, social media, social network

June 19 2010

Watch “Avatar” Porn In 3D, Courtesy of Hustler

Why are we not surprised? Hustler has announced This Ain’t Avatar XXX, a porn film featuring stars in blue, Na’vi-like makeup in the style of Avatar, shot in (probably not-so-glorious in this case) 3D and high definition.

The movie will be released on DVD and Blu-ray this September, but we don’t know much about it aside from the title and the DVD cover, featured below.

Before you say, “Wait, won’t the studio behind Avatar sue Hustler for this?” note that the film is probably safe from legal trouble because it’s pitched as a parody, just as the “Hitler Finds Out” Downfall YouTube videos are. Convenient, isn’t it?

Avatar was the most successful film of all time, and some viewers have lamented that they don’t actually live in the science fantasy world it portrays. It only makes sense that some of those people would want to watch a porn film, though it’s a safe bet that most of the people who watch this one will be doing it for laughs.

Roger Ebert spoke harshly of 3D cinema in the wake of Avatar’s success, but will porn viewers agree? Just don’t say “we’ll find out come September,” because many of us will respond with “What do you mean ‘we,’ kemosabe?”

For more entertainment coverage, follow Mashable Entertainment on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook

Reviews: Blu, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

Tags: 3D, avatar, blu-ray, dvd, Film, hustler, Movies, porn, sex, this ain't avatar xxx, video

June 01 2010

iPhone App Helps Users Gage Sexual Compatibility [VIDEO]

App developer MEDL Mobile has just released an iPhone app to help men and women evaluate prospective sexual partners.

The app [iTunes link], which will remain free for the first two weeks following its launch, lets users draft profiles based on six categories of sexual likes, dislikes, positions, kinks and fetishes. Would-be sexual partners can then “boink” their phones together (using the same technology as the BUMP app, which lets users exchange contact information by bumping phones) to determine whether or not they would be good together in bed.

The best part about the app is that users’ preferences remain entirely private; it simply reveals whether or not they would make good sexual partners with cheeky messages like “Drop what you are doing and get to a hotel right now” or “Turn and run away.”

For those less concerned about user privacy, you can also post the number of “boinks” you’ve participated in to Facebook and Twitter, as well as read and share hookup stories with other users.

The app, the creators tell us, had to go through Apple’s strict approval process three times, mainly because of the descriptions and diagrams it contains of various sexual positions. “We had a bet going internally as to how many rounds it would take to get approved,” said Swartz, co-founder of MEDL Mobile. “We love the fact that Apple finally said yes. It shows they understand adults are using the iPhone in ways that are certainly mature, but don’t amount to pornography.”

While it’s a fun app, it has one of the worst user interfaces I have ever come across (see video below). In order to set your preferences and view your stats, you have to click on “Start Comparing” from the main menu and then pull up a second menu. If you want to get back to the main menu, you have to close the app and reopen it.

What do you think of the app? Is it merely a fun toy for girlfriends to giggle about, or could you see it serving a more practical purpose?

image courtesy of iStockphoto, CREATISTA

For more mobile coverage, follow Mashable Mobile on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook

Tags: dating, iphone app, sex

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