Originally published over at Wondering Why You’re Not Naked, Aggie’s personal blog.
To me Craig’s List has always been something synonymous with date rape and dead bodies in refrigerators, something I had avoided until the numbness of my twentieth year drove me to finally open the Pandora’s Box that is the ‘personals’ section.
I would never consider myself a prude, but after the 56th iphone photo of a middle-aged member, I cowered back to the ‘Job’ section. Bombarded with fake modelling schemes and escort agencies, I lost all hope of finding treasured entertainment I had sought out. That was until I found an ad posted by a sixteen-year-old who was willing to pay £150 to lick my shoes clean – an utterly ridiculous proposition given that at the right house party you could probably find a girl drunk enough to let you do it for a cigarette and a shot of Apple Sourz. Inspired by the online audacity I had witnessed, however, I decided to take advantage of the site’s free listings and post my dire quest for some kind of income. I bring forth my banner (Huxley style):
BRAVE NEW GIRL – w4m – 20 (LONDON)
Date: 2012-08-07, 9:03PM BST
Reply to: your anonymous craigslist address will appear here
I am a 20 year old Blonde British student of literature sick and tired of clearing up after footballers and pouring champagne for slobs.
I need some kind of work between now and september.
Pretty damn open minded but no sex.
I am rather good with words.
Open to any suggestions.
Expecting my inbox to be bombarded with personal penis portraits, I waited until the next morning when I was more likely to be able to stomach the responses. I was inquisitive to see what a few poorly constructed sentences could provoke from a bottomless pit of sexually repressed strangers.
My first love letter was from someone called ‘Let’s different’, who set my expectations right where I had left them: rotting in a gutter. I am afraid the use of a smiley face with a nose was definitely the deal breaker.
If you can meet to give a handjob and footjob then I’d like to meet up. Get back to me if interested…..
No sex. Reward available (£30-£50).
This was followed by an absolute cracker from ma boi Sanj:
Just saw your advert.
Would you be interested in some massage. It’s not really a full time job. But massage just for myself only, so looking for someone to massage me, like a masseuse, may be few times a month..
I’m a very friendly, 34 years old guy.
I would give you money and also MARKS AND SPENCER vouchers worth over £40. The vouchers can be used in to get Food, clothes, toiletries and basically anything in M&S. If you would like to know more feel free to ask and if you are not interested than please accept my sincere apologies for writing to you and good luck for the future. Please let me know whatever you decide.
At least with Sanj I could sleep safe in the knowledge that I was not whoring my hands out for dirty cash but for organic Loch More gravlax smoked salmon and shea butter hand cream.
The replies that followed were more investigative in nature, hoping to find hard limits in my offer. I had made ‘Sid’ smile, but the others were hungry for ‘more’ – what I looked like, what I wanted: all things that are questionably difficult to address in short, textually imprisoned emails.
And then there was Ben:
I like your ad. Where did you work before?
I started writing erotic literature and although I only a few pages, I thought that if you’re good with words you could take a look and tell me what’s what.
I can’t pay at the moment but if I actually get published I’d give you your share!
Having wet my appetite with Bataille, Easton Ellis and Salter from an early age, and, yes, endured the pathetic 50 Shades, I am interested to see what the not-so-provocative ‘Ben’ can offer me.
I also got some really legit replies from desperately lonely Londoners:
How are you doing. I’m 25 and a genuine guy from west/zone 2 of
London. I like to travel, hang out with friends and read.
What kind of things do you have in mind? Are you interested in the
person you’ll work for you, or is money you main motivator ?
When my social life is quiet I wouldn’t mind company. I could pay you
to come to see a movie with me, in exchange for flattering me (I don’t
know, be creative?) and generally being charming. But do tell me what
you had in mind, as long as it wasn’t being whisked off by a man in
shining armour on a white horse. (although I could look into
finding a horse.)
You go and look into that horse William and I might saddle up.
A gem from ‘Reno’:
would you like to go on an acid (LSD) trip with me one random evening. The trip lasts around 6 hours and the way you perceive the world whilst you’re on it is somewhat amazing.
Sure Reno, I’ll take hallucinogenics with a stranger. My degree has taught me no shame.
Peter was encouraging:
Shame about no sex- you might have done quite well ! Peter
And Josh could probably marry me if he hadn’t been looking for a girl like in a place like this:
Hey, my name is Josh I am 23 years old and I study Financial Economics
in London as well as working in Client Wealth Management. I row for my
University and enjoy eating out and travelling as well as Clay Pigeon
Shooting and Water Polo.
I am 6’1 with blonde hair and blue eyes.
Andy just wanted to take me shopping. Bet he could recommend a good SPF.
Then came an absolute classic:
Strange request… If you can take a shit of my face while verbally abusing me that would be what I’m after. 100% genuine married man.
I WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW I GET ON WITH MY PURSUIT OF CASUAL EMPLOYMENT.