YES! Weekly’s ten best GSO items on Craigslist
Rants and raves
Craig Newmark’s online classified steamroller launched its Greensboro site in April 2005, but while in other parts of the country Craigslist is mandatory surfing (and also takes a serious bite out of daily newspaper classified-ad revenues), in Greensboro the site has not yet become a part of the common culture. So while the San Francisco Bay Area Craigslist has in its “rants and raves” section things like philosophical commentary about the nature of one-night stands, Greensboro’s page is largely devoted to a thread about fat people, with tangents on the service industry (“Crybaby restaurant worker bitches”) and something about killing dogs.
Newmark has become an advocate of citizen journalism and dropped hints that news content will power future versions of his sites. Greensboro, though heavy with citizen journalists, has yet to capitalize on the forum Newmark provides. Our “local news” section consists of six posts between Aug. 14 and press time, including information about a Hispanic financial center, a phone number to call for reporting illegal immigrants and a solicitation for ads from another free classified site.
The “missed connections” section under the “personals” header offers thumbnail sketches of romantic desperation, largely posted by people seeking old friends (“Colin, I miss you so much”) and men trying to come between married women and their husbands (“You had a husband I assume’… but I wanted you to know that you took my breath away, literally. I dream about you.”). Peppered in are true tales of aching hearts that will make you weep with their poignancy: “Somewhere out there there is a lady who is as lonesome as I am. We are wasting our lives living the way we do. Mwm who is seeking a lonely and/frustrated lady who needs to be held or shown affection. I crave it also.”
Another sub-section under “personals,” the purpose of “strictly platonic” is, ostensibly, to provide a forum to foster friendships based on common interests and like minds. But because the internet is for porn, the subject of sexual relations lurks almost everywhere under a thin veneer of coded language. To wit: “[I] have a brother in the Greensboro area and am looking for fellow bodybuilders/muscle dudes for friendship, hanging and working out when I come to visit, and for regular shirtless submission and bearhug submission/or shirtless freestyle wrestling matches when I come to visit.”
There are personals, and then there are “personals.” The “casual encounters” section is a catch-all for those seeking sexual gratification untethered by niceties like dinner or a movie. Greensboro’s sexually deviant Craigslist faction includes many, many sexual professionals masquerading as young, horny civilians; scads of solicitations for gay sex by traveling businessmen living on the downlow (Often with pictures!); a disturbing percentage of she-males; desperadoes looking to lose their virginity the easy way and some chick who lives by UNCG who wants somebody to take naked pictures of her.
This is kind of a catchall romance category which contains an ad from a 33-year-old Triad male who calls himself a “legitimate donor,” meaning he wants to knock somebody up. And not just anybody. Here’s the sales pitch: “You: Biological clock ticking, not wishing to visit cold donor bank, too embarrassed/nervous to ask male friend, wishing to go it alone and are comfortable with decision, stable, nurturing, happy in your own skin.”
The true place for sex workers in the Craigslist classification system is in the “gigs” section, filed under “adult.” Along with the pros, you’ll find several ads looking for adult models and actresses, a 34-year-old Greensboro man looking to find someone who will watch pornographic movies with him and a naked handyman for hire.
Again, this section is not strictly sexual in nature, but there is an ad seeking an aerobic striptease instructor and a hip-hop label looking for “ass models.”
The world’s oldest system of commerce is alive and well on Craigslist Greensboro. A parent is seeking a playground set and is willing to trade a washer, a stove and an air conditioner for it. A guy wants to trade landscaping for flight lessons. And some dude wants to unload his sofa bed. “Yours for a case of beer’… please, no Busch Light or the likes.”
Currently available for free on Greensboro’s Craigslist page: a GE Washer, an ironing board, a dishwasher, file cabinets, firewood, a train track set on plywood, scrap metal, a trailer, truck bedliners, surgical tables and a 1962 GE Aqua fridge.