I'm hoping that by the time this column sees print, Jason Fortuny's 15 minutes of infamy for his notorious Craigslist prank will be over. I'm already sick of it. (Don't know what I'm referring to? Check out Savage Love, p. 101, for details.) What Fortuny did was wrong, and he is indeed a prick who deserves whatever retribution comes his way.
But I really don't have any interest in giving him, personally, any more attention than he's already gotten. Instead, let's talk to the lonely kinky people who are now sitting, frozen in terror, in front of their keyboards. This stunt netted 183 actual victims, but thousands of other men are reading about it and saying to themselves, "Oh my god, I'm never going to answer an online sex ad ever again." But hold on, straight guys. Don't let this one asshole keep you from pursuing a happy sex life. Women seeking lovers online have long had to carefully balance keeping themselves safe with finding new partners, and you can do it, too. Let me share with you some advice about spotting wrong people online. How do I know so much about it? My dear, not only am I female, I'm a sex worker. I spend half my professional life sorting out people I want to meet from the no way, Jose crowd—and I do this based on e-mails, phone calls, and carefully honed instinct.
Gentlemen, you have to think with the big head. I know it's tough to critically analyze data when you look at a photo and all the blood leaves your brain, but write this out and tape it to the top of your monitor: "If something looks too good to be true, it is." Fortuny's ad? No sane woman would have published that intending to follow through. I myself am an adventurous girl, and I know lots of other female sexual outlaws. We do not post ads like that. We don't have to, and we know it. I could post an ad on Craigslist stating that anyone who wanted to fuck me had to first jump naked through a flaming hoop into stingray-infested waters—and I would still get 183 responses. Thus, any ad from a woman wanting anonymous, no-strings sex right now should scream "fake!" to you. Either it's someone just screwing around—which may simply be a waste of time—or, as in Fortuny's instance, it may be someone out to hurt people. Or she's a professional. Or she's seriously crazy—like bunny-boiling, life-ruining crazy.
So if you've got something to lose—and most people do—then give up the fantasy of fucking a sexy stranger in the next 10 minutes. Instead, invest some time in getting to know women online at an appropriate pace. An obvious place to start is by establishing an anonymous e-mail address. After that, get thee to a dedicated personals site—like The Stranger's, for example—that requires registration. Unmoderated sites like Craigslist are great for selling a couch, but not so good for personal ads. Registration weeds out some of the wackos, and any woman you would want to get naked with knows this.
When looking at the ads, remember that women, even really kinky women, rarely post pictures of their pussies in personal ads. Once again: We don't have to. If an ad has nothing but coochie shots and a lot of strong dirty talk about fuck-me this and lick-me that, go very carefully. I'm not saying you can't reply and say, "Hey, I'm interested, let's talk." But do not give any identifying information in the first few e-mails. Spend some time chatting and ask yourself: Does this feel right? Not "Is this making me hot?" because that answer is probably yes. Does this woman sound like someone who is thinking about her own security, and who is invested in a safe encounter—a woman who's real and is going to be as concerned as you are about protecting herself from bad people? If she acts like she's not, that's a huge red flag. Back away.
Listen fellas, somebody out there wants to fuck you. You just need to be careful in how you go about finding her. But don't let one jejune little prankster scare you into giving up on that fantasy.
FRIDAY 9/22CLUB NIGHT AT THE CUFF
No cover for leather, bear, motorcycle, or rodeo club members with membership card or club colors. Also, no cover for those with Club Seattle or Basic Plumbing cards. Cuff, 1533 13th Ave, 323-1525, $3 before 11 pm/$4 after, 21+.COLUMBIA CITY CABARET
Tamara the Trapeze Lady hosts this sexy variety show featuring live music, aerial acts, and burlesque dancers. This week: Indigo Blue, the Swedish Housewife, and Orchestra L'Pow! Columbia City Theatre, 4916 Rainier Ave S, 723-0088, 9 pm, $15, 21+.REDMOND RANCH
Party at the friendly Eastside swing club—the theme for the evening is "Toy Night." Single men must request to be added to the waiting list; couples and single women can just show up. Redmond Ranch, 425-868-8169, www.redmond-ranch.com, doors at 7 pm, new people must arrive by 8 pm, $45 for couples/$25 for single women.
SATURDAY 9/23CONSENSUAL-SLAVERY WORKSHOP SERIES
The first in a series of classes about consensual slavery. This class examines the history and background of consensual slavery and helps you understand your submissive desires. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, 270-9746, email@example.com, 2—5 pm, $20, membership not required.CAPITOL HILL GHOST TOUR
Psychologist and philosopher Erich Fromm described necrophilia as a hatred of life and a sublimated expression of self-destructiveness. That may be true for those who love unanimated corpses, but what about those of us who fall in love with the sentient dead—ghosts? One can have carnal relations with a cadaver, but not with a spirit, making phantasmaphilia the most tragic—and romantic—sexual preference of all. Seattle Museum of the Mysteries, 623 Broadway E, 328-6499, 7 pm, $10.
SUNDAY 9/24EROTIC DRUMMING
An erotic play party featuring live hand drumming and freeform ecstatic dancing. No experience required, bring a drum if you have one. Wet Spot, 270-9746, www.primalrhythm.org, 7—11 pm, $10, membership not required.RAIN CITY JACKS
An afternoon jack-off event. Rain City Jacks is a private, men-only JO club that's alcohol-, smoke-, and attitude-free. Raincityjacks.org or firstname.lastname@example.org, 1—4 pm (doors close at 2 pm), membership required.