Man Posts Fake Ads on Craigslist to See What People Are Willing to Do

"One of the difficult parts of running the ads was that some people would just respond with a [naked] picture of themselves," Russell said. "It gets a little old.

"There are definitely some psychos out there," Russell said of some Craigslist users he encountered.

Russell said one man with whom he exchanged e-mails and who claimed to be in Chicago went into detail about his incestuous relationship with his sister.

Russell said that when the conversation got out of hand and the man allegedly said he wanted to have a daughter for his son to "experiment sexually with," he forwarded the information to the Chicago police.

Craigslist did not respond to a request for a comment.

Responders Willing to Trade Tickets for Sex With Poster's Wife

Responders to the Lakers ticket ad seemed more than willing to give up their seats at the game for a night with the poster's wife, writing posts such as, "I'll definitely swap my tickets for your wife. I hope you are for real. I am."

Another responder said he was especially interested because his girlfriend was away, and wrote, "My girlfriend is out of town and I am lonely so such a barter would possibly be of interest to me."

Russell admitted that his experiment was less than honest, writing in the introduction to his book, "I'm probably going to hell for writing this book and having fun at the expense of so many people."

But Montana Miller, an assistant professor in the department of popular culture at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, said Russell's project may help other Craigslist users.

"As a microcosm of our culture at large, Craigslist is a wonderful window into our culture," Miller said.

Miller added in a subsequent interview that the "casual encounters" section of the site, where Russell posted the ads, represents an "extreme segment of society."

"If Craigslist is a window into culture, 'casual encounters' is a window into the anonymous motel rooms of our culture where people may escape into sometimes illicit sexual interludes."

"Yes, I think that what people will get out of this book is mainly entertainment," she said. "But it may have the useful effect of teaching people not to take everything at face value.

"When people are unfamiliar with Craigslist they tend to be too trusting at first," she said. "They may not understand the signals that you have to read in order to determine whether something is serious or just a prank."

Russell, who was not shy in admitting that he hopes to get a book deal or a screenplay out of his experiment, said he hopes his work is helpful to the online community.

"I do think the site is filled with a lot of relatively normal people who want casual sex, but there is an element on there that is scary and dangerous," he said.

"So if you're going to use the site, you have to be careful."

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