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    Tuesday, June 21, 2005
    The First Installment
    So here it is, FINALLY, what you’ve all been waiting for … *Finy cues the drum roll* ….

    THE FIRST INSTALLMENT OF “THE DESPERATE THINGS MEN WILL DO TO LIVE CHEAPLY”

    I am calling this the first installment because I plan on continuing this little “experiment” for quite a bit longer. But just to catch people up:

    I began this thing as a joke, to be honest. I thought it was appalling that men all over Manhattan were offering reduced rent to “attractive females willing to cook, clean, and walk around in their lingerie”. All I could think was “What woman would do such a thing, would demean themselves in that way, just to live in a desirable neighborhood for next to nothing?” The more I thought about it, the more upset I got. Why did men think they could get away with this? Well, probably because people were responding. I am certain there were women responding or people wouldn’t keep trying it (more on the follow up on that later).

    So in talking to some friends, we came up with the idea to switch things around. I had a hypothesis that there was no way men would respond to a similar ad. An ad requesting an attractive young man, to cook and clean for me without a shirt on? Never. I could see women doing it, but never men!

    So I posted this ad on craigslist for NYC. And I was amazed at the responses.

    The first email I received was one sentence. And it was a simple enough question “Can I still have girls over”. He didn’t describe himself, he didn’t send a picture. Harmless right?

    Things began to get more interesting over the three days that I kept the ad up. Some of my favorites included a VERY attractive rower from UNC. His email was quite tame actually, talking about how he loves to cook, and goes to the gym often. He actually seemed quite sweet, which made me feel a bit bad that I was misleading people like this.

    That didn’t last long. A few hours after posting the ad, I received an email from a guy we’ll call “the actor”. The actor immediately described himself as NOT 20-something and a former actor/model who was in reasonable shape. He included a link to his picture but I should have been tipped off when his PS read “Sometimes older men know things young ones don't.”

    I still clicked the link to his website. And then I fell on the floor. The man was easily late fifties and looked a bit like John Kerry in certain shots. The page was a series of headshots, I am assuming in order to get himself work. The bio on the site mentioned things like a failed marriage and a teenage son. Yowza!

    All told I received 30 responses to the ad. Some of my favorites were a Swedish UN security officer who sent pictures from his time serving in Liberia, the 28-year-old who offered to “give me everything I need” and to “do all chores naked”, the COUPLE that wanted to move in, and the entertainment “executive” who needed to look the part by having a place on Lexington Avenue and thought that letting me know that all of his friends were models and actors would help him get the place (THAT email was more than sketchy).

    After sifting through 34 emails of blatant self-fluffing and some very amusing pictures (surprisingly NO nudes!) I started thinking. Ok, the men of New York City are obviously very desperate. I wonder what it’s like in other cities. After consulting with my friends yet again (who had all been enjoying the emails I was being sent as of COURSE I was forwarding them) I decided to expand this venture.

    I posted the ad in Boston.

    Surprisingly, VERY few men have responded from there thus far. You Bostonians are a bit more prudish, eh? Just kidding, it hasn’t been the full three days that I left the NYC ad up, but at this point, I’ve only received four responses from Boston and all of them were very tame.

    So here’s the plan now. I am going to post the ad in London and San Francisco next. I want to compare cities in various areas (and countries). The thing that has surprised me the most is how many rational and non-skeevy emails I received. A lot of these men seemed like they were just broke and needed a place to live.

    To try to get some more insight behind their motives, I’ve emailed them ALL back. Telling them about the experiment, how I would like to write an article about it, and asking if they’d be interested in participating. I haven’t received any responses yet, but if and when I do, you’ll definitely get an update.

    I’ve also emailed the two original men, who I linked to here to see if they were getting as many responses as I was. If I’m really going to do this, I should have something to compare it to.

    So keep checking for more emails from various cities, and more about these guys lives, if they’ll let me use them (though wouldn’t it be ironic if they got upset at me for using them for a potential article, but wouldn’t mind me using them as eye-candy? Lol.)

    And I will say, I am sorry I'm not FULLY quoting the guys emails yet. I want to make sure they don't mind be associated with this before posting. After some of the experiences I've had with some of the content of this site, the last thing I want to do is make things worse ;)

    Labels:

    posted by FINY @ Tuesday, June 21, 2005  
    11 Comments:
    • At 6/21/2005, Blogger Macca said…

      This has to be one of the most interesting posts ever. So very glad I found you!
      Wait, did you find me?
      Who cares!
      Go sox and go cool-ass experiments!
      Yay things!
      lol,

      Macca

       
    • At 6/21/2005, Blogger Miss Browneyedgirlie said…

      Very interesting experiment...you'll definitely have to let us know how it fares in Boston...those NY men, lordy.

       
    • At 6/21/2005, Blogger FINY said…

      Uh oh. Just got the first email back from one of the guys I told about the "hoax" and asked him if he would mind me asking him some questions. Oh Holy LORD was he pissed off. Suddenly I had/have a 22-year-old threatening that if I use his name/email in any printed article that he'll take legal action. Yikes!

      Hope my response to him placated him a bit, though since I didn't wuote him, haven't used his name anywhere, I think I'm safe.

      Though if any lawyers out there want to give me some free advice, you're MORE than welcome to do so!!!

       
    • At 6/22/2005, Blogger Meegan said…

      I think you should let everyone who responds move into your apartment and then film a reality show. That would be interesting.

       
    • At 6/22/2005, Blogger Ari said…

      This is probably how the real world got started, but your idea takes it to the next level. Desperate people willing to do desperate things to live cheaply in NYC.

       
    • At 6/22/2005, Blogger BlackJack said…

      I don't know that revealing the experiment was the best idea finy. People think this is legit, but they also think it's private. I hope that it's not the case (hell I was wrong about the naked pictures) but I would assume that more people are going to be upset than not. Oh well, it'll be interesting to see the results. And why have you not been forwarding these emails to me too?!?

       
    • At 6/22/2005, Blogger FINY said…

      Actually, I just got two emails from two of the other guys who responded to the ad, and they thought it was hilarious. One of them even said " I think it is funny that if a man puts up a add like this in Craig list everybody is ok with it, but if a woman dose the same thing she is just a well you know!"

      Yay SOME people get it at least!

       
    • At 6/22/2005, Blogger Chesty2005 said…

      I ran across you blog randomly, and I love it. I recommend looking into Atlanta. See how Southerners respond.

       
    • At 6/22/2005, Blogger FINY said…

      Thanks Chesty! Managing all these emails is getting a bit tough, so I'm going to keep it to London and San Fran for the rest of this week, then see next week how some Southern cities react to it.

       
    • At 6/22/2005, Blogger Jere said…

      34 repsonses from NYC divided by 4 responses from Boston equals 8.5.

      Poplulation of NYC divided by population of Boston equals, I don't know, ten or so. Maybe that explains the discrepancy.

      Men are equally desperate everywhere, I think. But some of us DO have some diginity left.

       
    • At 6/23/2005, Anonymous Ken said…

      this is the goodness.

      also, hi.

       
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