Sex, Craigslist, and Murder



New York, New York, 11211

Neighborhood: All Over, Multiple

The Craigslist murder of Julissa Brisman has left me wondering about my own choices as well as those close to me. Brisman’s murder by alleged killer Philip Markoff is a scary fact of what can happen when using the Internet for dating or other activities. I’ve been an avid fan of online dating for years and with much luck. I met three serious boyfriends through the Internet; one being from Craigslist. He lived one block away, but we would have never met were it not for the Internet. My last relationship as well as my current love were found through Nerve (an on-line dating service). Through Craigslist I met my first threesome with whom I am still friends; a delightful married couple. I had another disastrous threesome, yet we are still friends. I had mostly great experiences while dating. A few were minor inconveniences such as the time a man and I met and he was not who he claimed to be. His picture was fake. Another time I couldn’t get away from a drunken date because every time I tried, he ordered another beer and left me feeling it would be rude to leave.

Once I met a man I thought would be amazing. We could barely converse for 45 minutes. I’ve had a few one-night stands that I regretted, but for the most part I have been happy with the experience of on-line dating.

I always preferred Craigslist because it’s the ultimate grocery store where everything is at your fingertips. Want a tall slender type with a big cock? Or a man who will be your slave? Or looking for a threesome? Craigslist has it all while other sites tend to be tame, and those geared toward S&M seem to attract freaky folks.

I met a man with whom I had an intense week of total submission through Craigslist. The first night was just coffee. Two nights later we went for a walk around the river, then back to my place for a little more talking and getting to know one another. Two nights later he told me to be at his place at exactly 8:30. He told me what to wear, how long I would stay, what to bring. He tied me up and blindfolded me after stripping me naked. It took him thirty seconds to hogtie me. What followed was total submission and trust on my part with a man I barely knew. His home smelled of gasoline, which he later told me was eucalyptus (I did not believe him). At one point, I thought he was going to cut off my tongue, when he told me to stick it out. He put something on it that tasted like rich yogurt, told me to keep my tongue there, he grabbed my tongue with his, licked the substance off and did it again; all the while telling me not to move my tongue. It was actually whipped cream he whipped himself, which I found endearing as he did not cook.

Although I had no control, I was not worried in the least. Part of the thrill was not knowing where this would go. He could have done anything, and I could not have stopped him. I have always trusted my gut, and this was no exception. We never met again, though kept in touch over email for a bit. I see him every now and again in the neighborhood, but we do not say hello.

Another time I went on a date with a woman because I was curious. Lucy and I spent three hours talking, she seemed to like me; then proceeded to tell me as we were walking out of the coffee shop that I was too straight (mind you, she had a boyfriend). I really liked her but felt something was off. A few years later she and her man met another couple with whom I am extremely close (I met the guy on Nerve, one of the only times I allowed someone over without meeting first, we had quick fling, and now his girlfriend and I are close friends, in fact, I consider her one of my best friends). Lucy and Brendan met my friends, Marcy and Jake at a party and proceeded to have another date. When Marcy told me about Lucy and Brendan I knew right away who she was talking about. They had an extreme relationship. He branded her, she was arrogant but beautiful. She had told me she lived The Story of O, and made it seem like anyone who did not follow her path was mediocre. The relationship with the two couples turned strange and it ended quickly. My point is that I knew, because I trust myself, that something was off with Lucy.

I don’t need the Internet for dating any longer, because I hope to spend my life with my partner. I have used Craigslist to get rid of cat furniture, look for an editor, and find sex parties, among many other things.

But I have friends for whom the Internet provides them with potentially dangerous work. A close friend does tantric work, while another does happy endings, and cleans houses in the nude in her spare time from being a professional dominatrix. I worry constantly about them. It’s not a matter of judgment, hell I have done my fair share of unsavory things. I worry because they don’t know these men, enter their homes or rented hotel rooms, in some cases, even the girls’ own places. I have asked them to tell me the addresses of where they are going and keep their phones on. They simply won’t do it. My friend Amber gave a happy ending once to a guy I had dated. Somehow that came up. He was extremely beautiful, smart, and sadistic. When I went out with him, I knew something was off. I had met another girl who had a breakfast date with him, and did not want to see him again, because she too, knew something was wrong. When Amber saw him, his girlfriend was expecting their child. He actually asked Amber if we could have a threesome! He had dated another friend of mine, and was cruel to her; doing things like putting an ad on Craigslist for another guy, making her fuck the guy in front of him, then the guy would throw hundreds of dollars at her like she was a piece of trash.

I am not sure what rules apply to the Internet. What is a calculated risk versus potential suicide? I have joined activity groups through Craigslist and plan on continuing to do so. I’ve been lucky. Julissa was not. How can one know where the line is?


Daphne currently lives in Brooklyn. She is pursuing an MFA in poetry while tending to her tomato garden, keeping her boyfriend and their three cats happy while dreaming of writing like Wislawa Szymborska, Bonobo’s, and a cabin in Maine.

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