Men who would never step out publically or speak loudly enough to satiate their true desires. Disappointment after being flaked on by a set of cold feet after getting ready or guilt as I cancel a confirmed appointment when a more appeasing dick pic hits my inbox.
Chic penthouses in West Hollywood and dilapidated apartments in East Hollywood. I layed in their beds and looked at the variations of their lives. Photographs of vacations with friends sitting on a desk.
A tie rack hanging off the back of a door with luxurious options. The gleam of an iPhone tucked away behind a stack of books pointed directly towards our coitus.
He apologized profusely and his erection deflated as he showed himself deleting the video from his Camera Roll followed by his Recently Deleted folder. I promised myself I would desert the site for good. For the most part. Assumptions say you start out there, then graduate towards real scenes, but the smartest of us knew that there was always prime dick there that would never show pores on a hookup app or cast a shadow in any bar with a rainbow flag hanging above it. Christian zealots were interested in meeting up in public areas to play around.
The site consisted of crass dishonesty, but so did everything else in life. I assume there will be an inundation of blank profiles and torso pics begging for attention in the popular apps. As well-intentioned as the bill is, it will only succeed in momentarily sending these types back into the shadows. The site had become a bastion of experimentation.
A string of blue and purple hyperlinks directing you to your ultimate pleasures. Where men of different races, cultures, and backgrounds could meet up at the intersection of desperation and loneliness. All men who did not meet preliminary criteria were excluded solely because they reported an insufficient number of new male partners in the last 30 days.
Among those who we ultimately reached via phone, participants deemed eligible via the online pre-screening route were significantly more likely to show for their face-to-face assessment than men deemed eligible directly via phone screening Three participants did not report their borough.
We adapted time-space sampling for use in the men-seeking-men section of Craigslist. Our goal was to determine if men who elected to first complete an online pre-screener were more likely to show for a face-to-face assessment, compared to men who elected to call our office and screen via phone directly. Although the online pre-screener route ultimately involved more steps, we believe it was a less socially invasive approach for participants—it is easier to complete a confidential online survey than to speak with a stranger on the phone.
We believe this is why a larger proportion opted for the online pre-screener. More than double the number of men self-selected to complete the online pre-screener and, from this pool of potential participants, a significantly higher proportion of those who our staff were able to schedule via phone ultimately showed for their face-to-face assessment.
These findings suggest online pre-screening is a useful tool to offer potential participants when recruiting in a virtual environment.
This approach suggests that participants who first complete a brief research study component are more likely than others to participate in a more intensive research component. In turn, this may improve overall external validity. Our findings, however, should be understood in light of several limitations. Craigslist also maintains other listings e.
Although we have data on the number of potential participants who responded via email to our ad on Craigslist, we do not know how many men viewed our ad.
Craigslist has automated filters preventing inclusion of a phone number or URL as text ; however, it is possible to embed this information as part of a photo i. Craigslist is moderated by its users and our posts were not necessarily germane to the bulletin board i. Some of our ads were flagged for removal by the Craigslist community, particularly those posted in the borough of Queens. Further, although we adapted time-space sampling to maximize exposure of our ads, the physical location of our office in Manhattan may have precluded some participants in other boroughs from participating.
We noted high attrition in our efforts to reach MSM online for face-to-face assessments; however, this appears to be common across studies and with a wide range of variability.
Similarly, Fernandez et al. However, given that recruitment often takes place in steps, there are many places where attrition can occur. For example, more than half of the men who responded to our ads via email never took further initiative to join the study. We do not have data on these men, but suspect that upon learning more i. Project staff reached out to these men multiple times to reschedule.
More often than not, these calls went directly to voicemail and our emails were not returned. We do not have sufficient tracking data on men who did not show to determine if there were differential reasons for no-show based on whether men self-selected to complete the online survey first or called us directly.
Participants were recruited using an adapted method of time-space sampling. An advantage of time-space sampling is its systematic approach for capturing location-based populations; however, it has the potential to oversample those who frequent venues of recruitment. Traditionally, time-space sampling involves actively approaching participants e. This allowed us to reach a broader population of the Craigslist community, by including men who browse through ads but may have not posted one themselves [ 7 ].
Future research should investigate if active versus passive approaches online result in different response rates and sample characteristics. Our randomization schema was determined in part based on resources available to see participants during face-to-face assessments we limited randomization to two postings a week.
As a result, our postings to Craigslist were randomized over an extended period of time. Nevertheless, geographic location should also be considered. A benefit to researchers is that they can use Craigslist to target ads in specific cities and areas within cities e. However, it may be less feasible to recruit MSM in non-urban areas on Craigslist, where Craigslist communities may be less active.
Researchers seeking to work in non-urban areas should first identify if the number of postings in their targeted city seems adequate—number of postings is a useful indicator of overall activity. Similarly, it may not be feasible for researchers to conduct nationwide studies using Craigslist, which would require staff to manually and singly post ads in hundreds of locales.
Despite these limitations, this study provides an important contribution for researchers seeking to recruit MSM online to take part in face-to-face assessments [ 1 — 3 ]. We found that it may be important to provide potential participants with enrollment options such as calling directly or completing a brief online pre-screener—with most selecting the latter. Although online pre-screening ultimately involved more steps in getting a participant enrolled in the study, it was a useful tool to offer potential participants when recruiting in a virtual environment.
We do not suggest researchers use online pre-screening solely, as this may deter certain sets of participants who prefer other enrollment options. For example, it appeared that older men were more likely to call us directly; however, this association was marginally significant.
Taken together, this finding suggests it is important for researchers to investigate and report on the success of various recruitment messages. Finally, more research would be needed to determine the reasons why the online pre-screener route was selected more often, and why, from this pool of potential participants, a significantly higher proportion of those who our staff were able to schedule via phone ultimately showed for their face-to-face assessment.
Acknowledgements to the study team: Vial and the recruitment staff. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Author manuscript; available in PMC Feb 1. Jimenez , 2 and Jeffrey T. Parsons , PhD 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article.
Open in a separate window. Conclusion Despite these limitations, this study provides an important contribution for researchers seeking to recruit MSM online to take part in face-to-face assessments [ 1 — 3 ].
Recruiting drug using men who have sex with men in behavioral intervention trials: A comparison of Internet and field-based strategies. The internet and HIV study; design and methods. The Internet as recruitment tool for HIV studies: Meta-analytic examination of online sex-seeking and sexual risk behavior among men who have sex with men. The Internet as a valuable tool for promoting a new framework for sexual health among gay men and other men who have sex with men.
Collecting behavioral data using the world wide web: J Epidemiol Commun H. Risky sex- and drug-seeking in a probability sample of men-for-men online bulletin board postings.
J Gay Les Soc Serv.Where do I go? But for the men seeking men in this country, it marks the end of an era. Finally, more research would be needed to determine the reasons why the online pre-screener route was selected more often, and why, from this pool of potential participants, a significantly higher proportion of those who our staff were able to schedule via phone ultimately showed for their face-to-face assessment. Three participants did not report their borough. Jimenez2 and Jeffrey T. The number of postings in a given week was limited to two in order to ensure adequate resources were available to see participants during eventual face-to-face assessments.