The following is an email that I received shortly after giving a talk that discussed some of our findings regarding sexual interactions in the soil nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans (aka C. elegans). The views expressed below do not reflect the opinions of the Phillips Lab, the University of Oregon, the National Science Foundation, or the President of the United States. This information should be kept from small children and larval nematodes.

An experiment in social networking

Hello Dr. Phillips,

I enjoyed your talk at the UO last night. Your work with the nematodes C. elegans and C. remanei was new to me. I think it is interesting to see so little female choice going on among your research subjects.

I decided to try a little experiment on Eugene Craigslist last night. Here is the ad I wrote titled "Come and get me" in the Casual Encounters "Women-For-Men-Men" category. The results appear below. This appeared on-line at 10:30:03 PM.

Title: (casual encounters) Come and get me - w4mm
I'm a BBW (big-boned worm) wanting to lay there quietly and have a bunch of males rub their bodies all over me at one time. That turns me on. Without showing any resistance I'll let every single one of you drive your spicules into me and drop a load. I'll be as passive as a worm can be. Somehow my female anatomy will know how to sort out all that stuff to make the best kids possible. C'mon all you college freshmen guys...I'm your dream woman.

C. elegans


This morning on arising from bed I found ten (10) replies in my Inbox plus a notice from the Craigslist administrator that my ad was flagged and deleted at 00:17:00 Thursday morning. Spicule photo attachments are not enclosed, as you can guess what they all look like. One reply is obviously from a confused woman. Here they are in all their grammatical glory. Conclusions follow below.

1. "I want some hot young guy here hurry back."

2. "im a 18 year old virgin and would love to help you out."

3."I saw your add and am interested. I am 30, blond, blue, hwp. I am looking for some fun without the drama that alot of these types of things have. Looking for open minds and just wanting to let loose and be themselves. I am not hung but I like it and think that some others have enjoyed it also. I am mild mannered and fairly gentle even though I look meaner than I am. If you are interested, please let me know."

4. "i am a freshman in masters program=) i am athletic and would love to rub my body on yours =)"

5. "Hi I am 28 m eugene i am u of o student and work as a electrician. I am 5' 9 athletic. Are you still looking to meet? I am free"

6. "Not seeing how you only a college kids dream sweetie...I wanna dribble out also. Let me get a pick you nasty lil thing, and I mean that in a good way."

7. "Hey, so I just got back from a movie and was kinda bored looking around on CL. I saw your add and it sounds like we could have some fun. I'm Lucas, 23, 6ft1, relaxed, clean, athletic, smart, handsome, etc.etc. Here's some pics"

8. "I am not a college freshman. I am a 32 dominant male and very interested in meeting. I live in Eugene and have a roomate or can join the guys you are meeting."

9. "Hello there. I read your post and am very interested. So where are you? I think this sounds amazing."

10. "how about you come over and have a beer"


During ~90 minutes the ad ran on-line in the middle of the night, nine males and one female in the Eugene area said they are willing to do it with a passive big-boned worm. From this I conclude that males aren't choosy about who or what they do it with. Even though the sample size is too small (N=1) to be significant, some females might also exhibit this behavior.