Usually I met the women at a caf in Berkeley or San Francisco and things proceeded much more gradually or, in most cases, did not proceed at all after the initial meeting.
My next ad read: The quote was from Guy Debord, writing in Potlatch in 1954.
I said that the next evening at a certain time I would be in a Berkeley movie theater where an old Hitchcock film was showing.
Presumably they were getting lots of other responses and I was being drowned out by the competition; whereas the women responding to my ad had gone to some trouble to communicate specifically with me (even if they may have also responded to a few others).
Also, my response to an ad was going only to that one person, whereas my ad was potentially being read by hundreds or even thousands of people.
We agreed to disagree about them and focus our relationship on other areas. For a little fun and variety, I wrote a takeoff on the generic personals style: That one always got a number of amused responses whenever I ran it (none of them fat or ugly), including a Belgian photographer who remains a friend to this day.
In some of my later ads I resumed my initial focus on classic literature.
So there was more mystery and uncertainty than there is now in online dating, where much more information is more rapidly conveyed ahead of time.
Thus, as in the case of the mercenary, I often ended up meeting women whom I knew almost nothing about, women whom I might not have chosen to meet if I had known more about them. A couple more ads on related themes: The latter one elicited a response with a thread enclosed in the same envelope.
One responder turned out to be the ex-girlfriend of one of my cousins (I hadnt seen her in years, but we saw each other regularly for a while and have been in touch on and off ever since that time).
Others included a Japanese yoga teacher whom Id seen at Zen retreats and a well-known folk musician whom I had seen numerous times at the Freight & Salvage and other local venues.
Another was a professional writer who was researching an article about personals ads.