Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.
Has bartending ever gotten you laid?
No. It definitely could have, but I don't do that.
So you're in a relationship?
Yup. We've been together for four-and-a-half months.
How'd you meet?
I yelled at him at a bar. A girlfriend of mine was bartending and this dude walks in and sits down next to me. He asks for a beer and a shot and she says that'll be whatever amount and he looks at her and he's like, "You're charging me for the shot?" I looked at him and I was like, "What did you just say?" And he was like, "I come here a lot and they never charge me." And I was like, "Who the fuck do you think you are?" He was drunk so he kept stumbling over his words, but in reality, he's the nicest guy ever. He was just being drunk and stupid. So I just berated him for an hour.
Is being aggressive a good tactic for meeting men?
I've never done that before. I was wasted and he was just such a sweet-looking kid, so I just started teasing him.
How did teasing him transition into exchanging phone numbers?
Well, at one point, he was like, "Why are you being so mean to me?" And apparently — I don't remember this — I was just like, "Don't you know I'm flirting with you?"
So you've been together for four months?
Yup. We're engaged. Yeah. He moved in with me three days after we met and then we got engaged about a week after that. We haven't spent a single day apart.
Wow! What was your dating history like before you fell head over heels for this guy?
Every guy I dated was a straight-up asshole. Skater dudes, in a band, alcoholics, drug addicts. Every guy who didn't want to let anyone in, I dated. It was always casual sex and nothing more. I tolerated such bullshit, I guess because I didn't think I was worth more. But thankfully, I found one who's amazing. He's a Southern gentleman and treats me so well. He's beautiful. I love him.
You got engaged really quickly. Have you received any negative feedback about it?
Well, I moved out of my parents' place when I was very young. They aren't really a part of my life. My friends who I consider my family are very much on board. Everyone loves him; he's the sweetest guy in the world.
Have you started planning the wedding?
Well, I don't know if this is going to happen, but I roped my friend and old bandmate into getting ordained so she can marry us. But as far as anything else, I'm not really concerned with a traditional wedding.
If you aren't into tradition, why get married at all?
It's actually funny, because we both didn't want to get married or have kids before we met each other. And then I met him and everything changed! I don't want to have some crazy gala, but it just seems right to fully dedicate myself to him in front of my friends.
What do you see for your future with him? Do you want babies with him?
Well, we're getting a car and road-tripping to Vegas to see my friend, and then we're going to try to get jobs out there and make a shit-ton of money. Then we're back to Hawaii, where I lived for a long time. We're going to put our roots down there. And then, I guess, have babies! It's so crazy because I never, ever thought this would happen for me, but I want him to be the father of my children.
What do you do?
I work as a waiter and I write. I do a lot of blogging, but I'm trying to do more literary stuff in the future.
Have either of those things ever gotten you laid before?
I guess, in the sense that being a writer is who I am, so if someone is attracted to that, writing is getting me laid. That makes sense, right?
Sure. How have you not gotten laid as a waiter though? Come on!
I've never slept with a coworker! I've only been doing the waiter thing for about three months —
Oh, it'll happen.
Tell us about your love life.
It's nonexistent. There's this girl I've been trying to get together with, but there's always something, I'm working or she's working. We were supposed to go to a concert a while back, and I sent her an email about tickets, and I was just showing it to my buddy here when you guys showed up —
You and your male friends obsess over the subtext of emails? I thought only girls did that.
Yeah, I've definitely stayed up nights freaking about saying the wrong thing or punctuating something with the wrong emoticon. The horror! Because an email is permanent — you send it out there and you wait for a reply, but you can just keep obsessing over it forever because it isn't going anywhere.
And we all know we're on the internet all the time, so it's like, what the fuck? I know you've checked your email in the last ten hours.
Exactly. It's all a game.
Do you play a time game?
Um, I like to think I don't. But I can't respond right away, so I guess I find myself unintentionally playing the time game.
What would happen if you responded immediately?
You don't want to come off too into someone else, but you also aren't really attracted to the person who's very obviously into you. You always want it to be a balance. You never want to feel like the other person is grasping onto you like you're the last person on earth.
I have a friend who just started dating a girl last week, and they've already been on three or four dates.
Well, it's cool if they're both into it. If I met the right girl, I'm sure I'd love to hang out with her all the time.
Have you ever been in love?
I've thought I was in love early on in a relationship. But after those first six weeks went by, I realized it wasn't love. I was just infatuated. So sadly enough, I guess, I haven't been in love.
Tell us about your emotional baggage right this second.
[Laughs] For some reason, I guess I've always felt like the guilty one in the relationship. Not because I'm cheating or doing something wrong, but I guess because I was probably always less involved in my relationship than my partner. So I guess that made me feel bad, like I was taking advantage of the situation or something. Feeling like I was leading them on.
Have you ever said "I love you," and not meant it?
Oh, no. No way.
You're good. So what's your move? How do you get laid?
Well, recently, I just don't get laid. So, there's that. Sometimes I pretend to be deeply intellectual, like way more than I am.
Like you pretended you've read all of Proust?
I did, actually!
I did! I pretended to have read Proust to impress some lady. I'm not sure how much she believed me, but I tried anyway.
What do you do?
I'm an actress and a waitress to pay the bills.
Has that ever gotten you laid before? Either one?
Waiting tables, yes. Being an actress, not yet.
Do you have any horror stories about going home with customers?
No, but I have horror stories about going home with coworkers. That was a poor life choice.
That is always the truth.
I had a rule about not giving out my out my number to people who ask for it, because I get asked for it all the time. I'll just say you leave me if your number if you want to get into contact with me. But I did give out my number once, and we went out, and at first it was good, but then he was just an ass and it was pointless, so whatever.
How was he an ass?
He made plans and then broke them and then got mad at me for being upset that he broke the plans. He would be like, "We didn't make real plans, Dina," and I'd be like, "No, we did."
I feel like the recent trend is guys saying, "Oh, let's hang out."
That just happened to me this weekend!
So when's the last time you went out on an actual I-am-going-out-with-you-with-a-plan date-date?
Oh, two or three weeks ago. We went to dinner and got ice cream and then we watched a movie at my apartment. We actually got through it. I was surprised.
I can't tell you the number of half-movies I've seen. I'm always like, "What happened at the end of that?"
Seeing the first twenty minutes is enough.
Did you have sex with him?
Yeah. We'd been seeing each other for a couple weeks. The sex was amazing.
How did you meet?
Like all female New Yorkers: online. This is a table full of women dating online.
What made the sex amazing?
It was just good. I didn't have to tell him anything. He just knew. I didn't have to give him any instructions.
What did you not have to give him instructions on?
Okay, candidly? The first time we hooked up, he went down on me for an hour.
Excellent! That's what you need to do!
And I was like, "Oh, yeah? Well, okay." I just let him keep going. He was happy as a clam down there. He was very content.
What are your deal-breakers when it goes to guys?
Lying. There's just no point. I'm brutally honest. The last guy I was with, it went on and off for a year. Neither of us was seeing anyone else, but we didn't have a label. And then all of a sudden, he was seeing someone else, and I was like, "You thought I wouldn't realize that?" He thought he could play it off like he wasn't, but I'm not a fucking idiot. He was spending every night with me and then all of a sudden he wasn't. He was sleeping with someone else.
What kind of guys do you date?
It's been fluctuating. Right now I'm really into guys with tattoos. The guy who blew me off was covered in them. Actually, the last three guys I dated had tattoos, but, come on! It's Brooklyn! It's part of the dress code.
What's your name and what do you do?
My name is Pat and I'm a regional manager for a beer brewing company.
Has that ever gotten you laid before?
Maybe — I don't know. I generally assume I'm the one getting me laid, not my job. It is a great brewery though…
Are you single?
Yeah, I'm single. I'm a single dad with a two-year-old daughter.
How'd that happen?
She's an awesome woman. I love her to death. But we don't live together. We were together for about six years before the baby was born. And then… I reckon, I was a fuck-up and she was a fuck-up, and we stopped seeing eye to eye. She didn't like what I was up to and I didn't like what she was up to. Not cheating or anything, but our daily life stopped working. But we definitely see eye to eye on our daughter. She's a great mother and I love her to death, really.
When's the last time you got laid?
Oh, Jesus Christ. You guys aren't fucking around. Two nights ago? Honestly, it wasn't all that great. It wasn't all that connected, we were doing it just for the sake of doing it. You know, better than jerking off.
Please grade your orgasm. Like, a B?
No, it was like a D.
What are you looking for now?
I'm not sure. I'm looking for someone who can hang with what I'm doing. The business I'm in isn't easy — I work from about two in the afternoon 'til about two in the morning. A lot of my job is socializing and selling people on our beer, but most women want you home —
To cuddle. Are you a cuddler?
Hell yeah I am.
Are you big spoon or little spoon?
I'm big spoon, but I don't think I have a choice. I'm like a grizzly bear over here.
How young a woman would you date? Like, hypothetically, a twenty-four-year old?
Hell yeah! Who wouldn't? The mother of my kid was twelve years younger than me. But the girlfriend I had before that was ten years older. I know it sounds lame, but it's really about the person.
What's the difference between fucking a younger girl and an older woman?
There's not really a difference at all. All that matters to me is an emotional connection. And in the absence of that, it's just like, well… let's just do it anyway.
The D-grade orgasm — was she younger or older?
They were younger.
They? You had a threesome and it was a D?
[laughs] Yeah. They were wasted.
When did threesomes get boring?
Wait, no, hold on a second. That's not what I'm saying. This particular one was no good, but it's not my first time in that ballpark.
Okay, we've got to ask. What's your number?
Can I guess? 200?
Hmm, yeah. It's probably just under 200.
Alright, you need to share the gospel with less experienced people. What makes women go apeshit?
The most important thing is chemistry! I'm a musician, so I value… building things. Also, feel the vibes. Go with the flow. If she wants to go slow, don't start hammering away. Women tell you what they want. You just need to be ready to listen.
How do you feel about pubic hair?
I wish there was more of it.
I knew it.
I grew up in the '70s, watching '70s porn. What can I say?
What's your name, and what do you do?
My name is Gonzalo — Sexy G — and I'm a waiter.
Has that ever gotten you laid?
Yes… it was a long time ago. I was helping this guy in the front of the house, and well, we just fucked.
When did you realize you were gay?
Probably when I was thirteen. That's when I had my first crush on a boy, but at the same time I hated men so much. Something happened to me when I was little that made me really hate men. I only wanted to be around girls, so my heart was totally closed to men.
Can we ask what happened when you were younger?
I don't like to talk about it. It was really traumatizing. I think if you think about it, you'll know what I'm talking about.
What was it about this person, this crush, that made you want to open your heart to men?
Well, it was really confusing to me. I was in elementary school and he was a great friend. It was terrible — for a year I was crying every day, and I kept questioning myself, asking myself why I felt this way.
How is it being openly gay in Hispanic culture?
Well, it can be great or really, really terrible. Because in Hispanic culture, in big, developed cities, you can be out and celebrated, but in small towns, like where I grew up, everyone's so close-minded. That's why I moved to the United States. There were only two openly gay adults in my town and everyone was constantly talking about them, saying they should be raped with stones. A transvestite was killed for cross-dressing.
When did you move here?
When I was sixteen. I got to that age where everyone started having girlfriends, and when I didn't, people would say, "What's wrong with him? Is he gay?" So I asked my mom if I could move, because my brother lived here already.
Does your mother know you're gay?
Yeah, I told her when I was eighteen. She was really, really disappointed. She kept trying to convince me that I liked girls. It was really confusing for me. I was suicidal. I took a bottle of Tylenol and some beer and then went to bed, and I made sure no one was around me. I woke up to puke, and my roommate happened to come home and saw me passed out, so he took me to the hospital.
Wow. What does living in New York feel like now?
It feels really safe. I've met so many people who embrace me for me. I'm not the only gay man around anymore. I can cross my legs when I sit and talk with you and no one cares.
Have you heard of Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" project?
Yeah. I'm not sure what I would say to them though. When I was seventeen, I got sent to a mental institution because I was suicidal and they wouldn't let me out. It was like being in jail. I was constantly locked in rooms, had to take medicine even if I didn't want to, had to shower at certain times, could only sleep at certain times. I couldn't speak any English, so I couldn't communicate with the doctors either.
Do you think you could trust someone like a therapist to talk about your trauma?
No, not after being in that place. I know I should though. Sometimes I have nightmares when I pass out on my friends' couches, drunk, and I scream, "No, no no!" I worry it could push my friends away. No one wants to deal with that.
Have you had relationships with men?
Not really. They never get me. We've had casual things, sure. But my trauma pushes anything serious away. I'm twenty-four — I know I have to get my stuff together. But I'm hoping to meet someone who can understand.
Are you happy now?
I'm thankful. I'm not exactly perfectly happy, but I have no real reasons anymore to be sad.
What is your name and what do you do?
My name is Gustav, and I'm a hip-hop playwright.
What exactly does that mean?
It means I write plays that are entirely in rhyme.
Has that ever gotten you laid before?
No. I have sexual encounters because of my personality and what I'm about.
Have you ever used your rhyming skills to get a lady in bed?
I've definitely written songs for girls before.
Can you freestyle for me, right here?
Okay. Deep in the moonlight/ Comfortable in my spoon tight/ Got head a couple days ago/ Interrupted by a fistfight/ Happened to be by a girl and guy/ Even worse than that, they live where I… live/ Girl punched my man across the face/ Fucked up my girl's face/ Fucked up my face/ Went from "Oh oh" to "Oh no."
Is this a true story? Getting head got interrupted by a fistfight?
Yeah. I live in an apartment on the ground floor and my bedroom faces the street. So the lady I'm linking up with right now was performing oral sex and I heard yelling on the street, so I went outside and my roommate's girlfriend was punching him in the face. They fight all the time. That's their thing, and it's always physical. So I put my clothes on, went downstairs and made sure everything was cool. It's very difficult to reignite a sexual moment like that, but we made it work. All's well that ends well, right?
So… did it end well?
Yeah, I came.
What about her?
I got her off beforehand.
That part was uninterrupted?
That is correct. There was no fistfight during that.
So how long have you been "linking up" with this lady?
Um, about a month?
Is it getting serious?
I don't really know what that means. I enjoy her company very much, I think she's a really beautiful person. I'm not linking up with anybody else, and I think we're just building at a good level.
How's the sex?
Um, we haven't had sex yet.
I think it's really important not to have sex with someone right away. As we get older sex just gets more and more complicated. I think it's really important to take your time and make sure you want to be with that person.
So you get aroused enough to have oral sex, but you don't go all the way. How do you control yourself? I'm like a teenage boy — I just want to do it.
It's like anything else — just focus and discipline.
Does she want to have sex?
I think she does [laughs]. I'm not saying that I don't either, but… she does.
So what's the difference between putting your dick in a girl's vagina vs. her mouth?
Well, the biggest thing is pregnancy. I'm twenty-six-years old and having a child is nowhere in my future plans. I can't explain the difference — there just is one. If someone put a lollipop in your mouth and someone put a lollipop in your pussy, you'd have a very different emotional reaction to it.
Well, yeah, because you'd get a yeast infection.