Talking to Strangers: Atlanta, GA

Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we've just met.

By Cristen Conger and Gilly South

April, 26

What do you do for a living?
I run a show space called Couch Couch.

Does your job ever get you laid?
It could if I ever exploited it. But I don't like to date musicians anymore. They're permanently on stage, so you're basically in the audience all the time. Unless you play music with them — then it's a relatable thing. Otherwise you're always in the audience.

Where did you and your current boyfriend meet?
I think it was through friends. We live similar lifestyles; we don't have cars and ride bikes.

How long have you been together?
About a month. It's going well! His movie is in this show tonight. It's called Jesus and 40 Thieves.

Are you in it?
No, it's puppetry.

Have you ever done anything dirty in a movie theater?
Not that I know of.

What's your favorite movie sex scene?
I Heart Huckabees, when they're making out in the mud.

Oh, nice. Have you ever made out in the mud?
Not yet. Every time it rains really heavily I want to go run through Candler Park in the mud and get really slimy.

Maybe you could get your new boyfriend to do that sometime.
That's the plan. We could find a big mud pile.

What kind of kinks are you into, other than rolling in the mud?
Rolling in the mud would be awesome. I'm really into yoga and stretching, so I always imagine being tied up to one of those machines that would stretch me out.

Like a pilates machine?
Yeah, something like that. Something where I could be tied up and stretched.

How do you feel about watching porn?
I think it's lost its artistic credibility. I've seen Deep Throat, and that's the classic one, and it really has a point to it. It's a film, and really well done with cinematography and the angles, and what they're trying to portray isn't just this ultimate ending. I think today it's just execute, execute, execute.

There a couple in Brooklyn who started their own porn company and starting doing DIY porn. Have you heard of them?
No, but that's really interesting. I think there's definitely a need of revitalization of the porn industry. There's nothing wrong with seeing it in a moving image, but just the way that it's done now is so patriarchal. It's not for women.

Since your boyfriend's a filmmaker, would you ever let him film you guys having sex?
Yes. I trust his artistic values.


Patrick, 26

What do you do for a living?
I work at a bar washing dishes.

Does that ever get you laid?
Yeah, it has. It's always a bad idea.

Laid with other coworkers, or patrons?
Let's not get into that.

So you're in a new relationship with April. How did you guys get together?
I'm not really sure — it was sort of organic. We'd been friends for a long time, but I'm not sure who made the first move. I guess she did, because I'm kind of a coward. We'd both been in sort of messed-up relationships. And I liked her, but I didn't want to bring in my bag of shit. Then finally we both liked each other and decided to try it.

How long have you lived in Atlanta?
Four years.

How would you describe dating here?
It's all right. It's the same as everywhere, I guess. There are a lot more shallow people than other places I've lived, so that's kind of aggravating.

What characterizes a shallow person?
Being more concerned with material stability than actual self-fulfillment — I think that's a good definition. If your concerns are petty — about, say, the shoes you've bought, rather than the people you know and the things you've accomplished in your life.

What are your other dealbreakers?
Small dogs are a warning sign.

A warning sign of what?
I don't know. It's just been a trend. Especially small chihuahuas. Steer clear.

What are your major turn-ons?
It's all personality and creativity and the ability to hold a conversation. And I talk a lot, so having someone who can hold a conversation is important, but so is having someone who can be quiet and listen to me talk for four hours. Just kidding! Glasses are also a big turn-on. And I guess I'm a leg man more than anything else.

What do you think about watching porn with a lady friend?
No. I don't know that I'd ever want to. I used to look at a lot more porn. Then I got a girlfriend. Porn is a fantasy, and it's not the same as sex with another person or being in a relationship. So that's not a fantasy space I want to share with someone else. That's more of a personal space. I wouldn't want to watch someone else masturbate and I wouldn't want to masturbate in front of someone else. That's private time.

Is there something embarrassing about watching porn with someone?
It's a little awkward, and most porn is for men, and a lot of woman aren't into it.

Would you be down if a woman instigated it?
I guess I'd try it. I'm down to experiment, but more specifically I like to try something that someone else is into. But I wouldn't be the one instigating it.

What's your favorite movie sex scene?
Is there a sex scene in Jaws?

Um, not that I know of.
Well, if there is, then I'd say Jaws. Sharks are sexy.

Have you ever had sex in a movie theater?
No, I haven't, nor would I want to, because movie theaters are gross, and your feet are sticking to the floor. Who sat in that seat? And in New York, that's how bedbugs spread.

Those are all good points.
It's fucking gross.

Have you ever had anything weird happen to you in a movie theater? For instance, I was in a Michael Bay movie once, and a guy was jacking off next to me.
Was it Michael Bay?


Friday, 26

What do you do for a living?
I'm an artist-slash-photographer.

Does that ever get you laid?
Whoa, no. I keep it separated.

Are you in a relationship now?
Yeah. It's a fresh one. I was single for the past four years and now... it's actually weird sometimes not being able to mingle. There's this side of me that still wants to be able to flirt and be myself.

What drew you to dating this girl after being single for four years?
That's a good fucking question — I don't know. She just struck my attention over time. You spend enough time with anybody and you can build something, and that's what we've been doing: building emotional Legos, one on top of the other. We're here today trying to work things out, keep it going.

What are your turn-ons?
I appreciate a good face, a healthy smile. I used to be an ass man, and I've moved back to breasts. But other than that, I just need someone who's not uptight. I don't need a hardcore person who's like "That's not right!" I need someone who has a looseness about themselves. I'm not asking too much from anybody.

So you want someone who is independent?
You mean financially? Mentally, mainly. I don't know how the hell you get your money, you know. You get it how you want it. But mental independence, definitely.

How do you feel about sexual monogamy?
I love the idea. But then, I have friends who are polyamorous and are able to make it work out. I don't see how the hell I'd be able to do that. I don't really want to see her with someone else over there. But if she does, that's cool — I just don't want to hear about it.

How about for you? Is it hard to just have sex with one person?
Yeah, I'm down. You just need to find more tricks behind the curtain. Like role-playing, that's cool. And I like outdoor sex. That's the shit.

Where's the coolest place outside that you've had sex?
A junkyard. Yeah, it was pretty tight.

Where do you have sex in a junkyard?
In cars! I mean we didn't just find a nasty Buick and do it in there — I got my car and we found a spot where it blended in. It worked.

Since we're right next door to a movie theater, I have to ask — have you ever had sex in one?
Not yet, I'm working on that actually. The back-row thing, a handjob or something. I'm down.

What about watching porn with a girl?
I've never done that. I'm more trying to get my lady and me to film each other and then upload it on YouTube and shit.

So have you filmed someone else and yourself having sex?
That's some good shit, but I haven't done that yet, no. It's not too far-fetched.

I'd be nervous filming myself. I'd be worried others would see it — that it would get leaked.
Really? Leaked? You're not a rapper or anything.

Maybe you just haven't heard of me yet.
Ha, that's hilarious!

What's a dealbreaker for you? If you see a hot girl, what would be an instant turn-off?
Stupidity. At least some form of ignorance about the world. Shallowness is a huge turn-off, like "You have to have this car," or "I don't like what you're wearing." Stuff like that is for the birds. Don't be an asshole and we're good.

You're a pretty stylish guy — do you like girls who also have a sense of style?
That would really fucking help, but if you don't, you don't. I just need a sweetheart with a big ass!

Commentarium (87 Comments)

Jul 07 11 - 12:59am

Patrick is missing out, watching someone masturbate can be very hot. Pretty much all guys i've been involved with really like watching too.

Jul 07 11 - 9:22am

Yeah seriously. No masturbating with your partner? It's one of the hottest things you can do!

Jul 07 11 - 12:26pm
some bitchcunt

hell yes wtf is wrong with that dude, mutual masturbation 4 eva yall

Jul 11 11 - 10:04pm

It's not the same for a woman. We don't enjoy it.

Sep 17 11 - 2:19pm

Um, speak for yourself? Some of us do.

Jul 07 11 - 3:14am
The Baltimoron

These people are annoying.

Jul 11 11 - 10:05pm
The Baltimoron

Check that. I reread the article and sadly realized that they all had richer, more fulfilling lives than I do...

Jul 07 11 - 4:25am

"Since your boyfriend's a filmmaker, would you ever let him film you guys having sex?"

"Yes. I trust his artistic values. "

File under: Stuff White People Say

Jul 07 11 - 6:51am


Jul 07 11 - 7:14am

"What characterizes a shallow person?-Being more concerned with material stability than actual self-fulfillment " File under: Stuff White People With Wealthy Parents Say.

Jul 07 11 - 12:29pm

Or people who work as dishwashers who've been called on it before.

Jul 11 11 - 2:57am


Jul 11 11 - 10:39pm
The Baltimoron

File under: Stuff Dumb Bitches Say When They're In Love

Jul 12 11 - 1:29am

file under: baltimoron has nothing better to do then troll message boards.

Jul 12 11 - 10:02pm
The Baltimoron

file under: bullshut bullseye

Jul 07 11 - 4:36am

i liked this edition, interesting people, surprisingly all men were solid. patrick is cool. friday's last quote was terrific!

Jul 11 11 - 10:39pm
The Baltimoron

What are you, a fag?

Jul 12 11 - 10:27pm

i know you are, but what am i??

Jul 07 11 - 5:31am

It looks like Gilly was hanging at the Plaza Theater in Poncey Highlands.

Jul 07 11 - 6:41pm
just mike

I think they're all hanging out along Ponce...

Jul 07 11 - 7:59am

April, April, April... please, please, please lose the glasses.

Jul 07 11 - 10:55am

agree agree agree

Jul 07 11 - 4:51pm

But she won't be ripping off Chloe Sevigny without them. In an ironic way, of course.

Jul 07 11 - 10:11pm

Thank you RW, I was hitting myself on the head trying to bring out that name (started drinking early today). Fucking hipsters. Years of trying to tell my honey those narrow rectangular glasses might be fashionable but I hate them, and now they've gone to the big bug-eye ones. Next thing disco and coke will be back too.

Jul 07 11 - 9:18am

Pretty sure Brittany was at The Local - they have free popcorn!

Jul 07 11 - 6:41pm
just mike

Looks like they're all hanging out along Ponce...

Jul 07 11 - 10:24am

April: Deep Throat is a horribly made movie. Check out the Priavte Afternoons of Pamela Mann by Henry Paris (Radley Metzger) for well made Golden Age porn. Unfortunately, the available copies have a scene or two cut out.
I assume Hannah is pulling our legs about the travelling Corn dog stand. They would have to sell a lot of Corn dogs to afford RISD tuition.

Jul 07 11 - 12:06pm

maybe she got a scholarship...or a grant? or loans? where there's a will there's a way.

Jul 07 11 - 2:39pm

MAybe a scholarship. Sure. But, the idea of a travelling Corn dog stand seems a bit like a joke. Although, maybe not.

Jul 11 11 - 3:45pm

I dunno, in NYC there are all these junk food stands that show up at street fairs (and I assume make the fair and concert circuits, too), selling things like elephant ears and sausages. I believe there's a corn dog one.

Jul 11 11 - 10:40pm
The Baltimoron

Did you say cornhole?

Jul 13 11 - 10:48pm
just mike

Pretty sure they're all hanging out along Ponce...

Jul 07 11 - 10:48am

April seems very nice, but she does realize her answers read like a parody of hipsterdom, right? I mean, puppetry? Seriously?

Jul 07 11 - 10:56am

shades of Being John Malkovich

Jul 11 11 - 10:07pm
The Baltimoron

There's a lot of real estate in those glasses. Would take her 30 minutes to clean my semen from them.

Jul 15 11 - 8:31pm

Speaking from experience.

Jul 17 11 - 2:21pm
just mike

They're down there all hanging out along Ponce...

Jul 07 11 - 11:09am
April looks

like Chloe Sevigny!

Jul 07 11 - 12:06pm

minus the upper lip.

Jul 07 11 - 11:36am

Brittany looks like she was photoshopped onto a new background.

Jul 09 11 - 5:41pm
John Son

You're right! She totally was.

Jul 11 11 - 10:59pm

You know, it does kind of look like it, but hand to God, it was not photoshopped!

Jul 12 11 - 10:29pm
John Son

Dude, I'm a Photoshop engineer, and I know the verb when I see it. I asked all my engineer friends too, and they agreed that it was totally photoshopped.

Jul 14 11 - 4:17pm

Dear Detective La Toya,

You've caught me. I Photoshopped--even though I don't actually have Photoshop nor do I know how to use it--a girl onto a background at a TOTALLY DIFFERENT LOCATION than the other people I interviewed. Just to mess with y'all!

Reality: It's, like really, seriously not photoshopped. If I was going to photoshop Brittany, I would have made it look like she was at the same movie theater as everyone else. It wouldn't even make sense to photoshop her onto a different background unless it were to my advantage. I also have about 9 other pictures of her in different positions in the same spot. It may have looked weird because it was raining outside and she was under a porch and the flash went off. Either way: no photoshop.

Jul 15 11 - 8:33pm
Robert Paulsen

Dude. I majored Photoshop at university. I have an engineering degree in it. I can tell. It's photoshopped.

Jul 17 11 - 11:05pm
Detective La Toya

Clearly, photoshpped.

So... what's the author got to hide? Interesting.

Aug 18 11 - 9:33pm

A month later, this STILL pisses me off. It was raining and grey outside, and the flash was picked up by Brittany, but not by the outside. Jesus H. I have like 10 outtakes you can analyze in your special photoshop lab. You can analyze the SD card. I will take you to the bar, and we can test it out on a rainy day.

Jul 07 11 - 11:52am
Roy Lee Harwell

Yes, mm, I was thinking the same exact thing, April is almost a caricature

Her bone structure leads me to believe that, genetically, she was born a hipster. However, she's in scary territory with those answers.

I would prescribe some Metallica records, some Michael Mann flicks, and maybe drive a car with a V8, at least until her personality stabilizes.

Jul 07 11 - 10:12pm

I <3 RLH (in a manly way of course).

Jul 12 11 - 8:07pm
Boson Higgs

Damn GeeBee get your filthy whore hands off my man!

Roy Lee, you know I satisfy you the way no other man could.

Jul 07 11 - 12:14pm

Friday seemed pretty cool, but where are Libby and Lina? I miss them.

Jul 07 11 - 8:00pm

Libby and Lina do New York, son. Cristen and I are representing the mouth of the south in this installment.

Jul 07 11 - 12:16pm

"Was it Michael Bay?" the one gem in the entire article.

Jul 11 11 - 5:04pm

I nearly spilled my coffee when I read that line. Good stuff.

Jul 07 11 - 12:38pm
Li Mu Bai

Hannah! You made out watching Hero and you're standing in front of a poster of True Legend! Come to me and be my wuxia queen! Together, we will float among the bamboo treetops of the Jianghu, my fiery Wudang Long Fist styles against the restrained elegance of your Shaolin Five Elders style. I will love you, for you caught my heart as the spear catches the leaf.

Jul 07 11 - 12:41pm


Jul 08 11 - 6:05pm

this hahaha!!! she had so many fucking dealbreakers, and all related to clothing?! what's wrong with a flower bathing suit, really?!

Jul 07 11 - 1:26pm

I want to see some scientists, some engineers. Show me some doctors, or PhD's. Come on now.

Jul 07 11 - 4:11pm

I hear you have to remember that we ask for a lot more interviews than we get! I will make a concerted effort to get a broader representation of the American work force...Georgia Tech, here we come?

Jul 07 11 - 10:14pm

Are you kidding RJ? Such people do not hang out where TtS people will find them.

Jul 08 11 - 12:53pm

Come to Louisville, we've got a ton of engineers. KY counts as the South, right?

Jul 08 11 - 1:21pm

I have to agree...I'm bored to tears with these hipsters! I would really LOVE to know what the secretary and the Ernst&Young, or perhaps the Sales Director at {insert Company here} thinks...b/c if you wear a old lady floral printed shorts romper, or rock ridiculous facial hair I'm already bored with you......

Jul 09 11 - 8:55am
Robert Paulsen

I'm pretty sure my engineer friends would like the idea, but wouldn't be willing to follow through. Looking at their Facebook pages compared to, for example, the former English majors and photographers I'm friends with, they seem a lot more reticent about putting out personal information. I know I'd love to answer the questions, but couldn't risk my current boss (or potential future employers) thinking of me as a sexual deviant.

Jul 10 11 - 1:22pm
just mike

The "professions," like engineering, law, and medicine, are all very conservative industries, in that they're very uptight, straight-laced, and "traditional." With all the trouble surrounding teachers posting Facebook photos holding beer bottles (for example), I suspect many are laying low lest someone decide to relinquish their state-registered licenses. One never knows what a client or boss will object to, and once one is licensed, that person is held to a higher standard in private life as well as public.

Jul 11 11 - 10:06pm

You're thinking about TtS at Georgia Tech, Gilly? As a recent Georgia Tech alum, I suggest ... Georgia State. Tech is jocks and nerds -- although nerd girls here are super hot. It'll take some time to find worthy subjects. Might be worth a try, though. Hit the Goat Farm near the White Provisions complex. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Jul 11 11 - 10:10pm
Robert Paulsen

Not that I'm not a sexual deviant. I mean, I'm totally down with the 69, and the 2-on-1 and taking my girlfriends buddy up my ass, but I just don't want people at work to know that I masturbate at my desk off-hours. (Or masturbate all over the cute chick's desktop in the evening!)

Jul 12 11 - 10:32pm
Robert Paulsen

No srsly you guys, I'm not sexually abnormal. Like, really. I'm cool with all the shit, I can rock with the sock, but I'm straight and narrow like a 2x4, brotherz. I mean, there was the office incident, but that was photoshopped, fo sho. I even assed all my photoshop engineer friendz and they sayed it was totally. So you know, don't fuck which me.

Jul 13 11 - 8:12pm
Robert Paulsen

Rilly guys, I didn't mean what I said before. I'm totally normal, none of the shit going on that I inferred or explicitly provided before, net less those substantiated by pictures. And some of those pictures were photoshopped, God's hand truth, it wasn't me in them. So, in conclusion, I'm not a sexual deviant, not much at all.

Jul 07 11 - 2:56pm

April and Patrick seem like they are trying to hard to be like Brooklyn hipsters. But everyone seemed nice, actually. Colin is awesome. This forward midwesterner would have totally asked him out, back when I was single.

Jul 07 11 - 4:11pm

I don't have particularly high standards for my Talking to Strangers, but this was easily the most boring one I've ever read. And I've read a lot.

Jul 12 11 - 8:08pm
John Son

Clearly you need to spend less time posting and more time reading.

Jul 07 11 - 5:14pm

Brittany has lovely boobies. If she ever wants to learn to play field hockey :D

Jul 11 11 - 5:06pm

Brittany is a cutie. Probably the best looking one in the bunch.

Jul 07 11 - 5:18pm

people who are just more interesting then you does not qualify for hipster. just makes them more interesting then you.

Jul 07 11 - 11:38pm


Jul 08 11 - 9:26am


Jul 12 11 - 10:33pm

... than yup than fucking morons. I kill you!

Jul 07 11 - 11:15pm

April's top and hairdo were last seen on an episode of Little House on the Prairie.

She is completely trite.

Jul 10 11 - 6:41pm
el profe

She and Patrick need to be punched.

Jul 11 11 - 10:41pm
Robert Paulsen

And I'm just the man for it.

Jul 08 11 - 12:26am

That snoring dealbreaker will get me every time. Why don't snoring guys get just a tad of sympathy? It's not their fault. It's not a dealbreaker if a woman is a chronic sleep-farter.

Jul 12 11 - 10:36pm

But, Henry. You claim "it ain't so" yet my dear old spouse likes to sleep oppositely oriented to me, pillow to feet. Yes, we don't you mind the feet, we bathe every evening and twice on Sundays, praise Jesus. But the random overnight expellent of flatus is, in my own opinion, a "deal breaker", and had I known before I put a ring on the bitch I would certainly have purchased a colon vacuum pump.

Jul 08 11 - 4:18am

I second what Patrick said about girls with small dogs. That's a huge red flag

Jul 12 11 - 10:38pm

"dogs"... covert operative word for "drippin' wet box", right guys?

Jul 12 11 - 8:25pm

I also made out in a movie theater watching Hero, and I'm also 22 years old. Good times.

Jul 12 11 - 10:03pm

What a hack and cliche list of comments.

Sep 11 11 - 4:33am

very interesting, thanks