Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: Atlanta, GA

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Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

Leili, 22

What do you do for a living?
I'm a part-time nanny, a part-time waitress, and I do research on post-traumatic stress disorder.

Do any of those jobs get you dates?
No, they don't.

Have you ever slept with the dad of someone you were nannying for?
No. Definitely not. There haven't even been any hot dads that I would consider sleeping with.

Have cute people ever come into the restaurant and left their phone numbers or anything?
No, nothing's happened like that. That'd be nice, but it's sort of a strange vibe at Rise 'n Dine because they're either Emory students, which are usually younger so I'm not interested and they're just so annoying, or it's people from the neighborhood who have wives and children, so I'm not going to bother with that.

If you aren't meeting people at work, how are you meeting them, or are you?
I'm not really meeting any new people, no. I've met some new people through coworkers at the restaurant, but not anyone I'm interested in.

Do you have any crazy hook-up stories?
I had a pretty great tryst with a Frenchman when I was abroad. I was at a nightclub in Prague and I spied, across the dance floor, this really cute guy. I was super-attracted to him. I think I had a cigarette, and I saw him smoking, so I went up to see if he had a lighter. There's a stereotype that French people don't like people who don't speak French; they don't like Americans; and they're sort of stuck up about it. But it seemed to work out fine. So the moral of the story is you either talk to the cute guy and he says no, or you talk to the cute guy and you get a free weekend in France with a super-sexy guy. That's how I weigh it now when I'm out.

Do French guys do it differently?
No. I mean, if I take him as an example, he's great at it. I've had more experiences in America, so I think I'd say America's the best. But in the context of how everything went in France, I think I'd have to say that.

When was the last time you had sex?
This summer, the end of August. One of my friend's really good friends from high school. We went and stayed at his parents' house on the coast. He goes to school in Oregon.

Out-of-town hookups are always the best.
Oh, yeah, they're great. One potentially might happen this weekend when we go to New York. My friend's brother. We hooked up earlier, but I haven't spoken to him at all since I saw him over graduation weekend. It's hard to meet new people.


Ryan, 22

What do you do for a living?
I work for a skate company. It's mail-order. So I just kind of skate and smoke weed.

Does that get you laid?
Not necessarily. I don't really know if skateboarding's terribly attractive.

It's not sexy anymore? Maybe it was in the nineties.
Maybe a couple of years ago during the big boom, '99 into the early '00s. Not necessarily anymore.

Are you looking for someone now?
Not really. I'm pretty busy. I work and I go to school. I don't really have time to do much else so I can't imagine maintaining a relationship.

What's the sexiest non-sex thing you can think of? My personal one is breakfast.
I'd say movies. There's a skate company called Hubba and they have really racy ads. Anything that's unexpected. You're flipping through a magazine and you're like, "What is that?"

If you were going to take someone on a date, where would you go?
I'm really bad about dates. I'm terrible about going places. I would assume somewhere to eat initially. I had a really good portabello-mushroom sandwich at the Bookhouse recently, so maybe there. They don't have PBR; they have nice beers. The food's kind of nice. I would say there, because it's not terribly expensive and it would be a good first date. Or maybe a movie.

Are there particular characteristics that you look for in somebody?
Not necessarily. I like a wide variety of things. As long as you're interested in something — if you have a hobby. A lot of people don't have hobbies, so as long as you have a serious interest in something, that normally works out well.

What about physical appearance?
I like brown-skinned girls. If I watched a reality show it would be Keeping up with the Kardashians. I don't have cable, but when I go home to my mom's house, and if it's a Sunday and there's a marathon, and I see all the Kardashians and they're all beautiful — the mom's beautiful — I just want to find a nice…

What are they, Armenian? I just want to find a nice Armenian girl. I want her to take care of me. The Kardashian girls are well-off. I want to find a nice Armenian girl who's got money and maybe wants to care for me. Maybe one day. That's my fantasy. To find an Armenian somewhere. Or a Persian. I don't really know where the Persians hang out. I'm going to find out, though. Or Brazilian. If I could find a nice Brazilian girl. And Brazil's the place to be nowadays; their economy's on the kickstart. If I go to Brazil and find a nice lady, she's probably going to have a nice job and maybe she'll want to take care of me.


Melissa, 33

What do you do for a living?
I'm a massage therapist.

I bet that gets you laid all the time.
Not really.

When was the last time you had sex?
A week ago.

Boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, random hookup?
Last time was an ex-boyfriend. But before that it was this guy that I see.

If you're out looking for a guy, what kind of superficial attributes are going to attract you?
I like tall, dark and handsome. He's got his wits about him. He needs to have a sense of humor and be a little dirty.

Are you adventurous in bed?
Totally. I'll try anything once. I like sex in public places. I like it to be a little risqué; maybe we'll get caught.

What's the most public place you've ever done it?
A fitting room in the Gap.

The Gap?
The Gap. It's called that for a reason.

So there was a fitting-room attendant who saw you go into the room together and she was cool with that?
Yeah. I was like, "Can we go in together? We have to approve each other's outfits." That was a boyfriend. You've got to treat the guys good when you're with them.

What's the longest relationship you've been in?
Seven years.

Why did it end?
We grew apart. We were in our twenties. When you're in your twenties that just kind of happens. No regrets.

Are you looking for someone now?
Nope. I like being single. If I meet somebody, maybe. But I'm just having fun. Just being completely in yourself and not having to worry about somebody else's needs. Not that I mind that, but it's nice to be all in yourself for a minute and take a breather.

Do you have a vibrator?

How many times a week do you get off?
Whenever I get the urge. I go a few days. If there's a guy who I'm really into, I'll be crazy. I'll want to have sex all the time. But if it's just me, you know, just whenever I feel the urge.


Rick, 25

What do you do for a living?
I'm in graphic-design school.

Does that get you any dates?
It doesn't really. I can't date within the school because it would just make things awkward.

Have you ever hooked up with a guy?
Yeah, I did in college. It was four years ago.

Was it a group thing or one-on-one?
Just one-on-one. We had this really weird gay tension, and then we just made out one night.

Where are you from?
Macon, Georgia.

How do you find the dating scene here compared to there?
I don't get to get out a lot, so a lot of people I date are friends of friends. But there are a lot of really cute girls here that I definitely would like to date. I just don't really approach them because I'm focused on my career. It sounds lame, but that's how it is.

What physical characteristics do you like in a girl?
A lot of facial features. I really like a girl who doesn't wear a lot of makeup. I know a bunch of girls who, when it's their time to go out, they put on all this fucking makeup, and I think they're more attractive when they're just at school hanging out.

Is there anything kinky that you like in bed?
Yeah, it's really weird, I don't know if I want to say it.

Say it.
I guess when I'm doing a girl from behind and she fingers my asshole.

What's the sexiest non-sex thing you can think of?
I really like girls who draw. Girls who are really good at artistic stuff. I saw this girl who's a graphic designer. She had her website up and she drew her wardrobes for days of the week, and it was really hot. I liked the way she drew herself; I liked the colors and the stuff she wore. Definitely girls who are on top of fashion and wear really cute stuff.


Claire, 22

What do you do for a living?
I'm an actress. I'm also a nanny. And any other job that's willing to pay me. Random paperwork, elevator operator, all sorts of random shit.

Have you ever dated or hooked up with anyone you were in a play with?
No, because the boys are either gay or I was just not into them. I don't like theater people. If they're straight they're generally obnoxious and think they deserve all the girls, because they've been getting all the girls, because they're straight. I think the closest to that was a guy who worked on one of my shows. We started hanging out because of that and then hooked up way later.

He was a grip or something?
Yeah, he was a tech dude.

That's hot.
I know.

Everybody has a hookup or a relationship that they look back on and say, "What was I thinking?"
I was in a relationship for a really, really, really long time, then I went a little bit crazy after it. So there were definitely a few boys that I was like, "That was stupid."

I have a friend who calls that a trampage.
I definitely went on a bit of a trampage. I guess my one that I wish didn't happen was that guy I was talking about, because he had a girlfriend. I was like, "This can never happen again. I'm not that type of girl." Then it happened six months later and I was like, "This can definitely never happen again." And I haven't spoken to him since.

Was she long-distance?
Sort of. When it first happened, she was in school up in Athens. But then the second time… it was always a retardedly drunk hookup; it was never deliberate. But I kind of look at that like, ugh. Mostly because I recently found out I may have been the first person that he cheated with, and then he went on a trampage whilst still with this girl. Living with her. Bad. Bad. Ew.

Have you ever cheated or been cheated on?

Do you think you ever would?
I think there's a possibility. But I'm the kind of person who — even in situations where I really want it — if I'm really serious with somebody, the guilt factor is just too much for me. In that situation with the guy, where I knew he had a girlfriend, I gave him about fifteen-hundred chances to say no, because I knew what was happening was shitty. Then the next day I was like, "I can't be that girl. I don't want to be that girl."

What do you find attractive in someone?
I would say confident, outgoing, and funny. But I always I end up with the super-sensitive guys. I don't even know they're sensitive until two months in. I might think they're the biggest dude, and then all of a sudden they're crying.

Isn't that how it goes, though? The more abrasive and standoffish they are in everyday life, the weepier with their girlfriends?
Maybe. I'm just now in something consistent for the first time since I broke up with my ex, which was almost two years ago. Even now, I'm in something consistent, but I'm like, "Bleh, we're not dating." We are dating. We're definitely, definitely dating, but we're not boyfriend and girlfriend.

So will you sleep with other people?
At this point, since it's been seven months, I wouldn't sleep with anybody else. But I have stupidly made out with a couple of people. But not in an attempt to take them home. Friends. DFMOs — Dance Floor Make Outs. I wouldn't sleep with somebody else, but I haven't been in a situation where I could sleep with someone else.

Do you think he's sleeping with anyone else?
I don't think he's sleeping with anybody else. If I found out he was, I think it would really upset me, but I wouldn't have grounds to be really upset with him if he made out with some girl. It would hurt me, but I wouldn't be like, "I can't believe you did that!"


Joey, 25

Hey, girl!

Are you drunk right now?

What's your best pick-up line?
Nice shoes. Wanna fuck?

How often does that work?
Sixty percent of the time.

When was your last relationship?
Rachel. I wooed her with my cooking.

What did you cook?
Chicken parmesan. I cooked for her and she fell for me.

But you're not together anymore. What happened?

Physical or emotional?
She lives in Miami.

Did anybody cheat on anybody else?
No, no. It was a very honest, open relationship. Not an open relationship, but we were honest with each other.

Have you ever cheated or been cheated on?
Haven't cheated, have been cheated on.

Who was it?
We don't mention her name anymore.

How long ago was it?
Junior year of high school.

What happened?
Really? All of this is going to make me send some drunk text messages tonight. Let's move on.

What are you looking for in the next person you date? By the way, people often think that I'm hitting on them when I interview them. And that's not what's happening right now.
I'm looking for a girl with a green shirt and long, dark hair.

Actually, this color is more blue.
A blue shirt. I don't know. Someone who makes me happy. You can't put a price on that.

What about superficial things that you find attractive?
Hot and dumb.

So blonde, big boobs, wears a lot of pink.

One last question: what do you do for a living?
Your mom.

Interviews and photography by Acree Graham. Want to talk to strangers in your town? Email