Talking to Strangers: Atlanta, GA
Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.
What do you do for a living?
I'm a songwriter and a DJ.
Has that made dating easier? I'm sure women like musicians and DJs.
It's had no impact. I've never dated anyone because I was a musician or a DJ ever.
What's a dealbreaker for you?
There's so many. I have two dating questions that have to be answered correctly: who makes peanut butter cups?
Yes, you passed. But if you said "Reecee's," no way, it's a fucking dealbreaker. And I can probably tell you everything about your family, how your life was when you were a kid, everything, just with that one question. And then, a music-related question, but it's not as interesting. It's not important, but it's just things that you listen to growing up, and there are a large number of bands that if that was your favorite, I won't date you.
311. No question. Those are dealbreakers. But also, borderline personality disorder, being too clingy.
No, not on that one. Unintelligence is a turn off. A bad sense of humor is a bad turn off. Overly apologetic.
What's your current romantic status?
I'm in a relationship. We met at the bar I DJ at, but not because I was DJing. I met her outside while I wasn't working.
You don't think she was impressed with your DJ skills?
Not at all. I think she could care less.
How are things going with her?
I love her. I think she's awesome. She's my best friend. I don't have to go anywhere; I want to be with her.
Is it rare to find that type of friendship with someone you're dating?
It's my first time in thirty years. I don't think it's easy at all. You can find people you're attracted to or people you like being with, but not all the time. I value my alone time, and this is the first time that I'd rather not be alone.
So you're kind of saying you don't want any space in this relationship?
For the first time, yes. I'm not kind of saying it, I'm saying it.
Sounds like you're smitten.
Do you want to marry her?
If she'll let me, yes.
So what are your feelings about monogamy then?
Monogamy is the way to go. I don't think I know how to be in a relationship that's not monogamous. Nor do I want to be. I don't think I would value that person. I wouldn't be capable of trust and love with someone I wasn't monogamous with. Or, it would just be sex-centered and all about pleasure, and I don't think relationships and love are all about pleasing yourself.
What's the last romantic thing you did for this woman?
I don't know how romantic a guy I am. I've made her bed every day for the past eight months.
She's never made her bed. I actually think that's pretty romantic, because people like getting into a made bed and not a messy bed. But that's more for her and not for me. I've bought her flowers, but I don't think that competes, personally. It's about smaller things.
So how would you describe your sex life?
Private. But... yeah, private.
So have you written a song about her?
Not for her, but about her, yes. And I think they're two different things. You can write a song for somebody, and you can write a song about somebody.
How is that different?
It's for me, or for someone else. But it's not for her. It just happens to be about her.
Is she going to hear it at some point?
She already has. She just doesn't know it. No, I've never sat down one-on-one like fucking "My So Called Life" on MTV and played the song for her. I have played it at a show, and she's heard it but didn't realize it.
What do you do for a living?
I'm an international sales rep.
Does that get you laid?
When was the last time you had sex?
Sunday. I was really wasted. We went back to my place.
Was this a booty call?
No, not exactly. We'd hung out before but that was the first time we slept together. We're kind of acquaintances, friends through friends. I kind of accidentally hung out with him one night. He works at a bar, so I kind of closed down the bar with him. I was hanging out with him and one of my friends. We went back to his place, drank wine, and watched the Muppets.
Do you like him?
Yeah. I'm going to see him this Sunday.
Are you looking for a relationship?
No. My last relationship ended in September, so I haven't been single for too terribly long. So no, I'm not looking for a relationship. That relationship lasted for about two years, and it just wasn't really going anywhere. It fizzled out. Nothing bad happened or anything.
Who broke up with whom?
I broke up with him over the phone.
Was it long-distance?
No, he lives here.
And you still broke up with him over the phone?
Yeah. We're still friends. He took it fine. He doesn't show emotions really.
Was it very serious?
Yes. His mom still contacts me, and we still hang out sometimes.
Have you slept together since you broke up?
No. When I'm done, I'm done.
Do you think he's still in love with you?
Maybe. Probably. I was his first serious girlfriend, so I'm pretty sure I'm the girl that he's going to compare everybody to. He'll compare every future relationship to this one, so yeah. I was his first girlfriend and first breakup.
But he wasn't your first.
No. I've had several serious relationships. I would say I'm probably a serial monogamist, since I was eighteen. Probably the longest I've been single between relationships is six months.
So we're approaching that mark. It's about time for you to get together with someone.
But it just happens. I don't plan on it. You hang out, then you slowly start to hang out every day, then you slowly start to sleep together at night, then you slowly start to eat dinner together every night. It's this weird, unplanned progression that I am consciously now trying to avoid getting into again. It starts feeling like a marriage, a routine. And that's not what I'm wanting.
What do you like and dislike about the Atlanta dating scene?
It's probably the places I go to, but I feel like the girl-to-guy ratio is in the guys' favor. I also feel like a lot of girls in Atlanta are... loosey-goosey? The guys here have a lot of girls at their disposal, let's put it that way. I think a lot of the guys I'm attracted to are the creative types. They're always broke or they don't have cars. So dating in Atlanta is very frustrating and limited. I don't go to places like Midtown or Buckhead where there are probably more successful young professionals. I did try dating a young professional once. He was cool, but I felt like he was looking to me to bring flavor into his life. The guys here in Atlanta who have their shit together and are successful are usually pretty dull. Conservative. Boring. At least the single ones. I usually try to sleep with people when I go out of town.
What do you do for a living?
I serve you at The Earl, as is happening here right now.
Does that get you laid?
No, never. I'm working; I'm not here to pick up people. I'm here to make money.
Describe your sexual persona as an animal.
So you're just going to maul someone?
Maybe. If that's what she's into. I think of a grizzly bear as, you see what you want, and you take it. Not in like a raping sense. Not that, okay?
What's the last relationship you were in?
Five months ago. I walked away because I wasn't happy. I love being single. It's way better. Summer's around, bathing suits, summer dresses, I'm into it.
Is it easy to get laid in Atlanta?
Well, there's Buford Highway, so you can always get laid for like $200.
Have you done that?
No, never. But some people I know have. But getting laid in Atlanta isn't bad. I mean, it just depends on what you're looking for. I don't really go out with the objective of getting laid, but if it happens, it happens. I'm not a scumbag.
You're not always inviting people back to your grizzly den?
To my cave? My man cave? No, not many people get to come home.
Do you prefer to stay at women's houses?
Yes. I love staying at women's houses because then I can leave whenever I want and I don't have to be like, "Can you go home now?" That's the worst.
What's something kinky you like to do in bed?
I can't answer that. It's a surprise! You'll have to find out. I have my ways. I don't know, I don't really plan anything. I just go with the flow. I'm into most anything. Why, what about you?
This isn't about me. What's the worst hookup experience you've ever had?
I woke up once not knowing where I was, butt naked, turned around and was like, "Hi, my name's Tommy." I had no recollection of where I was and I was really far from my house, so that kind of sucked.
Was it somewhere on Buford Highway?
No, never. Never that far. I try not to go anywhere outside the perimeter. It's bad news.
Have you ever had a threesome?
Yes. I've had a few. They're fun.
Is it typically two girls?
Always. No guys, no guys.
Isn't that a lot of work pleasing two women?
It depends. I guess. It's not that bad. It's a good balance if the girls are into each other. It makes it easier.
Any with lesbians?
Not that they told me, but it could've fooled me.
If you've had so many, are you constantly just going up to ladies and propositioning them for threesomes?
No, never. It's always been one girl approaching me asking me to join. It's never been, "Hey, you wanna pick that girl up?" A guy doesn't get to choose; it's always in the woman's hands.
What do you think about monogamy?
Monogamy is for people who are — I want to word this correctly. Monogamy is almost like people give up finding new and interesting things. They want to stay in the same category or the same life for their whole lives. I don't really agree with it. It's nice to wake up to the same woman, but it's very hard to be with one woman for eternity. It's very difficult. You argue, things don't go the way you like. Temptation. It's all about what you want personally. To each his own.
Can I get another High Life?