Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: Boston, MA

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Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

Matthew, 27

What's the dating scene like in Boston, in your experience? Any dates you can tell me about in particular?
I can only speak for the gay dating scene, which seems fairly nonexistent. There's hooking up with someone and there's living together. There really doesn't seem to be a middle ground.

Interesting. How do you go about impressing the gentlemen?
Haha, I refuse to try, which is sort of intentional, I guess. I wear my personality and opinions on my sleeve and it weeds out the people who don't share the same attitude towards life. Nothing shuts me down faster than someone trying to "impress" me, so I assume the same applies in return.

Do you have any good hookup stories?
Oh boy. How much time do you have? Young gays look at sex like an enjoyable pastime. I don't think there's the same sense of scandalousness that you might find in the straight scene. If a girl whores around, people talk; if a guy gets around, women are fairly repulsed. When the entire cast is made up of drunk, young, single guys, who work out as much as they can, who are as horny as an entire high-school marching band, nothing else really factors in. No one thinks twice about hooking up. We all like attention, everyone enjoys getting busy, and in this environment, without a woman present who has enough sense to say, "No, we should wait," the gays say, "Hi, you'll do." Therefore, bathrooms, nightclubs, parking lots, alleys, beaches, you name it. If there's even a moderate chance at some privacy, we'll give it a shot.

Has anyone ever offended you in the bedroom? Or, uh, on the beach?
There was one "experience" where clearly this was going to be a one-time casual encounter, if you will. He was handsome, visiting Boston, and we had met at a bar, because that's how classy people do it. He was Middle Eastern. This was a first for me, but I was game to give it a try. Mom always said, "Don't knock it until you try it," so I was just doing as I had been taught. I can only say that in very short time I began to feel like a mail-order bride on her wedding night. He was forceful, demanding, and clearly knew what he was interested in doing — which, by the way, was not the same thing I was interested in doing — and after several attempts to physically drop hints, dissuade his attempts at certain acts, giving all the signs I could, to let him know that I wasn't interested in being told where to put what, with a total lack of consideration for my "enjoyment" or fun. I pretty much lost my patience, hurled myself out of the bed, grabbed his clothes, handed them to him, and walked this naked guy out of my apartment.

What's the craziest thing you've done to get laid?
I wish I had the energy to be crazy trying to get laid, but ultimately — if it takes much work — I give up easily. There's always tomorrow, like Annie says… I did use the excuse that I couldn't hang out with this one guy, because my "roommate" was home. We had gone on a few dates. It wasn't going anywhere, I wasn't really into it. But we had hooked-up once before and this kid was looking to hang out again. Turns out he parked in front of my house for like six hours waiting for my roommate to leave. He finally texted me all pissed off when he saw my roommate arrive home. Creeper.

Do you have any dating dealbreakers?
Drugs. Definitely drugs. I have no patience for that lifestyle or the people who need 'em to enjoy a night out. He can't be gayer than me. And if he thinks he's the shit, chances are I don't.

NEXT: "We pretend we're other people. I'll wear my uniform and she'll be a lonely passenger on my train."

Ron, 48

So, you said you're married. How did you meet your wife?
I was bartending at a nightclub and she came in on her birthday.

Did she hit on you? Did you buy her a drink for her birthday?
Well, she doesn't drink. She was there with her friends and cousins, and then I would see her around later at certain nightclubs, and we just got to know each other.

How did you know that she was the one you wanted to marry?
That's a good question. I just couldn't stop thinking about her. She was the first person I ever bought anything for — a nice necklace for her birthday. I spent almost every waking moment thinking about her. I couldn't get her out of my mind. We got along so well, and we're polar opposites, so that was amazing.

Do you think it was love at first sight?
No, I don't think it was. But it actually was pretty quick.

How long have you been married for?
Twenty-one years. And we have two kids.

Wow! So, what advice would you give to people who are looking to find their soulmate or to settle down?
I always tell people, "Don't crowd someone." Give them their own space. I'm more of a loner, and she's a social butterfly, and it works out well for us. Always has. And trust. I trust her with my life. And I'd never said that about anybody outside of my immediate family.

After twenty-one years, how do you keep a marriage passionate?
She still just gets me going. She's a very good-looking woman. I'm trying to keep it clean, but… well, we do things like role-playing. We pretend we're other people. I'll wear my uniform and she'll be a lonely passenger on my train. Crazy things like that. Or, I'll come home and she'll have something set up for me. I like — and she's not like this — but I like goth-type chicks and she'll dress up like a goth chick for me. And that drives me crazy. She's really cool.

Sounds like it. And what do you do for her?
Well, and I'm glad she's not around to hear this, but she likes to see me masturbate in front of her.

Anything romantic?
Well, of course. We like to go out dancing. Go out to plays.