Talking to Strangers: Chicago Pride Parade Edition

Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

By Ruth Tam

Michelle, 32

What do you do?
I'm a project manager for a print company.

What's your sexual orientation?

What's your relationship status?
Dating. It's going well; it's my first relationship.

What attracted you to him?
A good body. I'm just going to be honest. And creativity! I wanted somebody in the creative field.

How do you impress guys?
You've got to play it cool. Got to fuckin' play it cool. Women are crazy; you can't act crazy. Just act fuckin' normal.

Any embarrassing or funny hookup stories?
Well, my embarrassing one: I was hooking up with somebody, and he threw up, and he tried to eat me out afterwards, and I was like, "Get the fuck out of there!" And that was the end of that. That was a friends-with-benefits relationship. Oh, I've hooked up with a couple of C-list TV stars. That's always worth it. They always try really hard, because they know you're going to tell your friends and they know you're going to blog about it.

Can I get any names?
Nah, I can't give you any names. They're in commercials and bad TV shows.

Are they as good-looking in real life as they are on TV?
No, they put on a lot of makeup. Maybe I should have made them put on more makeup before I went to bed with them.

But they don't disappoint?
No! That's why I hook up with them. I wouldn't hook up with anyone ugly.

Where do you meet these C-list celebrities?
Just around town! The older you get, the more time you put under your belt. When I was twenty-two, I was like, "I never meet anyone famous!" and now I'm thirty-two and I'm like, "Oh, I know that person." You just have to put your time in.

What's the most unusual place you've had sex with a C-list celebrity?
In a hammock. And I do not suggest it. It's the worst! You can't get good leverage and there are ropes everywhere. Hammocks are bad.

What's the craziest thing you've done to get laid?
Wearing a lot of balloons at the pride parade? No... just drinking. Drinking all the time. Oh, I broke into somebody's house. I told him I lost my keys and needed somewhere to sleep, so I broke into his house.

Did that work?
It didn't work. We snuggled in his bed.

Well, at least he welcomed you in after all that.
Yeah, he let me in. Actually, his landlady let me in. That's the most embarrassing part.

Gay marriage was just made legal in New York. Do you think it'll happen here?
Thank God! And yeah, I give it a year. Five years, max.

Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago, is the grand marshal of this parade. Would you have sex with him?
Only with that weird finger that he's got. That weird missing-finger nub? Yeah, I would let that happen. He kind of looks like Skeletor.


Tom, 41

What's your sexual orientation?
I'm gay.

What do you look for in a guy?
A guy who is all about commitment, mutual understanding, and going along for a fun ride in life.

How do you impress someone like that?
I'm a hopeless romantic, so I'm all about just getting to know somebody — getting to know where they came from, who they are, what they do, and whether we have mutual interests. Then if we click, we click!

That's almost old-fashioned these days.
I don't know if it's necessarily old-fashioned. Some people tend to think it is, but I think there are more people out there who want it than don't. We tend to forget the simple things in life. Family, friends, love, mutual respect, and understanding. And just plain fun.

Sounds good to me! Any embarrassing hookup stories?
There was one time when a couple friends of mine took a dare to see who would be a better kisser: a gay guy or a straight guy. I won.

Nice! How many people did you have to kiss?
Five or six.

What are the rules of a kissing contest? You kiss the judges, and then they decide the winner?
Yeah, that was about right. It's totally harmless, totally fun. That's what life has to be about. You need a good laugh.

What's the most unusual place you've had sex?
In an elevator on the way up to the CN Tower. Unfortunate, the elevator malfunctioned a little — it stopped in-between floors. Oops! We got in a little trouble, but it was well worth it.

What's the most desperate thing you've done to get laid?
You know, I'm pretty vanilla. I don't know if I believe in crazy or desperate. It's just natural attraction. If it clicks, it's right there in front of you.

Do you believe in love at first sight?
Yes. It may be the hopeless romantic in me, but I think you can look at a person and see their smile and see how genuine they are inside.

Do you believe in soulmates then?
Yeah, I do. I believed at one point that I had a soulmate and that didn't work out, but sometimes that's what life does to you. Sometimes life just kind of takes you in a direction where you find that one person.

Gay marriage was just legalized in New York. Do you think it'll happen in Illinois?
I think it will. I was actually married in Toronto with a long-term partner who I was with for ten years. It was the first year same-sex marriage was legalized in Canada. Unfortunately, that didn't work out. With that, I was able to learn more about protections and freedom and respect for all people, and I really do believe that people need to wake up and realize that the freedoms in this country should be for everybody.

What did you learn from your first marriage?
I learned that sometimes people don't understand what commitment is, but I think you can find that in both a straight and a gay marriage. But I do believe that there are a lot of people who are in for the long haul, because I certainly was.


Angela, 28

What do you do?
I work at a hospital in Joliet.

What's your sexual orientation?
I'm bisexual.

So what's your relationship status now?
I'm married to a man. He's straight. I was actually dating someone at the time and I cheated on him with my current husband.

How does your current husband feel about the fact that you cheated on someone with him?
He said, "Either you take him or you take me." But honestly, I was so sick of the bullshit that was going on with my ex after three years that I decided to say "fuck it" and take a chance.

What does it take to be in a committed marriage?
Holy fuck, I don't even know how to answer that. I was in love. I was crazy. I want it all. I want bitches; I want men. I think our next step is a threesome with another chick.

Have you ever been in a threesome before?
Absolutely not, but I'm willing to do one right now with you.

I'm flattered — do you think your husband would be up for that?
Uh, absolutely.

How long have you been married?
Five years.

Yeah, sure.

What's the difference between being with girls and being with guys?
Well, I'm attracted to both, so it really doesn't matter. I love males, but I think women are sexy as hell and I will basically do whatever it takes to get with either-or. Besides the obvious reasons, I think women are more intimate and men just want to like, get you in the ass and call you "slut" and shit. Women are more intimate. I love grabbin' titties... can I say that?

You can say whatever!
I can say whatever! Fuck it, then! Shit! Hell yeah! I love suckin' titties, I love suckin' pussy, I love suckin' it all.

Any crazy hookup stories?
I had sex in a mall bathroom one time. That was kind of fun. I just kind of grabbed her and uh, stuff happened.

Has anyone ever offended you in bed?
Absolutely not. It's hard to offend me.

Gay marriage was just made legal in New York. Do you think it'll happen here?
Absolutely. I think it should! I think you should be happy no matter what you are or who you are.


Commentarium (69 Comments)

Jun 28 11 - 12:37am

You picked a hell of a week to not be in New York!

Also -- lotta straight people at Chicago pride, huh?

Jun 28 11 - 10:13pm

was thinking the same thing...come on, nerve! just for pride week, could you have a few more queer people??

Jun 28 11 - 12:47am

These ones rocked. also it was refreshing as hell to hear Richard acknowledge that this generation has a hell of a lot of problems, as opposed to the typical "back in my day..."

PS Grace and Angela are hot as hell
PPS Johnny's a hilarious dude

Jun 29 11 - 2:32pm

@......: Did you actually read the interviews? It's Rudy, not Richard, and what he said was "The new generation has a lot of dealin' to do with life. Quite a few more things to deal with than I had to deal with." In other words, "back in my day..."

Jun 28 11 - 6:16am

Jesus, does Michelle come off like an absolute train wreck to anybody else?

Jun 28 11 - 12:49pm

ok, ok, i played it up a little b/c who wants to read boring sex stories? You can't keep it classy all the time, Duh. Sometimes you gotta handle your fun like you handle your business. Thanks for your concern, but i'm still on the tracks.

Jun 28 11 - 5:17pm

Nice to see you here Michelle. Now some advice - next time you try it in a hammock, do it standing up.

Jun 28 11 - 9:58pm
aly monster

if by train wreck you mean ridiculously funny, crazy talented, smart, selfless, adventurous, fearless, strong, independent, wild, educated, opinionated, honest, well spoken, and overall a real doll to be around, then yes....i too think michelle is a train wreck. michelle is a leader amongst not only her friends but also to the community with the multitude of events that she coordinates and participates in. she is truly an inspiration, a lovely lady, and a scholar. okay the "lady" part might be a stretch, but the rest has been an understatement to what a truly amazing put together person she is. in conclusion, to all you cumquats out there sippin on the haterade, being judgey is a slippery slope, take a mental note. i know from experience. also, i hope your babies look like monkeys.

Jun 29 11 - 11:08am

@aly monster -
the vast, VAST majority of the folks interviewed (here and in the past) are probably standup individuals. The impression someone makes in a 5 minute interview is only ever going a brief snapshot of who that person is, the mood they were in, and the way that the author wants to spin the character that person creates.

But by agreeing to the interview, all the interviewees implicitly agree to the idea that the character they provide will be put up for anonymous and uber-critical judgment by the rest of us on the internets. It's what makes the web a playground. Be cool with it, or for your sake, never visit 4chan.

Jun 30 11 - 3:55am
aly monster

agreed. just wasnt gonna let my home skillet get torn apart without an opinon on the matter. i have no idea what 4chan is. im slightly more tech savvy than my 65 year old father who clicks on gambling pop ups all the time and thinks he is going to win millions some day. last time i went home he had a speech prepared for when the publishers clearing house comes to drop off his crazy oversized check. real life. my life. the internets is no place for me though, you are right. i prefer books. oh, and masturbating, sometimes with a sandwich in one hand.

Jun 28 11 - 6:24am

Really? Not too many gays at pride this year, just drunk and maladapted straight people.

Jun 28 11 - 8:24pm

yes yes yes, yes.

Jun 28 11 - 6:26am

So now I'm curious, how hot is Ruth?

Jun 28 11 - 8:28am

Clearly, "very"

Jun 28 11 - 7:07am

Nerve. Really? You went to the fucking gay pride parade and interviewed almost all straight people? There's never any homos in this feature on the regular, and we can't even get them when you go to a fucking pride parade?

Jun 28 11 - 7:18am

Johnny is a rainbow despite what he claims.

Jun 28 11 - 9:43am

I have a hard time believing Johnny is straight.

Jun 28 11 - 10:28am

Oh, please, SanClair. I agree that it is a bit weird that so many straight people are featured in a Pride edition of TTS, but it is definitely not true that there are "never any homos on the regular." A number of recent editions have featured lesbian couples. Nerve is a super gay-friendly site... why bother fretting at allies like this?

Jun 28 11 - 1:09pm
some bitchcunt

if straight people didn't go to pride it would have no potential to be a massive celebration. get over yourself

Jun 28 11 - 3:39pm
Tina Yothers

This group is half straight and half gay. Gay rights takes a step backwards every time someone writes an annoying comment like that.

Jun 28 11 - 4:50pm

It has one gay person and one bisexual person. It's not even approaching half gay, and it's not half LGBT.

Human rights take a step backwards every time someone doesn't understand fractions.

Jun 28 11 - 4:52pm

And some bitchcunt -- we don't need to you to deign to help us beef up our numbers, thanks. I wouldn't show up at the PR Pride Parade to help make it a more massive celebration.

Jun 30 11 - 3:04am

No lesbians, just one bisexual who reinforces every negative stereotype in the book about bisexual women? Awesome.

Jun 28 11 - 7:13am

How about that Rudy. You 're a top bloke my brother..

Jun 28 11 - 2:50pm

Initially I thought he was a bit creepy, but now I think he is my new hero

Jun 28 11 - 8:39am

Angela, you are everything I ever fantacize about in a woman!

Jun 28 11 - 8:56am

God yes! Beautiful, bi, and knows what she likes!

Jun 28 11 - 10:43am

You two can have her. She reads like a caricature of an actual human being.

Jun 28 11 - 11:17am

I agree with @wow.

Jun 28 11 - 1:19pm

I bet she's great in bed

Jun 28 11 - 2:28pm

She seems like a totally fucking nut and not in a good way. Probably would be the most regrettable fuck you'd have.

Jun 28 11 - 3:40pm

Your dog would be dead within a week of sleeping with her. But the sex would be fantastic.

Jun 29 11 - 2:25pm

I was pretty dismissive of her too, until the very last quote: "I think you should be happy no matter what you are or who you are." That is truly profound. If more people actually believed that, we would have a much better society, regardless of how messed up each of us is individually.

Jul 03 11 - 11:29am

Truly profound in a Mr. Rogers' kind of way.

Jun 28 11 - 9:08am

Michelle is off-putting. Angela and Grace are babes, but seem silly to wife it up.

Jun 28 11 - 10:30am

Angela is beautiful. great pic. She seems very cool.

Jun 28 11 - 10:31am

Michelle is in her first relationship at 32. TROUBLE!

Jun 28 11 - 12:38pm

yes? oh, i heard "Trouble" and I thought you called my name. to my credit, it was loud but i'm pretty sure i said it was my first "good" relationship...

Jun 28 11 - 1:31pm


Jun 28 11 - 1:33pm

Actually, you didn't say first "ggod" relationship. So, that's what got me confused. You seem pretty cool and a bit outrageous in a fun way!

Jun 28 11 - 1:36pm

And , actually, your vomit story is hilarious! I can't imagine why you wouldn't have wanted the guy to go down on you!

Jun 28 11 - 12:37pm

to be clear: a SEXY Skeletor.

Jun 28 11 - 5:58pm

I loved that part, lol.

Jun 28 11 - 12:39pm

Angela seemed hot at first but then by the end of her interview I found her to be a little crass. Maybe she was drunk. Also beware the faux lesbo! I am serious - some gals claim to be bi, but when it all comes down to it they've only had relationships with men.

Jun 28 11 - 1:56pm

That doesn't mean they haven't had sex with women. One of the stigmas that tends to surround bi people is that they're just faking, which I've never fully understood. Sexuality is fluid and I think it's possible to go through stages or perhaps to love one person only of the opposite gender or any myriad of combinations.

Jun 28 11 - 2:22pm

Love how self-effacing and candid that Michelle girl is. She seems to have a good sense of humor about everything which I think is key to not being labeled a 'slut'. She seems candid about her exploits....I always marvel at girls that come off 'liberated' as opposed to 'skanky'. Get it girl!

Jun 28 11 - 2:32pm

Angela seems like a total wreck. Grace seems a little more grounded but even that is questionable. I'd put it in both of them but I'd have to become a raging alcoholic to actually see them for a second time.

Jun 28 11 - 3:12pm

I'd say Michelle is a hot mess, but, man, seeing Angela bit her lip...OMG!!!

Jun 29 11 - 12:44am

Ha. Angela wants to fuck everyone & Michelle is a hot mess for admitting that she wouldn't let puke-mouth eat her out? Or for admitting the kind of funny way she didn't get laid? Maybe we should all just bite our lips for the photo-op...that would totally obscure the ridiculousness of all responses. It's interesting that Grace fucks people on dance floors & in hostel rooms full of strangers, but Michelle is the hot mess so far as you all can surmise. Oh America! I love the availability of bandwagons to jump on.

Jun 28 11 - 3:28pm
Vinegar Bend

Angela is sort of breathtakingly gorgeous but frankly a bit frightening. Grace might be adorable.

Jun 28 11 - 5:02pm

Which is exactly why Angela is so incredibly hot. She's a little scary on top of being beautiful. Definitely an erotic twist.

Jun 28 11 - 6:01pm

Yeah. Anglea is the kind of woman who will eat you for breakfast and spit you out for lunch. Definately scary sexy.

Jun 28 11 - 6:51pm

She's scary and that's erotic? Huh? I guess if you're into S&M a relationship with her would be a, more like M&M...but if you're into love she might burn you out - kinda like napalm.

Jun 28 11 - 6:56pm

Sorry Angela - maybe that was a little mean. I don't know you - and hope there's a lot more to you than you exposed.

Jun 28 11 - 6:57pm

I didn't say erotic; I said sexy. They are not necessarily the same thing. Wonder exactly what she does in the hospital in Joliet.

Jun 28 11 - 8:12pm

What? Sexy in a femme fatale kind of way. This is not revolutionary shit.

P.S. I feel special, someone took my name :)

Jun 28 11 - 9:30pm

Maybe a little femme Fatale-ish. But, more like a tough chick.

Jun 28 11 - 5:33pm

I love Rudy's honesty. "How do you impress someone like that? With my fingers crossed."

Jun 28 11 - 6:52pm

Rudy's very cool. Man, really sorry to hear about your wife though. Life can be hard.

Jun 28 11 - 8:07pm

You mean Rudy's wife I hope. Mine was still alive and kicking last time I talked to her!

Jun 28 11 - 6:23pm

So I guess hitting on the interviewer is the new trend with this column? Man, never saw that coming.

Tom, Rudy, and Johnny are all cool. Michelle reminds me of a lot of girls I know in their early 30's trying too hard. Angela is mile long trainwreck waiting to happen. And Grace is like, perfection. I'm going to be over in a puddle on the floor, trying to collect myself.

Jun 28 11 - 11:02pm

Michelle, you can break into my house anytime, girl. Also, my finger resembles Rahm's...insta-shocker. GET IT.

Jun 28 11 - 11:37pm

Michelle is the hottest. Gurl, I'll give you a purple key robe and a whiskey on the rocks to break in!

Jun 29 11 - 9:29pm

Tom's teeth, especially that one front tooth, are distracting.

Jun 29 11 - 11:51pm

He should have them fixed if he can.\

Jun 30 11 - 4:11am

"A lot of girls in their early 30s, trying too hard"??

I think you mean "a lot of girls in their early 30s – confident."

Can't win with some people.

Jul 01 11 - 12:25am
el profe

Angela is perfection.

Jul 04 11 - 4:03pm

I like the two random dudes looking up behind Michelle in the picture.

Sep 29 11 - 2:43pm

angee call me!!!