Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: Fort Worth, Texas

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“Would tonight be a possibility?” “Let’s not put the cart before the horse.”

Guy, 29 & Andrea, 30

What do you do?
Guy: I’m a funeral director.

I guess you don’t get many dates from that.
G: No, I don’t. Funeral-crashing is a big thing, though, like wedding-crashing.

You’re pulling my leg.
G: No, no, I don’t get many dates from my job at all.

Andrea, what do you do?
Andrea: To earn my keep, I’m a waitress. But I’m also a printmaker, an artist.
G: She actually just got back from Germany.

What was in Germany?
A: I did an art show. I do woodcuts mostly. I’m going into sculpture and installations. I got asked to go to Germany because of it, and while in Germany, got asked to go to Spain.

Congratulations. Now you’re back in Fort Worth. Do much dating here?
A: Yeah!

What about you, Guy?
G: I date a little bit. But our approach here in Fort Worth… There’s a huge significance put on being married earlier. My friends north of the Mason-Dixon don’t really want to be married until they’re 35. Here people want to be married at 25.

Neither of y’all are married, I take it.
G: No.
A: No thank you.

Marriage expectations…
G: I like new experiences and trying new things. If y’all want to breed and make your parents happy, that’s fine, but my intention is to be happy.

Okay, Guy, tell us about your most recent hookup.
G: [Turns to Andrea.] Actually it was you last time! We were here at this bar. Last month. We decided to run back to my place. [Pause.] I feel like I gave her an orgasm.
A: Oh, God. [Pause.] Yeah, you did.
G: Then I asked her if she wanted to hang out for the rest of the night.
A: I didn’t!
G: She said she wanted to go back to the bars. So we came back here, and then we parted our ways. It was a carnal pleasure. A sin of the skin.
A: Yeah, it went well. We’re hanging out tonight.
G: Would tonight be a possibility?
A: Let’s not put the cart before the horse.
G: Well, let’s just feel it out.
A: I’m kind of jet-lagged. And the night’s still young. [Waves to passerby.]
G: [Pause.] You have so many people to say Hi to.
A: Haha!

Have you been with anyone since him, Andrea?
A: No.

Guy, have you been with anyone since her?
G: No.
A: [Turns to Guy.] Yeah, right. Just say it. I’m not going to get my feelings hurt.
G: Honestly, no.
A: Well then what have you been doing?
G: Working my ass off!

So the hookup last month, what clinched the deal? You were talking at this bar, but then what made the hookup happen?
G: We actually weren’t talking all that much.
A: I don’t remember. I was drunk. Alcohol. Alcohol clinched the deal.

[Four women probably in their thirties pass by.]

G: They’ve got that Fort Worth style.

What makes them Fort Worth?
A: Because they’re middle-aged—
G: Big hair—
A: And a little overweight.
G: Quintessential Fort Worth style.

Y’all both from here?
A: Yes.
G: Born and raised. My family’s been here since the frontier days, 1860s.

How did y’all meet up tonight?
A: He called me. Because I called him last night.

Why did you call him last night?
A: To hook up! I had to go to sleep somehow.
G: I answered, but I was at my brother’s house.
A: So I took a Valium.

Is he a good kisser?
A: From what I remember.
G: From what you remember?
A: Yeah, you are.

Is she a good kisser?
G: Yes. Yes she is. Excelente.

 

Greg, 26

What do you do for a living?
I teach ballroom dancing.

Do you get many dates from that?
Never tried. I try to keep my professional and social lives separate.

Do you get a chance to show off your dancing when you go out?
Yeah, I’ll typically go country dancing. That’s what I started dancing in college. Billy Bob’s and Cadillac are typically the places I go.

Do you get many girls from the country dancing?
I dance with a lot of them, but I don’t typically try to “get” any of them.

Why not?
I don’t really have a chance to know anything about them from just talking or dancing with them.

You like to get to know them first.
Yes.

And that’s mandatory? Before, say, taking them back home?
I would not take them back home.

Really?
Yes.

Not many guys can say that.
More than you’d think.

Why do you choose that?
I was always raised to respect women as more than meaningless pursuits. Most of that has to do with the influence of my friends and the church I go to.

There’s a perception some people have that a conservative, religious—he’s going to be dorky, but clearly you know people here at this bar, you’ve got a draft beer there, you’re engaged socially. Does that surprise people, that you’ve got these conservative beliefs, and yet you go out to bars and socialize all the same?
I don’t think anyone would ever describe my life as anything but extroverted and social.

Have you ever had to turn down a girl who was making moves on you?
Typically, I’m never asked anything aloud, so I don’t have to turn anyone down. In a situation like that, if I just don’t pursue it, it doesn’t amount to anything.

So, no premarital sex is a pretty solid belief you have?
Yes.

Has that ever confronted you with difficulty dating—a lady wanting more?
Yes, it has. Typically the girls I will try to date are of like mind. But I also don’t cast judgment on anyone who has different views. I would never write somebody off because they didn’t feel the same way as I do. My last relationship was with a girl who had multiple sexual partners over the course of her dating life. It was not a deterrent from dating her. But inevitably—eventually, her desires didn’t match my direction and we ended the relationship for that reason.

I don’t think many guys could stick to their beliefs like that.
The only way I can stick to beliefs like that is to be surrounded by other guys who have that belief. No guy is capable of maintaining that alone. It’s no secret that guys desire sex, and there’s not a lesser desire for me or any of my friends. It’s only out of our faith and our direction in our spiritual walks that we’ve made that decision and asked for each other’s help.

Does this preclude masturbation?
I think there is a greater acceptance of the act of masturbation, but not a greater belief that it’s okay, if that makes sense.

Explain.
A majority of guys struggle with pornography or masturbation and out of that yields a desire for the actual experience. The basis of my faith’s stance on premarital sex is that the action of sex joins two bodies to make one. Masturbation is not sex, but if you continue to replicate the physical feelings, you’ll become weaker about abstaining from the actual action.

But this draft beer—You can get a little tipsy without getting drunk. Moderation?
So you’re asking me if I have a different view on drinking than on sex. I don’t. I believe everyone has their own limits. My only goal in life is to be a witness for Christ. Any action that lessens that witness is not beneficial and is beyond my limits.

How do you judge what your limits are for sex without having it?
My sex life is not pure. I’ve learned my limits by making mistakes.

Meghan, 29

What do you do for a living?
Real estate. Show properties. Roof your house, cut your tile. I know how to wear stilettos and I can re-do your house.

Where do you meet guys?
Wherever I want!

Where?
Grocery stores! Gas stations! Bars! You never know where. The problem is, most people have a preconceived notion. But you never know where you’re going to meet people.

Tell us about your last hookup.
A guy I’d met before. We went to a bunch of different bars. He was really energized and fantastic. He liked bands, he liked what I liked. A really good friend, and we’re still really good friends to this day. Nothing has changed since the day we met. Nothing. Life is fantastic. End of story.

What about a time when a hookup didn’t go so well?
Bystander: Like, did he pee in your butt?

No, no. There’s been times, you know, people expect a certain thing, they’ve got a preconceived notion. Environments have a way of presenting variables that will reflect poorly on certain people. Or reflect pleasantly—it can go both ways. If you’re hanging out with the big scary motorcycle dude with the tattoos and the bandanna and the scary-ness, that doesn’t always go over so well with the ping-pong champion.

How does the bar environment reflect on you?
If you’re a single girl, who goes and hangs out at bars by herself, you get the preconceived notion right off the bat. There are people who’ve approached me in a very negative manner because I’m by myself, and that maybe gives them a thumbs-up in their own head that doesn’t necessarily come from me. Besides that, I’ve definitely met up with people I was interested in, and when they saw me with a bunch of friends who happened to be guys or saw the fact that I’m one of those rare people who’s actually comfortable in her own skin, well, a lot of people aren’t used to that. You can see me from place to place, and at each place I’m the same. I’m not going to button up my top button just because people want it that way. Some people aren’t comfortable with that. They don’t understand how people can do that.

Who’s the most honest guy you’ve ever been with?
No, no, no. Myself. I am and will always be the most honest person there. I am the only chick who goes out on guy’s night, for a reason. It’s why I’m single in Fort Worth. Because I choose to be myself, and I like being me.

What preconceived notion do people have of dating in Fort Worth?
That we’re country. No, I don’t own a cow. [Pause.] I can milk one.

Really?
Don’t think I’m stupid.

So you know how to milk a cow, too.
All the stuff you see at the stock show when you come to town. I can do all that stuff—it’s kind of a joke in Texas, but not many others can do this stuff.

How do guys react to your handyman abilities?
It does make some men really uncomfortable. And you fall into the “guy box.” You’re one of the guys at that point, and you never get back out. If you like guy things and getting dirty and you’re not a girly girl, you just go into the guy box. That’s where you stay.

Where’s the craziest place you’ve had sex?
Whataburger parking lot at 3 in the morning. Shit happens.

What preconceived notion do guys have when they meet you?
Everybody thinks I’m the blond, blue-eyed cowgirl from Texas. But I’m a very well-educated person—for myself, not for anyone else. What other people think of you, that doesn’t matter. I read law, read history, read everything. This world is amazing.