Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: Hoboken, NJ

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Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

Thomas, 32

What do you do for a living?
Film director. 

A famous one?
Soon to be. 

Does this job get you laid?
Yes. It's amazing the power that the entertainment industry has. I'm a natural showman, so I know how to present myself. 

Do you have any sexual regrets?
I regret not having more confidence at a certain age when I could have had sex with a lot of beautiful women. That's really my only regret. 

Do you have confidence now?
Yea. And that's why I have a beautiful girlfriend whom I have sex with all the time.  

What's your deepest, darkest fantasy?
To have a place like The Story of O. Like a castle full of sexual slave girls who I can train to be submissive to me. That being said, I do consider myself a feminist.  

Do you have any dealbreakers?
I don't like dealbreakers, because it all depends on the individual. I guess if I had to choose one, it would be if a girl was very overweight. But honestly, my dealbreaker is someone who is always looking for dealbreakers. Show me the deal first and I'll let you know what's going to break it.  

Does money matter when it comes to love?
Unfortunately, yes. 

How so?
For me? No. It doesn't matter, but it can make things more complicated when people come from socioeconomical environments that are too different. Money is power and power is inevitably is a part of every relationship. Every relationship is a power balance. 

What's your favorite sexual memory?
My favorite memory is probably the first time that I had sex, because I felt like I was a normal human being for the first time after the buildup of adolescence.


Sarah, 25

What do you do for a living?
I'm a freelance writer and editor.

Does this job get you laid?
I haven't slept with anyone at my job. But I have slept with people whom I've interviewed in the past. So, yes.

What's your deepest, darkest fantasy?
I really like to take control in the bedroom — like boss a guy around. I think a lot of times girls have the opposite fantasy: they like to be thrown around and have rough, nasty sex with their hands held down and stuff. That's totally fun also. But if I were to choose my number-one fantasy, I would definitely be the one holding people down.

Do you have any sexual regrets?
I suppose I should. When I was eighteen I dated this thirty-year-old, affluent Canadian guy who really spoiled me with flowers and jewelry and expensive trips. He even bought me a purebred puppy.

Why is that a regret?
It turned into a very emotionally and mentally abusive relationship. I soon learned that all those nice things were just a way to trap me into thinking I couldn't be without him. I had stopped talking to most of my friends because he thought I was cheating on him. And I even cut my parents out of my life for a little while because he thought they were controlling. Also, he pressured me to lose almost thirty pounds when I was with him. He wanted a trophy girlfriend. But I don't regret any of this.

Why not? It seems pretty crappy.
I don't regret it because it made me learn not to depend on anyone but myself. It also made me aware of abusive signs in a relationship. Not just for myself, but for my girlfriends also.

Do you have any dating dealbreakers?
Smoking is first and foremost. Bad teeth are second. Poor hygiene in general is disgusting. I should probably just list them all: ignorance, bad manners, perpetual tardiness, being over the age of forty, close-mindedness, sexual stuntedness, self-consciousness, conceitedness… there's probably more. But those are the biggies.

You're very particular.
I know. I'm a really hard woman to please. But I'm okay with that. If the guy is worth it, then it makes him try harder to be a better man.

Does money matter when it comes to love?
This is such a loaded question because people are automatically going to judge you if you say "yes." And yet it's really naive to say "no." I don't think tons of money matters, at least for me. From what I hear, love and mega-money don't mix well at all. But even listening to my parents' stories, their love life was fine when they were financially stable. They tended to fight more when times were hard. That's why divorce skyrocketed once the economy crashed.

If you could reenact any movie sex scene, which would it be?
Basic Instinct was hot, when Sharon Stone ties that guy's hands to the bed.

Hopefully you wouldn't want to reenact everything in that scene.
I'm not about to stab anyone to death. But I do like the power exchange.


Adam, 29

What do you do for a living?
I'm a pop-rock singer-songwriter. I also bartend on the weekends.
Do these jobs get you laid?
Yeah. It's such a cliché thing, people look at you and are wowed that you play the guitar and you're a rock star. It's the same with being a bartender. Besides, people get hornier when they drink. They also get more confidence. Learning how to bartend in the past five years, I chat with people more and say things I normally wouldn't say, because they're drunk or I feel more confident. It gives you that extra edge.
Do you have any sexual regrets?
No. I'm respectful and really down to earth. I don't do things I don't want to do, and don't pressure women to do anything either.
Do you have any dating dealbreakers?
Smoking is definitely one of them. I like dirty talk. But when girls go overboard, I tend to think, "Oh shit, where did you pick that up from?" Don't get me wrong, I think it's hot and cool or whatever. But just don't say the wrong thing.
Can you give me an example of what the "right" and "wrong" thing to say would be?
Something like, "You make me so wet," is a great one. But I had this one girl tell me a long time ago, "Man, you were pounding me so hard last night." And I never had sex with her again.
Don't get me wrong, I like that. But the timing was just wrong. It was morning and we'd just woken up. She was getting dressed for work and we were just chatting casually or whatever. And then out of nowhere she says, "Man, you were pounding me so hard last night." And I was just really weirded out. Maybe if she said it right after we'd had sex it would have been okay. But I wasn't even in that mindset.

If you could relive a movie sex scene, which one would it be?
The movie Unfaithful with Diane Lane. Lets take the plot out of the equation, I don't like that. But there's this scene when she first has an affair with the guy. She starts quivering when he starts working his way down her stomach, and she can't even control herself. That is so hot to see.
Does money matter when it comes to love?
Definitely not. I think as long as you're passionate about somebody then money shouldn't matter. I think money can make life easier sometimes. You don't have to worry about paying bills. And that's cool in a real sense. But I think one of the most important things about love is that each person has to have something for themselves; they need to have their own passions besides the other person. You need to be your own person in order to be in love with someone. Like, I love writing music, it's my passion in life. And as long as whoever I'm dating has something like that — some passion they can resort back to — then I think that's what really matters when it comes to love. And that has nothing to do with money.
Do you have a favorite sexual memory?
The first time I had sex with my current girlfriend. I love her and the actual act was really, really hot.
What happened?
[long pause]
Just pretend the recorder isn't there.
Let's just keep it at "It was really, really hot."

Mary, 29

What do you do for a living?
I'm an executive assistant in the accounting industry.
Does this job get you laid?
Not really. I work with sixty people and eighty percent of them are over the age of forty-five.
Too old for you?
Yeah. The oldest guy I've ever dated was thirty-five, and that was still a little up there for me. There are too many differences between people when there's that much of an age gap. I also don't get laid at my job because everyone I work with is married and have kids. Talk about a turn-off.
Which of the seven deadly sins best describes you?
Pride. I like to be right all the time. I don't like to admit my faults.
What faults do you have?
I get bored very easily. I don't talk about my feelings enough in relationships. I play the role of the guy too much, I guess.
What is your deepest, darkest fantasy?
I've always wanted to have sex in pouring rain. And we'd be outside on a picnic table or on the hood of a car or something. It looks hot in the movies.
Do you have any sexual regrets?
Probably the first time I actually had sex. It was really awkward and uncomfortable. He didn't know where he was going, if you know what I mean.
I don't.
Yes, you do. He aimed a little low on the first…  plunge.
Oh. Ouch.
You're telling me. Even though I don't regret losing my virginity, I guess I regret not looking for a more… what's the word?
I regret not having a more competent partner for my first time.
Can you count on both hands the number of sexual partners you've had?
Do toes count?
Okay, I need my toes too.
Does money matter when it comes to love?
Not at all. I mean, it helps, but if you really love someone, then you love that person no matter what. For better or for worse. Chris Rock had a really good line during one of his shows: "You gotta love the crust, the crumbs, the tiny crumbs at the bottom of the toaster. That's what real love is."


Sebastian, 24

What do you do for a living?
Audio postproduction for the advertising and entertainment industry

Does the job get you laid?
It can, but there are a lot of sucky people in the industry — people who know that they're higher up and treat everyone below them crappy. And then there are… I don't really know how to explain it. Not cool coworkers. The show Entourage comes to mind.

What is your deepest, darkest fantasy?
To sleep with a mom. But not like a young woman who just had kids. A more legit mom.

What does a "legit mom" entail?
Like an older mom. I won't put a number on it. But definitely older. Forty-plus.

Do you have any sexual regrets?
No, because I wouldn't ever do something in bed that I would potentially regret. Or if I did, I'd just roll with the punches and learn from the experience.

Do you have any dating dealbreakers?
Hard drug issues. More than the occasional cigarette. Oh, and STDs.

What is your favorite sexual memory?
I slept with a professor back in college.

Was she a mom?
Not to my knowledge, sadly. She was only in her upper twenties.

So it wouldn't have been "legit."
Right. But she was engaged, and no longer is… but that's not because of me, I don't think.

What happened?
Technically she was a teaching assistant. But she had her own office and was the only teacher for the class. I was always really quiet in class, because that's just how I am. And it just so happened that we had a mutual friend. So one night I went to this house party and she happened to be there. Because I was drinking and kind of came out of my shell a little, we really got to know each other. Long story short: everyone at the party ended up passing out except us two and we started making out on the couch, which eventually led to my apartment, which was conveniently next door.

Can you count of both hands the number of sexual partners you've had?
Fucking sex or hooking-up sex?

What's the difference?
Well, hooking-up sex is like getting a blow job, where as fucking sex is…

I get it. Fucking sex.
I don't know the exact number. But it's around there. Give or take.


Kelly, 27

What do you do for a living?

Does this job get you laid?
I don't know yet. It's my first day. But I'm hoping so. I met a few people at the bar that I'm at now, so, yeah, I hope so.

What's your deepest, darkest fantasy?
I like to dress up. I have a lot of slutty costumes. I don't think I'm very good at acting — it's more just wearing something specifically hot to turn my partner on based on his desires.

Do you have any sexual regrets?
There was this guy who I worked with at a different bar. I didn't really want to have sex with him because I wasn't really attracted to him. But I did anyways.

Why did you?
He was older, and he just took control of the situation I guess. He didn't cross any boundaries or anything like that. But I just wish I hadn't felt so pressured to do something I didn't want to do.

Do you have any dating dealbreakers?
I love guys who are into sports. I don't like pretty Jersey Shore type guys who pop their collars and shit. I love cargo pants, t-shirts, and hats. They have to have nice teeth and good breath. If you don't have that, how am I ever going to want to kiss you?

Does money matter when it comes to love?
Not for me. My last relationship, we started off making lots of money. And then when the economy went to shit, we lost it all. We still loved each other though.

Do you have a favorite sexual memory?
I like to do it random places. If it comes up then we just do it. We were on vacation and we did it in a cabana, and there were people walking around who we had to try to hide from. Or there was this other time we were driving home and the closest thing we had was a side street, so we just turned down it — it wasn't exactly a private drive — and turned the car off. And there was one time behind a supermarket. But I guess my favorite is when we did it while driving.

Like the movie The Chase, with Charlie Sheen and Christy Swanson?
Yeah. We were on the Garden State Parkway. He was driving and pushed his seat all the way back. And I just climbed on top of him.

I hope he was driving slow.
I don't really remember. All I know is that I wasn't going slow.

Interviews by Sarah Schwab. Want to talk to strangers in your neighborhood? Email