Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: Melbourne, Australia

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Welcome to Talking to Strangers, where Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

Lulu, 30

What do you do?
I'm in events. I organize events. Currently about to start a new job doing a big dog lovers' exhibition. It's basically a three day exhibition in Sydney and Melbourne.

Are you in a relationship?
No, I'm single.

Do you think you'll meet a date at the dog lovers convention?
[Laughs] Uh, anything is possible!

What do you think of [Australian prime minister] Tony Abbot ?
I think he's a sexist pig. I think he's dumb. There are a lot of conservative people in Australia, hence why he got the vote to be Prime Minister. I think a lot of people are just sick of the current government.

If you were on a desert island with Tony Abbott, Barack Obama, and Kim Jong Un, who would you go for?
Oh hello, Barack Obama all the way.

What do you think of him?
I love him. I think he's charismatic, I think he's smart, I think he's a good looking dude. [Laughs]

Have you ever dated anyone who wasn't Australian?
A lot. Um, actually I recently dated a guy that was from the States, from San Francisco. He ended up being a bit bipolar. He smoked way too much pot. [Laughs]. We went on this 26-hour date. I took him to the Great Ocean Road, we went to a concert. He was a really nice guy. And then the next time we dated he went a bit crazy.

What did he do?
Like, he was really paranoid. He thought everything I did had an ulterior motive. I was like "No, Aussies are just nice people! I don't have an ulterior motive. If I want to do something, it's because I want to do it." And he didn't get it. He openly said he wasn't used to Aussie culture.

Did he move here?
Like a one year working holiday visa thing.

What do you think of people in Melbourne doing that? Do they fit in?
I've done the same thing, though. I went to London and did the same thing.

I did too!
Yeah! It's a great thing. I did it for two years. You get to see the world, experience different cultures and different lifestyles, meet different people. I love it. 

Different experiences for sure. So what was your craziest night out in Melbourne?
Oh my gosh, there's been too many crazy nights out in Melbourne! One that probably springs to mind is a night out with my best friend for her birthday. So it was a couple of us girls and it started as a boozy lunch then we went to a Wu Tang Clan concert. Who was it? Ghostface Killer, that's it. My best friend's partner was a supporting act so we ended up backstage. We ended up drinking all their Grey Goose, stealing their Grey Goose, eating Nando's. It was wild. I think I may have like, pashed one of them.

What's "pashed?"
Like kissed. You don't know pash? Like when you pash someone, you kiss them. Like snog in London. 

P-a-s-h, like short for passion?
Ya. I don't know where it stems from. Like "Oh, I pashed that guy." It's a real Aussie saying. And "bonking" for sex.

Do you have a good pashing story? Or your first ever bonk?
No mine was bad. I was coked off my head. [Laughs.]

Go on…
I was 24, so quite late. Coked off my head in London with an Italian guy. An Italian Stallion who was about 6'5" or 6'8" or something. Really tall. He had lived in the states for awhile and been in the army. I barely even remember. He went down on me for like about an hour and then we fucked.

That's a pretty serious first bonk.


Luci, 26

So what do you do?
I'm a chef… Apprentice chef. 

What does that mean?
It means I'm in training to be a chef. It's a three year course and you end up with a trade school certificate. Certificate III in Commercial Cookery. It's like culinary school, but it's a hands-on thing.

Are you in a relationship?
Yes. With my girlfriend for six and a half years.

Whoaaaa. Do you guys like to do the same things?
Yes and no. I feel like I have to sometimes force her to do some of the things I like.

Like… Sexually?
[Laughs] No, like kind of the opposite. Like eating out more and trying new…l don't know…nonsexual things.

So your lovely girlfriend is an Aussie. What do you think American girls are like?
Whatever Hollywood tells me. An immediate idea of what an American girl would be like is probably like…Californian? Like Hollywood. But that's probably just because of films. I realize that on a deeper level that probably isn't happening at all.

I mean, there's something to that. So what is the stereotype of Australian guys, do you think?
Uh, Bondi Beach. Tall, blonde, surfer. You know.

Is that realistic?
God no, look at me.

Lots of Americans like to date people with accents. What would you tell someone wanting to meet someone while they're here? 
Um. Be herself? 

Well. Okay. But should she play up the American thing or tone it down?
Playing it up could really backfire but could also really work. It depends on what the guy's perception of Americans is, like if it's positive or negative. 

So if you were single and you met identical American and Aussie girls, who do you go for?
Hmm. Probably the American.

I don't know, probably the accent. But I guess depends what part of America. Like the California girl like stupid The Hills type one is just fucking terrible.

Watch it. I'm Californian.
Okay but you're not like that kind. And I guess a Boston one or something is worse.

Boston is a pretty bad one, but I do live there so…

Changing the subject so you're not offensive, do Australians do a lot of drugs?
Yeah probably, but probably not heaps because it's pretty expensive over here. I reckon the better ones are like stupidly expensive.

What's the most common drug?
Weed for sure. Then maybe pills, like ecstasy. 

Club drugs.
Ya. But definitely weed. Head and shoulders above everything else.

Do you ever go clubbing?
Not for years. Not anymore. I'm too old for that shit now.

What was your craziest night out ever, back before you were old?
Probably one night in Copenhagen when I went out with a bunch of crazy chefs and being around all these crazy, talented, amazing people. I was a night out after a food conference. 

Was your girlfriend there?
Not that night. But she was in Copenhagen with me. 

Do you like going out with the dudes or your lady more? Or both?
Probably the dudes [laughs]. She gets drunk too quickly. She's a massive lightweight and I just have to take her home. 

But what about the stereotype that Australians drink loads?
We probably do, but again that may be because drugs are really fucking expensive.

So chef Luci, if you could give the world one sex tip, what would it be?
Wear a condom? (Laughs) And communicate. 

Your girlfriend is going to love that.

Clare, 21

What do you do?
Like with myself? I'm a student. I study biomedicine and am hoping to be a dentist, if I get in one day. 

Are you in a relationship?
No, not at the moment.

Do you want to be in a relationship?
Um, I'm not really looking at the moment.

Do you think it's easy to meet guys in Melbourne?
Yes and no. I have a big group of friends, like we go clubbing a lot and we network a lot. I know a lot of people, I suppose. But if you're not in my scene, yeah it is hard.

What scene is that?
Like, if you're not going out and drinking and stuff. Some of my friends from high school…they don't come out with me. They don't drink. 

Have you ever dated someone who wasn't Australian?

What are Australian guys like compared to the stereotype of bro-y, into sports and beer and stuff?
Yeah definitely the guys I'm around! They are really laid back and typical Australians. Like hang out with the guys, drinking, barbecue guys.

Would you ever date an American?
Maybe? Yeah, I suppose. It doesn't really phase me where they're from. I suppose it's an individual thing and depends on the guy.

What do you think about the fact that most American guys are circumcised?
I have no idea, I've actually never even thought of that! It doesn't phase me at all. I don't even know if half the guys I have slept with are or aren't, to be honest.

So where are the good places to go out in Melbourne?
I go to Tramp Bar. And CQ/tfu is my favorite. And Revolver.

What's good about those places?
I suppose they're all kind of like – I don't know. It's where all my friends go. It's where we all hang out. I like the music and dancing and having a good time.

What kind of music is playing in Melbourne bars right now?
Definitely depends where you go. I like a lot of minimal and psy-trance and deep house. And then there's like –  have you heard of Melbourne bangers?

It's like the new Melbourne sound. It's a bit like how dub step came out of England. Have you heard of Will Sparks? He's kind of a big new Melbourne DJ. He's kind of getting bigger. It started out in the clubs but now Will was just on this massive world tour, like he went to America and everything. And you can hear it on the radio, it's getting really big.

Okay Clare, what tip would you give a guy friend for meeting girls?
Make the first move! Go and talk to them.

And say what?
Introduce yourself. Just say "Hi, how're you going?" Just start a conversation. It's not that hard!

No, it's not.