Love & Sex

Talking To Strangers: Miami, FL

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Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

Gricel, 43

What do you think of the dating scene in Miami?
I've lived here my whole life, and I think it sucks a little bit because it's all about sex. It's not based on getting to know the other person. It's all about wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, and it shouldn't be like that. At this moment I'm not dating, I'm just living for myself and learning more about who I am, what I like — just enjoying people, enjoying what's around.

What's the biggest age difference you've ever crossed in bed?
I did pick up one guy who was much younger than me. He was twenty-five, I was thirty-five. It was a one-night stand; I picked him up at the bar. We went to the beach and… you know. The sand and the moon and the whole nine yards. It was nice and simple, no dilemma, no drama. I never saw him again. But I've never slept with a much older man, just younger. Younger guys are just experiencing things, you know? They're not serious like older men are. That's a good thing, sometimes. But when someone my age is trying to meet somebody who's settled, or somebody who just wants to settle down and be with just one person, it's hard.

What's the craziest place you've ever had sex?
A horse stable. It was somewhere that the guy worked. I love horses, so he took me there. It was nice, simple, quiet.

What do you look for in a man?
Ah… my best friend. Someone that I'm comfortable with, someone that I can talk to about my insecurities, my concerns, my goods, my bads.

Did your parents ever tell you anything about sex?
Never. My parents are Cuban, and Cubans are hardcore. When you talk about sex or gender to them they think that there's something seriously wrong with you and they need to take you to a doctor. So basically, it's really hard to say anything like that to your parent. They ignore everything, pretend it's not happening.

Do you have any crazy exes?
I had the war and I had the battle. My ex is an addict. I was with him for nine years, and he's a crack addict. Not to say that like a joke — it's not a joke, it's a serious thing. I left him like five times and went back with him five times. So it's a really crazy thing that you put yourself through, but you grow from it, you know what I mean? Nine years is not a joke; it's a long time. So it's been two years now that we've been separated, and I'm trying to get myself back to who I am, and it's been a journey. I'm trying to capture who I am right now. I enjoy who I'm around now, who I meet. Life is a gift, and what you experience is a gift — I learned that from that relationship.

Steve, 24

Where are you from?
Montana, but I haven't lived there in a while. The dating scene there is a little different, though — everybody knows everybody because it's a small town. You've got to be careful who you date, where you are. No hooking up with friends' exes. My dating life has changed pretty drastically since I moved. Apparently country boys are a rare commodity in the city, so it's been pretty good for me since I moved. I would say we have a little more respect and manners than most people; we know how to treat a woman better.

What's the most daring place you've ever had sex?
In my tractor while combining. A combine is a pretty good-size thing; it's an enclosed single cab, only one seat. Not a whole hell of a lot of room. I'm a pretty big guy, so we had to make do. But other than that it's pretty much just the whole bar scene kinda thing. You're out at a club, so there's the bathroom there or out in the car in the parking lot. Whatever's convenient at the time.

Do you have any dating dealbreakers?
Coming off as controlling, like when a girl wants to know everything all of the time. That kinda deal. A guy's got to have a little bit of freedom.

Have you ever been offended in the bedroom?
Ha, no. It's pretty hard to offend a guy in the bedroom. I mean, you don't always know what the deal is, and it depends on the guy, but I'm pretty open to a lot of things.

How many people have you slept with?
I really don't know, I've never stopped to count. But I think there is an unfair double standard when it comes to how many guys a girl has slept with compared to how many girls a guy's slept with. I mean, if a guy can do it then why can't a girl? It's a conversation that comes up with couples, and honestly, if the question comes up just answer it. Whether or not you're truthful about it is up to you, but if somebody asks you, what's the point in trying to hide it? It's who you are.

Give us your best dating tip.
As far as dating goes, what works for me is just being a gentleman and just treating a woman right. A lot of bars now play country music, so being able to dance works pretty good. If you can spin a woman around a few times it helps to sweep them off their feet. Taking a girl dancing on a first date works pretty well. It shows you're not embarrassed about anything.

What do you look for in a girl?
It doesn't hurt to look for somebody who's good-looking, but it's more about personality. If you get along with a girl, if she's somebody you can talk to and stand to be around — not just good-looking, but someone you don't mind spending real time with — well, that's not bad at all.

Olivia, 21

Tell me about your last breakup.
I'm still on a dating hiatus after that one. We just grew apart. He did really stupid things with other people and I found out and we just went our separate ways. It was a transitional stage in our lives. We were together from when we were seventeen to twenty years old. I mean, people start changing. That's when you start figuring out what it is you want to do, and you start taking different roads.  

What do you look for in a guy?
Now, more than ever, ambition. I know what I want, so I expect the same thing from someone else. I do prefer people who are taller than me. I'm 5' 8", so that's a must. But other than that, just that they're a good, ambitious person who knows what they want in life. If they're as hardworking as I am, it's a done deal. Hands are also nice. I don't know how to explain it. They need to have model hands. My ex didn't have nice hands, but we worked through that one.

Where's the craziest place you've ever had sex?
A shed. It was at my ex's house before a concert. My friends were coming over to my place, and I was like, "I'll be right back," and I left and showed up at his house. His housecleaner was there, so we went to the shed. It was really cramped. And it was really bad timing, because his parents showed up right at that moment. All of a sudden it's over, and I had to come around the front of the house while he came from the back to meet me at the door. Then he says to his parents, "Oh yeah, you guys, my girlfriend just got here."

What did your parents tell you about sex?
Since I was twelve, my father always told me to remember that all men are assholes. He said, "I was once an asshole, learn from me. I've made bad decisions, so don't judge people by them." He would also tell me that a relationship doesn't define who you are, it just means you're growing and learning. Like when one person does something stupid — you can either define a relationship by all the good moments you've had, or by one bad moment. You just have to be wise about it.

Has anyone ever offended you in the bedroom?
One time, he wanted to know if he could come on my face. He didn't just do it, but he asked me right at the moment that he was going to and I was like, "No." And so then he's all, "Oh, why can't I do what I want to do?" And that just stopped everything. I said, "Are you kidding me? I'm not gonna do anything like that if we didn't talk about it. We had plenty of time to talk about it while everything was going on, you didn't have to just bring it up at the very last second." So I pretty much just gathered my clothes and walked away.  

Have you ever offended anyone?
I think in the beginning, maybe only the first time I was ever doing anything sexual, I remember being like, "Oh my god, that's insane!" It was all just fascinating to me, watching a penis do… everything that it does. And I'm going, "Holy shit, that's crazy, this is like an anatomy class." He said, "You're supposed to be into this." And I was! But I was still just like, "Oh wow, this is really cool," And he's saying, "It's not supposed to be cool." But you know, I don't know what it does, I don't have one. I was fascinated.

Have you ever done anything crazy to get a guy's attention?
With my last boyfriend, getting together was basically a game. I told him I was completely uninterested in him, and he told me that he was completely uninterested in me. He was into MMA, and I'm a black belt in karate, so we would wrestle in the front yard and he would get a hard-on, and I'd have to be like, "Oh no, this is not weird at all." I quit karate, though. It really wasn't my thing, meeting guys that way. It was really strange having to beat them up. He and I had good chemistry that way, though — physically.

What do you think of the dating scene in Miami?
It fluctuates. If you go down to Brickell, on occasion you'll meet a good guy who says he just wants to dance, doesn't want anything else, and that's really respectable and great. Then there's other people who are just eyeing you up and down, and it's like, "Hey, I'm not meat on hook, so you're just going to have to chill out. Go to the bathroom or something." If you want to "meet" anybody, you do not want to go down to a club. You do not go to a bar where there's girls dressed like hoochies. If you like dancing, you can go meet someone to dance with, but if you're out there with more intentions than that you're basically just screwing yourself over. Any girl who thinks that they're going to a club to meet the man of their dreams… I'm sorry to say, but good luck.