Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: New Orleans, LA

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Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

Chelsea, 23

What makes a good date?
I play music, so if I can find someone who will play music with me, and it really clicks, that's awesome. You don't even have to talk really.

What's the craziest place you've had sex?
I had sex on a stoop on Bourbon Street.

How did that happen?
Well, I was sitting on my boyfriend's lap. People would walk by and we'd pretend I was just sitting on his lap and making out. Then they'd walk away and we'd go back to it. That was really an adrenaline rush.

What would you change about the opposite sex?
This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. They can't talk about things the way that girls do. They can't say what they're feeling. If they're pissed off, they'll just start acting pissed off and angry, and you can't quite figure out what's wrong, and they can't like specify what's going on. I feel like females can identify their feelings. Lately I've been interested in guys that might actually be good for me. Creepy exes can be stalkers. They'll drive by my house, park out front, and sit there and watch me.

Have you had multiple guys do this to you or just one?
Multiple. They get obsessed. One guy would call my friends and find out where I was hanging out and then go there, and if I was hanging out with another guy, he would just stare creepily across the bar.

Are you from here?
I'm from Baton Rouge originally.

How does the dating scene compare?
Baton Rouge is kind of limited. The bars there are all college bars. Here, there's a little bit of everything. There's a lot more good stuff going on. There are people who are passionate about things here. In Baton Rouge, everyone complains about being stuck there.


Josh, 23

What's the weirdest place you've ever had sex?
In a shed.

How did that come about?
Well, I don't know about people who just go around looking for crazy places to have sex, but the only place other than a bed that I've ever had sex was purely out of necessity. That one time it was a shed. The only other thing that's close to weird was a car, and that wasn't cool at all. Sex in a car sucks, unless you've got an awesome car.

What was the level of comfort in the car?
Fucking low. There was a lot of maneuvering.

So do you approach girls, do they approach you?
Well, you know, they approach me if I'm very lucky… yeah fuckin' right. It's even nice if they're being obvious. I mean this is only if you're interested in them. It sucks when a chick is coming on to you and you don't like her. I feel bad. I'm sure it's the same exact thing for girls, except it happens a lot more often for them, because they get hit on way more.

How often do you blow those girls off?
Well, I never blow anyone off. I still engage them in a friendly manner like I would anyone else, but I never give them any clue that I would be remotely interested in having sex with them.

What do you look for in a girl?
I never have had any sort of sexual contact with anyone that I didn't really like. I've never done anything with anyone I wasn't attracted to physically, but also I haven't done anything with anyone who I thought was a fucking moron or didn't respect as a person.

Do you believe in love at first sight?
All that would be is extraordinarily good luck. Seeing someone, thinking, "Holy shit, I love the way this girl looks," and by some amazing stroke of luck you happen to be very compatible people… you only really fall in lust at first sight. It's really just a recognition in your brain like: I want to fuck her, possibly forever. Then when you get to know her, you really find out if you want to fuck her forever.

What's one thing you wish you could change about the opposite sex?
As a whole? There are things that I wish were different about individual women, but I can't think of even one thing they have in common. I wish they didn't have periods, for everyone's sake. That's the only thing for women in general that I think I would want to change.


Erin, 35

Where are you from?
My parents were in the military, so I'm kinda from everywhere, but I was born in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

What is your profession?
I am a server and I clean houses.

Do you have any good hookup stories?
I'll give you my juiciest story. I can't believe I'm telling you this. I was sitting on a plane, and this guy was sitting next to me. We were talking, and it turned out his mother had passed away and he was going home for the funeral. Well, we both had the same layover in the same airport, so we got off the plane together and had sex in the stairwell. Then we had another drink at the bar and said, "See ya later."

What would you change about the opposite sex?
Nothing. Men are great.

So what do you look for in a man?
I just want somebody to be real. I don't play games. I tell people how I feel and what I want, and I usually get it.

What's the craziest thing you've ever done in bed?
I mean, I've been with women. It's not that crazy. The first time was with a girl named Berkeley. She was in the Navy. I was curious, you know, and she was like, "Let's be bad."



Mike, 24

Where do you work?
I work at a coffeeshop.

Have you ever gotten any dates from working there?
I have not, though I am in love with one customer who comes in.

Tell me about her.
She's like a sexy librarian, I'll tell you that much. She's very soft-spoken and she's really nervous and she's probably the most beautiful woman in the world. She gets a large iced coffee with skim milk, and an oat-bran muffin.

Have you tried asking her out?
No, because I'm a terrified little boy.

Do you have any crazy exes?
I have many crazy exes. The craziest one I ever had was an art major. She often would tell me that she wanted to be by herself, and she would spend time in the dark listening to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds really loudly.

What would you guys do when you hung out?
One time we had a Cure dance party by ourselves.

Do you have any crazy hookup stories?
There was this crazy older woman I was hanging out with for a little while. I met her at a house party with a bunch of theater students, and she asked my friend for my number, so we started talking after that. She would only call me when she was really drunk. And she would invite me to her really dirty apartment, and I didn't know what the hell she wanted to do, because every time I would go over there, she was so drunk that she really wasn't very articulate. She worked at a bar. She would bring alcohol from her job, and she would be like, "Here, drink this." She was weird. She obviously wanted to get down, but I was so awkward and young that I didn't really know what to do.

Did you have sex?
No, we made out a couple of times and that was it. And then I wrote her really awkward notes on cigarette packs. I don't know why I did that.


Sara, 23

Do you have any crazy ex-boyfriends?
Oh yeah, I do. We dated before I left for college, and then we broke up and I left. He would mail me CDs of him talking, giving updates on his life. I never really saw him again, so that's good.

How do you feel about monogamy and marriage?
I understand non-monogamous relationships, but I wouldn't be in one. It's too confusing.

What would you change about the opposite sex if you could?
See, that's hard, because I'm just thinking about my boyfriend. I would give men periods if I could change anything, just so that they get it. You've got to understand it. It would be fair!

What's the craziest place you've had sex.
In the fitting room of a thrift store in San Francisco.

Did you buy anything from the thrift store?
No, but I was wearing something from the thrift store in the fitting room, and then we didn't buy it. I just hung it back up. It was a really nice vintage dress, and we decided that the adventure of the dress had been had and we would leave it on the shelf.

Has anyone ever offended you in the bedroom? Any boyfriends with weird fetishes?
I don't know what weird is, that's my problem. So I guess I'm probably the offensive one.


Sonni, 37

So, where do you work?
I tow cars.

Do you get a lot of dates through that?
Dates? Oh, hell no. My job is not sexually friendly.

Where do you meet people?
Bars. Grocery store. People talk to me wherever I go. They always approach me. It's very rare that I approach someone.

What do you look for in a girl?
I look for bullshit, try to pick out all the bullshit, because a lot of people don't say the real thing.

How do you impress a girl? Do you have any pickup lines?
I don't do lines. I'm just me. I just hang out, whatever. Don't try too hard. Just be yourself, because people will respect that. People can tell a million miles away when you're trying, especially a woman. Don't think you can bullshit a lady —  you fuckin' can't. You be yourself and you fuckin' own that shit. Even if you have a fault, you own it. You act timid and weak about anything and women are totally turned off. They don't like that shit. Women like confidence. They like a man to fuckin' look you in the eyes.

Do you have any good hookup stories?
Last weekend I hooked up in the woods with a random chick with a glass eye. I lost my phone — my phone fell out and I couldn't remember what part of the woods we were in. I got… you see these mosquito bites? I have mosquito bites on my ass from being in the woods. It was this brutal vicious attack. You had this moment of pleasure and then this vicious attack coming at you. The mosquitoes were so bad that we went into the street.

So was the sex good?
It was great. Totally worth it. Never did find my phone, but I got another one.

Where's the craziest place you've had sex?
Right around the corner up there, in a side stoop. Actually, with an ex-wife. We had been separated. Just kinda rekindling in the middle of the street. It's priceless, you know, true love is priceless.

So she's your true love?
She was, yeah. She passed about three months ago. Suicide. Terrible, I know. I have a daughter with that same woman. She's nine. I've been raising my daughter six years by myself. I went from living on the street, squatting, being a drunken fuckup, to raising a two-year old by myself for six years with a mother who committed suicide three months ago. My life is like… I don't know… I always seem to persevere. It's been harsh. And my daughter, get this, she got the award for most polite student in the school. Are you kidding me?

Interviews and photography by Chris Givens.