Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: New York

Pin it

Talking to Strangers: New York

"I'm the foreigner with the accent he's so seduced by. All of a sudden it felt like I had this power."

Jennifer, 26

How did you meet your boyfriend?

We worked together. I used to be a campaign director for those annoying street campaign people who ask if you have a minute. My mom always said that I wouldn't meet somebody that I was serious about until I started doing something that I was serious about. And that's what happened, we worked together and were good friends for about eight months first, and then we slept together one night. We've been dating ever since, it’s been about two years now. 

Last night my boyfriend said, “Neither of us would say the last two years of our lives have been the best years of our lives, but I'm committed to you and I love you and I want to help us get to the next stage where we can both support each other in a phase of our lives where we're truly happy.” And I think that’s what love really is. It’s not supposed to be this euphoric kind of thing, but they’re supposed to be the kind of person who stands by you when shit gets tough.

Do you have any dating advice?

I think we're sold this fantasy of what relationships are supposed to look like and it’s a lot more complicated than that. People try to often to meet people in these artificial circumstances. I tried online dating for years and I had some great one night stands that way, but it just doesn’t work like that. Just do something you're serious and passionate about that you want to share an interest in with someone else. My boyfriend and I are very different people, but we share this core set of values that are important to both of us, and we met while executing those values. And I personally think that relationships that begin as friends last the longest. 

Do you have any one night stand stories?

One of my favorites happened when I was abroad in London. I was an undergraduate in the city at NYU and the year after I graduated, I took a fifth year to go see my best friend who's from England. I spent a week alone in London and I met this guy at a bar in the hostel I was in. I was drinking Absinthe and he sat next to me and said "Oh, you're gonna do some shots of Absinthe? Don't you think it's a little dangerous to drink alone?" I said that he clearly didn't know Americans, and he was immediately interested in me because I was American.

And let me tell you, I think of myself well. I know I'm not the skinniest person, but I think I'm fairly attractive and this guy was basically twice as attractive as me. Like if I'm an 8, he's like a 16. He was ripped, I'm not in shape, and he was so sexy with this perfect Hugh Grant Love, Actually accent. We started drinking together and talking and we got in a cab on the way back to his flat and I was thinking, "Why is this guy interested in me?" He started laughing at my British impersonation and it hit me. That's why I'm getting laid right now! I'm the foreigner with the accent he's so seduced by. All of a sudden it felt like I had this power. 

We went skinny dipping in the pool of his flat at like 3 in the morning. All of a sudden this woman comes downstairs. We weren’t even hooking up, we were just floating around the pool, and I'm floating on this big beach ball, and she started yelling at us to get out of her pool! We just thought, "Fuck her," so we started making out, and she comes back and really starts insisting that we get out, but I'm stark naked floating on a beach ball in the pool, and I tell her "I don’t think you want me to do that."

She’s probably about 50, and was just standing there in her nightgown and she turned bright red. This was probably the most adventurous I've ever been in my life, but I said to him, "Why don't we just have sex in her million-pound pool?" He wasn't quite down for that, so we just went up to his flat. That was actually the first time I ever came from a guy going down on me. I've never felt more like a goddess than I did then, because I had no business hooking up with that guy, attractiveness wise, and it was a really good time. 

Has anyone ever done anything crazy to get your attention?

One night in October, after I got my half-sleeve tattoo I was in a bar in the Lower East Side. After I took my sweater off this guy came up to me saying things like tattoos on women are such a turn-on for me. I have a few other small ones but nobody's ever acted like that towards me before until I got this huge piece. He was all “Yeah, they’re so sexy,” and kept talking to me about it.

I was all “I'm not just your fetish, I'm a human being.” Finally he came up to me and he licked my arm. He just walked up to me and ran his tongue up my tattoo. I mean, excuse me? Are you fucking kidding? What the fuck makes you think you can lick my body? I didn't hit him. I wish I had, I think I was more in shock so I wasn’t able to hit him. I just thought, "Is this really happening right now?" Luckily I knew the bartender, so I just told him to get the guy out of there. I think people have a different perception of people with tattoos. Some people think that they have ownership of women’s bodies in society, period, but if you’re inked or otherwise drawing attention to yourself, it’s like they certainly think you are the property of other people. I've had people pull my bra strap aside to look at my back tattoos; it's just crazy to me. 


Donald, 27

Are you single?

I’m getting married in September. I met my fiancée through Skype. We were taking one of the same online classes at UCLA, so I chased her through Skype. If you’re only talking online, you have to nurture it. Don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up. That’s all I can say. We’ve been dating for two years and the whole time has been long distance. She’s the girl of my dreams. I’ve been on a lot of dates with a lot of other girls, but the only girl who ever made my breath stop was her. I don’t know what else to say, she’s so beautiful. I know it sounds really cheesy, but really she’s the girl of my dreams. 

What’s your best sex tip?

If you focus on her, you’ll be okay. 


Alex, 28 

What do you do?

I'm a bartender. Does it get me laid? That's why I do it. Buy the customers drinks all night long. I don't even care about the tips. I care about my tip being in them. I've been doing this for a couple years and I really like it. I'm single. Secretly married —just kidding. All my ex-girlfriends are crazy though. I love the crazies. That's the only ones I date because they're the most fun. I love crazy women, I don't know why, but I do. We're creatures of habit, so I don’t think I do it on purpose. I mean, I eventually want to end up with someone who's fucking normal, but I keep dating the crazy ones. I mean, I'm not the best looking guy, but I'm not the worst. But it's all about time and place. That’s how it’s worked out for me.

Have you ever had an awkward morning after a one-night-stand?

One time I was in Vegas with a female friend. She would actually pick up more women than I would, and she wasn’t even gay. We ended up going to a gay bar and I went back to the hotel with what I thought was a woman, and it wasn't a woman. But I didn't realize that until I woke up the next morning. Nothing sexual happened the night before, she was too drunk, and when we came back to the room I went to take a shower. When I came out, she was completely passed out. So the morning after I woke up and thought, "What the hell is poking me in the back?" I'm usually the big spoon, but for some reason I ended up being the little spoon, and I was thinking it was kind of weird, but I reached around and sure enough I found…it. But at the end of the day, it was what it was. Is that a one-night-stand? I have no idea. 

Do you have any dating advice?

Stay single. Don't ever get married. I don’t know, honestly, I'm the worst. I love giving bad advice because the way I see it, if I give such shitty advice, you'll end up doing the complete opposite. I can’t even manage my own love life, you think I'm going to manage yours? 

What about sex advice?

Take lots of Viagra. I take it. I like it. How much depends, usually half will do fine for the night, it depends how much you drink. But also do the swivel. That's for men. Advice for women is that you should return the favor. Usually if I do something to you, it’s probably because I like the same things. Whether it’s a massage or a touch on the, you know, just return the favor. Don’t be selfish.


Lacy Ann, 29

Where are you from?

Chicago, but it's much easier to date in New York. People are much more willing to go out and meet people here. Everyone's always outside their apartments trying to make new connections. In Chicago, it's not so much that people stay home, but that here you go out every night after work so much. And people in Chicago have bigger apartments I guess, so they don't always have to be out. In New York, everyone's always trying to network. 

What's the worst date you've ever been on?

I ran into a guy at a bar recently and he was like, "You do know that we've slept together, right?" It was so awkward,  because I was on a date when it happened. Another time this guy took me to a shitty restaurant in Midtown and he ordered really good oysters but then he got sick like an hour and a half afterwards.  

Give us some dating advice. 

I suggest following all the rules of being coy and playing hard to get, I think that works. Although I hate playing games, it does work. But I'm very bad at it. I'm in between relationships right now. I'm actually fucking my ex. It's not working out very well. I wouldn't recommend it. Because if they're your ex, but you're not dating still, then it means that you both have your own sex lives and it gets intertwined. Things get messy. 

Communication is the key point in a relationship, that's what I've found as I've gotten older. And trust. Trust makes sex a million times better. I don't have any tips on how to get better at trusting though. I'd take the advice if I had it. I can tell you this though, I didn't have an orgasm until I slept with someone I completely trusted. That was very late in my sex life, and a few of my friends are the same way. I started having sex when I was 15 and that didn't happen until recently. I'd had little ones, but I didn't have a real orgasm until I totally trusted my partner. 

Have you ever been offended in the bedroom?

One guy tried to strangle me. I'm not into that. I almost started crying. I prefer reverse cowgirl. I like being on top. But when you're fucking, you should just try to be comfortable with your body and just have fun. 

What's the biggest age gap you've crossed in bed?

Once when I was 24, I slept with a guy who was 40. It was wonderful. Older men are great in bed, especially when you're in your early 20s. They know how to please a woman much more than guys in their 20s. I definitely feel like my sex life has gotten better as I've gotten older. Both because I've gotten more comfortable and because my partners are more experienced. You know, you live and you learn. 

Have you ever been cheated on?

In every single one of my relationships. Well, all of my long-term relationships, and I've only had two of those. They both ended up dating the person they were cheating on me with and I knew both times that they were cheating on me with those people. I handled it like an idiot. They ended up not staying with the person afterwards, and I'm still in contact with both exes.

My first long-term boyfriend was for six years during college. We both cheated on each other once or twice and we both knew. Whatever. He ended up sleeping with one of my good friends at my house. That was bad. This guy I was dating for three years was sleeping with this girl who worked at Anthropologie, which happened to be next door to my apartment. And he used to make me go to Anthropologie all the time and make me try on clothes and she would help me at the store. I found out that they were hooking up because when I was in the dressing room, I overheard her talking about him with one of her coworkers. I just stopped talking to him. 

Where's the craziest place you've ever had sex?

In the bathroom at the opera during a show. He was in the same group of people that I went with, it was very awkward. But necessary.