Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: New York, New York

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It was a good encapsulated memory–that one time I spent a blizzard in the best way you can spend a blizzard–having sex with a stranger.

Ana, 24

When was the last time you went out on a date?
Like a proper date? It was probably an Internet date with an Internet dude…I just date the whole Internet. [Laughter]

So when you're dating the Internet, where exactly on the Internet do you meet people?
OkCupid. I'm actually trying to remember who was my last date?

[Her friend interjects: "Wasn't it the guy who was looking for a muse?"]

Oh yeah! That one! Thanks for reminding me.

So tell me about this guy who was looking for a muse.
So my friend thought that based on his profile he sounded like a pretentious douche. But I thought that based on his profile pictures he looked like a hot pretentious douche. But he turned out to be a not hot pretentious douche in real life. No actually he was pretty nice in real life. He was really nice, he came off on his profile as, I don't know, kind of haughty, but that wasn't what he was like in real life. When I met him he was kind of sweet and quiet and shy and stuff, but balding. Then I realized looking back at his pictures, the one's that included the very top of his head are from like two years ago, and the rest of them don't include the top of his head.

So you don't like balding guys?
Well, no, because I used to date a guy who was old, bald, and fat.

So why did you date a guy who was old, bald, and fat if you don't like bald guys? Did you meet him on the Internet?
I dated him because he was a drummer. I like musicians, but I don't think I'll date another drummer.

No? How many drummers have you dated?
One was enough to ruin them all somehow.

So why do you think drummers are so awful?
I think the thing that drives you to smash stuff is like an impulse deep inside that's like 'I've got to smash things' and that maybe isn't an impulse that makes you nice to other people. I think it's mutually exclusive like either, Ahhh must smash things or You know what? I'm not going to smash things and I'll be a nice boyfriend. I don't know if this rule applies to people who smash their guitars. Probably, I probably wouldn't date anybody who smashes their guitars either cause those are expensive.

Wait, why did you date him?
I don't even know. Old, fat, bald and…

What drew you to him?
I guess first it was because I liked his band and then it was because I was at his place with my friend and he said something about soft bondage with an ex-girlfriend and I was like, Oh this guy will be into some crazy shit, let's go.

So you like guys into crazy shit? You're into crazy shit?
Yeah, I mean fuck, if you're not going to push the envelope, why bother? I mean just a littler bit, not the hard stuff. We got there later.

So you've done a lot of Internet dating, what's the most memorable Internet date you've ever been on?
Well, I can tell you my favorite Internet dating story. So it was that big blizzard, I think it was in 2011.  And I was inside in my apartment on OkCupid and I was just chatting with this dude who looked kind of good looking or whatever.  

And I was like, Wow, I hear some really loud blaring Spanish music right now, and he was like, Wow, I too hear some really loud blaring Spanish music right now. And then we were both like, Wait, where do you live? And it turned out that we lived like a block away from each other and then it was like well we got nothing better to do, so I went over to his place and drank some wine and, quote un quote, just hung out. Henceforth known as the Blizzard Fuck 2011.

So you 'sealed the deal' that night?
Totally. Well no, it wasn't really a night thing, it was the day. I went over, we had some wine, talked about music, we fucked a little bit, and then I went home and never talked to him again.

Never again? Why?
No, he tried to get in touch with me a couple of times but the sex wasn't very good you know, it just kind of was. I'm glad it happened but I didn't really want it to happen anymore.  It was a good encapsulated memory–that one time I spent a blizzard in the best way you can spend a blizzard–fucking a stranger.

You do stuff like that often?
Not anymore, I did for like a year or two but then I stopped doing a whole lot of that.

The last two people that I was with I met at school and at work and then I slept with a couple of internet randos and then the one before that was someone from work. I don't really feel like sleeping with randos from the internet anymore. However the fuck normal people do it, how do normal people do it? I don't know, but I'm into doing it however that is. I mean not doing it normally, just finding people the normal way, and then doing it weird.

The bondage?
Yeah, the last couple people I was with weren't into it and that was fine cause I cared about them, how gross is that?

It's gross to care about people?
[Laughs] No…Yeah.

Has anyone ever used a crazy or stupid or funny or really good or bad pick up line on you that stands out?
We could just look at my OK Cupid messages. [Takes out iPhone]

My most recent OkCupid message, this says: 'Fun, silly, interesting, this is how I describe you, three words for me?' This one says, 'So, do you date foreigners?' And another guy just says 'Hola.' This one says, 'Hi, do you like museums?' Oh, this one says, 'You're the only attractive woman on this website' and I bet he copied and pasted it to like everybody.

So you like soft bondage… has anyone ever done anything in bed that's totally freaked you out?
There was one time in France with a dude that I really did not know at all. So I was at this party and there were people crashing at my friend's apartment. So there was two of us on a small mattress on the floor and then another couple on a couch and this girl just starts blowing this guy and we're just trying to go to sleep and I'm like, Whoa what's going on here? And then this dude that I was with on the mattress, who was a pretty sexy guy, started trying to sleep with me and I thought, Okay, they're going at it, we might as well.

Then he didn't even ask and tried to stick it in my ass and I was like come on, A: I don't know you, B: we're in a stranger's place, C: there's people fucking ten feet away from us. You can't put it in my ass right now. Not with people around; not without asking permission…I was not about it.

Did you still sleep with him?
Uhhh, a little bit. That was the worst sex I ever had actually. When I try to recount the worst sex I ever had, that was it.  

Cory, 33

Tell me a bit about you, where you're from, when you moved here, why.
I'm originally from Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth. I moved here in August of 2012 for music and to be around some friends and explore the city.

Are you single?
Technically single.

When was the last date you went on?
I guess a couple weeks ago…three weeks ago, something like that.

How did you meet?
She was a waitress at a restaurant in Williamsburg. I just started up a conversation and things went from there. We're still hanging out.

How do you normally meet girls? What's your usual method if you have one?
Well, I'm a shy guy but there are times when, if I can get that icebreaker out there, I'm great. Like I'm really great at talking to people.  I'm a very social person, but it's weird, I'm like a social shy person.

With girls or in general?
I think it's just with girls. It's a matter of how to approach because sometimes it becomes an obstacle that I'm not ready for, but once I get there I feel like I'm pretty well spoken and a lot of times I can get a date out of the situation, or you know, I can achieve the things that I want.

So right now, you're still talking to the girl from a few weeks ago, are you seeing anyone else?
I think with this situation we're both talking to other people. We're taking everything very slow. She just got out of this big relationship so no need to put the pedal to the metal. So yeah, at the same time I'm seeing other people, and I met a girl the other night and things went well and I don't feel bad about that.

So there's dating and then there's sleeping around. Do you generally dabble in both?
Both. I really don't discriminate in that sort of thing because on one hand, if you meet a really super special girl that you see potential in, you want to see where that goes, you don't want to ruin it. And there are other situations where… you kind of got to put it into categories I guess. So within a few hours of knowing somebody you can tell, is this going to be a sleepover, or is this going to be something to build on?

Does it ever work out where you think maybe it's going to be a sleepover but then you get serious?
Sure, yeah absolutely. It sneaks up on you, and it's a dangerous thing too because that can become serious. I had a situation like that and I didn't really acknowledge what was going on. And under the pretense of being a casual laissez-faire sort of deal, I slept with someone else and that became an issue where we didn't really talk about it, but clearly we got our signals crossed.  But it all worked out. I pled ignorance and that was that. I was being honest. But yeah, once I acknowledged it I realized, Wow yeah, there is something actually developing.

Has anyone ever done anything in bed that's totally freaked you out, or would anything freak you out?
I don't know. Maybe ass things.

Like your ass, or theirs?
[Laughs] Mine. It hasn't happened yet, just to be clear, but I think that would throw me off a little bit.

Would you be like, get the fuck outta here, or give it a shot?
You know, it depends on the situation. Usually I subscribe to the philosophy that I'll try anything once. But I can't really see myself enjoying it.

I don't know that I could do the ass thing.
No? I'm pretty easy going when it comes to the bedroom. I feel like when you get to that point, it's kind of fun to explore what the other person desires. To an extent. I wouldn't want to be uncomfortable. Like I said, I'll try anything once, but there might not be a second time.

Have you ever done anything to freak someone out in bed?
Yes. Some girls don't like to talk in bed. I like to chat, not like about today's news but yeah, I'm into that kind of stuff.

What do you say? Like you're so hot I can't wait to… whatever?
I like to tell them what to do and some girls … 50% really like that, then about 25% will tolerate it, and the rest just don't really respond to it. I mean, they'll do it but you can see the reluctance and they wont really play the game. Which is unfortunate.

Is it like a domination kind of thing?
When I think domination I think whips and chains and I don't really…I like the power role for sure and I think one thing is that it's contrary to the way I am. Like I said, I think at first I can be kind of a shy guy. But when I'm very open and having a good time I'm very free and my personality really elevates to a different person.

Like a Clark Kent/Superman type thing?
Yeah, I got a Clark Kent/Superman thing going on. [Laughs]

Has any girl tried to tell you what to do?
No. There was a girl right before I left Texas. We had this flirtatious thing happening and she kind of almost tried to threaten me with that. She likes to dominate and I thought, I've never been with a girl like that; I bet we could have some fun. But this didn't really work out because she was kind of seeing someone else at the time. But I'm going home in June I think I'm going to…

Her house?
Her house, her bedroom. I'm curious what it's all about. I like that role, but like I said, let's give it a go and see what happens

You said she has a boyfriend, does that matter to you?
If there's a girl that says, "I'm in love with my boyfriend," then I'll back off, as a gentleman's gesture. Unless she comes on to me, then all bets are off.

Ron, 28

So tell me a bit about you, where you're from, when you moved here.
Born outside of Detroit, Michigan. I grew up in Arkansas, a small town Arkansas. I moved here in December 2006. I dropped out of school to join a band.

Are you single?
I am in a very long-term type of relationship, hitting year seven next March.

Did you meet here in NY?
I was living in Arkansas. She was living in Florida and I met her here; we were both on vacation. My buddy was working at the Roxy Deli in Times Square–he had just moved here–and she went in there for a meal. She was 17 at the time. She asked him what there was to do for an underage girl in NY, and he gave her my phone number. We ended up hanging out for two days. I was 19 and I was here to see the Flaming Lips at MSG on New Year's Eve. I had two extra tickets and she and my buddy took them, but we sat on the floor and they were way up in the bleachers.

You sat with the girl?
The girl and I were together the whole time, my friend was with her friend Stephanie. After that we kept in touch through email and AOL instant messenger; it was a different time

Yeah, what was your screen name?
Smooth8643 I ended up going to the school that she was going to in Florida, and we ended up dating seriously.

Did you guys hook up the first time she was here, did you have an AOL cyber sex relationship?
I tried here–just mouth stuff. She wasn't having it.  And no, man, nothing like that. I remember I had a dream once that her mom died before I ever met her mom.

What? Is her mom alive?
Yeah, her mom's doing good.

How long were you guys together in Florida for?
She grew up there and I was there for three-and-a-half years and then we moved straight here. She was going to Pratt and I was in a band.

So you moved together?
Yeah, got a tiny bedroom in a slum building in Bed-Stuy.

Are you still in the same building?
Fuck no. We moved out of there after five months, man. We went without heat and hot water for two weeks in the middle of January and then we got bed bugs and were like, We're done. We just moved out over night.

So seven years? How do you guys still keep the flame alive, keep things interesting?
We're super used to each other, but, you know, I'm kind of an unpredictable drunken asshole so I think that keeps things interesting for her and me.  Like sometimes I'll get real drunk by myself at a bar and bring an old dude home just to hang out or I'll find a dress in a garbage can and wear it home and she'll have to help me out of it or whatever.

So she literally has to undress you?
Literally. One time I met her friend Kelly for the first time and I had found a dress in the garbage can. It was too tight for me to get it off and her friend Kelly had to cut it off me, and my girlfriend was so embarrassed and pissed off.

So you seriously do find dresses and wear them home?
Totally.

So in the past seven years you guys have only been seeing each other?
We've definitely had our ups and downs. As far as I know she's been with no one else and as far as I know I've been with no one else either.