Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: New York, NY

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Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

Rex, 23

What do you do for a living?
I'm a public-radio producer on a show called [name of show redacted].

So does that job ever get you dates?
No, because when I tell someone that I work in public radio… that's the unsexiest job that you can have. Like, "Oh, do you want to go out and talk about the national debt?" No.

Fair enough. So where do you get your dates, then?
I meet a lot of dudes in bars. If I want to make it happen, I have a lot to drink, and I hope he has, too. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Do you have any dealbreakers with guys?
Uh, yeah. Yes I do. I can't date a shitty artist. I can't date a really bad actor or a guy who's in a band that sucks. I just can't do it.

I totally support this dealbreaker.
That's a big one. That's the only one that comes to mind, at least. Maybe based on recent experience.

Ooh! Well, do you have any weaknesses with guys?
I tend to like really tall, very lanky dudes. And I'm a sucker for a really well-dressed guy.

Okay, okay. Cool. Do you have any favorite hookups?
How graphic can I get? Is this a family website that you work for?

No, it's not. One guy, I was interviewing him, and he showed me his penis.
He showed you his penis? Wow!

He tattooed his own dick, with his initials.
His own dick? That would, actually, that would be a dealbreaker, if we could go back to that question. If I pulled down his pants and there was a penis with a tattoo on it, especially if it was his own initials. Can't do that one, sorry. Anyway, one time, I brought home this guy, we were very drunk, had sex, fell asleep afterwards. And in the early morning, he woke up all of a sudden and he went to the bathroom. He came back in the room and he was like, "I'm sorry. This has never happened before, but I just pissed in your bed." I was wasted, so all I could do was strip the sheets from my bed and sleep on my bare mattress, which was also kind of wet. But the way he worded it — "I've never done this before." — I spoke to a friend of his, and the week before he'd gotten very drunk and pissed all over her couch while he was sleeping.

Oh, wow.
You definitely should not tell people I work on [name of show redacted]. I will lose my job. "Public radio producer" is fine.


Jesse, 29

What do you do for a living?
Right now I'm a grad student. I'm studying interactive design.

Does that get you dates?
No. No. I look online, and that's about it. And then I join a dating service. And then I get freaked out and I stop.

You and I sound very similar. Do you have any weaknesses when it comes to guys?
I used to like musicians, but I'm so done with that. I dated a guy who was in a band — I'm done. So now I'd just take a conservative, chill guy.

Do you have any favorite hookup stories?
I don't know if it's favorite, but, the good old Uncle Kracker guy.

Wait. What?
He had a single, and I forget the name of his single. Uncle Kracker. He had… he was a one-hit-wonder. I went to one of his concerts with my girlfriends, we ended up getting on his tour bus and we each, like…

Oh my God.
I was just trying to be cool. I was nineteen.



Kevin, 23

Where are you from?
I'm from Nebraska originally. I think people are actually more open to meeting people here than they are in Omaha. There are a lot of single girls here, and if you have the balls to talk to a girl, then they'll probably talk to you. If you're friendly and not a dick, it's pretty open.

That's a good dating strategy. Don't be a dick.
Sometimes being a dick works. That worked when I went to school in L.A.

Where did you go?
I went to USC.

I went to UCLA.

You asshole.
This interview is fucking over.

So you've met the ladies in Omaha, L.A., and New York.
So far this has been my favorite. There's a New York look that I like — five-foot-ten, brunette. I don't like blondes very much, so being in L.A. was kind of tough.

Do you have any favorite hook-up stories?
I lost my virginity in a church. And I'm Jewish, so that was especially powerful for me. I bent her over the altar and flipped off Jesus.

Are you serious?
That was actually the peak.

Holy fuck. Literally.
There's a private chapel in my neighborhood, and I was at the house of the girl whose family had the private chapel, and things just happened.

That's insane.
She was a slut. I probably could have done anything. We could have gone outside and done it in the street and that would have been fine.

Have you ever been offended in the bedroom?
I don't know. It's very weird… I've had a girl tell me my penis is small, and another one tell me it was big in the same week. I've always been kind of confused.

Can I ask how many inches?
Six and a half. On a regular day.

I feel like average is five and a half.
I don't know. You're the sex interviewer.

Anything above six I think is okay. You must be six inches to ride. So when somebody told you your penis was small, that's when you were offended?
Yeah. No, when it was big I was offended.

I don't know — maybe you're weird. What did you do?
I kept doing it. I don't care that much.

You were still getting laid.
Yeah. You can tell me anything.

Noted. Have you ever offended anyone in the bedroom?
After the first time I got a blowjob, I told her she sucked the passion out of me. And then we broke up. I actually wrote a song about it recently.

You're a musician?
No, just having a good time.

Evan, 22

So Evan, what do you do for a living?
I'm a graphic designer in Midtown.

Does that get you dates?
Absolutely not. I got my last date from someone walking into my kitchen — a friend of my roommate's. Dated her for a year and a half. I have a hundred-percent success rate with that method, so I'm just waiting for that to happen again. I have no reason to doubt that it won't.

If you like someone, how do you make it happen?
Stare real hard. Kind of open my shirt a bit. And then make a bunch of clumsy advances until they push me away or fall right in. It's fool-proof.

I love it. Is there a kind of girl you tend to fall for?
I'm trying to avoid the frizzy-haired Sarahs in my life. I'm avoiding the destiny that my mother planned out for me. Right now the archetype is volleyball players. Tall blondes.

Do you have any deal-breakers?
I have a lot of deal-breakers! Get ready! You can't use these words more than twice a week: "awesome," "awkward," "zeitgeist."

Have you ever offended anyone in the bedroom? You're laughing like it's a yes.
No, I just made a really imprudent comment. I'll never again poke someone's stomach and say "That's cute!" I didn't think it was tear-worthy, but someone else did.

Oh no, did she cry? That sucks.
Yeah, I know. See? Now you're making this well back up. Thanks a lot.

Devon, 22

What do you do for a living?
I'm a student at NYU. I have a double major in economics and film production.

Do you think the dating pool is better in one versus the other?
No, I haven't had much luck in either. I date outside of my majors. But I think film people, just based on this shared passion. With economics it seems a little bit more random sometimes.

Do you have any crazy ex-girlfriends?
I had a quick girlfriend in high school who was just…

I love that phrase. "A quick girlfriend."
A quick girlfriend. A few weeks. I think she just liked the image of me, and I think she just liked that if she was with me it meant x, y, and z. She was just obsessed with me for no apparent reason. Knew nothing about me. That was disheartening. That's the only one I could think of.

Have you ever offended anyone in the bedroom?
If I date women who are also with men, I think sometimes I ask questions in a way that's not sensitive. But more laughing offended, not hurt offended.

Do you have any favorite hook-up stories?
Not really.

Any horror stories?
Actually, my favorite hook-up story… I studied abroad in Uganda, and Uganda's trying to pass a law to give homosexuals the death sentence. I was seeing a girl while I was there, and that was satisfying to just be with her there. It was secret and everything.

Were you ever worried?
No. No one was onto us.

That's badass. How long were you in Africa for?
For a semester. We met there. It was just a fleeting, short thing.

What kind of person do you consistently fall for?
Women who are well read. Someone with a lot of favorite authors and stuff like that. Also, people who have their own side projects outside of their major or specific job. Things that they're always working on or developing. I think that's hot.


Wade, 65

What do you do for a living?
I'm a photographer.

Does that get you dates?
I can't hear you.

Does that get you dates?
I don't take advantage of it. I'm not going to go around fucka-graphing people.

What do you look for in a woman?


Is there a certain type that you go for?
Yeah. The one that likes to have sex. I'm not a deep man.

Do you have any favorite sex stories?
Yeah. I'm on a bus and I see this woman get on the bus, on Madison Avenue, and she looks just like Sophia Loren. Just like her. Really, just like her. I couldn't believe it. And I say to her, she's standing across from me, and I say, "You look like Sophia Loren." And she says, "What?" and asks me to come over and sit next to her, and I said, "You really look like Sophia Loren. I'm just curious, what's your name?" And she says, "Sophia." And I said, "Sophia what?" She said, "Loren."

So I said, "Oh, hi. Marcello." And she says, "What? What do you mean?" I say, "Marcello Mastroianni, Sophia Loren." And she says, "You little schmuck, you. You don't know who I am or who I'm supposed to be."

So I said, "Little schmuck? I think that's the end of our conversation." And she says, "No, no, no, let's go to your place."

Oh my God!
I said, "I don't think so. The little schmuck doesn't want to." So she says to me, "I apologize. I didn't mean it." She wanted to have sex. So we went over to my place, we go in and she takes her clothes off.

Just, right away?
Right away. And she's on the bed. So, I took my clothes off, and I'm a big boy, and she really looked fantastic. And if it wasn't Sophia Loren, it was a great impersonation. It was fantastic. She sees me and I'm as big as I've ever been. And she got frightened — and started shaking! She has never had a larger… you know, the guys she hangs out with. I could have been her little schmuck as much as she wanted.

I don't think we're going to beat that.
Most people say to me, "Was it really Sophia Loren?" And I tell them, "If she told me her name was Ed Koch I still would have screwed her."

Interviews by Meghan Pleticha. Photography by Sean McGurn.