Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: New York, NY

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Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

Natasha, 26

What do you do for a living?
I work in fashion.

Does that get you dates?
It can. But I choose not to. We do a lot of castings for models — it's too much.

Do you have any favorite hook-up stories?
My ex-boyfriend's neighbor. Basically, we had bumped into each other many times, even before I was with my boyfriend. I was with my boyfriend for a year, and when we broke up I ended up becoming friends with the neighbor. We hooked up the day before yesterday. But I was must say, I was disappointed.

I'm sorry to hear that.
It's okay. I just won't have him over again. It's a waste of my reputation.

At least now you don't have to be walking by your ex-boyfriend's place all the time. Do you have any crazy exes?
One guy I dated still had feelings for me, and his girlfriend broke up with him because of it. Every time I tell him, "We can be friends," he's like, "I'm in love!"

Have you ever been offended in the bedroom?
Yeah, if they're selfish or finish first. Sex has become pretty casual nowadays. It's weird, because when I was younger it was so different.

How was it different?
I felt like I saved myself forever, until I was like twenty. The guys who I've been dating always seem to be younger than me — I attract younger guys, I guess — and for them, it's so much more casual. Like with the neighbor: he came over, and ten minutes later, we were messing around.


Dean, 35

What do you do for a living?
I'm an engineer.

Do you have any favorite hook-up stories?
About three years ago, I was at this industry party, and I was hanging out with the guys from Making the Band. A girl walked up to me and said she'd do anything to meet one of the guys from the show. I said, "What does that mean?" She said, "Anything. I want to meet this guy." So I said, "Okay, come with me." We went to a room in the back and she proceeded to give me a blowjob. She got her fantasy going, but I just wanted to see how far it would go.

That's a crazy mindset to me. Well, what do you look for in a girl?
Smart. Sex appeal. Independent. I don't like girls who wear a lot of make-up.

Do you have any deal-breakers?
Well, if she's really pretty and she's not that smart — that'll still pass. Sex appeal is a big thing for me.

Do you have any crazy ex-girlfriends?
Yeah, I have a few.

What kind of crazy?
Well, I had a stalker once. I was doing a shoot in Toronto — homegirl found out where I was staying, my room number, and she just called me like, "How is Toronto?" I was like, "How did you know I was here?" A friend of mine had told her I was in Toronto. And I'd once told her that on shoots, we usually stay in a Marriott. So she called six different Marriotts to find out where my room was.


Emily, 25

What do you do for a living?
I'm a student, and I work for a graphic designer. I study fashion design and styling.

Which gets you more action?
Fashion design, definitely.

Do you have any good stories?
I went on a date with this guy, and we had a great time. Back at his place, we were chillin' out — I was watching TV, he was on the Internet, doing his thing. I looked over and he was watching porn! I was like, "All right, cool, but if you're gonna watch porn, let's watch it together." But then he decided to go out on a limb and show me a video of a teenage girl losing her virginity. I was like, "I gotta get out of here." So I go upstairs to get my bag ready. Then I, um, looked in his drawer and I found this red netted body suit for a woman. There were anal beads and handcuffs in there, too. Then I see this thing, like a hose, and it turns out to be a pussy pump! I wasn't down for having beads stuck up my ass, so I ran out of there like a bat out of hell.

Did you tell him anything?
I told him I had to go home early so I could get some documents for work. He was like, "What exactly do you have to get?" And I was just like, "Paperwork!"

I was going to ask if you've ever been offended in the bedroom, but I guess we've already been there. What kind of guy do you like?
Just a fun, easy-going guy who's easy on the eyes, preferably. Intelligent, employed, educated, no kids. And who doesn't have a record, preferably.

Are these things you've learned from experience?


Maria, 24

What do you do for a living?
I work in payroll at a staffing agency.

That sounds like it gets you a lot of action.
It hasn't gotten me action, but it has got me numbers. Those haven't really lead anywhere, though.

Where's the craziest place you've had sex?
I'm kind of an old-fashioned gal. I haven't really done anything crazy. Maybe on the stairs, leading up?

Wait, what?
The stairs. He caught me before we even got up.

Like, in an apartment building?
In a house.

Do you have any crazy ex-boyfriends?
I do. He broke into my MySpace, when that was in. He broke into my AOL account, when that was big. When it rained, he would come to see me at work, with an umbrella.

While you were dating?
No, we had broken up.

What did he do with your MySpace account?
He figured out my password and started messaging a bunch of guys I was friends with, asking them a bunch of random questions. And now he's tracked me down on Facebook.

I hope you don't have the same password. What kind of guy do you like?
Taller, kind of built. But I'm okay with a pasta belly.

Do you have any dealbreakers?
Yes, if a guy's wearing a shirt and his chest hair is peeking through it, I will keep walking.

Do you think you've ever offended anyone in the bedroom?
Probably ninety-five percent of the time. I'm not a giver, for lack of a better term.


Kurt, 26

What do you do for a living?
I'm a research analyst.

Does that get you any action?
No, I usually don't talk about my job when I'm picking up chicks. But I mean, I don't think it does damage, because I have a job and that's always good.

How do you go about picking up a woman if you like her?
I have two primary sources of getting chicks. I have what I call my back-up, and that's OkCupid. I haven't really had any long-term relationships come out of OkCupid — it's mostly one-night stands. For me, the best way to find a girlfriend is at a bar.

That's the opposite of most people, I think. What are you into?
The kind of girls I like are counter to the typical Manhattan female — you know, the trendy, intellectual-feminist-atheist kind of chick. I'm not in to that at all.

Do you have any favorite hook-up stories?
A few weeks back, I met a girl in the Lower East Side. I was with all my friends. One of them was a girl I used to hook-up with. She was like "Come on, I want to be your wing-woman. I want to get you laid." Junior-high-dance style, she went up to this girl and was like, "That guy wants to dance with you," and the girl was like, "Okay." So I went over and we hit it off really well. We started making out, and ended up going home together.

Have you ever been offended in the bedroom?
Not really. I'm kind of kinky and dirty and stuff — I mean, as kinky and dirty as heterosexual male-female sex can get. But I was hooking up with this one chick, and before anything got too serious she just stood up and was like, "I've got to go. I'm sorry." I'd never had a girl walk out on me in the middle of hooking up before. Maybe she hadn't hooked up with someone since her last boyfriend — that sort of thing.

Yeah, either that or she got her period.
No, we were past that point. I knew she didn't have her period.


Zgizelle, 46

What do you do for a living?
I'm an actress, and I teach ballet.

Oh damn, does that get you any action?
No, no, no. Most of the men are…

Yeah. So I get no action.

So if you like a guy, how do you make it happen?
If I like a guy, I let him know with my eyes. But I'm a Virgo, so I'm very picky. I analyze everything.

What kind of guys do you like?
He has to have a flat stomach; I can't do the beer thing. No smoking or eating meat, because I'm a vegan. I look at his skin and his eyes, and I can tell if he's healthy. I like confident men. You have to have what we call swagger!

Do you have a weakness?
No, but if there's something I don't like about a guy, I'm gonna let him know. Like, "This dinner is over, bye, nice meeting you."

Have you ever done that?
Yes, I have. I was out on a date, and the guy had told me he was vegan. Then he ordered chicken. I said to him, "I'll be right back, I'm going to the restroom," and I went out the back door.

Has anyone ever offended you in the bedroom?
Yes! He couldn't perform. I told him, "You gotta pull out. It's not gonna happen." His penis was crooked; it was like a hook. He was a nice person, but it would not work. We tried every position.

Do you have any crazy ex-boyfriends?
No, I've been lucky. I guess it's because I'm real: if I'm not feeling you, let's just end it before we get serious. And don't stalk me because listen, I'm crazy, I'll put you in jail.

Wait, are you the crazy ex?
If I tell you to leave me alone and stop calling me, and you continue, then I'm gonna get crazy. I'm gonna go to your house and bust out your windows. I'm gonna find your car. One time I Krazy Glued my ex's penis.

You Krazy Glued his penis?
I knew he was cheating, but he wouldn't admit it. So I got him really drunk, so wasted he couldn't even walk. I put him in bed, waited an hour until he was asleep, and then I put Krazy Glue on his penis, his balls, everything. Later he got up to take a shower and was like, "Zgizelle! What's this?" I worked at a health clinic, so I was like, "Oh, that looks like chlamydia. That's a sexually transmitted disease, and the only way you can catch it is by having sex. So you must've done something!" And then he admitted it.

 Interviews by Meghan Pleticha. Photography by Sean McGurn.