Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: New York, NY

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Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.


Patty, 28

What do you do?
I'm a yoga teacher.

Does it help you get laid?
Definitely. Everybody wants to fuck a flexible girl.

Have you used yoga moves in the bedroom?
Of course. Every time. Hip openers are the money. Your hip flexors, your hamstrings. Squats are really good. You've got to open up the whole area to let the energy flow.

Do you do yoga before sex as like, a regular practice?
I kind of do yoga all the time. I stretch all the time. I'm a little bit neurotic about it. But… if I know that it's going to be a special night, I might do some special stretches.

Are you close with your exes?
Not with my first, but I'm extremely close with my second.

Oh yeah? Like, last night kinda close?
[Laughs] Like four hours ago.

That's pretty close! Do you have any dealbreakers when it comes to dating?
I used to. But I keep breaking my dealbreakers. Like, drug use.

Do you have any crazy places that you've hooked up?
Car in Vegas. Fire escape in New York. Everything else is sort of normal… showers, you know.

What's the craziest thing you ever did to get a guy?
Well, there was an actor who was performing in a show that some of my friends were in, and he was very attractive. So after the show, I walked up to him and said, "Do you want to make out?" And his response was to kiss me. Then later there was a text. And we hung out.

And got to know each other?
Well, in a way. I mean, there was no talking.



Greg, 25

What do you do?
I'm a therapist.

Have you ever done anything inappropriate with a patient?
No. Absolutely not.

Do you have any interesting hook up stories?
Yes! I got a BJ — a blowjob — fellatio — a female performed fellatio… on my phallus… in a construction site… last weekend.

Thank you for being specific!
In the cockpit of a bulldozer. On North 11th St., between Driggs and Roebling.

Yes. We need the exact address, in case anyone wants to find the construction site. Did you break in?
It was open! There was no door. We just walked in and I sat down. We made out for awhile.

Were you like, "Step into the cockpit of my bulldozer?"
No. It was her. She was very forward. She suggested I take her into the construction site. I was like, let's go into the bulldozer.

Do you intend to see this woman again?

How did you meet her?
At a bar. Forty-five minutes earlier.

So you met a girl in a bar, you took her home…
I did not take her home! I didn't want to take her home. I still don't. And that's why we went to the bulldozer.

What's the difference between a girl who you take home and a girl who you take to a construction site?
The difference is date-ability. This girl, I knew from the beginning that I didn't want to date her. I didn't even want to hook up with her, but she was very persuasive.

So there are categories? Girls who you'd take home and girls who you'd take to a construction site? Is there a third category?
Yeah, girls I wouldn't take home or date. Then there are girls I'd marry on the spot. Like Shakira or Scarlett Johansson.

I've heard ScarJo is a terrible dancer. Just so you know…
I'm a terrible dancer.

So you're meant to be together.
You should tell her that! We're meant to be together.



Kaitlyn, 24

Are you from New York originally?
I'm from the Midwest — Minnesota.

Is dating easier here or there?
I don't really have that much experience dating because I just got out of a three-year relationship. But I think dating is definitely more exciting in New York. There are more people, and where I'm from it's sort of all the same type of person. You can exhaust your options pretty quickly.

Do Midwestern boys treat girls better?
I'm definitely less intimidated by Midwestern boys. I feel more comfortable around them. Everybody loves to tell me how terrible dating is in New York City and how shallow everyone is.

Do you think that's true?
I don't know yet, but I guess I'm going to find out.

What's the worst date you've ever been on?
Well, I've never been on a super awkward date. A guy has never taken me out to dinner. Well, a guy that I barely know… no. No one's ever been like, let's go on a date.  But I've had a lot of terrible dates with my ex-boyfriend where we just fought and I cried.

So no one besides your ex-boyfriend has ever taken you out to dinner?
Well, boyfriends have. But no strangers.

It's hilariously awkward. You should try it sometime.
I'm terrified.

What's the most unusual place you've ever had sex?
This is going to sound so slutty, but, in the boys' locker room in high school.

How did you make sure that no one came in?
Someone did come in, and I got in trouble.

Was it during school hours?
During lunch.

Why did you —
Because I was stupid!

Were there other people in there?
There was one other guy. He was tying his shoes and he kind of looked at us weird.

Well, yeah! I mean, were you naked?
My pants were down.

Do you have any dating dealbreakers?
The biggest dealbreaker for me is if our tastes aren't compatible. If we're listening to my music and he doesn't like it, it kind of ruins everything. It's like, why are we even doing this if we don't like listening to this record together?

Is there a particular band that, if a guy were into them, it definitely would not work out?
The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

What about "Under the Bridge?"
That is an okay song. But that is the only song. Anthony Kiedis' voice… ahhh. I hate everything he says. The other thing is if you go over to a guy's house and he just wants to play you his music all night long. And keeps talking about when he was on tour.

Do you think that there's one person for everyone?
No. My parents would probably like me to believe that there is. It's a Christian thing. You're supposed to only have sex with one person unless your spouse dies or something and you get remarried.

Do your parents know about the locker room?
Um… yeah.

Did you have to have the "save yourself" conversation in response to the locker-room incident?
It's been an ongoing conversation for my whole life, which is probably why I was having sex in the locker room.



Sal, 36

What do you do?
I'm a musician.

Does that help you get laid?
It doesn't hurt. When I was younger, I saw an informal poll where women were asked to rate their lovers by occupation. The bottom were computer programmers. Then middle managment, up through tradesman and people who had various crafts, until you got to the very top and those were artists and musicians. So I figured I'd better stick with my calling, if for no other reason than to improve my sex life.

Have you always made a living exclusively as a musician?
No, I've been a computer programmer also.

Have you ever gotten laid just because you were a musician?
Yes. We call it "cashing in." You don't make very much money in this business, but there's something about fulfilling a young girl's rock-and-roll fantasies.

Do you have any interesting hookup stories?
I once had sex while driving across the Brooklyn Bridge. I've also had sex in the broom closet at the base of the Acropolis.

I didn't know the Acropolis had a broom closet.
They do, for the outdoor cafes. We got walked in on when they started sweeping up around two in the morning.

Did they ask you to leave?
They said something. It was all Greek to me, though, honestly.

Ba-doom-cha! Okay, do you have any dealbreakers when it comes to sex or dating?
Children, animals, and dead people.

How about Republicans?
Oh, I'll fuck the shit out of a Republican.

Are you friends with your exes?
The ones I didn't break up with.

Do you have any crazy exes?
Yeah, those are the ones I'm not friends with. One took a crate of my records down to the street and said, "Who wants vintage soul music?"

What's the most you've ever done to get laid?
When I was in high school, staying at my grandparents' place, a girl I met was staying at her grandparents' place. I snuck out of the old folks home where my grandparents were and walked five or six miles through the swamps of Florida to get to the old folks' home that she was staying at, snuck past security, and climbed through the window. Also, I drove three states out of my way on a road trip once to hook up with somebody for an hour. I only had an hour to say "Hey I'm in town!" and then "Do you want to have sex with me?"

And what made this person worth going three states out of your way?
It had been a few days.



Lauralynn, 29

Where do you live?
I don't know. I'm splitting my time. I'm in town.

Are you homeless?
I've checked homeless on my food-stamp application.

Where are you splitting your time?
Friends' houses, currently.

In New York?
Yeah. And San Francisco. Well, Oakland.

What do you do?
These questions are hard. I'm an artist and an activist. I'm someone who helps make people's dreams come true.

Are you intoxicated?
Actually, no. But I do have a prescription for marijuana.

Are you usually this evasive?
I'm running from the law.

Do you have any interesting hookup stories?
My first long-term, serious boyfriend, who I'm with now — the first person I've ever taken home to meet my parents — he's an artist and he had an installation that was funded at Burning Man. So it was a big deal for him. It was a replica of a New York City subway bench, with a sound installation of subway sounds. We went by the first night and the subway sounds weren't working, so they had techno and dubstep playing. These things that the cool kids listen to. We rode by and two people on both sides of the bench were having sex with their partners and I was like, wow, you're a success. You made something that people want to have sex on.

So did you have sex on it?
Well, I wanted to. I thought we were going to. We went over there the next night when it was working and we were sitting on the subway bench and we were kinda like, um… nope. We don't want to have sex on a subway bench. This is too real. And I was like, "Congratulations! You did a good job with this installation. Even though we're in the desert, this is so realistic. There are a thousand places I'd rather have sex with you. In public, if we want to."

So your sex story is about not having sex?
Yeah. We went back to our air-conditioned tent and made love. Tenderly.

What's the craziest place you've ever hooked up with someone?
I've had sex with myself, like, under a desk.

In elementary school?
During a lecture, in grad school.

What was the lecture?

Do you remember what the lecture was about?
No. But I was feeling it.

So when you were single, did you feel like being an artist helped you get laid?
When you have a boyfriend and they're an artist, you can say "Honey, let's not have sex on your art project." But when you don't have a partner and you hook up with an artist, you have to have sex on their art project. They definitely want you to.

Do you have any dealbreakers when it comes to dating or sex?
Well, if you're not my boyfriend right now, I'm probably not going to have sex with you … if you have a penis.

Oh, but you'll have sex with girls?
I would be more open to it.

He wouldn't have a problem with it?
No. What he thinks it is, he thinks he would enjoy. But what it really is… would terrify him.

Do you find that women or men are better lovers?
Well, you always have the best orgasm with somebody that you love.

Good answer. Very diplomatic. But, really, men or women?
It depends what you like. If you like to be… pounded… all night long… with a cock… actually, that could go either way.



Mike, 24

What do you do?
I'm a graduate student at Columbia in Germanic Languages.

Does that help you get laid?
No. You spend all of your time with a certain kind of person and that person sees you as a colleague and not as someone who they would potentially want to have sex with. Why would I want to have sex with someone in my department? That would be so slimy and everyone would find out. It's a very insular world.

Have you ever used your German in an intimate setting?
Sure, in Germany. I've had sex with someone who spoke German as their native language. Does that count?

Can you give us some tips on sexy stuff to say in German?
Well, if you watch German porn from the seventies or eighties — what's really funny is that German is this incredibly flat and formal language. It's very expressionless. And there's this one German porn movie where this older dude is getting jerked off by this famous porn star — well, she was famous in the seventies because she looked twelve even though she was eighteen. And she's like "Das ist ein tolles Gefühl für den Schwanz?"  Meaning "Is that a good feeling?"And he's like "Ja. Fur mein Peni ist das optimal."

And what does that mean?
It's like "For my pee-pee, it is optimal."

You seem to have this porn memorized.
It really stuck with me.

Is there anything shorter and sexier that you can recommend that's not… creepy?
No, actually.

Do you have any interesting hookup stories?
Do you have any interesting hookup stories?

I'm interviewing you!
Then no.

Can we talk more about German porn?
I think people would assume that German porn is really perverse. But I think the truth is that American porn is by comparison really perverse. The women look horrifying and made-up. That whole Jenna Jameson look. Whereas, German people like a good story, I've noticed. The aesthetics of American 1970s porn carried over well into the late '90s for Germany. Pubic hair, they're into it. Okay, I have a hookup story. Once in Paris, my friend and I took MDMA with his girlfriend and then we all had sex. And there was also a third dude around.

Did the trip get awkward after the drugs wore off?
Not at all. We were all like "That was really great!" Afterwards, my friend's girlfriend went to sleep and the rest of us walked around — jeez, that sounds so scummy — but we walked around and we went to Notre Dame, to the Sunday morning service.

So you had a foursome on ecstasy and then you went to church?
We didn't go to church, we went to a church. And then we went to McDonald's.

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