Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: New York, NY

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Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

Deon, 26

What do you do?
I work in a catering hall in Long Island. I run weddings, bar mitzvahs, sweet sixteens. And I work for a start-up internet company.

Does either job get you many dates?
Yes, I constantly meet wedding guests because I fall into interactions every night with between 200 to 300 people.

Are you single?
I am technically single.

I am in love with someone overseas, but I am technically single.

What do you look for in a guy?
It depends. One day I could be looking for a boyfriend. The next day I could just be looking for sex. If I want a boyfriend, looks don't really matter. I'm all about personality.

What kind of personality?
Just cool, laid-back. I don't like guys who are very, "Oh, I'm gay, so I have to act a certain way." I like guys who act a certain way because that's how they are, and that's it. They don't fall into a stereotype.

And what about when you're looking for sex?
I'm just looking for hot guys. Hottest guy in the room. That's it.

What's the craziest place you ever had sex?
My old job. In the bridal suite. Out on Long Island. We worked together and that was the only place with a door that locked besides the walk-in refrigerator. And there were couches. I had keys to all the rooms.

Has anyone ever done anything during sex to offend you?
No. Nope. Nope. I mean the most offense is when I'm hooking up with a guy and he doesn't come. That's when I'm offended. It's like: what's wrong with you? Is it me? You're not turned on enough?

Do you believe in love at first sight?
No. Love at first sight is bullshit. That's called "I want to have sex with this person. I'm in love with them right now."

What do you like about the guy who is overseas?
Well, he's really hot. He has a great body. But he's also just so chilled out. I never met any guy like that before. We just connected. The first time I met him, we just talked about music the whole night. And from then I was like, "I'm in love with you." We like the same exact music. It's a done deal.

When are you going to see him again?
Christmas. I'm going to Ireland again. Again.

Do you feel like no one else stands a chance because you're so into him?
I had this conversation last night. It's very weird. I guess I'm holding back from everyone. I'm not allowing myself to meet anyone. I'm just keeping it to sex, because I have this flight booked. It's bad, because when I get drunk I'm like, "This is fucking stupid! I'm holding my life back for a flight to Dublin."

Are there any reasons you wouldn't date someone?
I don't like extreme rough sex. I like it dirty. I like it wild. But I don't want to be choked to death.

What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get laid?
That's a tough one. Flown to Ireland? Oh, I got a blowjob in that corner over there, thinking that no one could see me because I was so drunk.

What time was that?
Like three-ish. The bar was still going. It was pretty jumping. And I was like: no one can see us. Let's just go in this corner. Yeah… everyone could see us. And I got in a lot of trouble.


Christina, 32

What do you do for a living?
I'm in the fashion industry. I was at BCBG Max Azria and Urban Outfitters. I actually had a baby seven months ago, so I started my own company doing independent sales. I work only by appointment. I love the flexibility.

How did you meet your husband?
I met my husband out one night in Hoboken. I was working at Donna Karen and he was an eighth-grade teacher. He's always had a passion for web so he's in web development now. But at the time, he actually was launching a magazine. My husband is very shy, but the magazine kind of helped him with that. He asked if I wanted to take a picture with my friends for the magazine; it was an online thing. He was very tall, dark, and handsome. He was really nice. So then the night went on and I think he ended up coming up to me. I ended up getting really sick because I didn't eat the night before. It was one of those really bad nights. And he ended up taking care of me. We went to a diner and he was trying to help feed me. I actually threw up all over the table.

How long have you been together?
Eight years at this point.

Do you have any crazy ex-boyfriends?
I actually dated a guy for a really long time — six years. He's a big music producer now. He was getting more and more into the music scene. He's very well-connected. But he had built a studio in the basement and I never saw him. He was crazy aggressive, personality-wise, and I am, too, so we were fighting all the time. So I made plans to move all my shit out of the house. Well, I guess he had found out through someone else that I was planning to do that. So I got to the house and he had locked everything up. I couldn't even get in. He had locked the glass doors from the inside.

So how did you get inside?
I had to call the police. It was awful. He showed up, and I was like, "My address is on my driver's license. I live here. They will break into this house and I will get my shit out."

Did you get all your stuff that day?
No, we were together for a really long time so it took a lot of conversations. But I gradually moved my stuff out. I was like, "Hmm, it might work out again." Then… it didn't.


Cenjiz, 22

What do you do for a living?
I'm working as a porter now and I'm going to school in the fall.

What's your relationship status?
I am dating.

Where do you meet girls?
Usually in the street. In the park. At a bar.

And what do you do to impress them?
I introduce myself. That's about it. And then just get the conversation going. It usually works for me.

What do you look for in a girl?
I look for someone who is genuine, honest… attractive, of course, though that's not the most important thing.

And what about dating dealbreakers?
If she's very stuck-up, full of herself, high-maintenance.

Are you usually friends with your exes?
If I've had a good relationship with the person, then I would not mind.

Any wild places you've had sex?
Just a few weeks ago, me and my brother and a friend of ours were going to a bar at 82nd and 3rd Avenue. And I saw this woman walking my way, and I decided to approach her and stop her. And I introduced myself. We started talking. She asked me if I would go with her to a bar to pick up her credit card. So I did. And we hung out for about an hour and a half, two hours. Just smoking a cigarette, talking about life. You know, getting to know one another. And so by the end of the day, right here — you know where the 7/11 is at 84th? I had sex with her in front of the building at five in the morning.

Did anyone see?
A few people.

Any embarrassing hookup stories?
This happened here in the park. A friend of mine and I had a double date with these girls we just met on 86th Street. And so I was with the girl I was supposed to hang out with and he was with the other girl. And the girl I was with, her ex-boyfriend was a cop, and he was looking for her. And so she had to go and deal with that. But right before she left, she told me, "Oh, go have fun with my friend. She is very sexual." And I said, "No, no, no. I'm not interested." But I went over to my friend and the girl and I said, "So how about a threesome?" Just to break the ice; kidding around. And she was laughing. She was very cool. And she wasn't very attractive, to be honest. But right there in front of Gracie Mansion, or whatever it's called, I got a blowjob from her.

Even though you didn't find her attractive?
No, not at all. Just because I was a bit horny. And she wasn't very good at it to be honest. And after a few minutes I just asked her if she would stop. And then I left her and my friend alone. I know, I know! I'm not that kind of guy. And then my friend told me afterwards that she felt a little bit sorry for how bad she was.

Regretful that she wasn't good at the blowjob or that she did it?
No, not that she did it, but that she wasn't very good at it.

Do you believe in love at first sight?
I do. I've had it happen to me.

How many times?
Just once. I'm Turkish and I was away in my country last summer. We have a summer house there.

And did you end up dating her?
For about two weeks. When I met her, she had two weeks left there and then she was going back to Istanbul. But it was more than just looks with this girl. I really, really, loved who she was. Very family-oriented, genuine, honest. This is a girl I would marry. I would marry in a heartbeat. And I believe in that kind of stuff, you know? I mean, I like to have fun and stuff like that. But if I meet somebody I really, really, like, and I would want to be with, I would drop everything just to be with that person.

Taner, 38

What do you do for a living?
I was a teacher. I was teaching English back in Turkey. I just moved here.

How long have you been in the U.S.?
I've in the U.S. on and off for one year. I'm here because of my partner. I was here to get my international certificate. In the last week, I met my partner. We fell in love. I came back here. Then he went to Turkey. Then I came back here. And it was too difficult so we ended up here.

Is he Turkish?
No, he's American.

What did he do to impress you when you first met him?
He's a very natural, very calm, very grounded, cute guy. And he keeps taking me to Broadway shows, which I love.

When you first met, who pursued whom?
Well, I'm from a Mediterranean part of Turkey, and a bit dominant. I was chasing him first. Now I'm making him chase me.

What's the difference between dating in Turkey and dating here?
There's something international I think for gays. It's mostly the same. All gays are very open-minded.

Do you have any crazy ex-boyfriends?
Well, actually, I was the craziest one. I had a good job in Turkey. I was a teacher. A nice house. And I left everything to be with my boyfriend, my life, my family, and ended up here.

That's romantic crazy. Any crazy places you've hooked up?
I was dating a clergyman. We were meeting in a church. I was kind of in love with him for nearly a year but then I found out he was doing the same thing with every single Turkish guy in Istanbul. I got disappointed and left him. He was having fun. He was enjoying Turkish guys. The funny thing is he was always meeting me with this outfit. It was a kind of weird seeing crosses and other religious images because I'm not religious at all. It was really weird but very exciting.

Did he ask you to come to the church or was that your idea?
I think it was his fantasy. It was a good fantasy for me as well but it was his fantasy.


Katrina, 30

What do you do for a living?
I work at a talent agency.

Any eligible male talent there?
We have a wide variety of talent, older, younger, but it's not like we look at them and say, "Oh, he's dateable." Yeah, sure, we'll say that some of them are pretty hot, but we're not going to go ahead and cross that boundary. At least I won't.

Are you dating now or single?
I'm single.

Did your last relationship end well or badly?
The last guy I dated I'm not really talking to so much. But the last few — I don't really hold onto grudges, so I'm cool with them. It's not like I'm hanging out with them, but I'm civil. I can be nice.

Do you have any exes who have done crazy stuff?
No, thankfully not, knocking on all sorts of wood. They've got no reason to do something crazy to me. If anything, it's their wrongdoing, you know. I didn't do anything.

So they're usually the ones in the wrong?
Yeah! You know, the people who deserve to get their tires slashed. Sure. Am I going to do it? No! That makes me look bad. I'm not going to stoop to their level. It is what it is.

What do you look for in a guy?
Someone who is honest. I think honesty goes a long way.

Have you had a situation in the past where someone has been dishonest?
Oh, absolutely. I like to have my proof before I do any confronting, because then, you know, it turns into speculation and assuming, and I don't like to be criticized for that. And usually we women have our gut feelings, so I kind of just wait it out. And I collect my information. I observe. And I call them out on the things that they do. I've learned to take each relationship as a lesson. They came into my life for a reason.

Is there any particular lesson you could share?
Well, we can take my male best friend. I've known him for years. He was after me for awhile, and he always expressed interest, but deep down I was like, "No, I don't want to ruin the friendship." And after maybe ten years I finally caved in. But ultimately, by us finally hooking up, it did kind of destroy the friendship we had. We're still friends, but it's not the same.

Has anyone ever done anything that's offended you in the bedroom?
I remember I was sleeping with someone in the morning, and he cut one, because he didn't realize who he was next to. He thought he was home alone and he forgot where he was. And I heard it. And it took him like two seconds to realize, and he kind of jumped and said, "Oh my God, did I just do what I just did?" He was mortified at the moment, but then later on he would tell the story as a big joke.

Do you believe in love at first sight?
I used to, but then I grew up. I believe in lust. You can see someone and say, "Wow, I wouldn't mind taking that to the bedroom." Would I cave to that need? No, because I'm not a casual sex person. Sure, that idea looks good on Sex and the City, but it's just not me.


Dexter, 25

What's your occupation?
Video editor.

Do you meet many women as a video editor?
No. Only the ones I work with. If I'm going to meet women, I'd say a park, a bar, a library, or church.

Are you single?
I'm dating.

Are you dating one woman or multiple women?
One woman. It's been almost seven months. We met at a film event.

What did you do to impress her?
I took my shirt off, and she was impressed with that, and it went from there.

Under what circumstances did you take your shirt off?
It was just hot waiting for the 6 train, and I took my shirt off on the platform. Well, I was changing my shirt.

She just got a glimpse, and that was all it took?

Do you have any crazy exes?
From college, I would say one or two. If I ignored her, I had notes in my car. It eventually turned into a tire that was allegedly slashed. Allegedly.

How did you finally end that?
I graduated and left. Changed my phone number.

So she doesn't know where you are now?
She does now. It's been a couple of years.

Is there anything crazy you've ever done to hook up with a girl?
In high school, I liked this girl, but she didn't want anything to do with me. So I introduced myself to her parents, without her knowledge. That was kind of impressive, but it didn't work in the long run.

What did she say when she found out?
She thought it was kind of rude, but gutsy.

What did her parents say?
They liked it. Well, I think they were intimidated by a black person walking in their house, trying to show some love. It was pretty gutsy.

What's the craziest place you've had sex?
Outside of a building at our school. On the steps. It was one of those late, half-drunken nights and we just couldn't get back to the dorm in time.

You couldn't?
Yeah, just couldn't make it. Not enough time.

Did anyone catch you?
No. Someone said they saw us, but I just said I was going to the bathroom, because I was a lot bigger than the girl, so you couldn't really see from that vantage point.

Chivalry is not dead.

Do you believe in love at first sight?
With food: yes. With a girl: no.