Talking to Strangers: New York, NY

Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

by Antonio Cuccu and Martina Dechevska

Ryder, 24

What do you do here in New York?
I'm a hair stylist and a makeup artist. I moved here five years ago from Chicago.

What's the difference between dating people in Chicago and dating people in New York?
New York is much harder because everyone is on the go and so busy and there are just so many people. In Chicago, I felt like there was always someone introducing me to someone. Dating in New York sucks.

Have you had any bad experiences?
I've had some bad experiences because I'm kind of a nerd. One time I was in a bar and this guy was totally into me, buying me drinks, and he asked, "What's your favorite TV show?" and I said, "Battlestar Galactica," and he goes, "What's that?" and I'm like, "It's a show that used to be on the Sci-Fi Channel," and he immediately got up and walked away. Apparently anybody who watches something that was on the Sci-Fi Channel should never be spoken to.

Are you in a relationship right now?
No, I'm not. I was dating one guy and we were both freelancers at that time and our schedules just never met up. We never had time for each other.

How long was your longest relationship?
Probably like six or eight months. It was in Chicago though. Here in New York I've dated at most for two or three months.

What kind of guy would interest you?
He has to like Star Wars. It would be nice if he reads comic books. I really like tattoos and tall guys with dark hair.

What is the worst haircut a guy could have?
Combover — when they're bald but grow the side out and push it over the bald part.

Imagine seeing a very handsome and smart guy who has a combover. Would you date him?
I would be like, "Listen, I'm a hairstylist, I think I can figure out something better for your look."

Have you ever hooked up with someone at work?
No, I'm still kind of new on the job I have now. Also, as a hairstylist I mainly work with gay men. And I worked at a theater before, so I hardly ever meet straight men.

So where do you go to meet them?
To bars. I meet a lot of typical douchebags there, though. You know who I'm talking about — the bros. And I'm like, "No, I can't have an intellectual conversation with you..."

How do you recognize "the bros?"
They say "dude" a lot, and they're just kind of meatheads. They would be like, "What's this tattoo?" pointing to my hand, and I would say, "Shakespeare," and they'll say, "I've never read Shakespeare, but dude, I saw Jersey Shore last week..." and I would answer, "No. Bye. See ya. Keep doing your Jager shots, I'm going to go over here." I need someone who I can have an actual conversation with.

Have you ever dated someone who was totally intellectually sexy, but wasn't your type?
Yeah, I'm not going to lie. There's this guy who has a great personality, but I'm just not attracted to him at all. And I know that it's all about being beautiful on the inside, but you have to have some sort of attraction. You have to have some sort of sexual chemistry.

Has he tried to hit on you?
Yeah, but I was just like, you're my friend... no.

Have you ever had a one-night stand?
Yes. I don't really like them. I'm not against them, but in my experience, I just feel like such a ho the next day, and I don't really feel good about myself.

Have you ever had a threesome?
No. I almost did, with a girl and a guy. They were a couple in an open relationship, and I was doing the guy, and we were making plans to have a threesome, but it just never happened. It probably will eventually.

What are the men in Chicago like?
They have no direction, they have nowhere they're going. They're just stuck, like they're still in college. They haven't grown up, still hang out with the same people and they never progress. Whereas I think that people in New York always have somewhere they want to go. There's always another job, another goal, another dream. They don't want to eat in the deli, they want to eat in a restaurant with white tablecloths, while people in Chicago just don't give a shit.


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