Talking to Strangers: New York, NY

Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

by Daniela Cervetti


Lawrence, 29

How long have you been a personal trainer?
Uh... eight years. This is main gig right here: Teaching, training, and also coaching. My classes are mostly body-sculpting. It's a mix of Crossfit and strength training.

Is this your girlfriend?

How long have you been together?
The honest truth? Two weeks. I've known her for a long time, but we made it official two weeks ago. We wanted to feel each other out first, before things actually happened.

Do woman find it intimidating, being with a guy who evaluates fitness for a living?
Oh yeah, definitely. When I was dating, I'd go out to a restaurant, and the girl would always say, "Is this okay for me to have this?" Or they're always looking at their own physiques, like I'm analyzing them or something like that. And my thing is, if I had a problem, I wouldn't have started talking to you in the first place. I've dated women of all shapes and sizes.

Tell me about one of your strangest sexual experiences.
Oh! [laughs] Strangest... okay, when I was a freshman in college, I had sex outside of the monument in D.C., and uh... we got busted by a park ranger and two Secret Service police. They told us to leave, but we went back. We waited about ten or fifteen minutes before we went back, and then we got busted again.

So you knew there was a risk.
Yeah, I knew. And I was almost caught by a married woman's husband when I was twenty-one and living in Florida [laughs]. I had to hide under the bed for a good seven minutes. That was real scary. The woman was married and her husband came in through the back door unexpectedly. She was going through a separation and she told me that her husband was away with his daughter, and they came home and I had to hide until she snuck me out through the back door. That was a really scary moment because he was a Marine. It was crazy. You live and learn, though. I was really bad back in those days.

Do you like to be surprised in bed?
I like to be surprised, but it all depends on the woman. Some people, it's not that type of party, you know what I mean? A girl tried to suck my toe one time. We were just in bed, chilling. I fell asleep, and then I woke up and she was like, sucking my toe. Listen, I'm into some freaky stuff. I don't care. But let me warm up to that. Still, if I'm really sexually attracted to somebody, they can do whatever they want to do. They can handcuff me, they can pistol-whip me, they can tie me up and bondage me. I'm into stuff like that, but I have to feel you.

Have you two gotten there yet?
Well... we have. I can't complain. I mean, she makes a brother go over the top. Makes me just get a little wild. I get loose. Like a chicken with his head cut off.

Let me ask your girlfriend a question. How do you feel about your man working with scantily clad women all day long?
That's a good one. I like that.
[Lawrence's girlfriend: "I feel great. It reminds him of what he has at home. You have to be a secure girlfriend to have a fine and sexy man like this [laughs]."]

Exactly how did you two meet?
We met in Brooklyn. I actually noticed her from the back, first. I was like, "That woman has a beautiful skin tone and pretty hair." So I had to hurry up and scoot my little self up to get around, and I don't even know what I said, but I was just like the typical guy in New York: "I make six figures, and hey, I'm a celebrity trainer, and I do this and I do that, and I've got a house in Scottsdale..." And she was just looking at me like, "Boy, please. I've got these groceries in my hand. You're making my ice cream melt. Excuse me." But she gave me a chance, and it was love. It's no different from going to a restaurant and ordering something you've never had before, and you love it, and want to go back two, maybe three times a week. It's more than lust, because you start to falling in love with certain ingredients. You want to go home and study a little bit. How do they make this dish? Maybe they put a little garlic in this, or maybe this is cayenne pepper. But you're at the point where you're starting to get the ingredients right, like this young lady right here. I mean, she's no cayenne pepper — she's just her, and that is what I love about this woman. Straight up. Things are weird. I mean, these trees are growing, but why do they grow? Because of the water. And where does the water come from? The water comes from the sky. But you can't determine it. You don't know when it's going to happen. Love has no time limit. Love has no schedule.

Would you make any complaints about one another? Are there any pet peeves?
Yeah, I do have pet peeves. She's always trying to feed me these healthy drinks. She forces me. I had some real raw cranberry juice; I never knew cranberries tasted like this — I thought they were sweet! She gave me some raw cranberry juice with these little black seeds, and I tried to drink it. It was hot. It burned my throat! She made me drink it, and it messed my stomach up. [Lawrence's girlfriend: "But once he starts having it daily, his body will adjust. It's really good for you."] You see, she's very aggressive, and I like that. Don't let her fool you.

Do you have a background in theater, or something?
This is me, all the time. She'll tell you.

Just making sure.
I like you. You're all right.


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