Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: New York, NY

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Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.


Jess, 24

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

Does that ever get you dates?
Sadly, no.

How do you get dates?
I'll go with "personality."

Do you have any good hook-up stories?
Oh god. I don't know if this is really good, but one time I was walking out of a bar — it was my roommate's birthday — and I saw this guy and just said, "Hey want to come home with me?" So I took him home but we didn't do anything. It was really random. I woke up next to him and was like, "Who are you?" And then he pushed my head down, like "give me head." And I was like, "Oh hell no. You can leave. You can let yourself out whenever you want."

Hell no. Immediate dealbreaker. On the opposite end of the spectrum, what kind of guys do you like?
I sort of like metrosexual guys. Not really a metrosexual but smart. They have to be smart, career-oriented, and have good goals.

Do you have any crazy ex-boyfriends?
Yes, I have an ex-boyfriend from college who dated some girl for a year and a half and still likes me. He tells me he likes me all the time, but then he dates other people. He called me last weekend. I talk to him because I try to be friends, but then he says he wants to be with me, why don't I date him, blah blah blah.

Has anyone offended you in the bedroom?
Yeah, that guy who pushed my head down. I hate that shit. It's like, if you asked nicely — maybe. But now, absolutely not.

Elvis, 29

What do you do for a living?
I'm a messenger/dogwalker/handyman/doorman/lover.

What do you look for in a girl?
I was gonna say brains, but I love jugs. I love tits. I can also appreciate a really nice ass. But I also know not every woman is blessed with ass, or blessed with tits, so I will pretty much take anything, as long as you're a real woman. If you happen to have big tits and no ass, I'll love you. If you have a big ass and no tits, I'll love you. I don't care, as long as you're a woman, and sexy, and dead-on, and attracted to me.

What's the worst sex you've ever had?
It was some girl that liked me. We hung out, we went on a date, she was down to come back to the pad and everything. So we go back to the pad and it happens. She's a really nice girl, a simple girl, but she just didn't turn me on, you know? I just shriveled up in the middle of banging. I didn't want to do it anymore. It makes me look bad because I didn't take care of my business, but it had everything to do with, "I don't like you." So if I don't like you, Stanley doesn't like you.

Did you really name your dick Stanley? And what did you say to this girl?
Well, I didn't name it Stanley; I named it Harold. I used this whole excuse that I already came, because I started off stiff and woodish, you know? I started off rock-hard and she was just like "eh eh eh" and that doesn't turn me on. I was trying to imagine other women who I've had sex with, and pornos, and my favorite porn star. I wanted to have a good, satisfying climax and it just didn't happen. I faded away and I told her, "Sorry honey, you got to go."

If you like a lady, how do you let her know that you like her? Besides wanting to bang her.
I'd take the girl roller skating or ice skating. I'm a big disco head, a big eighties guy. I get down with culture, with flavor, with heart and desire. Passion. You know, not ever being afraid, going for yours, throwing on some Duran Duran, some Depeche Mode, some David Bowie, whatever. I'm fucking down, man. And then later on, I'll eat that box.

That was beautiful.
No, if I really like a girl, I try hard to be a gentleman. Even when I don't like a girl, I still behave like a gentleman. I do everything in what I like to call "old-school sex."

What's old-school sex?
Old-school sex is like — say I go out tonight, I'm not just going to throw it out there or lick my lips like, "Yo, wassup girl?" Or be aggressive or grab your arm and say, "Dance with me, dance with me. Why you playing like that?" No, I'm going to smile and ask if I can buy you a drink, saying it nice and smooth and soft and looking really dapper, looking fresh, looking like I am the one you want to talk to. I make the effort to, more or less, be the guy you want to be with. And then I always let you know how great you are, and how great I am, and how great we would be together.


Ashley, 25

Do you have any good hook-up stories?
I lost my virginity the first weekend of college. I'm a swimmer, so we had our swim-team meeting the first day of freshman move-in. I met the boy there and we were hanging out all week. My mom had given me a little lecture before I went to school; she was like, "Don't lose your virginity the first week. Boys will back you into a corner, blah blah." So the first week I did it. Oops. He had a girlfriend, too. And then he told me we could never do it again.

But he told me he appreciated that I trusted him enough to do it. So then we had a six-year, on-and-off relationship. But we don't really talk that much right now.

I can't get over this. So you're hanging out with this guy, you're a virgin, and then you're like, "All right, let's fuck."
Well he was like, "Do you want to get a condom?" And I was like, "Okay." We were just hooking up one night. We were drunk. 

And you guys dated on-and-off for six years. That's a long time. Why did it end?
He stopped talking to me for a couple of months, and I'd just had enough of all the bullshit. I just couldn't do it anymore, and I was like, "Don't talk to me until I talk to you."

Were you dating other guys while you were seeing him?
There is another guy I've been hooking up with for twelve years, at the same time. He was my neighbor. We met when we were thirteen at a block party.

When was the first time you hooked up?
April, my freshmen yeah of high school. We weren't having sex when we were thirteen, or anything. But we still hook up today.

What do you look for in a guy?
I usually go for the assholes. I'm a swimmer, so I like to stick to swimmers. Someone who is funny and has a dirty sense of humor. They have to be able to put up with my sense of humor.

Are you from around here?
I'm from New Jersey.

Is dating different in the city?
I don't think you can really trust the people you meet in the city. You don't know where they have been. And ever since I've seen RENT I'm kind of scared of people's pasts. At school it was easier because you knew everybody and in the city you don't. 

How can a guy impress you?
Make me laugh, flirt a lot, and then make out with me. 

Louis, 27

How do you impress the ladies?
I usually just use the Latin pronunciation of my name. That works usually. Or I play the "I wanna be friends first" sort of thing. We become close friends and it usually leads to something else. 

Do you have any crazy hook-up stories?
I met this girl at a concert, back when I was living in Florida. I wasn't trying to hit on her, but she assumed that me asking the time was me hitting on her. We ended up making out by the end of the night and she drove me to her place. When I was in her car, she started to tell me a list of medical conditions she had — mostly about mental illness and that she tends to black out. This is when she was behind the wheel. So after I got to her place, I played being a really nice guy and avoided the whole situation.

How did she take that?
Well, she got on the topic of loving Christ and I kind of worked with that. I was like, "I love Jesus, too! And I love being a virgin."

Were you a virgin at the time?
It was two months after I lost my virginity. I was a late bloomer.

If you wanted to impress a woman what do you do?
I say something about playing music, being an artist, or being Hispanic.

What do you look for in a girl?
A medium-build girl with long black hair and a bubble butt.

Do you have any crazy ex-girlfriends?
I can't really talk about it because most of the people they are friends with are here. I guess you could say I have an incestuous friend pool.


Becky, 22

So you work in sports marketing. Does that ever get you guys?
There are a lot of guys in my office, but I try to avoid hooking up with guys in my office. This is my first year working at this place. I just graduated.

But you hooked-up with people at your old job?
I did. I hooked-up with the son of the CEO. But I didn't know! I swear. He was another intern, then someone told me. I was stunned and appalled when I found out.

Was he putting the moves on you like he deserved it?
There was a definite sense of entitlement. He's a nice guy but that was shitty of him. I'm just saying.

If you like a guy, how do you let him know that you're interested?
I just go for it. Tell them, "I like your style." I engage in conversation and hope that it goes somewhere. I don't like physical stuff when I just meet them. 

You don't know where they've been.
Yes, thank you! There's no filter-system in the real world, whereas in college you've got at least some characteristics you can count on. They're either rich or smart or athletic. I like those odds.

Do you have any crazy ex-boyfriends?
Yes. When I was younger. He was just psycho. He just kept going after it, going after me, convinced that I could be coerced into getting back together with him.

Like he called you all the time? Emailed you?
I even got a phone call from his parent — and he was older than me!

What the hell did his parent say to you?
That I was a great addition to the life of her son and the family.

Has anyone ever offended you in the bedroom?
No. I think they'd know I'd slap them pretty hard if they did.


Chris, 47

How old are you?
I'm forty-seven years old, but I look about thirty and I screw like I'm twenty.

When you like a lady, what do you do to impress her?
I lick my lips a lot. A woman likes to know what you do with your mouth.

What's the most women you've slept with in one night?
Three in one night.

Wow. How did that happen?
It's my duty to please that booty. I feel obligated to satisfy a woman sometimes. I have a reputation to maintain, you know? I'm qualified.

So you must have women banging down your door?
No. They don't know where I live. I don't do that shit. All my business is done in a hotel. You can think what you want, but women — a lot of women I know — appreciate it if you can just fuck them and forget them. They want to bust that nut, just like a guy. And after that, it's "I'll see you later" — especially if they gotta go home to their husband. I'm cool with that. A lot of women say they're looking for a compassionate, caring guy, but that's bullshit. If you saw a guy, you wouldn't look at him and say, "You look intelligent, let me talk to you." No. It's, "You're hot, oh my God, what's up?" Don't give me that caring and compassionate shit. Initially, it's a physical thing.

Have you ever been offended in the bedroom?
I don't want to tell you, because you'll be like, this motherfucker is bragging. But somebody told me, "Your dick is too big, you're not fucking me."

Really? How big is your penis?
Ten inches. She had a husband, and she was like [my husband will know]. I was like, "Woah. If you fuck me tonight, why would you want to fuck your husband?" That was offensive. And this other chick, I don't know if I'd call it offended, but she had a little mouth, and — you know what I'm talking about, right? It's not comfortable.

Sometimes blowjobs are hard. Especially if a guy is really big.
So don't do it! Don't do it. That's offensive. I'd rather you say, "I don't know how to do it." But it doesn't matter. I'm what you call a pleaser. There are people who like getting pleased, and people who please. I'm a pleaser. But if two people are pleasers, they cannot get together. Because they'll be like — I'm waiting for you to bust yours, you're waiting for me to bust mine. People who are into getting pleased cannot get together.

Have you ever offended anyone in the bedroom?
I told a woman to lick my taint. I was like, "Baby baby, I did you right. I polished you off." She had the glow and everything, the high-pro glow. I was like, I'm not asking you to toss my salad, just lick my taint. I'm going to the hotel, I'm going to spend sixty bucks for two hours, do what the fuck you got to do.

Is that how much it costs?
You've never done it a hotel? Come on now, look me in the eye, you've never done it in a hotel?

I've never done it in a hotel.
So the guys you date are too cheap to pay for a room.

No, I do it with guys who take me home.
Okay, good move. Not their mama's house?

No, not their mama's house.
Not the dorm room? Watch for the webcams and shit, they're all over the place.

Interviews by Meghan Pleticha. Photography by Sean McGurn