Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: New York, NY

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Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.


Dres Tha Beatnik, 30

What do you do for a living?
I am an MC, human beat-boxer, and live-concert host.

Has that ever got you laid?
As a matter of fact, it has.

Do tell.
The craziest story I have took place in Shanghai, China. I was actually at a club as a resident, and the nightclub put us up in a house as opposed to a hotel. So one of the nights I get done with my set, and one these ladies kept flirting, and flirting, and flirting. I'm like cool, whatever, I'm working, I'm doing my shit. So I get done about three o'clock in the morning. I get in the house about five, and like all the lights were off — but they were on when we left. I was like, oh shit, somebody broke into the house. So I'm turning the lights on and checking what's going on and I go in my bedroom and there is this young lady, naked, in my bed waiting with candles! I'm like what the hell?

Did you know her?
No, I did not know her. I'm like yeah, no, this is work, this is a black man in an Asian land and I'm American; shit can happen. I don't want to be Michael Fay, that's all I'm saying. So I'm like, "You gotta go." She said no and just dropped to her knees and started blowing me right there in the middle of the room. And I'm like maybe…

Maybe you can stay.
Maybe you can stay for a second. And then I'm like, you know, maybe I can get in, get off, get done. So I'm like, the least I can do is buy you breakfast or something. And she's like, ugh, no no, and got up, put her clothes on, and left. I was like, before you leave at least take some of this: I tried to give her some mouthwash. At first she tried to refuse it, but I was like no, you need to take this. So she took a few swigs, gargled, and spit, 'cause I don't need a Tiger Woods walking around in China as the result of a blowjob.

Did you ever find out where she came from?
It turns out someone who didn't like her had sent the girl to my place to try to get me "caught up," so it got nipped in the bud and a few days later I found out who.

What do you like in a lady?
Above all, intelligence, a sense of humor. After that it gets physical. I love long hair, a beautiful face — size or body type does not matter to me. I'm attracted to faces and hair. I'm not a booty man, but after that I'm into titties. Ds are better; I like to motor boat. 

Do you have a weakness? Is there something where you are like, "Oh fuck, I'm going to fall for this one."
A woman who loves the Philadelphia Eagles, that's it. I'm from Philly originally. If she can name a player pre-Randall Cunningham — if she was like, "Bill Bergey was the shit" — I would be like, fuck, you know about Bill Bergey? Shit, oh oh oh. My knees would get weak and all of a sudden I would be like, I don't know what we are doing, but I have to fuck you right now. Who cares if we are in public.

Have you ever hard especially good dates or bad dates?
Not ones I'm about to indulge. Let's just say Seattle, Washington, is a great city.

Sara, 18

So what do you do for a living?
I work at the mall.

Does that get you laid at all?
No. Well, I get numbers, but only from really creepy old guys. But it's not a sexy place for me.

What do you do when a guy gives you a number?
We keep it and prank-call them later.

What does do it for you?
Personality. They have to be funny and they have to hold a conversation.

Have you had any really good dates?
One time a guy bought me a muffin. It was my favorite, blueberry.

Did you hook up with him?
Yes, just for that muffin, yes, I did.

How did that happen — did he take you out?
He didn't really take me out. We were just at Dunkin' Donuts and he got me a muffin.

Did you give him your muffin?
Ha, yeah, I kind of did. It was a muffin of love!

What does a guy have to do to impress you?
Um, if he has a car, I guess I'm impressed by that. If he has a job I'm double-impressed. That's like the saddest thing I've ever said.

Have you ever offended anyone in the bedroom?
Probably. I've said things I shouldn't, like making jokes about his penis.

What kind of jokes can you make about a man's penis?
You know, like "Aww, that's cute." Once I was like, is that real? And he was like, yeah, and I was like, wow. He was nicknamed "Thumb" for the rest of his life. Everyone called him it, even people he didn't know. I ruined that poor boy's reputation.

Do you have a favorite hook-up story?
I don't know, maybe a threesome.

How did that happen?
Well, I was drunk, and I had liked this guy for a while. Then he came back from Florida and I kind of threw myself at him and then my friend did, too.

Are you guys still friends?
Me and the girl are. The guy's a scumbag.


Antoine, 22

What do you do for a living?
I am training at a French bank.

Does that get you ladies?
I am with someone for two years now.

What do you like about ladies?
You mean physically? Physically, good looks. Other stuff: if she is funny and we feel comfortable.

Where's the craziest place you've had sex?
My girlfriend's dining-room table in front of the Louvre. She lives by it and there are a lot of people outside.

Do you think people saw?
You can easily see inside, but I don't know if anyone saw.

Was that part of the thrill of it?
At first no — but after a while you kind of notice.

Milaka, 22

What do you do for a living?
I'm a teacher and a video artist.

Do you have any good stories about hooking up as a result of art?
Not really hooking up, but I got a lot of women naked in college to take photos for this awesome body-positive, sex-positive art exhibit and dance party. So hundreds of women at my college got naked and let me take pictures of them. It was a beautiful experience. But I didn't get laid.

You saw a lot of naked ladies, that's what I like to hear. Do you have any crazy exes?
No. I have wonderful exes, actually. Like the kind of exes who I talk to a lot, who I really realize why they were in my life in the first place. Who helped me with my most current break-up, like really great people.

So are you friends with most of your exes?
Yeah. All of them. Well, the recent one, we're still working through, you know. See, with all of them we had to go through like a year or so of not really talking. This current one we haven't really gotten to that stage yet.

Do you think you'll be friends with them?
Yeah — her. I think I will be friends with her.

That's really sweet. Do you have any stories about any of your exes? Any ex-girls that treated you real good?
Not off the top of my head. I mean, they were great, but just to point out one… There is someone who's not in this country. It was something really sweet over the summer. We smoked on a jetty and I did karaoke for the first time. That was awesome.

Why is she in another country?
Well, this is a "he." Now things are complicated…

Is this the first "he"?
This is not the first "he," but it's the first "he" that's not just casual. All my ex-girlfriends are women.

So all your exes are girlfriends, and then you have some… other dudes?
Yes, then there are some dudes — but this is the most significant dude.

What do you like about girls versus what do you like about guys?
Well, they're all individuals. I like the fluidity that can happen naturally with women. Sexually, some men, in my experience, take awhile to step outside the box and realize that foreplay is definitely not a separate entity. You know what I mean? Lesbians don't know that word, "foreplay." It's all sex. So the idea that the end goal is, you know, penetration can be kind of limiting sometimes. But I've had really great experiences on all ends of the spectrum.

Have you ever been offended anyone in the bedroom?
Well, this same guy — who is amazing and it's wonderful — there was a point where I realized, "Whoa, he hasn't really gone down on me yet and we've had sex a couple times." So I was driving and I was like, "Do you not go down on women?" He had a convoluted response: "I'm not a selfish lover but I don't really get pleasure from it, so I wouldn't really initiate it." I said to him, "As someone who has professed your own love of oral sex, which obviously doesn't give me pleasure, how could you not see it the other way around?" We parked. I was really like, "My whole view has changed." He was a mind-blowing person, but I was like, this is a fundamental difference, so I'm just going to stop right here.

Did he ever go down on you?
That night. Before we got out of the car. He could feel it was, like, book-closed. That this is serious, no joke.


Bruno, 21

What do you do?
I'm studying in a business school and I work at a bank.

Does that get you the ladies?
No. I trade mostly on the floor and work with men.

Well, if you are trying to get girls how do you pursue a woman?
I don't know, I talk to her first, then I take her to dinner and a drink.

What's the craziest place you had sex?
It was in an old church.

A church? How did that happen?
I was in the countryside, in France, and I have some friends who have a very big house and — the church is no longer a church — but we had sex there.

Oh my goodness. So did you take her there to have sex with her?
Yeah, yeah, yeah — it was my goal.

I guess you met your goal. What do you like about women?
The boobs and the ass.

Do you have a preference? One over the other?
Um, both of them. Also thin — not very — but you know.

So you like thin girls with nice boobs and ass?
It's a goal, you know. It doesn't happen very often, but if I can find someone like that.

Do you have any crazy ex-girlfriends?
Yeah, yeah. I had a girlfriend — how do you say — she was a nymph, she always wanted to sex. I mean I like sex but sometimes I just can't anymore. She tried to rape me.

She tried to rape you?
She didn't — I said she tried. I had sex may times with her in the night and I was so tired, I was trying to sleep and she was trying to… to… turn me on. You have to reload the machine.

What are the most times you've had sex in one night?
I don't know, maybe five times.

How do you impress a girl?
I go naked!

You don't take her out on a nice date?
No, no, no — yes, first. In Paris I have a favorite restaurant that I go to. It is right by my house and the owner is a friend of mine, so he offers me all the bottles of wine. So we drink wine and then go back to my place.

Very nice. I get it; when a guy has all that, that's hot.
Yes, it's a fancy place in Paris.


Laura, 20

What do you do for a living?
I study English at a liberal-arts school, uptown.

Are there a lot of hotties in your lit classes?
No, it's all girls.

Are there a lot of lesbians?
There are a bunch, actually.

Is there a lot of drama there?
Yeah, totally. Do you like drama? You should go.

How did you meet your boyfriend?
We were teaching snowboarding together. I was fifteen and he was eighteen. We've been dating for almost six years.

What do you look for in the opposite sex?
Intellect, wit and talent. Probably faces, if they have a good face.

So they could have a grotesque body and you'll still be like, oh man, look at that face?

Do you have a favorite date you can remember?
Just getting drunk and listening to Michael Jackson right after he died, on some cheap-ass dollar-gypsy radio. We were right in front of the Parthenon in Greece, drinking Ouzo right there where fucking Plato was. It was a beautiful night.

What's the kinkiest thing you would do in the name of love?
Probably pluck someone's nose hair. It just happened.

Where's the craziest place you've had sex?
On a log behind my middle school.

A log behind your middle school? Wanna tell me about that?
Well, my school is surrounded by woods. So after school we went down near the stream and just did it because there was no one there.

How old were you?

Has anyone ever offended you in the bedroom?
I don't like it when we're doing it and the guy farts really loudly. It's offensive. I always laugh, it's funny — but save it.

Interviews by Meghan Pleticha. Photography by Sean McGurn.