Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: Philadelphia, PA

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Talking to Strangers

Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.


Dan, 24

What's your profession, sir?
I'm a research assistant at Penn. We don't get laid.

I thought being a scientist would have some sort of wild appeal.
I totally thought so too. Like, "Did you know I look at brains?" and then I'm fucking the shit out of you.

So what do you look for in a girl?
Big tits. With tiny nipples on top. They have to be proportionate. I go for the eyes. Good eyes.

So you want big tits and an alluring gaze?
Yes! I stand by that. I don't know why you would disagree.

Are you single?
Nah, I've been dating a girl for about four years.

Is the sex still good?
You know, after four years, the excitement starts to dwindle. We try to spice things up. Outfits are nice, but not on me.

What does she dress up like?
Well, Princess Leia would be awesome. She's done schoolgirl a few times, with the short skirt.

Japanese schoolgirl, or American?
It's Japanese no matter what, because of the skirt.


Faye, 32

I couldn't help but notice you're English.
Yes, yes I am.

How's the sex in England? Is it better than the food?
Oh God, anything's better than the food. Sex with an eighteen-year-old is better than the food.

You speak from experience?
God, well, it happens. Not to me, but it happens.

How do you mean?
I work at a college, and I've definitely seen it happen with grad students and professors. They can get dirty. But I'm engaged, so not me.

How did you meet your fiancé?
I met him playing flip-cup. I'm the shittiest flip-cup player ever. Beer pong and flip-cup and drinking games, we don't have those in England. Drinking games in England are just called drinking.

So I take it he helped you out?
Yeah, he came over and tried to show me, but I was still awful. But I guess it didn't matter, because within five minutes he had asked me on a date. It probably helped that we were both hammered.

Very nice.
I was impressed with myself.

But you did meet by accident.
Yeah, we were both there by accident. He had gotten mad at this girl so he came to the party, and I had come with some guy that I was sort of seeing. Neither of us wanted to be there, but god bless that accident.

Does having an English accent get you laid?
Oh totally, yeah. I can try to do an American accent, but it just sounds awful. I sound stupid. But people like the English accent.


Jenny, 24

How's your sex life?
Well, I dunno… I've been fucking some people I know through other people, you know.

Ah yes, the old fuck-your-friends trick. What do you look for in a guy you know through someone?
Interests. He's got to have a lot of interests. Like the arts, graphic design, style, anything really. But there's a really fine line between stylish and gay.

Truth. Tell me your best sex story.
Well, one time I got shot in the eye with jizz during a titty-fucking session.

Damn. Bet that hurt.
Oh God, I was screaming and everything.

So you're seeing someone right now?
Nope! I'm single and it's great. I just broke up with my boyfriend and moved down here.

Have you met some good people?
Definitely. I've been making these connections with people — you know those weird connections that you just kind of pick up on? Just like that.

What's one item on your sexual to-do list?
Sex in public. I totally want to do that. It just seems so hot.


Haley, 26

So what do you do?
I'm a vascular ultrasound technologist. It's the same thing as ultra-sound but no babies.

That must get you laid.
Well, I'm married with kids. Just putting that out there as soon as possible.

So you don't get laid?
I didn't say that.

How'd you meet this lucky man?
Well, we met in school…

In vascular school?
Yeah, vascular school. You know, went to a party, got entangled…

We were talking about getting married within two weeks of dating. We had a very quick romance.

Apparently. And then you got married?
Well, I got pregnant, and then we got married.

No, but it was great. I mean, something can be true and still happen quickly.

Any advice for a young gal looking to wed?
Get knocked up? [laughs] Actually, just remember that no one's perfect together. It's all about that initial chemistry, attraction… vibing together, for lack for a better word.


Heather, 27

You're a nanny! Please tell me you're involved in an affair.
You'd think I would be, but I'm not. I did hook up with this guy once who told me, "This is a fantasy of mine."

What do you look for in a guy?
Humor, compassion.

You like nice guys?
Yeah, definitely. It's hot.

What's the nicest thing a guy's ever done for you?
I texted this guy I was into a picture of me and the kids I watch, and instead of responding with some typical guy thing and being like, "That's so lame, stop wasting my messages," this guy was like, "That's adorable." It was out of character for a guy, and pretty sexy.

So are you seeing someone now?
Nope, I'm single. Good, clean, single. But I'm trying to find somebody.

You want to be in a relationship again?
Yeah, I like being in relationships. It's like having your best friend with benefits. And not just a friend. Your best friend.

What do you do to let a guy know you're into him?
I start some arbitrary conversation about the first thing I see, some stupid thing that they'll respond to if they're interested. It doesn't take much.

Tell me about the hottest sex you've ever had.
I had sex on my dad's desk after hours and my ass kept slamming up against the fax machine. You know, it was naughty and fun. The sex was great, very wild and uninhibited.


Mickey, 25

So you're named after a mouse.
Yeah, I'm named after that goddamned mouse. Just don't sing the song.

Is that a sex repellent?
No, not a sex repellent. It helps that I work in human resources, so I meet a lot of people. Except, not so much recently, since they moved me to this office that's isolated from everyone else. It's like being quarantined.

So you haven't been getting laid that often?
Well, I haven't been meeting people, but I fuck my friends.

Tell me the best story you have about fucking a friend.
Well, I was with this girl, and we didn't have any protection.

Yeah, so I decided to drive to Wal-Mart in the middle of super-conservative Pennsylvania after going to a gas station that had exactly one condom. And I'm hammered, and with this girl. Anyway, we walk into Wal-Mart and get a box of condoms, and the checkout woman was less than pleased. You could feel her staring through us. Which was absolutely worth almost getting a DUI.

So what do you look for in a girl?
Well, if I don't like her face, it's not gonna happen. And she has to have some ability to have a conversation. I mean, at least the bare minimum. You have to at least be able to talk about the weather.

Tell me about your wildest fantasy.
Well, I really want to fuck a girl on an altar.

Yeah, I was raised Catholic, and there's something really hot about defiling an altar.

Interviews and photography by Alex Rudinski.