Talking to Strangers: Portland, OR

Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

by Amanda Pampuro

Jen, 23

What do you do?
I work at McMenamins as a pub staffer, and I'm a Mary Kay consultant.

Does working at Mary Kay help you get dates?
No, but it teaches me how to present myself, and make myself look pretty.

Do you give a lot of dating advice when you're putting makeup on people?
We sometimes do talk about men. I've noticed that the women I meet through Mary Kay, whether I'm giving them a facial or not, always have problems with their sex life. Which is funny, because when you give them a facial and they're feeling hot, they're like, "Ooh, someone's gonna get lucky tonight! My man better like my look!" I find it funny that it's always about a man — they put the makeup on to feel sexy, and it's always for a guy.

Does it really make them look better, or just feel better?

Have you ever hooked up on the job?
Have I? Oh! Yes, I have. I was like thirteen or fourteen and I hooked up with my mom's coworker's son. We were cleaning a warehouse and totally making out on the job. Then we were like decorating houses and we made out in a closet.

Where are you from?

What's the dating scene like there?
Horrible. I'm pretty sure every guy there is a hillbilly, redneck, hunter type. They drink beer and get fat and watch TV, and they don't really have fun. You don't get the Portland nightlife — you don't get to go dancing and try all the different beers. Albany just doesn't have that. And I've yet to meet a guy here who's a hunter with a beer gut.

What do you look for in a guy?
I see if he has a job and some type of plan of what he wants to do in the future, like if he wants to travel or have a career. He has to have some kind of idea. If he's fun and outgoing, and he's into meeting new people, trying new things — dancing, cooking, wine tasting, beer tasting, bungie jumping.

What's the craziest place you've ever had sex?
In a bar. It was one of those one-lock bathrooms.

What constitutes bad sex to you?
Bad sex is like sour grapes. You're excited, and then you bite into it, and it's like, aw no, no good. I've had some moments like that, and then when he wants to keep hanging out after bad sex, it's like... no. That's like this one guy on Facebook who was like, "Why do girls always go out with douchebags?" and I wanted to be like, because douchebags are not fat. Because some of the cool guys we meet are not attractive.

NEXT: "I was out playing at clubs when I was underage..."


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