Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: Seattle, WA

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Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

Justin, 27

What's your occupation?
Right now I'm a landscaper. I wouldn't say that I'm a specialist — I pull weeds! But I'm also a student.

Have you ever been hit on by someone you're landscaping for?
No, not that I'm aware of. Unless it was really subtle and I didn't catch it. I'm looking forward to it, though. I have gotten catcalls.

With the aid of that Crosby, Stills and Nash moustache, I'm sure.
A lot of guys have commented on it. "What's with the 'stache, man?" or "I like the 'stache — now you need to get yourself a van."

How long have you been in Seattle?
Almost two and a half years.

How has dating here been for you?
Dating went up a lot for me once I moved. I think I've done pretty well. I just got out of a relationship, actually. It ended just about two, three weeks ago. We were together for about a year and a half but it just didn't work out.

Do you have any crazy exes?
I was in one relationship with an alcoholic. She would go on binges for a couple of weeks at a time. I really doubt that she knows what she did during those periods of time. She'd just get really vocal and physically violent. She wasn't herself for up to two weeks at a time. When she was sober, she was the exact opposite. It was a love/hate kind of thing. It was like, you know, when you're sober you're the best person ever, but when you're drunk I don't want to be around you. She was unpredictable, really. Why you don't leave those types of relationships, I don't know. There's something holding you to it.

On a lighter note, where's the strangest place you've ever had sex?
In a tree. That was pretty crazy.

In a treehouse?
No, on a limb. It just looked like a good spot. We were walking and were like, "You know what? That'd be the perfect spot." It was a perfect limb. It was in the back of her property. In the river, too. That was interesting. Never in a public place, though. That'd just be too risky.

So what would you say your type is?
I seem to go for more intellectual, self-driven types. Really strong-willed as well. Sometimes it's a plus, sometimes it's a bad thing.

So what do you think you're looking for right now?
I really don't know what I want right now. I don't know if I just want to be single again for awhile or if I want to jump into a relationship again. Sometimes I just think relationships are doomed to fail. I'd rather have an agreement with someone that, you can be together and if things go sour, you're not going to hate each other. You're not going to be like, "It's the end of the world."

Tobi, 19

What do you do?
I'm job hunting right now. I might be a tattoo apprentice. I do a lot of art and a lot of music. I just got back from an internship in Los Angeles. I've only been back for a couple of weeks.

Being a creative type, do you think it's easier for you to find relationships?
Well, I don't know. I don't have a lot of dating experience. I guess I just meet people when I meet them. A lot of the guys that I've met were at concerts or art shows or things like that. I just kind of let it happen — I really don't go out looking for relationships.

When was the last relationship up you were in?
From last October to May of this year. We met at a Judas Priest show, actually, in Los Angeles.

How would you compare dating in L.A. to dating here?
Guys are more aggressive down there, definitely. There's more of an alpha-male thing going on down there. It's nice in some ways, and not so nice in other ways, because it doesn't matter what kind of girl goes out — zero to ten, bangin' to butterface, you will get called at from a car. It's kind of weird. Things seem to be at more slow, easy-going pace up here, and I like that better.

I've run into a lot of women who don't like the dating scene up here since everything is so laid-back. I guess it makes women be more aggressive.
Yeah, and I definitely have a more dominant personality. In the beginning of my last relationship, my boyfriend wouldn't let me pay for anything, and that pissed me off so much. It bugs me when I don't have a measure of independence.

What were the highs and lows of that relationship?
He was a lot of fun. We had a lot of similar interests. He was a pretty down-to-earth guy, so we were able to joke about each other and ourselves. I guess sexually he really didn't deliver. He seemed alpha in many ways but that one. And I'm definitely someone who, if a guy wants to be aggressive with me, he can push boundaries a little bit, but he didn't. He talked about that, but he didn't deliver. It was frustrating.

Do you have any crazy exes?
No, for the most part we're friends. Well, with my recent ex, not so much yet. But with my other ex, we're still really cool because we were friends before, so it was nice to get back to that. For a while we didn't see each other, because when we did there was this weird sexual tension, and I was like, "Yeah, I think I need to wait a while before I can be around you again."

Nick, 32

Are you from the Seattle area?
Well, I've been here for about ten years now. I'm from New Jersey.

So what do you do?
Right now I'm just a student. I'm not a student. I don't know why I called myself a student. I just do my thing. I'm kind of like a vampire. I'm up until like five a.m. every night, just kicking it, painting and doing something weird. Something creative, always.

When was the last time you were in a serious relationship?
I actually just got out of a serious relationship. Five years. It ended about a month and a week ago.

Give me the good, the bad and the ugly of that relationship.
Good was like, we were both travel freaks. So we went to probably twelve different countries together. Bad side was that she's Japanese and they're strict fucking people. I was raised by parents who were very much like, "Anything you want to do you should do, everything is good, you're beautiful." Whereas her parents were like, "Nothing is ever good enough." And she sort of retained that and would toss it on me all the time.

She found a bunch of flaws in the relationship?
My style is very sloppy, very poorly put together. I'm into just letting things happen instead of trying to control everything and make lists and that sort of shit.

Do you have any crazy exes?
Yes, I do. But they're all in New Jersey, so I don't have to worry about them. I dated this girl in New Jersey — this was when I was eighteen. And really weird, scary, horror-movie stuff would always happen with this girl. Like, I would go take a piss at four a.m., come walking back to my bed, look out the window, and her in the middle of the street looking up at me.

And you dated this person?
Well, she was gorgeous, dude, you know! But it happened a bunch of times, and then she started calling my mom to try to get really close with my mom.

Do you have any crazy hookup stories?
No, nothing too crazy. I'm not attractive enough to have crazy hookup stories. That's one of my limiting factors: my, um, beautiful face. I've had a lot of relationships, sexual relationships with every girlfriend I've ever had. But hookup-wise, no. I've never had the experience of looking across a bar and having somebody glaring at me and they're like, "Yeah, let's get the fuck out of here." I've tried, but no.