Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: Seattle, WA

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Talking to Strangers: Seattle, WA

Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

BY Marguerite Kennedy

Viet, 21

Are you in a relationship?
I'm kind-of dating about six different women right now.

Do these ladies know about each other?
Yes. It's all out in the open. No secrets, no lies.

And they don't mind being one of six?
There's no double standard, if you get what I mean. They're allowed to do the same thing. It's very equal-opportunity.

What do you do for work?
I was in the Marines, and then I was in Asia for a while studying martial arts. But now I'm… let's just say I can't talk about it.

Are you, in fact, Batman?
If I told you all my secrets, it would make your head explode.

When it comes to women, do you have a "type?"
I like spicy Latinas and Mexican girls. Latinas like me — maybe because I look a little bit Mexican, even though I'm half-Vietnamese and half-German. Oh, and I also like butch lesbians.

If they're lesbians, aren't they, um… not into men?
You'd think so, but I have special powers. Lesbians love me.

Okay, I'll bite. What's your secret for attracting spicy Latinas and/or lesbians by the half-dozen?
In Vietnam, you break the ice by smiling at someone. But there's a trick to it. You smile and make eye contact in a certain way. Also, I do this one wave, it's called the harmony wave. Like this. [He demonstrates.] I did it to you earlier — that's why you came over here.

Is that, like, some sort of Jedi Mind Trick?
It's a Vietnamese thing. Like I said, I've studied martial arts in Asia. There's a lot of mind control involved, and it carries over to social situations as well. Also, Under Armour underwear. [He shows underwear band.] It's a great way to get butch lesbians to go out with you, because they also wear this brand.

So, boxer briefs and eye contact. Those are the keys to a woman's heart?
And you have to listen. Girls don't really give a shit what you say, as long as you listen to them.

What's the quality you value most in a woman?
I don't think there's one thing that's important. I love all bitches. I'm DJ Isaac at the moment. 

DJ Isaac?
Like the song goes, "I love all bitches. Every homey's a king… every bitch is a queen."

NEXT: "He looked at me and said, 'Marvel, or DC?'"

Rachael, 28

Do you live in Seattle?
No, I live in L.A., I'm just here for the weekend.

Are you in a relationship?
Yes, I've been with my boyfriend for about twenty months.

That's a very precise number. How did you meet?
We met at in the comics section of Borders. We both reached for the same comic book.

Seriously? That sounds like the "meet cute" scene from some adorably geeky rom-com.
Yeah, I know. Nobody believes me when I tell them that story, but it's true.

Did you immediately bond over your love of comics?
He looked at me and said, "Marvel, or DC?" That's where we're different — I'm a DC fan, and he likes Marvel. He's into Spider-Man, the X-Men, etc., whereas I'm more into Batman and other DC characters. I'm more of a villain fan, whereas he likes the traditional "good" heroes. I can relate to villains more often, because they're more complex, and there's more to interpret. Heroes are all good in the same way, but villains are all different, and that gives them depth.

You and he like different superheroes. How have you managed to bridge the gulf?
For one thing, he's really, really good-looking. Like, movie star. He's an actor, which is how he ended up in L.A. Also, he's a great guy, and a total geek, even if he's not the exact same flavor of geek. We get along well, I think in part because we give each other space and the leeway to pursue our own interests.

Would you say that your boyfriend is a "hero" type in real life, and if so, does that play into your relationship?
I think he likes to think of himself as a hero — I believe that he wants to be good, whereas I understand that there are shades of gray, in life, love, etc. He's very much a gentleman, very manly. But in a way, I kind of rescued him…

How did you rescue him? Please, tell me a guy in a penguin suit was involved…
I wish. When we met, he stayed with me for a while, and after a few weeks, we were living together.

Wait. You moved in together after only a few weeks?
Yeah, he was living out of his car — he'd just arrived from the Midwest. It was kind of trial by fire, but so far, it's worked out.

How important is it that a guy shares your "geeky" interests?
I don't necessarily need a guy to be into things like gaming, or comics, or Dr. Who, or sci-fi, as long as he understands that it's a big part of who I am. Some guys can't process the fact that a girl can be an "authentic" geek. They act like women in geekdom are second-class citizens. Like, "Oh, look, she likes gaming, isn't that cute?" My boyfriend is into World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy, which I'm not as into, but as a gamer and a geek, he understands how I can get really into a game or a T.V. show, any other geeky obsession.

What was the dating scene like in L.A.?
Very spread out. It's a huge city, but people find a corner, and they don't venture out. Sometimes I would meet guys online, but they were only looking for girls who literally lived in a one-mile radius of where they lived. If you live three miles away, you might as well be in Bangladesh.

NEXT: "You get more face-time with people when you're bartending…"

Hank, 34

What's your relationship status?
I was with my last girlfriend for a few years. Now I'm enjoying the single life.

What qualities do you look for in a woman?
Hot. She has to be hot.

What line of work are you in?
I'm a bartender inside [indicates bar we're in front of].

I've heard that being a bartender is a much better way to meet women, or men, depending, than being in band. Do you think that's true?
Partially, yeah. I was in a band for about ten years; you get more face-time with people when you're bartending. In a band you're playing or loading equipment, dealing with stuff… Obviously it depends on the bartender, but you do meet a lot of people every night, so there's plenty of opportunity to start conversations.

Have you ever dated a customer?
Yeah, a lot of the people I go out with I met at the bar.

So, if you had to make a sexy cocktail to woo a lady, what would you make?
That's easy. A Hanky Panky: Amaretto, SoCo, lime, and apple juice.

Sounds like a pretty sexy drink. Do you have any dealbreakers?

I'm guessing you're allergic?
No, I just can't stand cats.

Has being anti-cat ever cost you any play?
Nah, I'm just kidding… sort of. I don't have any for-sure dealbreakers. Maybe questionable music taste? But, really, you don't know the dealbreakers until you know the person. Something that drives you crazy about one person might not bother you about someone else.

In other words, if a woman's hot enough, she can also be a crazy cat lady, and it won't matter?
I'm not sure I'd go that far, but… let's just say it would matter a lot less.