Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: Washington, DC

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Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

Abby, 23

How's the dating scene here in D.C.?
I haven't been dating. I just moved in with my boyfriend.

How's that working out?
It was pretty good. It was awesome until, last night… sometimes he drinks too much and forgets to come home, so I went on a hunt for him at five a.m.  It was unsettling to wake up and not know where he was.

And you found him?
Yeah, he was just passed out at his buddy's house. He wasn't with a girl or anything like that.

How long have you been together?
Two years.

What attracted you to him?
We had similar interests and… it's hard right now because I'm mad at him! But he's really smart and sweet, and he has the cutest little butt in the world. Which has grown, since we've been here. I was learning about that last night. We were talking about the twenty professional pounds.

Anything that would be a dealbreaker for you?
I think the only dealbreaker is if he keeps his mustache. He's doing Movember, to raise awareness for prostate cancer. And I just can't handle it, because I can't kiss him. He can't keep the mustache.

Have you suggested he condition it?
I've suggested that he lose it, but he just says it's for a good cause. To raise money. People sponsor them for growing the mustache. I'm like, "Go run a marathon!"

Was there a specific moment when you realized he was the guy for you?
When we skied together. I'd never been able to ski with anyone before, and he's really great skier, so we could ski with him behind me. I realized I would have a skiing partner for life.

Does he have some good moves in bed?
Yes, there are some. But my dad's in politics, so I can't really answer.


Isaac, 26

I heard you're very successful with women.
I love women! I love being around women. I was raised by my mother and my three sisters, and they're all very beautiful women. I think because of that, when I was young, I had a lot of friends who were girls. I've had more girl friends than I've had guy friends. So it's easier for me to talk to women, which results in it being easier for me to pick up women. Or even for a woman to hit on me.

Any favorite sexual memories you'd like to share?
That is hard. Really, really hard to narrow down. I've had weird situations in public, I guess. I've had sex in this tattoo parlor, in the closet.

After hours?
Yes, after hours.

Then why did you go to the closet? You've got those chairs right over there.
Well, people were still here! Other employees. And one of them opened the closet. The owner was here so we had to stop. But the best experiences aren't the wildest. 'Cause doing kinky stuff and doing wild and crazy things doesn't translate to the best sex for me. The best sex I've had has been with girlfriends. Because you have the emotional attachment, and they know what to do. They know what you like.

What type of girl do you date?
I'm a very sexual person so I'm more interested in a girl who has a high sex drive. Once a day is great. Twice a day is awesome. Once a week? Uh, no, we've got to talk about that. And I like a girl who's not ashamed to be openly sexual, who's not afraid of saying what she wants, how she wants it. Because everybody's different. The worst times I've had when having sex were when they assume you'll know what they want you to do.

Have you ever been so moved by a sexual experience that you cried at the end?
No, but I have had some sexual experiences where, if I were a crier, I would have. I don't know if you know about the kegel thing, but there was a girl who had a crush on me, and we got into a conversations about kegels. She said, "Just give me a call and I'll show you sometime." That was a wow moment. I'd never had a woman push me out with her vagina before.

[Isaac's friend: "That's because you're a lightweight."]
Lightweight, my ass!


Keira, 30

How long have you been in D.C.?
About two years now.

What do you do?
I'm a dancer and choreographer. I have a modern dance company, and I'm a real-estate agent on the side.

How do people respond when they find out you're a dancer?
It's really unfortunate, but everyone assumes exotic dancer. It's kind of frustrating being a professional dancer.

Any good moves you've picked up from being a dancer?
I'll just say being very flexible is never a bad thing. And I'm not scared to try new things.

How's your love life?
It's good. Very settled. My husband's from Mexico. We met in Charlottesville. He was attending business school, and I was teaching dance at UVA. We met at a nightclub on the dance floor. And there were a whole bunch of international students hitting on me and my friend but he was the one who kept coming to the forefront.

He's a good dancer?
Yeah, he has those Latin hips. He knows how to shake it. Not like a white boy doing the robot.

Was there a moment when you knew he'd hooked you?
On our first date, we went back to his house, and he played this obscure music from a French film called Blue. Being a choreographer, I listen to a lot of music, and he'd happened to pick one of my favorite pieces of music. It was one of a lot of weird similarities we had.

Have you ever been intimate together in an unusual place?
We tried to have sex once in a public setting, behind closed doors, and we totally chickened out at the last minute. So the whole time we were saying, "Yeah, I think we could do it here," but once we got into the room, we decided it was a bad idea.

Any bad experiences from your past?
I blossomed later in life. I dated this guy for one or two months, but then he moved to Louisiana, so we were in a long-distance relationship for a while. And I was still a virgin, but when we finally saw each other there was a lot of pressure, like, "Let's make this happen." He was way too large, so that was very scarring and it look me another year or so to recover from that. Now I know that you shouldn't be with someone who pressures you.

What's the most romantic thing anyone's done for you?
Having a song written for you, especially one that ends up on an album or sung in public — that's really meaningful.

Did you inspire any famous songs?
Not really famous.

Zek, 24

Where are you from?

How long have you been in D.C.?
Five months.

What are D.C. women like?
People here in general are more open-minded. And more loose about sex.

Sebian women are more conservative?
Way more conservative. A Serbian woman has to date a while before she gives herself. There are a lot of things that separate your culture from mine. If I can speak honestly, here, people see everything through money. So basically the foundation of a relationship is material.

In Serbia it's more romantic?
Oh yeah. And we mate for a lifetime. We're not changing our partners like socks. That's something people do here that I don't like. The thing I like here is you seem to care about each other. Maybe it's fake but everyday, in the streets, even if you had a bad day, you're trying to be pleasant.

Does your accent attract women?
Yeah, I think. But I don't like my accent. I don't have self-confidence when it comes to speaking.

I think your English is excellent. So you want a relationship and not a one-night stand?
I've never done that. Never in my life.

Have women here tried to convince you otherwise?
They try. But they fail. I'm searching for a connection. I don't want to sound like I have a high opinion of myself…

And no American woman has managed to snare you? You're still single?
Yes. Can I put in one rude word?

If you screw your whole life, what else will you screw in your life? If this part of your life does not satisfy you, then…? Freud said something about sex, like that power, that energy is a driving force. I'll say I think it's not sex, it's love. That's our power. Like Einstein or Tesla, they were lacking something — it was not sex, it was love.


Emily, 21

Where are you from?
I'm from Boston. My boyfriend and I are here visiting friends. He was out all night. And that happened a few times in college — getting drunk, and passing out at his frat house, which was fine — but now it's sort of like, "Grow up."

Do you two fight often?
No, this is the most he's ever messed up. I wasn't even that mad, just worried. I would never think he'd cheat on me. I was worried he was murdered or passed out on the metro.

How long have you been together?
Two years.

Do you live together in Boston?
No, we don't live together yet. I just graduated so I'm living at home now to save up some money. He just got an apartment, and I feel like when I move into the city I'll want to move in with him instead of getting our own places. I think that freaks him out a little bit, but it wouldn't be until next year.

How does he compare to boyfriends in the past?
Well, my ex-boyfriend is a WWE wrestler now. My new boyfriend's really smart, really well-rounded. He can go into any room and be confident, and that's one of the things that attracted me to him. I like that I can bring him to my house for the weekend and my parents are happy that he's there.

Your old type was "bad boy?"
Oh yeah, tattoos, criminal records. So this is a big step up and I'm glad.

What's the most romantic thing he's ever done?
Last year he surprised me with this gorgeous coat I really wanted. It's a princess coat. It's awesome. He always takes me out to nice dinners. And we've traveled a lot together. We've gone to Bermuda twice.

Did you have sex on the beach?
No, I have no interest in doing that! It seems so uncomfortable.


Sam, 23

What do you do for work?
I'm a server at a grill. And a part-time student in Williamsburg.

Do you ever get hit on at work?
Oh yeah, but it's mostly older ladies. I'll flirt back because, you know, you work for your tip.

Are they creepy?
No, it's sort of kindergarten stuff like, "Oh, look at those dimples. You have the finest hair I've ever seen."

What do you look for in a potential girlfriend?
Honesty, empathy, and humor.

How are the ladies in Williamsburg?
Having William and Mary College nearby definitely helps.

Do you have any wild college stories?
There was one drunken toga-fest. It was complete debauchery.

Do you wear underwear under a toga?
Me? No, I wouldn't. That's part of the honesty thing.

Do you have any tips for getting a woman's attention?
Not giving a fuck. It's really easy. People seem to make it a big ordeal, and it's really not. I don't get nervous too often. Maybe I'm in denial.

Interviews by Monica Shores.