Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: Washington, DC

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Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

Alex, 25

What type of women are you attracted to?
Very feminine ones. A girl who can get away with wearing a sundress. Having a ton of outfits but not being obsessed with them is always a good thing.

Do you also like outfits in the bedroom?
Of course. But the feminine part isn't defined by the outfits. It's defined by the attitude.

When you pursue a girl, do you have a high success rate?
It depends — compared to whom? But I'm happy.

Any trademark moves you have? Any good opening lines?
If I gave them away, they wouldn't be mine anymore.

Do you get bored easily?
Yes. I wish I lived in a world where I didn't get bored easily, but I accept reality. And the girls I don't get easily bored with are that much more special because the world is so predictable.

To you, is part of femininity being shy or do you like aggressive women?
Some aggression is good, but only in certain areas. My last girlfriend became extremely sexual and she would tell me what she'd thought about since we'd last met. She wouldn't be physically aggressive. She would just drop really big hints. When a girl likes to be on top, that's good.

What are your sexual powers?
I know more about anatomy and psychology than the average person.

But does having that knowledge make you manipulative?
With all power comes the temptation to be manipulative and I can't say I haven't, but when everyone leaves with a smile on their face, all's well that ends well. Not that the ends justify the means, but a little bit of rakishness can go a long way.

What's your best asset, as a boyfriend or as a partner?
Someone once said I was "diligent and ceaseless." When I really like someone, I do all I can to give them a good time, and I push boundaries. Pushing boundaries is probably my biggest strength.


Lacy, 26

How's the dating scene in D.C.?
It's awesome! It's fucking awesome. There are so many people, so many places.

Do you meet guys through work?
Not really. I have a strict policy about not dating or seeing anyone who gets tattooed here. Just the other day, I had my laptop up and some guy got on my Facebook and friended himself, and then said "We're friends now, so, want to go on a date?" And I said, "No, you stole my computer. That's creepy."

Any bad experiences?
Oh yeah. I love the guys who will spit the game but then you get down to it, in bed, and it's like "Really?" There was one guy I went home with who lasted for maybe two minutes. He wanted to do it again, but I was like, "If the first time was two minutes, there's no way I'm getting back into bed with you." I left.

Maybe you were just too good.
No. No. No, there should be no excuse.

Do guys see your tattoos and assume you're really wild?
Yeah! I'm actually very shy. One guy asked what I would think about a tag team. With two other guys!

Do you have any sexual superpowers?
My guy says I do. But I don't know what they are. Maybe being into it even if I'm not into it? Guys like moaning. They like thinking they're doing something important when they're not.

Could cute and sweet satisfy you?
I'm not a cuddler. With the guy I'm with, I cuddle because I like him and he wants to. Normally after we're done, I don't want to sit there in goo and grossness. I want you to get up and make me a sandwich, bring me something to drink, and I'll be cool. But sweet can be nice. I've had guys run me baths afterwards.


Kristen, 22

How's the dating scene in D.C.?
Abysmal. There are many more women here than men. I seem to have a limited niche I'm willing to date, and I know most of those people already.

What do you want in a partner?
I'm looking for someone who's smart, who's relatively close to my age, has interesting interests, and is rather stylish. No one in Teva sandals or who has to wear a suit every day.

Are you seeing anyone right now?
No. I was, but I'm not anymore. It was going great, but then he got freaked out because he got too into it. He stopped talking to me, we got into a fight about it, and then he slept with my roommate.

How did you find out?
The three of us were hanging out. I went to bed and they immediately went into her room and were very loud. The next day I kept hinting that I'd heard our neighbors having sex, and she felt so guilty about it, she finally told me.

You must have been pissed.
I wasn't that angry. I was more upset for her boyfriend, who is his best friend. But everything's fine now. They broke up and now they're back together.

What's the worst dating experience you've had in D.C.?
I went on a date with a guy who looked a lot like a guy I'd just had a bad breakup with, so that was weird. When we got out of the theater, he immediately started chasing this stray cat, saying, "Oh, it's so cute." He also asked me repeatedly if there were any industrial goth clubs in D.C. because he'd just moved here. And then we got in his car and there's a CB radio that he immediately turns on.

Have you had any good one-night stands?
Kind of? Not really. They've all turned into weird things, where the guy keeps calling. One guy tried to introduce me to his dad and brother after we hooked up a few times.

Any good sex experiences in D.C.?
No. D.C.'s a disappointment in general. But I still love this city.

Nell, 21

How's the D.C. dating scene?
I think it's easy. I could find a dude if I wanted to. But I just got out of a relationship.

Are you enjoying being single?
I want to give myself some space, because I know once I get into a relationship again, it will consume me. I'm really, really happy being on my own again right now. Because when I was in the relationship I was in a very needy space, where I needed him to do things for me and I stopped being as independent as I had been.
No rebounding for you?
I did, hard, with an ex-coworker. We were friends with benefits for a long time and now we're still friends. There was no pressure, though. It was nice.

Have any other good things come out of the breakup?
I got together with this dude I'd liked for two years. He came up to me a few months after the breakup and said "I've always been into you, but I never told you because of your relationship." We fooled around for a while and neither of us were looking for anything more. That was kind of cool because I had no idea he also felt that way.

What type of guys do you like?
I like manly men. I like dudes with a belly and worker attitude, guys who can fix my taillights and take charge. And a good sense of humor. But mostly confidence and the belly.

Where do you meet men?
Work. I've been waiting tables since I was eighteen. And friends of friends. 

Is the restaurant industry debauched?
When I go to a restaurant and there are a lot of young people working there, I always wonder how many of these people are fucking. Because they are. Trust me, they are.

At the workplace?
Sometimes! Maybe. Usually it's outside, like sneaking in the alley or into the bathroom or something. It's very hush hush because it's fun to sneak around. That's what was cool about that rebound guy. He was my manager, so we couldn't tell anybody. And then his brother's a manager too and we kind of fooled around one time — but that's my secret. 

Am I not allowed to include it?
No, because, what if he found it? Well… okay. If it gets me in trouble, it gets me in trouble. He's not really the internet type.


Aaron, 24

What's your best sexual experience of all time?
One time, a couple of years ago, I was extremely intoxicated and I met this girl off of Myspace. We'd been seeing each other for a couple of weeks. And the oral part was the best part, because that was the first time my balls had been sucked. At that time I was really into music, and during our sex I just started rapping out of nowhere. It was sort of embarrassing. I'm usually a trash talker, but for me to just start rapping out of nowhere…

Did she appreciate it?
She wondered if she was boring me.

Are you seeing someone right now?
Yes, I am.

How is it?
We clicked really well. She really likes it when I'm rough.

But what does rough mean?
I've actually knocked periods off their course. I really have.

That's called pregnancy, though.
But it's not. Really, it wasn't. Well… it might be. Maybe she was hiding something from me, but I doubt it.

That happened with the woman you're with now?
No. Sometimes it's hard for me to get sexual with her. I guess I've changed a lot when it comes to sex. I like stimulating a woman's mind. And I like the same treatment as well. But it's not what's on my mind the most right now.

Because you're happy with her in other ways.
I really am. That's what counts in my head. I've shown her some sexual attention, but to keep her interested in me. Because I really like her.


Sarah, 22

Does working in a tattoo parlor mean you get hit on a lot?
Yeah, all the time. I wear an engagement ring on my finger to get them to go away. It's not usually the most desirable people who hit on me. 

Who is desirable?
Someone with a job, with some sort of ambition. I work six days a week. I wouldn't be compatible with anyone who wasn't as motivated or didn't work as hard. I like to go out and tie one on every once in a while, but I wouldn't be able to date a guy who's all about getting messed up all the time. It isn't cool. My last relationship ended due to alcohol abuse, so I try to steer clear of that. And I need open-mindedness, because I have a lot of tattoos. 

Do you run into a lot of stereotypes because of your tattoos?
Yeah, a lot of guys will treat me like I'm easier. As a result, I think I've become a little more of a prude myself. I don't do the one-night stands like I used to. I don't want to feed into that stereotype. I've actually been abstinent for a long time now. At my age, no one wants to take you out on a real date anymore. They want to go get drunk with you and have sex. I'd rather go see a band — D.C. has a great music scene. And we can try a new restaurant, because I'm a foodie. But I hate dates that lack substance and I've been turning down a lot of propositions.

Do you miss your wilder days?
Sometimes I'll have a night out that reminds me of those crazier days, but in the morning I'm always glad I am the way I am now. There's less hassle and less worrying. Especially with STDs. And my job makes me sort of a germaphobe.

Do you have a fantasy of what your first time after abstinence will be like?
Rough. Some visible bruises the next morning. Rough and slightly desperate. One of the most important things for me in my sex life is that I think sex is funny. You should be able to laugh about it. I like joking and laughing and having a good time during sex and I don't think it should be taken super-seriously. I also think it's really important to have respect for your partner. Whether it's a booty call or whatever — you're sharing that experience and you have to have respect for them as your partner. To be part of my sex life, you have to be my buddy. You're inside of me. We've got to be on the same page as far as respect goes. The egos aren't necessary. In the end you're both naked in bed together and you'll see all your flaws anyway.