Love & Sex

Talking to Strangers: Zombie Edition

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We chat up the undead at Atlanta, GA's Zombie Pub Crawl.

Clifton, 32

What brings you to the Zombie Pub Crawl?

I'm an attorney and some of my clients put this on. It's a great way to come out and have a great time and meet new people. And I've been a costumer for about three years. This costume is Ash from Army of Darkness.

Are you single?

No, actually, I have a girlfriend.

Is she into the zombie thing?

Not really. She's more into anime and the clean, pretty side of costuming, whereas I like the dirty, messy side.

What are your turn-ons?

Intelligence is a huge thing. Openness, authenticity. As far as physically, I like pretty faces. A body is nice, but kissing is a big deal, and I like to look at what I'm kissing, so I go for a pretty face.

Turn-offs?

Closed-mindedness. I grew up in Alabama, so it was very common for people to dismiss evolution and science as pure bunk. That's a turn-off. The shortest date I ever had was with a girl who said that fossils were put in the earth by the Devil to trick us. I had to bounce. It's the only time I've ever walked out of a date.

What do you love about your girlfriend?

She's very high-energy and open-minded. My job can make me very focused and very low-energy. She's always so open and high-energy that she brings me up. No matter what my mood is, she's happy, she's exciting. I know that when I see her, it's almost Pavlovian — I'm going to smile. That's a huge deal. Looks are important when you start dating someone, but I've dated girls who were very cute, but after two dates — nothing.

Do you believe in "the one?"

I don't at all. I've dated quite a few girls who were amazing for so many different reasons. No one is perfect, and you can meet someone who has so many things you love, but if you break up, you can meet someone who is completely different and you can be just as amazed and inspired and turned-on. I always say, don't think of someone as "the one," think, "Is this working for me?" I think the whole concept of "the one" is why we have such a high divorce rate. I've seen a lot of people say, "I thought she was 'the one,' so I thought I had to put up with everything." Life has a lot of big questions, like kids, marriage, where you want to live, what sorts of things you want to teach your kids. If you don't find someone who meets your needs, I think you need to not settle. There are amazing people out there.

 

Allison, 22

What do you do?

I work in a study room at a university.

Are you in a relationship now?

No.

What kinds of guys are you attracted to?

Mostly friends of friends, people I know I have something in common with. They have to be into zombies. That's a big deal for me. And horror movies. They have to have a sense of humor. And they've got to be taller than me. I'm kind of tall — I'm 5'7" — and I feel like a bitch for saying that, but it's true. I typically go for tall, dark, and handsome.

What are your turn-offs?

Fratty guys. Polos: not hot.

Do have any crazy relationship stories?

I dated a guy who moved to the other side of the world, to Asia, and didn't tell me until a month beforehand. I actually put up with the long-distance thing for about a year and a half.

Did you do a lot of sexy Skyping?

A little, not a lot. Unless you're both really sexually frustrated, it's going to be awkward.

What's the craziest thing a guy has done to try to pick you up?

One time a guy at a party gave me a chainsaw and was like, "Here, you can play with this." It was actually really hot. I had it for most of the evening, but I gave it back at the end of the night.

Sounds like a phallic thing.

Yeah, a phallic, power thing. It was not an actual, working chainsaw, I should say. But I could lift it up and threaten people with it, in a fun way.

Have you ever made out with someone with a full face of zombie make-up on?

Sure. The blood takes like spearmint or candy, so that's good. The makeup tastes kind of gross.

 

Joshua, 21

What do you do?

I'm in the U.S. Army. National Guard.

Are you in a relationship now?

Yes, I am. Kind of.

"Kind of?" What does "kind of" mean?

"Kind of" means she has a fiancé. It's terrible, I know.

Is she also in the army?

She was. She had an asthma attack and got medically discharged.

If she has a fiancé, what are you doing waiting around for her?

Just bein' stupid.

You're in love with her?

I wouldn't say in love, but infatuated. She's awesome, attractive, beautiful, she has a fun personality, she's fun to be with. It means a lot to me that we hang out.

What are your turn-ons? Obviously not availability.

No, I like the taken chicks. I can't lie about that.

Really? This is a habit for you?

Occasionally. Once or twice. I just like girls who are really pretty. Redheads. Kinky chicks. Biting, punching, sadomasochism. I'll try anything once, minus homosexuality.

You're covered in fake blood now, but is there ever actual blood involved?

Well, I have a scar on my arm from biting, but that's as far as it's ever gone.

What's the kinkiest thing you've ever done?

A girl tied me down to my bed with Nintendo controllers and then did whatever she wanted.

Do you like women in the army?

Yeah, I like girls with the same profession as me. But there's two types of army chicks — the really butch ones and the really attractive ones. Most girls, when they go into basic training, they grow a pair of balls. But occasionally you get that amazing girl, like the one I like, whom you can talk to about what you do at work and she understands. That's what I enjoy.

Would you like to see yourself in a committed relationship?

Absolutely.

Then are you still holding out for this chick with the fiancé?

Well, yes and no. I've kind of come to realize that it's probably not going to work out and she's going to end up with the fiancé. We haven't done too much to ruin their relationship.

So you haven't had sex with her?

No. But it's to the point where… I don't know.

You just can't forget about her.

Exactly. And she comes down and sees me every now and then, and it's really amazing. I don't want to give it up yet.

 

Jessica, 25

What do you do?

I'm a hairstylist.

Does that ever get you laid?

No, never. Sometimes guys hit on me, but it doesn't go further than that.

Are you in a relationship?

Yeah, he's a metal guy in a band. It's going really well. We don't agree on a lot of things, though. He's more political than I am. I'm pretty lax. He's really argumentative and tries to change people. I deal with it because at the end of the day he doesn't try to change me. But he hasn't realized he's never going to change other people's minds by fighting with them.

How'd you guys hook up?

We were extras on the shoot for the film Halloween 2 in Newburn, GA. We'd actually been dating for a couple weeks, and after spending fourteen-hour days together and not wanting to kill each other, it got serious. It was a good test to see if we could make it.

What's the craziest thing you've done for love?

Nothing. I'm lazy.

What are your turn-ons?

Musicians and facial hair — mutton chops, beards. Pompadours, although my boyfriend is bald. Confidence, being a man, not being a pussy.

What are your turn-offs?

Dudes who are overweight or have too much body hair. No super-conservatives; I'm definitely a liberal girl. Bros. Guys who live off of their parents. Polo shirts with a popped collar.

Carla, 21

I couldn't tell from afar if you were a hot girl or a hot guy. You really have that androgynous thing going on.

I hear that all the time.

Are you into chicks or dicks?

Chicks.

Are you in a relationship?

Yeah, she's right here. She's a zombie, too.

Where did you meet?

At a truck-stop bar in Atlanta called Southern Comfort. Sunday nights they have karaoke, and that's where we met.

Are you going to be having hot zombie sex later?

I hope so.

Are you going to take off the zombie make-up first or keep it on?

Keep it on. Definitely.

What does your zombie blood taste like?

It tastes delicious. It's mostly corn syrup.

Do you have any awful exes whose brains you'd like to eat?

Well, I'm sure there are a lot of girls out there who'd like to eat my brains.

Uh oh, what'd you do to them?

I broke their hearts.

Did you cheat on them?

Maybe a little. I'm kind of a heartbreaker, I guess. In my past I have been.

Are you on your best behavior with your lady now?

Now I am, yeah.

What's your craziest break-up story?

I was with one girl at a party and I left her for another girl. It was pretty brutal. They started beating each other up.

Did you kind of like that they were fighting over you?

No, it was pretty aggressive and I was trying to break them up. I was dealing with this girl, and that girl, and then there was another girl who wanted me, too…

You have a lot of lady-drama going on.

Broads, man.

What's the craziest place you've had sex?

On the hood of a car in the pouring rain.

Was it a '65 Mustang? That would be extra-hot.

It was just a Honda, but it was still hot.

 

Chris, 29

What's your profession?

I am a carpenter by profession, writer/artist by nature.

Does being a carpenter get you laid?

Never. 
Girls tend to think, oh, you're a blue-collar, low-class worker. But we're the salt of the earth. We built the world.

Are you in a relationship?

Yes, I am. It's going surprisingly well. I wasn't looking for anything. She was the roommate of one of my friends. Actually, I was her replacement — she was moving out and I was moving in. We actually overlapped and lived together in her room for the first three weeks that we dated. I just never left after the first night we hooked up. We talked all night long. I saw so much of myself her. It was like I was talking to myself; I forgot who was talking to whom. To this day I forget.

So it's been a long time?

It's been a month and a half. So, not that long, but still. It's odd and serendipitous.

What's the first thing you thought of the first time you saw her?

The first three words I ever said to her were, "You're so cute!" I couldn't help but say that. I thought she was interesting and beautiful. Not even just her face or the way she carried herself — you could just see that she was a beautiful person in every way.

What was your first date?

The first time we hung out we went with our friend to a drag club. She actually thought I was gay the first time she met me. I am somewhat effeminate, because I'm in touch with my emotions and open with how I feel. But I remember looking over at her, and I could see how she smiled and put her lights on me. That turned me on at first. And then we just started talking and realizing how much we have in common. We're both part of four-child families, we're both artists, our favorite dessert is banana pudding, we both call peas "china berries." Stuff like that.

Is your girlfriend here?

She is. She's a zombie, too. She's hanging out with a group of gay guys who have been grabbing my ass all night, which is fine. I just hope they buy me some drinks at least.

Are you planning on having hot zombie sex later?

I don't know. I'm drinking. When I drink, I don't like to have sex, because it's sloppy and messy and never goes well. I'm the romantic type. I prefer making love over fucking. I like connecting with someone and being 100% there. If one of you isn't all there, you're just fucking. I have no interest in that.

What's the craziest place you've had sex?

A spiral tube slide on an elementary-school playground with my high-school girlfriend.

It seems like you definitely prefer sex with girlfriends than with random strangers.

I think sex with random strangers never works. If it does work, then you are fucked up. I think if you can fuck a stranger and get off, then that's sociopathic. I can't do it. It's outside of my physical capability. I have to have a real, strong connection with a person.

What are your turn-ons?

When a girl grabs me from behind and grabs my chest or my ass or anything. If she puts her chest on my back. I like a good reach around, too. If you can reach around and mess with my junk, that's always a good thing.

What are your turn-offs?

Emotional neediness. I tend to be a charmer and a people-pleaser, but if a girl starts to expect me to please her, I don't want to anymore. If she's an emotional alcoholic, and I'm her Jack Daniels, that's a dealbreaker. Also violence. I was with a girl who was on top of me, riding me, and while she was getting off, she hit the pillow next to my head. She said she wanted to smash my face in. She was all nonchalant about it afterwards.

So, you're not into S&M?

No. Definitely not. Plus she slept with a .38 Special next to her bed.

I know some guys who would think that's kind of hot.

It might be kind of hot, if you weren't crazy enough to try to punch somebody as hard as you can mid-coitus.

 

Tony, 42

What do you do?

I'm an air-conditioner repair guy.

Does that get you laid or get you dates?

God, I hope so! It's not like I went to school for a year for nothing.

Have you had any hot, sweaty, broken-air-conditioner sex?

No, but I'm praying on it.

Are you into chicks or dicks?

Dicks. Like this one. [Rubs Chris. Chris' girlfriend glares.]

Are you in a relationship?

No. I don't believe in relationships. It's too much trouble.

What happened to you to make you think that relationships are trouble?

My parents. Their relationship is not something I want to repeat.

What turns you on?

Guys who are young or at least look young. But they can be anywhere from legal to thirties, as long as they look youthful. Young guys do mature faster nowadays more than before, thanks to the internet. I also like them shorter than me so I can spin them around in bed and fuck the hell out of them. But if they're assholes, they don't mean shit to me. Attitude is fine as long as he doesn't think he's God's gift to the earth and that I should bow down to him and beg him for what I want.

Do you have any crazy exes?

I have an ex who is bi-polar. And he did drugs and drank too much. He thought everything should be given to him. He did everything from abusing someone to destroying property. There's a difference between having fun like we are tonight, and going overboard where you don't remember what you did the next day, switching personality. Unless it's switching from straight to gay. [Rubbing Chris, who says "I don't have that switch. I'm all vadge."]

Would you like to have some zombie sex tonight with a hot, gay zombie?

Or even a hot bi zombie [rubs Chris again; Chris' girlfriend moves in front of him and crosses her arms.] Or even watching a straight couple have sex would work for me, too.

 

Axl, 25

What do you do?

I'm in the Army.

Wow, you're the second Army guy I've interviewed tonight. Well, he was in the National Guard.

I'm in the real army. He's in the pretend army. He plays soldier on the weekends.

Do you sleep with women in the Army?

I try to stay away. Keep it professional.

What are your turn-ons?

I'm a tall guy, so tall chicks for me are pretty easy, usually.

Wait, I asked what your turn-ons are. And you're saying that tall girls usually fuck you?

Yeah.

And that's your turn-on? Girls who are easy to fuck?

Well, maybe not when you put it like that. Shit. Hmm, turn-ons… I like an ass. A little bubble butt. When girls show a lot of cleavage, it definitely gets my attention. Outgoing is great.

Any crazy exes?

Facebook's ruined a few of my relationships. Girls will write on my wall, and then other girls will be like "Who is this bitch?" One girl I was seeing messaged another girl I was seeing and told her everything we were doing, trying to ruin it. And she did.

Do you think women try to change you and tame you?

Yeah, I think girls think they can change me. They all want relationships. I guess my style is to try to woo them and make them fall for me, and then they think it's going to go somewhere, but I just want to have fun. I can be kind of a sweet-talker at times.

You mean like, "You're so beautiful," or like, "I think I'm in love with you?"

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Not "I love you," no!

So you don't fuck with their heads.

Oh, I fuck with their heads. I just don't say "I love you." I've only said that to two girls, girls I loved.

What's the most romantic thing you've ever done for one of the two you were in love with?

With one girl, I wrote a poem, I ordered a pizza and made a heart out of the pepperonis, I lit a candle, played some music. I did a whole bunch of shit. And then I took her V-card.

You gave her a pizza and she gave you her virginity?

It sounds really lame, I know. A few weeks later, there was a huge snow storm and I walked like three miles in four feet of snow with roses — hiked up to her house because the roads were closed.

That's sweet. So why did you two break-up?

It was my senior year of college, and I wanted to be promiscuous, and I didn't want to fuck with her. And then I joined the Army. But we still talk. We still hook back up when I go back home.

When do you think you'll settle down?

I always thought twenty-seven seemed like an appropriate age.

Now that you're twenty-five, does that seem kind of soon?

Yeah, I'm not ready. My buddy is twenty-five and married with two kids, and they've got issues, man. I can't imagine being in a serious relationship, much less being married with two kids. So I guess I'm looking at thirty. The older you get, you're like, shit, my time's runnin' out. But it would take the right person.

Who did you talk to when you got lonely in Iraq?

I talked to a lot of exes who I wouldn't talk to now. But you get bored. You need a distraction from everything you're going through.

Some guys don't like sleeping with girls they don't care about. What do you think about that?

That's not the normal guy. They sound sensitive and possibly gay. But that doesn't make me an asshole. I mean, if you're fucking a chick, you're both getting some.

Do you think maybe some women are faking it?

You can fake it all night long, baby girl. At the end of the day, I got mine!

Do you know that you sound like an asshole?

Oh, great. I got a joke, to make me even more of a douchebag: what's the best way to give a girl an orgasm?

What?

Who cares.

You're a douchebag.

It's a joke! I'm kiddin' around!

Interviews and photography by Gilly South. Want to talk to strangers in your town? Email submissions@nerve.com.