True Stories: No Sex (Talk) On The First Date

One of our Talking to Strangers interviewers learns a valuable dating lesson the hard way.

by Laurenne Sala

It was late. I was desperate. I needed to hand in my Talking to Strangers piece to my editor at Nerve. I'd interviewed people on the Venice Beach boardwalk, just as I'd promised. But as I wrote up the interviews and listened to my tape, I decided something was shady about the last stranger, a drunk frat boy. Remembering his red cup and slanted trucker hat led me to believe that he couldn't have been serious when he said his heart was "ready to open up to that special someone." In retrospect, I was also finding it difficult to believe that parents with the last name "Meoff" would've named their son "Jack."

I didn't want to add him to the lineup and insult the intelligence of Nerve readers, so I did what anyone with a deadline would do. I called my friends. And when they didn't answer, I put myself in my Talking to Strangers piece.

I was determined to make it honest, so I answered all the questions as if a total stranger had found me on the Venice Beach boardwalk and asked me about my sex life. I named myself "Sofia" and opened up about my selective taste in porn and my newly-arrived sex toys. Then I sent the piece through the ether and prayed that my mom wouldn't read about my new vibrator.


My mom did read about my new vibrator. And so did a mysterious reader with a Facebook account. The day my vibrator went public, I got a friend request from a local Venice Beach guy. 

"Do I know you?" I asked. In all the time I've had a Facebook account, nobody had ever used it to hit on me. Maybe on Myspace. But never on Facebook. (Let's all switch back to Myspace! You go first.) My friends had gotten creepy messages from randoms who insisted that "your the most butiful girl I ever seen." But I'd never been privy to such a dating underworld. I used my Facebook account to comment on how cute my friends' babies were and to track when ex-boyfriends married.


"I'm so embarrassed," he wrote. "I read your article on Nerve and thought it was funny. That's all. And you look really great too."

"Maybe I'll see you around the hood," I wrote. "And then we'll say, 'Oh, you're that guy/girl from Facebook I don't know.' Can't wait!"

The next day, as I was sitting at a local cafe, wearing sweats and going makeup-free, I saw the mysterious man with the Facebook account. I knew it was him because I had looked at all of his photos the night before. I couldn't believe it.

My mind is that of the average woman. I'm sure there are women who will deny this way of thinking, but I will admit that I believe in signs and that everyone I meet has the potential to be my husband any day now. I'm not even sure if I want to get married. And I'm still on the fence about popping out kids. Yet I tend to believe that because a man wears blue sweaters or likes green, he'd make a great life partner or father. In this case, I was pretty sure the dating universe had landed this man in my path because it meant that he was my perfect future husband.

We made eye contact. I picked a wedding date. He asked me on a first date.

A week later we were on the way to a restaurant up the Pacific Coast Highway. We made flirty jokes and brushed arms. If I were in a commercial for a bad dating site, I would say we had "chemistry." As we sat down to eat, I decided to continue my interviewing. He already knew about my new vibrator, my taste in porn, and my penchant for dating older men. It was only fair that I learn about him through a Nerve-style Talking to Strangers interview. I rolled out the repertoire.

"What do you do for a living?"

"I'm in advertising."

"Does that get you laid?"

He giggled and looked down in embarrassment. I noticed that his flushed cheeks would be a nice addition to our children. (I can't help it. It's a disease.).

"Yes," he finally said. "My job gets me laid."

"How so?"

"I don't know how it happened, but I slept with about four people who worked at my last office."



"Four? At the same time?" I asked.


This was a problem. Future husbands don't dip their quills into four different office inkwells! I imagined him strutting into meetings, the top button of his striped shirt undone, shooting finger guns at four women, knowing he had been inside each and every one. 

I didn't want to judge his sexual life, when I'd been all-too-honest in my own interview. That's not fair. But four? In the same office? I'd had an office romance once, but I couldn't imagine four. Did he rotate them in the stairwells?

"I worked there for four years," he said. It was too late. My expression had gone sour. I changed the subject. I twirled my hair. I tried to bring it back, but I couldn't let go of the fact that I was on a date with a guy who'd banged his whole office and then stalked me on social media. Our once-flirty Facebook romance had begun to go the way of Friendster.


As he drove me home past the dark ocean, I realized that whatever his indiscretions, neither this guy nor any other could ever have lived up to the perfect fantasy I'd created. Plus, if he'd caught me back in my heyday, I might have just had sex with four people in the same day. (Not really, Mom. Metaphorically.) No more judging allowed. Nobody will ever be exactly how I hope them to be.

Still, I don't want to know anything about anyone's sexual past on the first date. This is when eye flirts are captivating and mystery is key. I filed it under "lessons," let go of my judgment, and decided to give it another shot. But another shot there wasn't. He dropped me off. No kiss. All the excitement had died in a pile-up of sexual honesty. I didn't hear from him until weeks later when he sexted me a picture of his chest, confirming my suspicion that I'm going to have to find myself a different husband.

Commentarium (26 Comments)

Jan 04 12 - 1:19am

"My mind is that of the average woman. I'm sure there are women who will deny this way of thinking, but I will admit that I believe in signs and that everyone I meet has the potential to be my husband any day now."

What the actual fuck. Did you honestly just decide that this is what 'average women' do, and if a woman 'claims' she does not think this way it is because she will not 'admit' it? Lady to lady: you don't speak for me, thanks.

Jan 04 12 - 2:17am


Jan 04 12 - 2:22am

You're right! I don't know what every woman thinks. And when I just re-read this piece, I thought, "Shit! Did I just write something IN PUBLIC about wanting a husband? What is this, the sixties?"
But then I got soberingly honest with myself. YES! I don't care about the rings, but I DO want a loving relationship. And I think most people do too. We all just want to be loved. And maybe after you've been single for long enough, you'll know what I mean about wondering if everyone you meet could possibly be the one who will love you. Or maybe you won't and you're happy alone with cats. I don't know you, as you've stated.

Jan 04 12 - 2:28am

I actually know what she's talking about. Up until recently, almost every guy that I saw, whom I thought was attractive, I would think "hmm he could potentially be a boyfriend". Also, I don't think she meant it as an insult.

Jan 04 12 - 11:12am

To be honest, I do the same thing. Notice little things then say to myself, "Op, he can be added to the list." (List of future husbands, that is.) My list is veeeery long. I have no intention of actually marrying any of these men, and I'm not even sure that I want to get married.

Jan 04 12 - 1:54pm

Well Jeebus, if it doesn't apply to you, it means that you are not an "average woman", in that case, she wasn't speaking for you.

Jan 04 12 - 2:16pm

I do kinda look at just about every guy I meet in terms of, "Hmmm, would I want to fuck him?". I mean not *every* one, not people way out of my age range (up or down), or super icky, or wearing Oakland Raiders gear. But . . . yeah. I think about it. Almost as a weird mental game, because I'm really not looking for new partners right now. So I guess that's kinda similar, making me an "average woman," yeah?

Jan 06 12 - 2:43am
Banana Sam

Ignore jeebus, she's always bitching about something here. It was a good story.

Jan 04 12 - 2:35am


Jan 04 12 - 5:24am

"My mind is that of the average woman. I'm sure there are women who will deny this way of thinking, but I will admit that I believe in signs and that everyone I meet has the potential to be my husband any day now."
not gonna lie, when I read this I thought 'whew, glad I'm not the only crazy lady that thinks that'

Jan 04 12 - 8:47am

First off.... why is this so crazy? I love that piece in the English movie (and I know I'll get it wrong) "My 5 ex Girlfriends" ? where he talks about fantasizing that every beautiful woman is a future relationship, imagining trips together etc etc. Very true for me......
Some people here need to not be so touchy about simple generalizations......

Jan 04 12 - 5:25am

Something to think about: when you say that you might have had sex "with four people in the same day," I don't think you actually mean it metaphorically. Rather, you probably meant it hyperbolic-ally.

Jan 06 12 - 2:45am
Banana Sam

Could have totally been metaphorical. Today things went really poorly and I feel as if I got screwed at least four times.

Jan 04 12 - 8:49am

Actually more correct would be "hyperbollocky"

Jan 04 12 - 8:51pm

I challenge all Nerve writers to see who can work "hyperbollocky" into a piece first.

Jan 06 12 - 2:47am
Banana Sam

If the four partners were all part of Monte Python, it could have been jabberwockically.

Jan 04 12 - 8:51am


I actually enjoyed the piece -- but please, please refrain from the stereotype that all single women end up alone and sad with a bunch of cats. At least be creative. Perhaps all the single ladies are doomed to a life with armadillos or emus. And for happily single ladies everywhere, may I introduce you to (or remind you of) Sarah Vowell: Amen.

Jan 04 12 - 10:14am

About 60 or 70 guys are about to get the idea to friend you on Facebook and not talk about sex on the first date now. Brace yourself.

Jan 04 12 - 11:21am

Or at least tailor what they will talk about.

Jan 04 12 - 1:31pm

I daresay that was the plan.

Jan 04 12 - 3:02pm

"I imagined him strutting into meetings, the top button of his striped shirt undone, shooting finger guns at four women, knowing he had been inside each and every one. "

That was actually quite funny. It might be one of the first times I've actually laughed out loud while reading an article on Nerve. I'm looking forward to more pieces by Ms. Sala.

Jan 05 12 - 1:25am

definitely the funniest line. but he introduced himself to you as "Jack Meoff" and you didn't have suspicions? Hmmmmm.

Jan 05 12 - 10:48am

I do that too. I spot someone and we make the slightest eye contact or even when they pretend not to notice me, I imagine all kinds of thing. Rarely have I ever thought husband material but it's not always sex I envision either. Sometimes I see us making out at the park, or having one of those all night convos on the stoop of their walk-up because we don't want to server the connection. But then in a moment just as fleeting I can see it going nowhere, me not texting back, and them putting me on blast all over Facebook.

Jan 05 12 - 4:57pm

Those of you that got offended, I think the author can recommend a vibrator or two for ya.

Jan 05 12 - 5:30pm

I live in NYC, and meet a lot of people that live elsewhere. When I meet someone I like, I imagine myself moving to their city or town and living with them. I probably shouldn't do that, as, in my opinion, no place is as good as NYC.

Jan 05 12 - 8:50pm

i agree that it's pretty commonplace (at least among my 20-something year old friends) that when we see or meet a new guy, the "marriage material" or at least "boyfriend material" signs pop up. it doesn't mean you fall in love at first sight, it just means that you recognize certain traits - personality, physical, emotional, sexual - that you find attractive and look for. when enough of these traits add up and you are in love with someone, then thinking about marriage becomes real and isn't just a game in your head. it's not that uncommon, nor is it crazy. it's perfectly logical to reason what you like in people and consider whether that's something you want for your future.