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Nerve is always looking for smart and well-crafted writing. We are a love, sex, and culture website that caters to a young, educated readership of over a million people. Send us your stories!
True Stories are honest, entertaining, and provocative essays about dating, sex, and relationships, about 1200-1800 words long. These are events that actually happened; you can change names to protect the innocent (or guilty), but this is not fiction. Be prepared to tell the world the whole story, including the sexiest or darkest or most embarrassing parts. No erotica or fan fiction, please. Send a brief summary to firstname.lastname@example.org. PAID
"Don't Kiss Anyone Or Your Dick'll Fall Off," and More Dating Advice From My Father
I Don't, or Thoughts on My Ex-Fiancé's Wedding
Why I'm Writing About Sex With My Real Name
The Only Greaser I Ever Slept With
Talking to Strangers
We always need interviewer/photographers for our weekly series Talking to Strangers, in which we ask people we just met totally inappropriate questions about love, sex, and dating. It's a really fun excuse to start conversations with good-looking strangers, and we're always excited to bring the series to new cities. If you're interested in becoming a Talking to Strangers interviewer, the first step is to do a sample interview. There are a lot of guidelines for the format and content of these interviews — too many to list here — so contact email@example.com and we'll tell you everything you need to know. PAID
Ranked assesses the complete work of an individual band or director, listing every work from worst to best, with commentary. For it to work, the artist has to have a new work coming out (or be in the news for some reason); the set of items has to be between 7 and 40 in number; the work has to be reasonably well-known, such that readers will be interested in debating it; and there has to be a range in quality, so it's not just a ranking from "great" to "amazing." People sometimes have trouble with the conceit of Ranked, so just remember that the ranking has to be complete within certain boundaries; "Top Ten R.E.M. Albums" doesn't work; "All Fourteen R.E.M. Albums from Worst to Best" works. "Best Horror Movies" is not a valid Ranked pitch; "Ranked: John Carpenter" is. More inventive ideas are welcome: "Don Draper's Relationships from Most to Least Dysfunctional" was a good one. Send a brief description of what you want to do to firstname.lastname@example.org. PAID
If you have strong, counterintuitive opinions about love/sex/relationship/dating-related themes in culture, we'd love to hear them, in about 750 words. These have to be really timely, so if a movie or album's coming out — or an artist made a provocative public statement, or another publication ran a strong opinion that you disagree with — and you have something to say about it, let us know quickly. Think "How Zooey Deschanel Ruined My Love Life," "Disney Princesses from Least to Most Feminist," or "Ten Thoughts on the Alleged Sexiness of Joseph Gordon-Levitt." We love writing about smart culture, and if your points about dumb culture are smart and interesting, we like those too. Generally we prefer to cover stuff that's a little more indie, though we like some mainstream stuff too. The best way to get an idea of our sensibilities is to read the site. Please send a quick summary of your argument to email@example.com, and if we like it, we'll give you the go-ahead. We're also interested in your political opinions, especially as they pertain to what you might call "human" issues - political figures, abortion, gay rights, gun control, etc. Not so much tax codes. PAID
I Did It For Science
I Did It For Science finds Nerve writers experimenting with love and sex. An experiment can be something you've always heard about but never been brave enough to try ("Can I pay my bar tab by selling my underwear on Craigslist?") or a more diabolical idea ("What happens when a girl uses male pick-up-artist techniques on guys?") For it to work, there has to be some human interest; just finding a fetish that very few people have heard of and trying it out isn't going to work, because there's very little actually at stake. We've done a lot of these, so it can be hard to find something new, but we'd love to hear your ideas. Send a pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org. PAID
My First Time
Tell us the story (500-1000 words) of the first time you had sex. Include nuance and specifics that make your story interesting. My First Time submissions are published anonymously, but please include your gender, your age (at the time), and your location. Send your 500-1000 word story to email@example.com with "My First Time" in the subject line.
We're looking for stories about entertaining dates you've been on, told in time-stamped form. Include nuance and specifics that make your story interesting. Dateline submissions are published anonymously, but don't forget to include gender, age, and profession for you and your date. Send your 500-1000 word story to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Dateline" in the subject line.
Dateline: "I explain to him that rappers care about the things that matter most in life..."
Dateline: "I've lost track of my drink count, and he's here... with his mom."
Dateline: "She straddles me. I take her top off."
Dateline: "He looks amazing, as usual, but I can see there's something on his face..."
Before You Were Born
When you look at old photos of your parents, do you ever get the feeling that they used to be cooler than you? Are the stories of how they met, or their wild youth before you were born, the stuff of family legend? Tell us about it. Before You Were Born is a Nerve feature where writers sit down with their parents and interview them about their awesome lives back in the good old days, and write it up in Q&A format. Send a brief description of your parents and the story you’d get them to tell to email@example.com with the subject line "Before You Were Born."
All submissions may be edited for content, clarity, and length.