New York v. sex life

NYC transplants weigh in on how the city has changed their shtupping.

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Photograph: Christian Hartman

Larnelle Foster, 27, actor

Before


"I was living in Montgomery, Alabama, and my sex life was nonexistent. I wasn't out; I was dating a woman who had two kids, but I wasn't hooking up with her. I knew I was gay, but I didn't want to deal with it, especially in Alabama, where sodomy is literally illegal."

After


"In a way, Alabama was the best thing for me—it made it so I couldn't be repressed for another minute. I got to New York and was basically like, 'Hey, friends, I'm gay.' I started going out to gay bars and things immediately took off. I was having a lot of sex. The scene is definitely way promiscuous, but what's important to know is that you're dealing with a lot of people who have been repressed for a long time—people who are 16 in terms of sexual maturity. I'm 27, and having, like, three years of experience hooking up is not that long when you think about my straight guy friends who have been hooking up since they were 12."

 

 




Photograph: Christian Hartman

Alice Alers, 23, financial analyst

Before


"I had sex pretty regularly from prom night—that's when I lost my v-card—to the time I left for college. Since my boyfriend at the time and I were only going to be living an hour apart, we made it a priority to see each other every weekend, so that's pretty much when I had sex."

After


"I jumped in! New York has changed my sex life—by giving me one. I've only had one boyfriend in the three and a half years since I've been here, but God, have I had a lot of dates and a lot of sex. There are so many places to meet people. And I will admit to going on Craigslist once or twice. Yes, yes, I know lots of horrible connotations come with that name, and if you're stupid about it, you could get yourself in trouble. But you could get yourself in trouble anywhere you go in this town."

 




Photograph: Christian Hartman

Kyle Clairmont Jacques, 20, cobbler

Before


"I grew up in rural Massachusetts and dated a girl for three years there. It was funny: I had chemically straightened hair and wore lots of eye makeup, and would go pick her up from basketball games. I'd be like, 'Let's go shopping!' And she was like, 'Let's play catch!' People always thought that we used each other to pretend we were straight. We never were very physical at all, in public or private. She dates girls now."

After


"I was confused when I first moved here: People were still yelling, 'What up, fag!' out of cars, like they did at home, but here, it was men who wanted me to come home with them. I'm not into guys—girls are so much prettier and they smell better. I lost my virginity here. I'd always said I'd only date someone if I was gonna marry them. But since my last girlfriend and I broke up, it's clear that I can see people casually—and at this point, I want nothing to do with a relationship. New York is responsible: I'm so damn busy. There are so many people and so many things I want to do on a daily basis here that being tied down feels really limiting."

 




Photograph: Christian Hartman

Twanna A. Hines, 33; office manager, writer

Before


"People outside of New York have this marry-and-move-to-the-suburbs thing. People in Chicago are dating with that in mind. I moved there in April 2002 and had my first long-term boyfriend by June. We dated for a little more than a year, then I started seeing another guy after that. I never had to go without sex. It was very healthy."

After


"God, New York hasturned my sex life into a fucking circus. I go on a lot of dates but have not had a boyfriend since I've been here. It's a whole different model: You can stay in the game as long as you want—there's no need to settle down, and who the fuck wants to live in the suburbs anyway? New York boys are more experimental: Recently I was flirting with this gorgeous guy at a party. Suddenly he was like, 'Baby, I'm gonna piss in your mouth.' Ha! I get hit up by more married men in NYC. Way more. I get laid by more partners, less frequently. In short, mysex and dating life in New York has been ridiculously frustrating."


NEXT: One tiny little problem We asked everyday New Yorkers how they learned to overcome their greatest sexual insecurities.

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