It’s a story as old as time: Boy meets girl, girl is charmed by boy, they go on a couple of dates, some kissing happens, some drinks, they like each other, then they go back to the boy’s place, where there’s more kissing and stuff, then the boy is like, “One second, let me get something,” and the girl thinks he’s going to grab a condom, but then he pulls out a giant rabbit mask, puts it on, and hands her a string of pearls. “I want this to be a special night,” he whispers to her. “Can you put these in my ass and pull them out really fast? Really fast.” Goddamnit, not again, she thinks on her way out the door. That’s what sex-advice professionals call a “sexual dealbreaker” and what Meatloaf means when he says he won’t do that. Where do you draw the line?
Andrew, 19, photographer: If they won’t let me go down on them.
That seems like a pretty good dealbreaker to have. Why?
If she doesn’t want to pleasure herself, why is she here in the first place?
Christian, 20, student: I would never, ever, let a girl put her mouth anywhere near my asshole. Ever. Ever, ever, ever.
Would you ever put your mouth near the girl’s asshole?
No, none of that, either.
So you’re an exit-not-an-entrance kind of guy?
I guess, yeah.
Rique, 33: Repetition.
Like in a relationship?
It doesn’t even have to be in a relationship to be repetitive, is the thing.
Are we talking like in the span of a few hours then?
Like going through the same motions for sex seems boring.
Marie, 19, student: It would have to be some kind of weird fetish.
Like a costume?
Ooh, yeah, that’s a bad one. Furry stuff, no way. And there are some pretty creepy fetishes out there. Or anything with poop, I guess.
Megan, 19, student: I actually have a friend who told me a story where her boyfriend asked to dress in her clothing during sex. And that would be mine. She actually did it, she allowed him to wear her clothes while they were having sex.
Would you worried that he would look better in your clothes?
No, it would just be weird that he was having some sort of weird fantasy about the situation that was really out there.
Robert, 20, charity volunteer: Above all else, smell.
Is this genital smell, or just general smelliness?
General. I mean, I haven’t experienced anything else in the other area that was that bad, but if it was that, that’d be a dealbreaker, too.
Would you ever tell anybody if they smelled, or would you just get out of there?
I would tell them! Because I actually know what generally can be done to fix a bad smell.
So that’s not really a dealbreaker, just something that needs to change.
No, I wouldn’t have sex with someone where one thing would break the deal anyways. But not fixing a smell would.
Dylan, 21, musician: I definitely would not have sex with a psychopath.
How do you define psychopath?
Probably someone who murders people.
So, other than murder, everything’s good?
Well, maybe not everything. But quite a few things are alright.
Jesse, 43, actor: Bad kissing. It doesn’t even get to sex if there’s bad kissing.
That’s pretty proactive of you. Would you tell a person if they were a bad kisser?
It’s pretty hard to do, and I’ve tried. It’s a hard thing to say, but it’s definitely a dealbreaker. I have to figure that one out.
Cari, 43, photographer: No eye contact.
Do you ever try and force it?
If you force it, it doesn’t work. You have to make eye contact!
It just makes it more intimate.
Do you think maybe they’re hiding something if they don’t look you in the eye?
I think it just shows insecurity.
Ivan, 54, writer: I don’t rim.
But would you be on the receiving end?
Oh yes! I love that!
Colin, 19, student: Knives. And fire. Everything else is pretty much good.
Are you worried about permanent scarring, or death?
With the knives, it’s just scars. I could see it at the moment being good, but I don’t want any permanent reminders of what I did that night on me for the rest of my life.
Would you do it to another person?
If she was OK with it, then yes. But I would be incredibly hesitant.
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