from the archives

What It’s Like

A series of in-depth interviews with people who lead atypical lives.

Illustration: Eugenia Loli
Illustration: Eugenia Loli
Illustration: Eugenia Loli

“What it’s Like” was a series of in-depth interviews with people who lead atypical lives, from 2014-2016 it ran regularly on New York Magazine’s Science of Us.

Looking Back

Revisiting my infamous conversation with “Paul,” a man in a romantic relationship with a horse.

Illustration: Eugenia Loli

Our Most Popular Stories From the Series

What It’s Like to Date a Horse Exploring the secretive world of zoophilia.

Photo: Edoma/Getty Images

What It’s Like to Have a Micropenis There is a lot of embarrassment.

Photo: 167/Brooke Whatnall/Ocean/Corbis

What It’s Like to Be a 58-Year-Old Virgin Years and years of loneliness.

Photo: Photography by Manuel Atienzar

What It’s Like to Have Extremely Awful Body Odor You have to think a lot about your diet, for one thing.

Photo: 68/GK Hart/Vikki Hart/Corbis

What It’s Like to Be a Stoner Who’s Allergic to Marijuana “I’d kept an old joint, and sometimes I’d light it and have a fake little religious ritual where I would waft it like a sage stick around the room.”

Photo-Illustration: Photos: Corbis

All the Rest

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What It’s Like to Have a Flesh-eating Bacteria

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What It’s Like to be Addicted to Sex and Porn [VIDEO]

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What It’s Like to Have a Body That’s Literally Falling Apart [VIDEO]

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What It’s Like to See 100 Million Colors [VIDEO]

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What It’s Like Having Lifelong Insomnia [VIDEO]

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What It’s Like to Have Mirror Touch Synesthesia [VIDEO]

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What It’s Like to Have Incurable, Unrequited Love [VIDEO]

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What It’s Like to Detest the Sound of People Eating [VIDEO]

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What It’s Like Being a Relationship Anarchist

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What It’s Like to Be Married to a Very Attractive Man

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What It’s Like to Go Through Life As a Really Beautiful Woman

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What It’s Like to Visit ‘Dr. M,’ New York’s Erotic Masseur for Women

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What It’s Like to Be a Victim of the ‘Fertility Disaster’

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What It’s Like to Be a Legal Sex Worker in New Zealand

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What It’s Like Being a Teacher During a School Shooting

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What It’s Like to Experience Gay Conversion Therapy

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What It’s Like to Self-Medicate With Kratom

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What It’s Like When Your Child Eats Magnets and Crayons

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What It’s Like When Your Daydreams Are Just As Real As Life

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What It’s Like to Be a Celibate Pedophile

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What It’s Like to Be Unable to Bear the Sound of Someone Eating

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What It’s Like to Periodically Collapse and Pass Out for Several Hours

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What It’s Like to ‘Wake Up’ From Autism After Magnetic Stimulation

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What It’s Like When Your Spouse Transitions

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What It’s Like to Be Chemically Castrated

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A Male Model on What It’s Like to Be Pretty

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What It’s Like to Be Allergic to Water

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What It’s Like to Be an Intersex Nudist

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What It’s Like to Lose 350 Pounds

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What It’s Like to Be Single With Tourette Syndrome

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What It’s Like to Have Severe Sleep Paralysis

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What It’s Like to Be Profoundly Face-Blind

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What It’s Like to Have Severe Lyme Disease

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What It’s Like to Have Severe Vaginismus

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What It’s Like to Be Allergic to Wi-Fi

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What It’s Like to Ask People Really Awkward Questions

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What It’s Like to Be an Expert Lucid Dreamer

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What It’s Like to Need Hardly Any Sleep

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What It’s Like to See 100 Million Colors

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What It’s Like to Be a Polyamorous Genius

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What It’s Like to Be a Really Hairy Woman

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What It’s Like to Crave Amputation

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What It’s Like to Date Your Dad

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What It’s Like to Slowly Lose Your Eyesight

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What It’s Like to Be Covered in Scales

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What It’s Like to Feel Lost in Your Own Home

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What It’s Like to Remember Almost Everything That Has Ever Happened to You

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What It’s Like to Be Cripplingly Afraid of Vomiting

What It’s Like