Jillian Mercado and Ira Chernova Get Real About Romance

Sometimes, what goes on behind the scenes of a photoshoot is just as exciting as the final photos.

Ira Chernova’s latest shots of Jillian Mercado for V-Day give off a majorly sensual vibe, but do you what was equally dope? The conversations they had about love, dating, and lust.

Jilly and Ira interviewed each other to talk the things that are on every girl’s mind around this time of year. Check out their thoughts, plus the dope photos of Jilly, below.

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Jilly: What is your ideal partner? What is the first thing you notice when you meet someone of interest?

Ira: Sense of humor. You know how somehow, all people with good sense of humor (that’s a personal criteria though I guess) are smart (cause you gotta be intellectual to be funny), have charisma, etc. Yeah, of course I’m a visual person and have particular taste in appearance, but it’s not gonna go far without good jokes.

Dreamboat scenario is somebody who makes you laugh–that quality more than often helps in stressful life situations, actually– has a brain on him so talking for hours about different topics is not an issue. I love to talk, I get inspiration from unexpected topics and where it’s gonna take you. And looks the way, you just wanna photograph this person a lot–being a photographer, it matters for me in a way.

J: What’s sex appeal mean to you?

I: Again, it’s all in charisma. And somebody I find ridiculously hot might not appear that way to you, and vice versa. It’s about some inner tickle sensation. Voice is very important. I love low voices. Hmm, actually that’s making me think how opposite things might be — somebody might have that attractive look to them, but there is no drive to that. Yeah, it’s so much about that inner drive, you can always read it behind their eyes. Mutual attraction has a lot to do with it too.

J: On the personal side, what is one thing that makes you weak for a partner or someone you’re seeing?

I: Nice shoulders, nice arms, devilish eyes. I’m remembering main crushes of my life and they had in common this stare that’s making your heart go so fast, like a lightning connection between you two.

J: If you could tell guy one thing to stop doing that he might think is hot, what would that be?

I: Depends, everyone’s habits are different, so it’s very up to [that] particular person. I don’t think I’m generally attracted to guys who are so into themselves and act the way they know they’re hot. That’s actually very much of a turnoff, so probably if I see a guy, I like pulling tricks on acting that way. I’ll make a remark on that.

J: Any advice that someone gave you growing up about dating or relationships that has helped you today?

I: Honestly, I don’t remember any. I grew up with a best friend in school telling me to never laugh in front of guys cause it makes me looks like a horse. Or my relatives telling me to stay away from all men cause they are evil, which all led me way opposite way. Most of my friends are guys, I feel comfortable around them, and if I need opinions or advice, I can just ask them cause they would have a way better point [of view] about behavior of somebody [who’s the] same gender as they are.

I: When it comes to modern men, what advice do you have?

J: I grew up in the very Latin and Catholic upbringing, where it was a male-dominated world even though in my family there were mostly women. And I have learned growing up that the one thing that men lacked was having communication with their partners. So If I can give any advice to men out there, I think that it’s very important to know that you need to listen. That you need to give respect if you want respect to be given to you. I think it’s also important to communicate. No one is a mind reader.

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I: Let’s get nostalgic for a moment–how about ideal date scenario? I say nostalgic because right away I imagine [the] world from [the] movies, pre- phones in our hands all the time. 

Absolutely, I think personally an ideal date scenario would be something that was well thought out, something that looked like it took time and effort. [It] doesn’t have to be something crazy or big, but it definitely has to show me that you care for the little things. Looking back right now, my most favorite dates have been where I have spent hours talking to the person about things that we both like doing. I’d like to think that I am a romantic, so I love when I am in deep conversation or when I feel like I am the only person in a crowded room. Where no one is worried about time and phones don’t exist. Silence is extremely hot and just by looking at you in your eyes I know what you’re thinking. Extra points go to someone who has not Facebook/online stalked me.

I: The most hot move for you, that would be 100% green light?

J: Attention to detail. Whether it’s clothing/accessories or most importantly, I love a guy that actually listens to me when I talk. I know it’s pretty funny to say that, but you would not imagine how many times I have been in situations where I am talking it’s almost as if that person is a wall. But when I get those moments where you can see in their eyes that they’re just absorbing every word you say, something about that is extremely hot to me.

I have been told that I am intimidating because of my personality–a quality that I now love that about myself–so I absolutely love when a guy is sure of themselves and isn’t afraid to have a strong woman beside of them. Someone who is knowledgeable of their surroundings and what is going on in the world. Extra points if you love adventures and traveling. Also if you can make me laugh for long periods of time, that’s another green light.

I guess these are not really hot moves, but what I like in [a] person. As far as moves go, I like to be surprised, and no I am not going to give you all of the secrets here.

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I: What’s been on your read list lately? Any clever documentaries/movies everybody should educate themselves on?

J: I have stopped watching live TV a long time ago…Shows like “Shameless,” “Homeland,” “Westworld,” or “Stranger Things.” As far as books go, I am still finishing up a book called “Your Soul’s Plan” by Robert A. Schwartz and going to start reading “The Age of Spiritual Machines” by Ray Kurzweil.

Makeup – Yuui using M.A.C
Hair – Eloise Cheung at Kate Ryan Inc. using Beauty and Pin Ups hair products
Creative Director – Christine Kohler
Wardrobe – Gypsy Sport and Chromat (both at International Playground)

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