Nerdy guys: A field guide

by Daphne Reese

Last week, when I wrote about my love for nerdy guys, reader Jills pointed out that all of my “nerds” were specifically technology and science nerds, and she asked: do I find other types of nerds attractive?  I gave it some thought and have come up with four additional categories of nerds:

Music Nerds

This week I went to a jazz performance at the Berklee School of Music and spent the entire show mesmerized by the sexy upright bass player in the front row (see photo).  His long hair fell down over his eyes, his fingers expertly stroking the strings, his body swaying; it was fascinating to watch his obvious immersion in the music, his passion for his art.  I think it’s important to differentiate here between true music nerds and guitar players/drummers.  I’ve always had a major weakness for guys with guitars, but they’re usually more Rock Star than Nerd.  Music nerds, by contrast, generally play an unconventionally sexy instrument–maybe something with strings or a reed–and display a nerdy dedication to the discipline of music that is highly attractive.

Philosophy Nerds

Philosophical discussions take us outside of ourselves, leading us to think about the larger world view, and can be very seductive.  The Asia-phile nerd from last week, Chopstick, told me he is studying Eastern philosophy and is currently reading the Tao of Meditation, which teaches one how to begin on the road to Enlightenment, which according to Chopstick, involves “unlearning things you already know.”  I’ve discovered that I find the optimistic philosophers far more attractive than the pessimists.  The dark, brooding cynic who makes you read The Unbearable Lightness of Being and whose wry humor drips with sarcasm can be fascinating in college, but those same qualities that were cute at 22 can begin to seem tedious and sadly outgrown when the same guy reaches age 27.

Sci-Fi Nerds

I’ve never been big into Sci-Fi, but it’s definitely not a deal-breaker, either.  Maybe if the guy were obsessively into LARPing (Live Action Role Playing a wizard or knight while in costume) I would be a little scared, but I can handle a collection of Chewbacca figurines or the occasional Star Trek quote.  A Star Wars wedding would happen over my dead body, but if the bride and groom are both into that sort of thing, then may the force be with them.

Book Nerds

Men who like to read and learn new things are always sexy.  While searching for this photo, I discovered there is an entire voyeuristic photo blog dedicated to surreptitiously snapping photos of hot guys reading books.  At its heart, that’s where all the attractiveness of nerds really lies–the pursuit of knowledge and eagerness to explore.  We all want to meet someone who teaches us new things and leads us to new life experiences that we otherwise wouldn’t have had.

Of course, there are many other species of nerds out there.  What’s your favorite type of nerd?

February 27, 2011. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

The Higgs boson particle of love

by Daphne Reese

IClark Kent have a thing for nerdy guys.  Intelligence is the sexiest trait that a man can have.  Combine that with some Android developer skills, a white lab coat, or even just a pair of Clark Kent glasses, and I am hooked.  I’m sure I’m not alone here.  In fact, my friend Parker admitted it was not a coincidence that she got back together with an ex-boyfriend the day she saw him in his brand new Clark Kent glasses.

Last week I went on a first date with a guy who seems to be very smart. In the course of conversation, this guy somehow started talking about the Higgs boson particle, Higgs-boson particleand I was instantly enthralled.  Having never taken a physics class, I don’t quite grasp what the hell the Higgs boson is or exactly what significance it has to the theory of particle physics.  In fact, I believe the last time I heard mention of it was by my ex-boyfriend the chemical engineer.  And it was just as sexy when he described it.  I hate to be so easily impressed, but when a man starts dropping physics terms, it’s like conversational Spanish fly.

Is this a thing that guys do?  Memorize some spiel about a complex, brainy topic and use it to mesmerize unsuspecting, defenseless girls in their path?  (If so, well done, boys.  Well done.)

Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be a science term.  Parker recently confided that the moment she was finally seduced by this one guy was when he said one little magic word—“finite.”  While not strictly a genius-level word, in her defense, this man was absolutely gorgeous and in no way expected to be intelligent.  Knowing how to use big words like “finite” was just a nice add-on.

This weekend, while out at Alibi with the girls, I noticed a cute, tall guy wearing Clark Kent glasses.  Our eyes met, and he immediately walked over and introduced himself.  Within moments, we were making out.  In addition to the always-deadly Clark Kent frames, this guy had a whole list of dreamy nerd traits: he was a scientist, graduated from West Point, and writes novels in his spare time.  He was wearing a t-shirt with Chinese characters on it, causing my girlfriend to instantly dub him “Chopstick.”  When I asked Chopstick what his shirt meant, he replied that it said “dragon,” while casually mentioning the fact that he is, in fact, fluent in Mandarin.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he deliberately wears that shirt to the bars just so he can drop his Chinese language skills into conversation.  It’s no secret that girls love foreign language speakers, especially when it involves a sexy-sounding accent like French.  Mandarin may be less appreciated as a tool of seduction, but it definitely gets extra points for nerdiness.

Of course, intelligence, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder.  Other girls might be bored by talk of string theory, or worse, feel insulted or think that their date is trying to show off.  Have you ever been seduced by soft whisperings of E=mc2?  Share your story in the comments.

February 22, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.