Monday, March 19, 2012

Nerd Fetish

One night when I was 14 years old, I was on the phone with my friend Kathy talking about... what else? Boys! Kathy and I spent about two hours on the phone discussing every boy we knew and how incredibly... smart he was.

No, really.

The conversation went kind of like this:

Kathy: "Oh my god, Rob is SO SMART. Do you know what he got on the last math team competition? He got a perfect score."

Me: "Oh, wow. But you know, John has the highest overall score on all the competitions."

Kathy: "So who do you think is better in math? Rob or John?"

Me: "I don't know. I mean, they're both really, really good. I don't know who I'd pick."

I'm not even kidding. I probably wouldn't have even thought of it or be retelling this story years later, except that my mother was in the room with me, and later declared it "the funniest thing" she'd ever heard. Because we were gushing about boys, except instead of talking about how hot they were, we were talking about how good they were in math.

Realistically, I could never have dated a guy who wasn't really smart. I had crushes on guys who were not the brightest, but ultimately it couldn't have gone any further than that. Intelligence was just that important to me. I've never dated a guy who got less than 800 in math on the SAT's. (Sorry, but my definition of smart is being good at math and science. You may disagree, but a brilliant fiction writer just won't do it for me.)

Yes, things like looks and sense of humor and compatibility are also important. But nothing is more attractive to me than intelligence.

Fast forward to today.

I've been noticing that when I do research for one of my journal articles, I often come across a few names of men who did the a large chunk of the scientific research in that field. Some guy's name will come up over and over again, and clearly he's a big authority in the field. And as I'm reading and outlining these articles, I can't help but having the very odd thought, "Gee, I wonder if he's hot..."

(Answer: Probably not.)


  1. Hahahaha I love this! Intelligence = SO SEXY! I completely agree. Though opposite to you, I reckon deep down I will end up marrying a guy who is a writer/film-maker because I appreciate that kind of 'INFP' intelligence. But I agree, mathS (cos I'm British like that... lol) nerds = HOT. <3 Science... meh... :P

  2. My first love was really good at econ. I used to love lying there listening to him talk about history, economics, world politics. Then I started taking econ classes myself and figured out I was better at it than he was, and it all fell apart. Oh well.

    My husband is a scientist, but one of the things I found sexiest about him when we first met was that he was conversant on topics as wide ranging as art and music, to latin and history, as well as science. Yes, I love my husband in part because he knows latin. You think YOUR preferences are strange? Haha.

  3. I forgot to mention my own fetish... a guy who can spell well! :) SERIOUSLY, there are not enough of them... especially with Indians. :( Why me God? :(

  4. I made a 34 on my YOU doin'? (I scored perfect on the math) ;^)

  5. LOL, intelligence is also at the top of the list for me too. I love how my hubby is so good at math and science. But in general he is really well rounded and interested in learning (as am I) so I love that we can talk about pretty much anything (except for poetry and art). That he is also good-looking is a bonus :)

  6. i knew my high school boyfriend(s?) and i weren't going anywhere because i was far and away the smarter one of the pair, and i got bored.

    which of course then explains how, by the end of my freshman year of college, i was dating a nuclear engineering graduate student. i ended up marrying him three years later -- i mean, there are only so many crazy-smart christian redheads that dance well and cook even better, it's not like you can let one of them get away!

    he also introduced me to morphine, whose song "you look like rain" is one of my favorites, with an opening line especially appropriate here: "your mind and your experience call to me. you have lived, and your intelligence is sexy."

  7. I agree times one thousand.
    I dated a few guys who were nice to look at in my day (I've been married 15 years so it's been a while), but without intelligence, they were nothing more than eye candy. Truth be told? Extremely good looking, funny, charming, confident men who are also intelligent are a huge turn off to me, also. Because frankly? I couldn't deal with the constant insecurity that would go along with all that. In my teens and 20s, I'd go crazy wondering who was going to try and steal him. No thanks!
    For the record, my husband is not a troll. But he is an electrical engineer. (So he just has the social skills of one.;) LOL)

  8. People need to read an old Woody Allen short story called "The Whore of Mensa" for the male-equivalent fetish.

  9. I agree way too much. I have a huge crush on my anatomy TA (MD/PhD and knows everything anatomy). It doesn't hurt that he fixes motorcycles, is hot (former volunteer fireman), and one of the sweetest men I've ever talked to. And single (I found out last week). It's killing me!

  10. Sapiosexual, nothing wrong with that. I'd say I'm smarter than the average guy so I've got more brain than I have good looks. From time to time it's good to know there is still hope for me. XD

  11. My motto in college with the Ag boys but marry an engineer. The Ag boys were usually nice, wanted to have fun, and cute, but often dumb as rocks. My engineer husband is strong, super smart and doesn't dance well (he has to count his steps), but 20 years later, he is an actuary and when he does talk...he has thought about what he is going to we listen. Nerds are HOT!