Do norms wonder if geeks do it with their glasses on? Photo: Morrhigan, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/89159, Public domain image.
There seems to be this perception out there that the sex lives of geeks is somehow different than the sex lives of other people; like we’re a foreign species or something. In fact, geeks even self-examine the topic and hold presentations on it. (See this how to guide for hooking up at SXSW.)
Since technology now infiltrates the lives of most people, I don’t think it’s a fair comparison to say that geeks meet each other at libraries, cafes or on the web while other people don’t. Geeks just aren’t ashamed about it because it’s what people expect them to do.
Sure, geeks hook up at conventions and geek-related events–just like frat boys and sorority chicks hook up at parties or bars. The only difference is the lingo and the aesthetic. When you like something really obscure and you meet someone else who likes the same thing, it’s hard not to develop a friends-or-more connection. (Ever see someone wearing a brown leather jacket and wonder…is he a Browncoat? Should I ask?!)
Since I write about my area of residence by day, I mainstream often enough, as the vampires in “True Blood” might say. I’ve been to a few hipster places and I’ve scoped out local bands at clubs. While I can’t say I fit in there, each place worth writing about really does have its own vibe. A ‘norm’ might feel comfortable hooking up at an 80s night at one club, but might feel uncomfortable at the goth club down the street.
Conventions are kind of the same way. One of the interviewees in the aforementioned article/video mentions that geek women are more outgoing at conferences like SXSW. The same could be said for a female who LARPs or is a champion swimmer: when you feel comfortable and you can walk the walk, you want to strut a bit–and that hardly applies to females only.
The blogger says that “geek sex is hardly vanilla.” I mean, really. Thanks lady. Thanks for perpetuating the kinky library-dweller stereotype that some of us may have endured our whole lives. Sometimes it’s flattering, but more often than not it’s ridiculous. Now every time someone finds out I like Star Trek, they probably think I have a fetish for Klingons or something. (In fact, I’m not really a fan of Klingons, especially in that special way.)
Furthermore, like I was saying, conventions are like clubs. I’ve been to small conventions full of shy high school and college-aged geeks. There was a lot of meeting and greeting, but it was hardly a hook-up extravaganza. At gaming cons and trade shows, people are there for business and to compete in tournaments in games like Warhammer 40K and Magic: The Gathering. I’ve been to conservative “Star Trek” conventions and some after parties involving copious amounts of Romulan Ale. I’ve also been on a date to a steampunk venue–bad idea, because most of the people at that particular gathering seemed to be overt swingers–even though I knew my date very well, it was a bit awkward.
Just like other places of entertainment, conventions and other geek venues vary. I think isolating ‘geek sex’ really furthers our overall isolation from the general population. I mean what is ‘geek sex,’ anyway? A Princess Leia slave outfit? That’s so mainstream it was on “Friends” like 15 years ago.
I think that technology is becoming mainstream, so some geeks fear becoming like everyone else. In a last-ditch attempt to remain isolated, they propose that we flirt and have sex differently than other people. The truth is this:geeks are everywhere and the line between geek and mainstream has been seriously blurred by technology.
Geek sex isn’t different; it isn’t a phenomenon. It isn’t kinky or vanilla–it’s whatever the people having sex want it to be.
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