When my boyfriend announced that he was getting Lasik surgery a few months ago, I was unnerved. Glasses are my thing—one of those obscure attributes that immediately attracts me to somebody, no matter how brutish or repelling the rest of his personality may be. For one of my girlfriends, it’s large veins on a man’s forearms. For another, it’s a defined jaw line (to the extent that she lists Michael Bolton and Ed Harris as her top celebrity crushes because of it). For me, it’s a hot pair of … lenses.
I’ve always loved bespectacled men and wondered recently where this particular fetish surfaced. As I dug through my internal rolodex of boyfriends past searching for an answer, it suddenly hit me: it’s not just the glasses. I love the nerdy men that wear them. And I think it’s about time someone came to their defense in the great, misunderstood world of relationships.
Defense #1: Bad Boys Don’t Always Finish First
I’ve seen Rebel Without a Cause and all the Die Hard movies. I get it. Women’s instinctual attraction to the bad boy is supposed to date back to the primal forces of sex and survival. However, as far as I’m concerned, we’re above the ooh-ooh, ahh-ahh Neanderthal role-playing. We don’t need some bulky bad boy to save us. Exit hulking brute. Enter sensitive geek.
Geeks equal out the playing field in relationships again. Rather than men maintaining this archaic fantasy of a bruised up meathead with an anger management problem and a motorcycle, a geekier breed of men actually bring benefits to the table. For one, he will not act as if he’s been shot up with testosterone every five minutes, or deal with his feelings by means of drag racing. There’s a sensitivity there that the bad boys are severely lacking. A geeky companion will be much more likely to openly discuss an issue with you, rather than acting possessive and/or hitting the checkout clerk for telling you too nicely to have a good rest of the day.
Overall, rather than letting insecurity rear its violent head, a geek is more attentive to what’s really important … you.
Defense #2: Is That Your Protractor in Your Pocket? Geeks Are the Best Lovers
Granted, most women love a man who can openly watch The Notebook and talk about feelings. But there are other needs that geeks fulfill that extend beyond movie night. A recent British survey of 2,000 women and men revealed IT geek to be at the top of a list of lovers’ occupations, as reported by The Sun newspaper. According to the survey, IT geeks were ranked so high because they were found to be the most selfless and adventurous lovers, as well as much more open to using tech gadgets (ahem) outside of the office. Even more specifically, the survey found that 82 percent of IT “geeks” interviewed said that their partners’ pleasure was the most important thing to them.
(Fitness workers, by the way, scored lowest among all those questioned, with only 41 percent admitting to caring about their partners’ needs—ready to switch your six-pack for four eyes, yet?)
Defense #3: Intelligence—A Crucial Piece of the Pi
It’s no coincidence that Millhouse is the best Simpsons character, or that genius Bill Gates remains one of the world’s most fascinating people. Intelligence is undeniably attractive, particularly when it’s genuine and in rarer cases, modest. Although sometimes we tend to adore the more obvious choice in movies and magazines, we’ve secretly loved the smarty-pants for years—Richie Cunningham was always our leading man on Happy Days, not the Fonz, and which of Steve Urkel’s personas got Laura at the end of Family Matters? Certainly not the sultry Stephan, but rather, the suspender-clad Urkie.
As bright, sophisticated women, mental stimulation is just as important as physical in our relationships. And geeks can give us both. We want to be challenged in our dinner date discussions about foreign policy, and understood when we explain just why the phenomenon of Pi deserves its own national day over dessert.
Even in times when we don’t know it all, who better to call to check out our hard drives after a computer glitch? How good is it to have a boyfriend who can fix your dinner and your iPhone on a Friday night?
Defense #4: Geeks Know Who They Are and How to Rock It
Napoleon Dynamite wasn’t an instant cult classic for nothing. Not only are we instinctively drawn to the underdog, but anyone who couldn’t fall in love after that Jamiroquai dance sequence clearly has a heart of tin. Napoleon is the perfect example of why geeks should rule the rocky waters of our hearts. Unclouded by pep rallies and popularity, he knew exactly who he was and stayed true to it, as he famously advised Pedro about his campaign speech, “Just follow your heart, that’s what I do.” In the end, it always pays to be with someone who knows and appreciates who they are, so that they, in turn, can love and appreciate you.
Everyone has her own tastes when it comes to her significant other, but I’m going to argue that when it comes to blaming instinct, we’ve got it all wrong. It’s not the bad boy that we naturally pine for, root for, or even search for. It’s the one most like us, who snorts when he laughs or wears his pants just a little too high and to the left. Because really, how many of us are inherently the jock or the prom queen at the end of the day? Isn’t there a little nerdiness in all of us?