It will come as no big surprise since you’re reading this on my sex blog, but I’m pretty open (some would say open to a fault) about most of my life. Almost nothing is a secret. And yet there’s one thing I’ve hidden (even from myself) most of my life. But today I want to come out and say it…I’m a nerd!
A comic book collecting, video game playing, sci fi reading, board game liking, super hero movie obsessed big ole nerd. There I said it!
See, people tend to have this idea of me as a snooty Anais Nin and Pillow Book type erotic foreign film and brainy literature type. And I enjoy that too but at my core I most enjoy the simpler things in life (not that the things that make up nerd culture aren’t deep and meaningful--that’s a whole other blog post for another day.) The primary colored, easier to digest Marvel and DC universe are just easier to digest than the jealous and complexly motivated jealous lovers of a foreign film.
However I’ve never felt comfortable being out about my deep and abiding love for Rogue and hatred of Cyclops (in all forms of the Marvel cannon always and forever, talk about a one dimensional narcissist.) At first it was because I was always the unpopular, bullied weirdo whose mom made her clothes and wouldn’t let her go out after dark or shave her legs until far into high school. So discussing with anyone the Margaret Atwood, Michael Crichton and Dean Koontz books that I devoured would not have helped lesson the amount of times I got pushed into a locker per day. My sibling was the only outlet I had back then for such things. That is until they fell deep into the land of World or Warcraft and left me behind to sit in dark rooms to LAN with other unwashed teenagers. That was too nerdy even for me.
Later I continued to keep my fandom to myself because I was drawn to nerd boys who were far nerdier than me. As if it was a competition. (Well I did lose my virginity to a pro Scrabble player so I guess sometimes it was a competition) So I let that be their thing. I didn’t know as much about the storylines in the lesser X-Men books or feel comfortable in gaming stores and didn’t feel like being mansplained to about such things. So instead I focused my passion on things I knew intimately like confessional and Beat poetry or weird indie movies.
Additionally I now realize it didn’t help that I was drawn to assholes and narcissists all the way back to the start of my dating life. These were creep nerd boys that wanted me to feel silly and lesser-than and uncomfortable with my level of nerdiness. Creep nerd boys thought I could only play female characters in Diablo 2 or Gauntlet or identify with girlie comics. No Deadpool or Orcs for me. I remember going to see the Lord of the Ring movies and my male roommates politely excusing me from their conversion because I was “just a girl” and hadn’t read all the books, especially not the Silmarillion, so I was a fake nerd girl. Just in it to impress boys.
And these creep nerd boys continued throughout my life. “You don’t love Arkham Horror? Well maybe you aren’t as smart as you think you are? It’s just a board game.” And “If you won’t listen to the play by play of my D&D campaign why would I read your erotica?” And “Just read Harry Potter. Here read it. How can you call yourself a nerd if you don’t?”
Fake nerd girl… You’re just a geek; a glorified book worm.
Fake nerd girl… If you were a nerd you would come LARP with me.
Fake nerd girl…
By the time I was in my thirties I was well and truly alienated from many of the things I loved the most growing up, those first explorations into fandom and exploring my sexuality. Instead I veered towards sex and erotica (things I was always tangentially interested in anyway), getting passionate about writing smut and learning rope. No one I knew was doing that, there was no one to tell me I wasn’t good enough or passionate enough about it. After all, the only thing girls are good for is sex so it made sense to the world that I objectify myself, no one argued with me going down that path.
Then when nerds became more main stream with the Marvel Cinematic Universe everywhere, movies with latex clad heroes filling theaters every summer, Neil Gaiman became a pop culture icon, and comic conventions were everywhere. Suddenly I felt the old twinge of longing, of missing that world. But I was deep in literary culture where if you didn’t have an MFA you were nothing. Where as a lowly “genre writer” I didn’t fit in. I already always felt like the token less successful friend, the circus freak to keep the people with their Oregon Book Awards and scholarships to the Iowa Writers Workshop amused.
“Have you met Emily, she ties people up?” She also does a lot of other things including write and she’s been published many times but let’s focus on the sex stuff. Tehehe. So scandalous.
Time and again I’d be told at the beginning of parties “Can you not...um...my mom is here.” The words in between the lines being “can you not be yourself” and “um maybe I shouldn’t have invited you.” As if I don’t have parents or a boss or know how to behave in normal company, you know, on account of the bondage and erotica. So there was no way I was going to lower my social standing further by mentioning that I was excited out of my head to go see Logan as soon as humanly possible. It wasn’t worth it.
So when I sat across the table from Mr Right on our first date as he talked about board games and geek meet up group I kinda rolled my eyes and thought “oh no, not another nerd boy, boring.” I didn’t think much would come of us considering our differences so his nerdiness snuck under my radar. It was just one detail of many, just one of the million things he was passionate about. So I kind of giggled at his games and only half listened as he talked about Wil Wheaton.
Fast forward most of a year and we’re laying in bed discussing how various mutant powers would affect bedroom activities. Which characters we’d sleep with/want to be (Gambit, duh!) We lurked in the yellow room at Powell’s to buy from the Best Fierce Post Apocalyptic Female Characters endcap, reading and swapping books about clones and the end of the world and robots and spaceships and lesbian lizard alien sex. Which culminates in me sitting in his reading nook absorbing Sex Criminals comics while he plays the new Zelda game. Just another weekend in my new comfy safe life.
“Hey remember when you weren’t a nerd?” He says or something along those lines as I mention how nerd boy dream come true this moment it. And we go have dirty, silly sex as soon as he finds a save point.
Mr Right didn’t make me nerdy. I’m no letting my nerd out because of or for him. It’s just that in a relationship devoid of judgment and full of support and wonder, where we take turns learning and diving into the other’s world, he has made it easy to be myself. And the nerdy part of me is just one small part of what was able to blossom. Just as I’ve allowed him to open up sexually and learn rope. We’ve been good/bad influences for each other.
Now I suppose it’s only a matter of time before I take this to its logical conclusion by finding a Wonder Woman outfit and capturing him with my lasso of justice.