Ode to Alpha Nerds

Many women have a distinct “type” of guy that they go for. Tall, dark and handsome. Flashy and charming. “The Artist” type. Rich. Whatever. To each her own.

I like alpha nerds.

Or alpha geeks, whatever you want to call them. Guys who are intelligent and not afraid to show it. Those who have been to college, specialized in some intellectual endeavor, and been able to make a career out of something they really enjoy, even if it’s studying pond scum (you gotta admit some of those extremophile pond scum are pretty cool). Guys who are the leaders of their nerd cliques. Who can lead a crew of other nerds out into the wild blue yonder in search of knowledge. I’m talkin’ about the NASA mohawk guy. The guy who writes XKCD. A guy that loves to geek out on intellectual stuff but is still macho enough to pick up a girl at a party, even if it is the local astronomer’s club midnight bash.

My husband’s day job is in physical training and fitness, which would make you think he’s a non-academic meathead. The truth is a lot of physical trainers, those who are doing more with their lives than looking for dumb fat people to “coach” at Gold’s Gym, take a very academic approach to the human system and how to optimize its performance, and my husband is no exception. He will seriously geek out on the human body systems, fly to other countries to attend academic seminars or workshops, and has even peer-reviewed physical coaching textbooks. He is considered a leader in his field, and not afraid to tell people why they’re wrong but can back it up with a ridiculous amount of information why.

His geek hobbies include studying early European History (like 4th century early), Physical Anthropology (which is what got him into physical training and fitness), and Paleozoology, primarily mammals (giant sloths, etc.).

That’s the kind of guy I go for. Very specialized interest, highly driven for knowledge, and willing to spend their free time at the library or outside, rather than in the woodshop carving duck figurines or fixing cars or whatever guys are “supposed” to be into. But they also have to be strong, determined, and able to lead. None of these shrinking violet nerds for me, no sir. Being smart is one thing, but it’s not sexy to me unless the guy can also show confidence and leadership with his smarts. Alpha nerds are also confident in themselves and their hobbies, and are not afraid to have fun and look a little silly from time to time. I find that kind of confidence in oneself very appealing.

I also have a soft spot for the more traditional manly engineering/mechanical types, don’t get me wrong. I AM one of those types (well, except for the manly part), and it can definitely be a turn-on to be able to talk shop with a guy. And I certainly went through my "sensitive outdoorsy" phase. But more than that, there’s just something incredibly sexy about a rugged man who spent his years in grad school leading a crew of international students to wrangle caribou in Russia in order to tag and track their migrations via satellite. If he’s willing to go to the ends of the earth to track down a moose, I easily make the leap that he’d be willing to go to the ends of the earth for me *romantic sigh* regardless of whether that’s true or not.

Hey, a girl can dream.

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One comment on “Ode to Alpha Nerds

  1. […] a follow-up to my Ode to Alpha Nerds, this is a YouTube video that epitomizes exactly what I’m talking about. Too bad none of them […]

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