24 June 2011

Nerd Gender Dichotomy

As a teenager I was a pretty hardcore geek. I saved money to buy import CDs and checked out a lot of graphic novels from the library.
Just picture the music nerd at your school, usually a guy with long dirty hair, okay? That was me. My personal style was loud polyester shirts in the winter and concert t-shirts in summer.

If I had one selfish wish it would have been to be re-born in the early 1960s so I could grow up listening to Janis, Jimi and Zeppelin... move to NY for the height of CBGB... then move to Boston for the rise of the Pixies, Throwin Muses, et al.

I worked as a projectionist from about 16 - 21. This turned me into an even bigger nerd. I memorized the films of Stanley Kubrick and spent a lot of time debating shit like why PT Anderson's Magnolia was / was not a derivative p.o.s. (answer - yes it was, see Robert Altman's Short Cuts).

All my friends were nerds too and, well, most of them were dudes. At the time I thought, "these guys are smart and interesting - and they're all super-interested in my opinion." Holy shit.

Of course now I know better. Those dudes weren't interested in why The Head on the Door is The Cure's best album... they were waiting for me to have one too many Henry Weinhard's. Too bad for them. I sincerely thought our chit chat was about the music (and nerdy guys are too passive to try anything) so the '95 Mirage and I would go home unmolested.

Looking back, I realize that if I had been born a dude, I'd still be a virgin. What guy can get away with driving a late model car, disliking children, being an ubernerd ... and still get laid? It's impossible (except maybe in Portland - but the nerdy guy would have to be in a band).

nerd geek dork ven diagram

Just for S's and G's I recently took the the Nerd, Geek or Dork test.

Warning about the test link above: to take the test it makes you create an account at OK Cupid. Just type in a fake email to proceed. Sorry guys, I won't be answering the hookup email you just sent to "joemama@yourmom.com."

Here are my results (see below - email subscribers may need to click through to view images).

 geek test results shown as three graphs

Apparently I'm less of a nerd than I thought. I am, however, in the top percentile for geekosity and dorkiness.  On the upside, my celebrity counter part is... Bill Gates.

Maybe if I'd answered "most of the time" to that black turtleneck question I would have been Steve Jobs. Har har har.

geek test results - why I'm like Bill Gates /></a></div><br />
<br />
<br />
Outcast Genius<br />
(picture of Bill Gates)<br />
65 % Nerd, 70% Geek, 57% Dork<br />
<br />
Joe Normal<br />
Pure Geek<br />
Pure Nerd<br />
Pure Dork<br />
Computer Savant<br />
Tri-Lamb Material<br />
Modern, Cool Nerd<br />
Outcast Genius<br />
<br />
A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.<br />
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.<br />
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.<br />
You scored better than half in all three, earning you the title of: Outcast Genius.<br />
<br />
Outcast geniuses usually are bright enough to understand what society wants of them, and they just don't care! They are highly intelligent and passionate about the things they know are *truly* important in the world. Typically, this does not include sports, cars or make-up, but it can on occassion (and if it does then they know more than all of their friends combined in that subject).<br />
<br />
Outcast geniuses can be very lonely, due to their being outcast from most normal groups and too smart for the room among many other types of dorks and geeks, but they can also be the types to eventually rule the world, ala Bill Gates, the prototypical Outcast Genius.<br />
<br />
Congratulations! <br />
<br />
<div class=

Anyway, Bill Gates reinforces the point I'm trying to make. I bet Mr. Gates wasn't much of a ladies man in his teens and 20's. I'm not trying to talk any crap about Bill Gates here, I'm just taking a wild guess. He's just lucky he thought up the personal computer instead of, you know, nachos on a stick. Which, by the way, I wish someone would hurry up and invent.

urkleMy Korean-American (guy) friend and I were having a discussion about our teenage years, and he said being a male Asian nerd is three to the ninth power worse than being a female nerd. He pointed out that everyone likes Asian girls (check the back of your local newsweekly if you don't believe me) but there are very few Asian male sex symbols.

It just occurred to me that the last sentence I wrote will probably get this blog flagged as spam. Oh well.

So anyway, experience now tells me:

#1 Being a nerdy girl... not so bad compared to being a nerdy boy.

#2 Meaningful conversation with a dude can be duplicitous. The more interested they seem, the worse their intentions.

#3 I have been under-charging for my good company. 
In Orange County men will pay $237 - $399 for a date.

Yeah, yeah, I know: "date."

11 June 2011

Working the Pole: OC versus PDX

Back home in Portland, going to a strip club isn't a big deal. If you're a guy or have guy friends, a 21st birthday visit to The Acropolis is de rigueur.  Once upon a time, $24 got your best buddy a steak and a lap dance on his birthday - and I'm not using the word steak as a euphemism for something else, okay? Rumor has it whoever owns "The Acrop" also owns a ranch so they have the best steak special in town.

Portland also has the most strip clubs per capita of any US city. All this competition leads to:
  • Very reasonable drink prices
  • No cover charge for ladies
  • Christmas specials
  • and Stripperoke nights
    (the person singing karaoke performs with two strippers, if the singer stinks, the girls keep their clothes on and take the microphone away).

goldfish with buggy eyes
Perhaps due to the reasons described above,  Portland strip clubs also have a more diverse clientele.  The average club attracts couples, groups of friends and yeah, a few creepy dudes.

There are also a wider variety of strippers in PDX, they're not all blonde freaks of nature with boobs that stick out like goldfish eyeballs. We have strippers who wear glasses, dance with fire, chicks with mohawks, and girls who are tatted from neck to ankle and all places in between.

When I moved to (very conservative) Orange County, I expected folks would have a different attitude. I was only half right.
Not surprisingly, going to a strip club is the kind of thing OC people do only as part of their "crazy" weekend in Vegas. Pffft! The only thing crazy about strip clubs in Vegas are the drink prices and the super-creepy no alcohol clubs. But, I digress..

So, while the stripper thing is verboten here in the OC, pole dancing is huge. HUGE.

stripper pole on a trailer hitch by Platinum Stages Newport Beach, CAThere are at least nine pole dancing schools in Orange County including Pilates on the Pole and another company that will bring stripper poles to your house for a "pole party." If Portland has the most pole dancing clubs per captia, OC must have the most pole dancing schools.

But wait there's more. A Newport Beach company sells all kinds of pole set-ups for your home or vehicle. If you want a stripper pole on your trailer hitch, it can be yours for only $399.

Personally, I've always wondered how pole dancers learn their skills. You never see a stripper mess up or fall off, is there a practice pole in the back of the club? Well, now aspiring strippers can wait for an OC Pole Fitness Groupon and start their career training for only $20.

Okay, I'm mostly kidding. 

Collette and her daughters
In case you hadn't guessed, there's no stripping at the OC pole dancing classes. In fact, some of the women become serious athletes.

The OC is home to Collette Kakuk, a mom and founding member of the PFA (Pole Fitness Association). One of the association's goals is to get pole dancing in the 2012 Olympics.

After watching highlights from the American Pole Fitness Championships 2010 (co-ed, who knew?) and world champion pole dancer Felix Cane (see video below)... I can see the logic. The activity requires significant strength and grace ala gymnastics and the competitors are no more scantily-clad than a volleyball player or springboard diver.

Just for S's and G's I inquired about pole fitness back home. Turns out Portland has a bar that recently installed stripper poles for amateurs and two pole dancing schools. We damn well better. If a Portlander can't win a gold medal for stripping, that'd be worse than a Canadian hockey team losing the Stanley Cup to a team from California.

By the way, if you're receiving this as an email, you may need to click through to the website to view videos and images.

Want to read more about (ehem) Portland's nightlife? Check out my 2007 Home for the Holidays post.