Thus Spake Zuska

Dr. Sexy Tells All

What are the best pickup lines for scientists and science-savvy folk?…

I think I can best answer this Ask A Science Blogger question by quoting myself.
Suzanne Franks, in her fabulous essay Suzy the Computer vs. Dr. Sexy: What’s A Geek Girl To Do When She Wants To Get Laid? which you can now read in the available for purchase She’s Such a Geek! Women Write About Science, Technology, and Other Nerdy Stuff, writes:

When I got to college, I found frat parties dominated the social life, and I suspected that smarts might not be a high-value attribute in that scene. Nevertheless, I trotted off to the parties with all my dorm mates. At my very first frat party, a handsome boy chatted me up, until he got around to the question I learned to loathe — “What’s your major?” “Engineering!” I offered up brightly in response. He literally took a step back from me as his expression shifted from “prowl” to “backpedal” and said, “Oh, I guess you’re too smart for me to talk to.” With that he turned and walked away, leaving me stunned and forlorn. Shit. College: smart girls still not sexy.

In retrospect, I wonder if there weren’t at least a few high school boys who found me physically attractive, but intellectually daunting. There were others like Frat Boy in college, who showed initial interest and then shied away. I ended up interacting exclusively with other science and engineering students — both male and female. The geek boys were the only ones not scared off by the E-word. Plus, they understood my need to spend long hours on problem sets.

Geek boys also understood that they could use homework to hit on geek girls. I didn’t recognize this form of courtship at first. A junior electrical engineer offered to help me with my freshman graphics course – how nice of him! One of my non-geek girlfriends had to tell me he had a crush on me. With my meteorologist friend, I thought we were studying for physics, but he thought we were dating. The friendly guy who told me what the forestry major was all about and who gave me a symbolic snake plant was not just being friendly.

Eventually, I did realize that discussions of stress, strain, trusses and friction could easily turn into experiments with elastic bodies. (In fact, that’s how I met my first husband.) I had to overcome my prejudice that in Engineering-Land, the crop of boys included fewer exquisite specimens than frat-land did. Nevertheless, Engineering-Land yielded boys who appreciated a girl’s classroom statics mastery as well as her dorm room dynamics.

You’ll just have to buy the book and read the essay to find out how I got the nickname Suzy the Computer. And how I got rid of it and got the nickname Dr. Sexy.

So I guess Dr. Sexy really only tells some.


  1. #1 coturnix
    November 10, 2006

    So funny, yet so true. I always loved geeks – wearing glasses, if possible.

  2. #2 sciencewoman
    November 10, 2006

    I can so relate! My first college boyfriend was my organic chemistry tutor – actually the tutoring was set up so we could have an excuse to spend more time together.

  3. #3 Moe
    November 10, 2006

    I should not have read this while at work – I am laughing out loud much to the dismay of my co-workers. I love you, my geek sister, and this just goes to show that all the writing you did when we were young and now into adulthood is not “crap”! Cheers to you sis – gotta get this book!!!

  4. #4 Zuska
    November 10, 2006

    Moe, you were my earliest critic, mentor, and cheerleader for my writing. Little sisters RULE! Everybody should have one like you.

  5. #5 Barb
    November 10, 2006

    Suzanne, Congrats! Can’t wait to read it for some tips!
    Barb M.

  6. #6 Karmen
    November 11, 2006

    He literally took a step back from me as his expression shifted from “prowl” to “backpedal” and said, “Oh, I guess you’re too smart for me to talk to.”

    I get the feeling that after one date with a guy like that, you would have wanted to claw your eyes out. You should be thankful they ran.

    Since I’m falling in love with both the “She’s Such a Geek” blog and yours, I’ll definitely have to get the book.

    I always loved geeks – wearing glasses, if possible.

    I agree. I always wanted to wear glasses, myself. Of course, now that I’m an adult, and finally need them, I can’t afford them.

  7. #7 Opiwan
    November 14, 2006

    Zuska, “Long time reader, first time caller”…

    I met my future wife in high school when she explicitly set up tutoring through the guidance office with me for calc 1 (tutoring was a National Honor Society service project). I was a senior and she was a junior, plus I was a jock and she wasn’t, so she was really off my radar screen. It took approximately 15 minutes of our first session for me to figure out she didn’t need tutoring, but about 3 days for her best friend to tell me that she wanted more than tutoring… heh… Opi was a little slow on the uptake, too.

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