Geeks Talk Sexy2: The Other Half of the Population

People in circles

We said geeks talk sexy would be back bigger and better… and it certainly did.

This time we focused on the other half of the population (woman) and the focus paid off greatly.

So to start with, we took on most of the feedback from the first one. One of the critical points was shifting from one subject to another too quickly and losing the crowd as we transitioned around the world of geeks and sex. This time it was much easier to stick to one subject as we digged deeply into the world of what its like to be a geek woman and a geek man in 2011.

The event started like the last one. Cocktails were served as people turned up and chatted in little circles. We played a documentary from Channel4 titled Love Virtually to get people in the mood, while myself and Samantha got setup. The choice of cocktails included the Geek Girl and the Geek Guy.

Geek talk sexy drinks

By the time we got started, the room was nice and full with people sat around a massive communal table. We hadn’t quite got through to our special guest yet but it was on with the show. This time we had a lovely presentation which gave people an idea of where we were going and roughly how far we had gotten through everything.

While Samantha kicked off proceeding with a discussion around peoples experiences with the opposite sex, I was contacting our special guest – the ever transparent Tara Hunt.

We compiled a list of things from the audience of things not do when trying to have a romantic relationship with the other sex.

  • Wear Clothes
  • Don’t Google people (unless you need there contact details)
  • Don’t try living your life by the game
  • Don’t post pictures of you with your ex on a dating site
  • Don’t post old photos (its just creepy seeing people as children)
  • Don’t lie
  • Don’t use text speak
  • Don’t be rude
  • Be Pleasant and polite
  • Don’t be a tool
  • Be polite

We also asked everyone to write down where they have met previous or current boy/girlfriends. We got some, well lets say interesting answers back. (worth noting there all done in secret)

  • When out farming (really?)
  • Online dating (Ok cupid got a mention)
  • By joining clubs and societies
  • Through mutual friends and acquaintances
  • In Bars/Pubs
  • Through work
  • Round the back of Piccadilly station
  • At LARP events
  • At Festivals
  • While drunk
  • Via the Vax mainframe email system at the Polytechnic
  • Cafes (but that person made it clear its not working as they have been single for 4 years)
  • Via Partners (interesting one this one)
  • At Events
  • At Parties including the Christmas Party

Interestingly someone wrote on there piece of paper, “did you want to know about same sex partners too?” This will be picked up in the next month.

By the time we got to the book the game. Things had turned very heated in the room. From memory it seems most the woman had never heard of the game or of the idea of a pickup artist. This of course much debate. One woman declared anyone who has used the game to pickup woman must be some what sad. But at the same time, her partner also raised his hand to say he was aware and may have rustled through the pages of the Game at one point. You can imagine that would be a difficult discussion to have later.

But there was no time for that, it was time for a breather and a refill on the cocktails. While everyone got more drinks, I got everything setup with Tara Hunt on skype. I’m actually surprised it all went really well and she could hear us perfectly well. The only issue was the bandwidth didn’t seem to be there for video but audio was great. As the break ended, it was time for the 60 second rants. And boy we had some juicy ones.

One of the most interesting rants came from Ara who talked about the serious lack of porn for women, something I have to be honest I’ve never really thought about. But she was right, beyond the usual stereotypes there seemed to be not much. Em gave a rant about online dating in general which got me for one going. Chris also added a different perspective covering online dating from a poly perspective. Another one of those things which I’d never really considered. There were of course more, but I never got the chance to give mine which is maybe a good thing.

geek talk sexy2

Listening in to the rants was Tara Hunt on skype and it was time to un-mute her and ask her to explain her story. As she told her story, there were gasps and looks of horror how someone could be so open it hurts when she talked about her relationship and showed the site. It really set in when Tara asked me to show her post titled “5 reasons why I don’t date muggles.” People were able to ask Tara afterwards about her love life and how she copes. I actually wished I’d recorded the whole thing using Skype Recorder because there was some great questions and some even better answers from Tara.

After thanking Tara, it was time for the wrap up and a brief mention about the 3rd part of the series.

Yes in the next one, we’ll be going deep into the LGBT geek scene. Luckily we have help from others who are much more knowledgeable that myself, Samantha or Hwayoung. After the 3rd one, we’re unsure if we should do one more on Poly relationships (which seem quite common in geek culture it seems) and other types of relationships or what. At some point we’re looking to bring London flirt club to Manchester and do some geek speed dating but all will be revealed in the near future.

Generally this event was much better than the last one simply because we had all the elements to keep us focused. Having a Tara as the guest also really helped everyone think about this matter in a much deeper level. Ultimately the discussions continued very into the night at Common Bar afterwards. Everyone had a great time and we look forward to part 3…

What is that stuck in his pint?

Continue readingGeeks Talk Sexy2: The Other Half of the Population

Geeks Talk Sexy – The Other Half of the Population

Photo credit: hoyvinmayvin

The description says: Geeks Talk Sexy is back – bigger and better!

And it certainly will be bigger and much better.

So we’re kicking off with part 2 of the sexygeek series. Of course we always planned to do more. But I got a feeling part 2 might shock people because its quite distinct.

This time its all about the female geeks, except instead of the usual discussions about woman and men which we’ve all heard quite a few times. We’ll be digging down into the deep mystery of relationships between the two.

  • How do girl geeks and guy geeks interact in the geek community?
  • What happens when we go from techy hack day to romantic hack date?
  • What are the problems we have to overcome?
  • What can we do to make everyone feel comfortable in their role?

Yes the nitty gritty or you might prefer the nuts and bolts of male and female relationships within the scope of the geek culture.

Most discussions center around woman in the workforce, as entrepreneurs, in places which were along time ago though as only for men. But there is little talk about relationships of men and woman. In actual fact I’m kind of lying. There is quite a lot information but they tend to be buried deep down in places where most of us don’t go looking. So we’re uncovering and discussing it on Friday 4th Feb at Madlab. We may also have a very special guest stopping in, so what you waiting for? Sign up now at our event page.

Disclaimer

Now I have to add the very serious disclaimer because people are going to get very irate about the whole thing.

We are fully aware that this title and concept is only a vague approximation to reality and that gender is not just binary. We are in no way assuming that there are only straight, cis, monogamous, male or female geeks. For the purpose of the talk we picked the most obvious intersection for arising problems, which is the role of women in the geek community that is usually only discussed from a professional point of view.

We hope this decision does not offend anyone (although I got a feeling it will) and that people of all genders and orientations join us for the talk. Please do get in touch if you have got serious concerns.

The whole series

I said in my new years resolutions for 2011, a lot of things regarding Take Geek Culture to new heights. We (me, Samantha and Hwayoung) have worked hard on the series and have some cracking surprises to come. I really hope people bear with us, the first one was great and we learned a lot from that one but it was ultimately very difficult because we tried to cover a load of issues in one overview session. In this one we will stick to one subject, so it will be a lot more tighter. We’re also hoping to have a special guest join us for the event, who that will be will be revealed later. To get you all started, there is this Comfort-a-Crying-Woman

Next in the series we will be exploring Gay, Lesiban, Bi, Poly, Transexual and what ever else there is. I’m happy to say we have some help from Simon Carter who has stepped up to help us better represent section of geeks talk sexy. Me, Samantha and Hwayoung are not that familiar with most of these. So to do them any real justice we certainly need help.

Of course its all about part 2 right now, so what you waiting for? Sign up now!

5 reasons why I can’t date muggles

Geek dating?

From Tara Hunt, 5 reasons why I can’t date muggles

  1. We speak a different language: just today I told a nice man who wants to meet me for coffee that I couldn’t because I had the Montreal Python meetup to go to. His response? “You are into snakes?!”
  2. The most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me is to use my avatar in the mockups of their web app. Flowers, poetry and the like just can’t quite measure up anymore.
  3. A list of some of the stuff that turns me on: hackathons, data, a vigorous debate on web standards, competing for the most badges on Foursquare, pushing to production from dev…see?
  4. Most men are uncomfortable with our arguments being resolved on Quora.
  5. I kinda want to use the Angry Birds theme as my first wedding dance someday.

Bonus: using the word muggle brings on puzzled looks in the first place!

Entertaining slight of words by Tara Hunt, glad she shared it with the world (outside of FB). I would suggest I have a list like this…

  1. We think about different things: I don’t care about xfactor or what the latest soap/pop sensation is going through on ITV2.
  2. One of the most romantic thing you can do for me is: Organize a candle lit game of werewolf with a bunch of friends in a park late one summer night.
  3. This is the list of things which attracts me: Intelligence, the ability to truly inspire, hacking and educating others to hack, sharing useful knowledge.
  4. Most woman I’ve met are uncomfortable with the transparency of my social life. (but maybe thats a good thing).
  5. I am a geek but not a stereotype, I certainly will be dancing well to snap rhythm is a dancer at my next wedding.

Geeks talks sexy: What does sex have to do with geeks?

Geeks talk sexy at Madlab

So finally we did it, yes the geeks talked sexy at Madlab. @smanthabail, @hwayoung and myself have been planning this series of talks for a while now and after the last change of dates we managed to get over 30 people to sign up to the 1st in a series of talks. Although we did so many signing up, about 20 turned up on the night but to be fair, we all had a great time. We kicked off at 19:30 with loads of geeky cocktails nicely provided by @MadlabUK. My favorate has to be Sex on the geek, which packed quite a punch.

Cocktail menu

To start we got everyone to write down some geek stereotypes which we then later read out, twittered and dispelled after the break. Here’s some of the stereotypes

  • Geeks have bad dress sense
  • Geeks are Reclusive
  • Geeks don’t wash
  • sexually inactive
  • there all virgins
  • Obsessive and socially backward
  • geeks are young, anti-social and overweight
  • geeks only do it in the dark and missionary only
  • girls don’t like geeks
  • geeks only have online friends and partners

We broke down every stereotype with some evidence for each one. After the break, we started running through some of the rubbish we’ve collected from the main stream press on geeks. Things such as 10 reasons why woman love geeks and my personal favorite 10 real reasons why geeks make better lovers. All before descending down into the pits of the internet with tron style sex, erotic falconry and a live demonstration of chatroulette and the all new adult themed citizenx.

Geeks talk sexy

End of the session, I think everyone really enjoyed it but there was a feeling we can or could go much further that even we had imagined. Because of this we are going to juggle things around a little and see if we can go a little further a bit earlier that expected. I’d highly recommend you come to the next one (sometime in Jan/Feb 2011), but it will be much more serious that the last one. I expect number 3 will be much more fun and a lot more erotic.

Continue readingGeeks talks sexy: What does sex have to do with geeks?

Claudia Winkleman hosts Film 2010, hold back the sexist stereotypes

From Den of Geek’s Claudia Winkleman vs the People.

Claudia Winkleman is a sexy woman. Some male nerds are uncomfortable around sexy women. Some women certainly don’t like or trust other sexy women. A lot of people, both male and female, indulge in nerdy pursuits to escape from the pressures and perils of dealing with the opposite sex and sexuality itself. If you then unbalance that equation with some misjudged sex appeal they get confused and angry, like at the impossibly perfect models who present shows about Starcraft on Anerican videogame websites, or at the sexy Spock who snogs Uhura (not logical, apparently).

I’m actually not that much of fan of Claudia Winkleman but I got to say there is something very sinister (hinging on sexist) running through the criticism of why she shouldn’t be hosting BBC’s Film 2010 show. I actually thought you she did alright and after the shock of seeing her on the show (I just happen to have the TV on and was expecting Jonathan Ross) I did check out some of the comments across twitter and the blogs (not singling anyone out except the Daily Mail). But alas Den of geek hits the issue where I’m thinking.

Let me be clear about something: I’m not saying that if you are male, and you don’t like Claudia Winkleman, then it would follow that you are a raging sexist powered by the heady combination of hatred, lust and jealousy. What I would argue that it is a combination of her femininity (she’s the opposite of a tomboy like, say, Emily Booth), attractiveness, and track record on reality shows that makes her so unpalatable to many male viewers.

Gabby Logan and Emily Booth both had to prove themselves up to the task by being better informed and better presenters than the majority of their male counterparts, and this is the area where Winkleman is ultimately going to live or die – is her film knowledge up to scratch?

It a sad fact but yes you need to be better that your counterparts. You almost have to shock your counterparts into believing you are amazing. The recent character assassination of Claudia Winkleman has got me thinking about woman geeks again. Of course we are going to explore this at a much deeper level at the series of talks we got setup starting with geeks talk sexy on 19th November at Madlab.

But a geek very much respect for her frank thinking and amazing insight is Tara Hunt, whos been thinking a lot more about her personality in the context of the Facebook movie.

If I had a penis and was 10-15 years younger, there would probably be a movie about me, too. But I’m not. I’m a woman who has been told since she was a young girl that she needs to be quieter, more humble, more demure, more agreeable, more attractive, less outspoken, less ambitious, less aggressive and more ‘woman’-like. I was highly unpopular growing up because I didn’t feel the need to fit a mould. I learnt as soon as I did fit a mould, I was rewarded. I got the academic awards and accolades? I was ostracized + called a show-off. Nobody wanted to be my friend. When I slacked off, dressed pretty and laughed at the boys stupid jokes? I was popular! This didn’t change in adult life, either (don’t even get me started on how dating advice on how a woman ‘should act’ fits into this whole mess)

There will be lots more of this type of analysis at Geeks talk sexy… But for now its worth saying there is something sinister, I’m also saying its not all out sexism but there is certainly a need to change the script.

Geeks talk sexy…. *new date* (now on the 19th November)

Excellent photo by hoyvinmayvin – cc: by-nc-sa

Sex and geeks don’t fit together or compute, most would say. However the truth may be the total opposite.

This quarter we take a brave step into the explicit adult world of sex, lies and alternative lifestyles by following the geek world underground.

Join us on the wild ride in to the unknown, in a series of open talks and discussions. Next stop sexy town.

The event is free to attend, but you MUST BE OVER 18.

We have a new date for geeks talk sexy, so don’t miss out, sign up now!!!

Geeks talk sexy….

Geeks talk sexy

Excellent photo by hoyvinmayvin – cc: by-nc-sa

Sex and geeks don’t fit together or compute, most would say. However the truth may be the total opposite.

This quarter we take a brave step into the explicit adult world of sex, lies and alternative lifestyles by following the geek world underground.

Join us on the wild ride in to the unknown, in a series of open talks and discussions. Next stop sexy town.

The event is free to attend, but you MUST BE OVER 18.

Not many people know but every once in a while I do a talk at BarCamps titled “Sex.” I usually do it to be slightly controversial and to bring a certain edge to the talks which can be far too technical for some.

I’ve had mixed success, I think the funniest session was at BarCampLiverpool while the most serious was at BarCampLondon7. (Not sure what that says about the cities)

However while talking one night in the Northern Quarter with Samantha and Joshi about BarCampManchester3 and my plans to do another one. I mentioned the sex talks I’ve done previously and that meme must have stuck in Samantha’s head (I need to get better at doing that). She had a word with Hwa Young Jung over at Madlab (Manchester’s digital laboratory) and bish bosh boof we have a new series of talks and discussions planned for the next few months.

Of course we’re also after knowledgeable and thought provoking guests for the future, so if that interest you, give us a message on twitter.

Computer science has an image problem

John White, CEO and executive director of the computing trade group, says fewer students are studying computer science in college , and too many tech jobs are going unfilled, because young people don't have an accurate picture of the computer scientist.

Hummm, I wonder why? Could it be anything to do with stuff like this?

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Geek Stereotypes

Wireds Geek Stereotypes

I was reading wired on the plane to Dublin today and came across a rather amusing piece about different types of geeks. It had a range of geek stereotypes including the Fanboy (1), the gadget guy (4), the gamer (3) and the hacker (5). What was interesting was the other two, the music geek (2) and the otaku (6). These two are usually forgotten when it comes to geek types, and it was interesting to see Wired magazine made them women.

When I was Futuresonic over the weekend, I certainly met quite a few women who could be loosly termed as Otaku geeks. They even had the super coloured hair and well interesting clothing to go with it. But what I wonder is where is the Dj geek? Designer geek? Movie geek? Mobile phone geek? (which I would argue, isn't the same as gadget guy). Anyway, its all stereotypes and not real. We're all a combination and we all wear better clothes and don't look like we just left college. Embrace your geekness…

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Oh no… here comes the (so called) geek squad

Geek Squad comes to the UK

Oh yes if you've ever been to Best Buy in America, you can't help but notice the geek squad signs everywhere. Need a hand installing your DSL router, putting in memory, fixing your wireless, going to the toilet, feeding yourself… – Call for the geek squad.

But now there in the UK, yes scream and runaway. Trust me people, there not cheap and there certainly not good news. Thanks Carphone Warehouse for inflicting the pain of black and white beetle cars on our roads, and don't get me started on the actual (so called) geeks.

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Geek and Geekhag podcasts

Sarah and Ian

Finally I got around to setting up another blog for Geek and Geekhag podcast.

http://www.cubicgarden.com/blojsom/blog/geekandgeekhag/ or http://www.geekandgeekhag.com/

There is also a RSS 2.0 feed which you can stick in your Podcatcher clients such as Jucie, iPodderX, and yuck iTunes.

At the moment we only have the 2007 episodes posts up, but we'll add the other older ones soon. Me and Sarah will be posting all future ones there and maybe only once in a while pointing to them from our own blogs. Subscribe and enjoy the weekly podcasts.

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Geek and Geekhag Podcast number 3 for 2007

This time we're upstairs in the computer room with our new microphones and a lightly longer podcast for your listening pleasure. We talk about what we did on Friday night, TV generations, RFID misconceptions, Calendaring update and TV.com vs Tape it off the internet.com. We also have a update on the mouse and some music perceptions which puzzles me. Enjoy… and leave us a comment.

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Geek and Geekhag Podcast number 2 for 2007

This time we're armed with decent microphones and an extended podcast for your listening pleasure. The main part includes me trying to explain why I don't think the iPhone is not revolutionary, how Matthew lost a bet and what I'll be doing for kicks next Friday night. While the extended
podcast
(part 2.5) includes me and Sarah shouting about mice and discussing alterative content management systems.

Please do drop us a comment if you think the quality is better and what else we should be doing.

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Geek and Geekhag Podcast number 1 for 2007

As my wife says,

Our podcasts are back for 2007, somewhat streamlined (only about a half hour instead of full hour). I have no idea what number we're on anymore. This time we talk about New Year's resolutions,Twitter, Xbox 360 being hacked, TV, and Christmas presents (new laptops for the both of us!).

Its number 16 by my count and yes shamed by other partner podcasts, we've decided to pick up the pace and shorten it down. You listen to it directly on Blip.tv or if your using my feed with a podcasting client, you should already have it. Enjoy… and leave a comment if you enjoy the new style.

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