Some prefer the term "Sex Trekkies." Photo by Matías Ferreyra

It is a universally acknowledged truth that this town has a lot of sex nerds. The curious can observe them in many habitats, from the dungeon of the Armory to the thicket of bustiers at Mission Control to the bathroom of the Lex.

The sex nerd is an archetype that flourishes in the microclimates of San Francisco, a city that has no shortage of: a) obsessive people, and b) people who are obsessed with sex.

The term does not apply to those who cultivate interesting sexual specialties but who manage to maintain a social life and interest outside of that specialty. Taxonomically, the sex nerd is the libidinal equivalent of a drama geek — so wrapped up in the set and costume design of sex that they forget there’s actually a play going on. The sex nerd is like the boyfriend who has read so many books on wine that he can’t just sit down with a glass without worrying that he got it wrong and 2007 was actually the bad year for Napa. The sex nerd is the girlfriend who criticizes your tantric breathing.

Should you date sex nerds? It’s a matter of preference. Below, a handy field guide for evaluating your specimens.

The Bondage Nerd

Most often found: At the sex-positive, kink-aware coffee shop. At the sex-positive, kink-aware workshop space. In the rope aisle of the sex-positive, kink-aware hardware store.

Pickup line: “Oh no! Someone just canceled on me at the last minute. Could you help me out with my bondage demo?”

Advantages: Sure is useful when you need to secure a large quantity of camping gear to the top of your Volvo.

Disadvantages: Won’t stop telling your mom/grandma/boss/AA sponsor how they should really check out a workshop sometime because their preconceptions would totally be shattered and they might actually learn something about themselves. Takes forever to tie anything to the top of the Volvo because they have to use the most obscure knots. Always canceling at the last minute because they have to go fill in at a bondage demo.

The Furry

Most often found: Waiting for the Google bus.

Pickup lines: “You look just like a little meerkat, standing there in the rain.”

“A wonderful thing is a Tigger. A Tigger’s a wonderful thing … [abruptly stops speaking, whips head around, delivers long, hard, lingering stare] 


Advantages: Sweet disposition. Extraordinary bunny slipper collection.

Disadvantages: Won’t stop telling your mom/grandma/boss/AA sponsor how great “The Lion King” was. Courtship consists of endless stream of animated Lolcat gifs. Wants you to move in, but the stuffed animals might get jealous.

The Sex Hipsters

Most often found: Everywhere.

Pickup lines: “My girlfriend finds you very attractive.”

“I”m so sad to hear that your relationship didn’t work out. Until I discovered polyamory three months ago, I never had a relationship work out either. Boy, am I super-glad I’ll never have to deal with heartbreak or relationship difficulties ever again!”

“I wish I was gay. Gay men, I hear they have sex ALL the time. Anytime they want. And lesbians are so hot!  I totally would be gay if I could. I just can’t. Cause I’m straight. Ha ha! But I love gay people! They’re so cool!”

“I said my girlfriend finds you VERY ATTRACTIVE.”

Advantages: Easy to make fun of.

Disadvantages: Won’t stop telling your mom/grandma/boss/AA sponsor that if they could just lose their preconceptions and possessiveness they might actually learn something about themselves.

For example, their relationship with their girlfriend is so healthy and non-possessive that they totally wouldn’t mind if your mom/grandma/boss/AA sponsor totally made out with their girlfriend. Because she totally thinks they’re hot.

The New Age Orgy Nerd

Most often found At orgies. On their way to the orgy. Contact improv.

Pickup lines: “You play accordion? How would you like to play accordion at my orgy?”

“You’re a knitter? Could you knit me something special for my orgy?”

“You’re a hooper? I just think the image of a spinning hoop would be really beautiful at an orgy. An orgy really is sort of like a spinning hoop, right? A spinning hoop with a dolphin in it.”

Advantages: Gives good back rubs. Yoga really does make people more flexible.

Disadvantages: “Where do I know you from?” the person you met at the orgy will say. “Oh, where? Oh! Hello! This is your mom? Visiting from Kansas? And that’s why you’re hanging out at the farmers market right now? Well, I could just swear that I know you from somewhere! Let’s stand here together and think about where that might be!”

The inherent challenges to be found in eroticizing macrame.

Dear Mission! Mission Loc@l is starting a sex column. Got a question you’d like answered? Send it to us at

Follow Us

Join the Conversation


  1. The author sure seems to have a lot of anxiety about the person they’re dating meeting their mom/grandma/boss/AA sponsor.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *