To many, those are yawn-inducing tech terms. But to people like Eric Jordan, they're sexy talk. Jordan, 34, is the kind of guy who will take apart a new $300 cell phone so he can upgrade its software, or wire his vintage car with an old laptop. As a kid, in fact, Jordan liked to wire his Lego village with LED lights.
Jordan has found that when it comes to women he dates, they must be. His last girlfriend hated the homemade digital video recorder, and it was just those kinds of differences that split them up. "The Internet-wired, remote-controlled coffee maker and lights did not go over well," said Jordan, who lives on Long Island, New York.
Now, he says he dates only "nerdly" women, having recently joined a science fiction dating site called Trek Passions "Anyone I date would have to be as into tech," Jordan said, adding, "Nerdiness is just sexy."
Sure, people bond over any number of things: politics, environmentalism, outdoor sports, food. But a decade-long boom in technology and gadgets has opened the closet door for many , or "technosexuals," if you will. With the many special-interest sites on the Web, sparks can fly between two techies who wouldn't have otherwise found each other.
In the last year, specialized dating sites like Trekpassions.com (for sci-fi fans who want to hook up), Nerd Passions and Gaming Passions have emerged, and more offbeat sites like Consumating (which is owned by CNET Networks, publisher of News.com) give people an avenue to find someone who shares a taste for tech. Hard-core techies even joke that should run personal ads, but its founder, Rob Malda, said he has no interest in that--even though Malda proposed to his wife on the site.
On Consumating.com, where people "tag" their profiles with various descriptive words to describe their interests, visitors can find more than 1,600 people with the tag "computers." (Granted, they're mostly men.) More than 500 are tagged "tech" or "technology," and more than 1,200 are self-described "geeks."
At general dating sites like Match.com, it's even possible to find a technosexual or two. One 26-year-old man said on his profile that he's looking for a woman who shares interests like playing video games and toying with new gadgets.
"If you can talk geek, thats (sic) a plus!," he wrote.
Still, the joke is that it's 100 techie guys to every one woman, given that the technology field is so dominated by men. Earlier this year, Conan O'Brien even poked fun at the dating site Trek Passions on his late night show on NBC. "Any month now they hope a girl will join," O'Brien said.