Now that the cold weather is upon us, it's cuffing season—the time of year where we desperately try to hook up with someone for the winter to snuggle up to and watch movies and steal their precious body heat like we were those warmth sucking vampire creatures in Neil Gaiman's novel Neverwhere. But sometimes, it's hard to meet someone who shares your fandoms—and good luck spending an entire season indoors with someone who doesn't without going stir crazy. So with that in mind, some of us Double Viking writers are going to give you a peek on the best and worst ways our fandoms have influenced our love lives.
Brandy: I Ditched A Date With A Handsome, Charming Muggle Because My D&D Game Was Going On Too Long And I Became The Motherfucking Goblin Queen
The man I will eventually marry is downstairs right now, playing Mass Effect 2. We share a lot of the same fandoms and part of how I wooed him was by sending him my Double Viking Daredevil 2 reviews and my D&D based innuendo story "A Different Kind Of Fantasy Role Play" in the feminist geek anthology The Secret Loves Of Geek Girls. But before I met James, I went on a lot of bad dates with a lot of non-nerdy types (having dated most of the eligible comic book artists in Toronto at one point or another, I resolutely decided to start dating outside my circles lest people started thinking I was some sort of weird artist groupie).
I had been on a few dates with this really nice, attractive, eligible young real estate agent, and although he didn't get a good half of my references, he seemed nice. Our third date was to be after my D&D game. I know D&D games run long, so I figured that by starting at noon, we'd be wrapped for the evening by 10 pm. 10 pm came, and we were entrenched in this massive battle against a bugbear and his horde of goblins after I snuck into the castle. I told him I'd be late. Things got more intense as I kept rolling Crits galore and I wasn't ready to leave, so after three more texts asking to push our date back an hour he finally texted me back, "can't believe I'm getting blown off for an imaginary game with elves and goblins. Either come over now, or lose my number."
I am a woman with my priorities in order, so I did the right thing. I charmed my way into a castle full of goblins, we killed their king and I took his crown, then convinced the remaining goblins to follow me and recruit others to join my horde.
I AM THE MOTHERFUCKING GOBLIN QUEEN NOW AND FOREVER.
My friends at the table were terrified because they said they' never seen me so happy, and it is never a good sign when I am happy.
Managing to bend your lawful good alignment to rule an entire horde of goblins > dating some rich, handsome, eligible bachelor. And why, now I have the man of my dreams—and we're planning to start our own campaign sometime soon.
Matthew: I Hid My Pokémon Obsession From My Girlfriend Because She Thought Pikachu Was Dumb
(ed. That is NOT Matthew... At least, I don't think it's him)
“I think, whatever fandom you’re into, it doesn’t matter”, Kayleigh said to me one day as we were messaging online, “all fandoms are equally respectable, and there’s nothing to be ashamed about if you like something geeky”.
This was promising. We’d been dating for several months, and were just about getting to the stage where I felt comfortable about sharing my weird passions with her.
“Except for Pokémon”, Kayleigh added, “there’s no excuse for that”.
I was heartbroken. I reeled, almost physically, as I contemplated what Kayleigh had just said.
Kayleigh was a few years older than me. While I’d been twelve when the Pokémon craze had hit the world, Kayleigh had been fifteen, and had instantly dismissed it as something childish and stupid.
All of the (admittedly overblown) life plans that I’d built up in my head began crashing around me.
Could I really spend my life with someone who hated Pokémon?
I thought of all I’d miss out on. No long nights spent enthusiastically debating the best Starter (it’s obviously Bulbasaur). No trading back and forth to catch ‘em all each time a new game was released.
No singalongs to the Pokémon theme song. No matching tattoos that say “I choose you”.
This was a disaster. Maybe Kayleigh wasn’t the one for me after all.
As it turns out, though, the libido is far stronger than any childhood passion.
I bit my tongue, kept quiet, and decided that sacrificing my love of Pokémon was simply a cruel necessity if I wanted to keep dating such an intelligent, entertaining, and attractive woman.
I’d never convinced a woman to like me this much before, and I wasn’t going to throw it all away now. So long Bulbasaur, old buddy—don’t let the door hit you on the way out!
And so, I hid my Pokéfandom.
It was challenging at first—I couldn’t play Nuzlocke games at any point that Kayleigh might happen to glance at my Gameboy screen, and I had to stop commenting on my friend’s dumb memes on Facebook.
I had to feign ignorance. What’s this broccoli monkey toy we’ve found in the local comic shop? What a strange weird Japanese anime thing that is!
Eventually, though, I couldn’t hide my love of Pokémon any longer. There’s only so many times your significant other can come home to find you hurriedly closing your computer before you have to explain that actually, you’re just looking at copies of Pokémon Green on eBay.
By then, though, it was too late. I’d held my obsession in for long enough, and I’d tricked Kayleigh into marrying me. She was stuck with me.
For the most part, she tolerated my Pokémon gaming without judging me out loud. I pretended not to notice her eye-rolling, and she pretended that she didn’t think I was a total manchild.
Then, earlier this year, everything changed with the release of Pokémon GO.
I downloaded it to give it a spin, reasoning that it would get us out of the house. I wasn’t the only one—all of Kayleigh’s friends started playing too, and we’d all go on long walks together.
Soon, Kayleigh was hooked. Long after the excitement of the game wore off for me, she was encouraging us to stay out. She’d find an excuse to go walk around the park three more times, and would research evolutions to figure out which monster was the strongest.
Finally, I could share my love of Pokémon with my wife. My dreams of playing the game alongside Kayleigh was finally realized.
I suppose the moral of the story is to ignore all the relationship advice you’ve been given over the years.
You totally can change your partner, if you’re patient enough. Or if Niantic releases a popular game that rewards nerdy behavior.
I’m still working on persuading Kayleigh about the tattoos, though.
Steve: I Turned Down Sex With a Woman Who Freaked Out About My He-Man Collection
(Yes that's really me. No, that's not really She-Ra, though this picture was taken right around the time of this story)
I love a good hasty generalization. They save me so much valuable time every day of my life.
I also recognize my double standard in hating when I'm lumped in with some group of people with whom I don't identify... Namely the diseased scum that is an action figure collector.
Most of these people are heartless scalpers who would rather make a quick buck than allow someone to purchase a figure they really want at retail prices.
I am not one of those, though lord knows I've had my days when I made money by haunting Wal-Marts and Toys R Usses and turning a quick profit on eBay, but desperate times.
ANYWAY, after my wife and I split in early 2013, I leapt into the world of online dating because it seemed like an easy way for someone who's an introvert to find a sexual partner, and I didn't have a smartphone, so Tinder was out.
I won't name the site here, but it's mostly a meat market—as I found out the hard way—and it rhymes with "Twenty dove squish."
I began contacting just about anyone I thought might potentially want to help a poor, newly divorced man relieve what twelve long years of fidelity had built up, but without, you know, being creepy about it.
One woman I "saw" invited me to her place on just our second date. We smoked a joint and watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I showed her a picture of my cat that I had on my phone and she saw my—at that point in time—modest He-Man collection.
She said, "Oh, do those toys belong to your daughters?" I informed her that this was actually taken in my new apartment, and the collection of toys was mine.
She then—very presumptively I might add—remarked that if I wanted to co-habitate with her at any point in time, I'd have to make what in my mind was Sophie's Choice.
My first instinct was to say, "Fuck off, you've got a cookie jar collection in the other room," but I bit my tongue and thought I could at least get frisky with her before I never ever called her again, you know, like the asshole I am.
She got super serious, though, and said that she couldn't live with "another collector" after her ex. I'm not trying to move in with her, it's our second fucking date, but it clearly opened a wound, likely caused by one of those asshole collectors that gives the rest of us a bad rep.
She ended up having a panic attack about thirty minutes later, so I packed up my stuff and headed the fuck on back to the real world where I'm more comfortable being. My father told me not to stick my dick in crazy and that night I heeded his advice.
That picture of my collection, above, which has flourished and is properly displayed now, is in the home I share with my lady friend today. She didn't make me choose between He-Man and her lady business, and for that, I'm eternally grateful.