Penthouse Magazine just ran a piece on "Geek Love," where they describe how Comic-Con has become a new hot spot for hookups. I'm always slightly skeptical whenever the mainstream press decides to sensationalize some aspect of comics; so as a three-year veteran of the con, I thought I'd do a quick fact check on the article and whether its claims of sexy times in San Diego are true or false.

Penthouse says: "I was a little surprised when my friendly neighborhood comic-book-store clerk told me she was looking forward to this year's New York Comic Con because 'conventions are all about the sex.'"

CA says: FALSE. Comic conventions -- in New York or San Diego or anywhere else -- are never "all about the sex." Sex happens -- SOMETIMES -- and it may happen more often than an normal weekend for SOME con-goers, but that's because it's an enormous show that packs more than 100,000 people with similar interests into a convention center where they spend four days getting incredibly amped up and drinking a lot. The show is not about the fact that this SOMETIMES happens -- it's about comics... and TV shows, movies, and video games. If anything, hookups are a bonus, like the t-shirts and posters that the Marvel booth likes to toss into crowds of screaming fans.
Penthouse says
: "It's all these people you see only a couple of times a year at hotels, you're all into the same things, people are dressed up, you've been flirting online for months... It's pretty hot."

CA says: TRUE. This is a much more realistic way to describe the situation -- a lot of shared, uh, passions and close proximity, coupled with the fling factor of hooking up with people you don't have to see regularly. The "dressed up" cosplay influence is pretty small, though, since contrary to what the mainstream press seems to think, the vast majority of people don't dress up.

Penthouse says: "The big cons-SDCC, NYCC, and Alternative Press Expo-all have VIP parties with open bars, which can lubricate the social interaction for sure. You're not going to go home with Jessica Alba in her f--k-tastic Fantastic Four garb, but as Vic Holtreman of notes, 'There's a lot of hitting on people and flirting; there's a feeling of community.' And any celebs in tow are well aware that a review from a popular fan site can make or break a sci-fi movie, so they're at their most approachable."

CA says: FALSE. This is a total lie. Those VIP parties are limited to just what they say they are -- VIPs -- and unless you know that this means you, it probably doesn't. The closest you're going to get to actual celebrities at Comic-Con are the mega-panels that get projected on giant screens in halls packed with thousands of other fans. And unless you are writing for a media outlet so famous that people's moms know about you, you are not getting any preferential treatment from celebs. Maybe not even then.

Penthouse says: "There are a lot of hotel parties in people's rooms. You just bring some booze; everyone is always really friendly," says Eva, a 27-year-old who works in publishing. "My friends and I want to do things on the cheap, so we often cram a bunch of people-six or more-into a room, and sometimes we take shifts sleeping."

CA says: TRUE. Room parties are a big part of socializing at Comic-Con if you don't have access to the swank industry parties, and even if you do, the afterparties often break off to hotel rooms. But remember, room parties are only as cool and fun and sexy as the people inside them, so choose your destination -- and your guests -- wisely.

Penthouse says: "It used to be pretty male-dominated," says Glanzer. "But in the past ten years that's really changed. Things like Japanese anime have really brought a lot more women and girls to the show. Last year attendees were about 40 percent female."

CA says: TRUE! There are lots of ladies at Comic-Con these days, which improves the odds a great deal for the guys. It is also why articles like the "Girls' Guide to Comic-Con" make want to punch holes in the wall.

Penthouse says: "It also provides readymade opening lines. "One guy just asked for my number. He said, 'I don't see Green Arrow [Canary's on-again/off-again love interest] around, so I figured you're free.' Hey, it's better than, 'What's your sign?'"

CA says: FALSE. Guys, do not be fooled by this. Like most pickup lines -- and certainly all cheesy ones -- stuff like this is only going to get you girls who already think you're hot. If you don't know whether you can pull it off, you're always better off with the tried-and-true "Hello, my name is _____." And no, you cannot say the name of a superhero.

Penthouse says: "Jennifer, a software company project manager, is rocking extremely revealing Wonder Woman gear complete with the kind of red rubber boots that are found only at the most fetishy sex shops. And yet she insists guys aren't checking out her barely there bustier. 'I really just do it for the kids,' she says."

CA says: FALSE. Dear Jennifer, exactly how hot does it get when your PANTS ARE ON FIRE?

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