Sep 17, 2023

A Mystery as Old as Time: The Arts Girl x STEM Boy Paradigm

Cleo Daly investigates one of Trinity's biggest questions: how do STEM boys keep bagging arts girls?

Cleo DalyMagazine Co-Editor

I began my academic year in the same way any dedicated scholar might: by loitering outside the arts block in the hopes of spotting attractive individuals. I even expanded this loitering to the STEM section of campus, as well as Trinity’s many libraries. But don’t be mistaken, this idleness was in no way self-driven, the bathroom mirrors are much more convenient for staring at elegance. I was on a quest to solve one of life’s big questions…

How do these STEM boys keep bagging arts girls? 

The obvious answer would be gender. STEM is lacking in women, arts is lacking in men and therefore it’s a matter of self-preservation and desperation. However, another thing arts is lacking is straight women, so surely these STEM boys aren’t necessary. What’s their secret then? What tricks are they hiding behind those thick rimmed glasses, and souped up computers? As I am neither a man nor a person in STEM, I wasn’t going to be someone who could answer these questions, so I was left with no choice. I went straight to the source. 


Don’t get me wrong, I love being a woman, but when you are trying to talk to men in STEM, being a woman has its setbacks. These men are not well versed in communicating with women, and many were taken aback when I tried approaching them, and became even more bewildered when I asked if they were single. You might think that such reactions would help me weed out the single ones, but I knew I couldn’t take any chances. The powerful women of the arts block love themselves a shy man. 

After countless failed attempts of conversing with the other half, I was left with no choice but to turn to the only ones these boys would listen to. Their girlfriends. This should have been my approach from the beginning, there’s apparently no topic these women prefer to discuss, whether it’s gushing about their partner, or giving out stink about still being single, answers were coming at me from all directions. Arts girls are also a lot more natural when it comes to being unintentionally hit on, hanging mouths turned to flushed faces, and I even ended up landing myself a date next week. 

However the information given to me by the girlfriends didn’t suffice, I needed to witness this mystery with my own eyes. The next step in my plan took place in an interrogation room, also known as one of the countless arts block classrooms with no windows. I brought the couples in one by one, and asked them all a series of questions. 

How did you guys meet?

I found him passed out in front of the Hamilton, he’d been trying to go home after spending a week in the library, and whoops down he went. 

How did you manage to wake him up?

Oh, no – I didn’t wake him up, I figured he needed a rest. Instead I put him in my tote bag and brought him to Metro. I knew the soup would do him good. 

What drew you to each other?

Our star signs are compatible.

She was the first girl that I had ever spoken to.

Surely that can’t be true. What about in school?

Willow Park and Blackrock College don’t have any women. 

Got a sister?




What do you guys have in common?

We both go to college. We’re the same age. Oh, and we both like women. 

How come you decided to date a STEM boy then? Surely the girls in arts are more… talkative?

Oh, I’m only bisexual in theory, not in practice. 

What do you guys talk about? 

Well, mainly I do the talking, and he listens. He’s a great listener. I tell him all about my day, and my dreams for the future, and I keep him up to date on his moon sign. There’s also a lot of silences as well, not awkward ones, but comfortable ones, which shows how strong we are as a couple. 

What do you guys enjoy doing together?

We love to go thrift shopping together, he holds onto my finds for me and carries my bags. And when he gets tired I carry him home. 

Could you live without each other?

Well as long as we have access to oxygen I don’t see –

Never! We need one another, we wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves. My baby needs me. 

And lastly, a final question for the lady, do you or did you at some point want a dog?

I used to always want a dog, it was my biggest wish as a child to get one. Up until last year I was desperate for one, but then for some reason that feeling faded. 

Can you remember at what point last year this desire for a dog disappeared?

Hmm, around last April I think.

When did you guys get together?

Last March. 

And that completes my first interview. I won’t bore you with the rest of them, as all the responses were similar enough, lots of mentions of tote bags, thrift shops, and surprisingly no one felt the need to adopt a dog anymore. 

However even after the closing of the final interview I still couldn’t pinpoint the attraction of these men. My first thought was to put it down to the poor taste of the women, and their desire for a nonverbal partner, however I backtracked on this conclusion as I figured women get blamed for enough things and I didn’t need to add my intense, scientific research to the mix. The answer had to lie with the men. 

I decided to retrace my steps, return to my first approach, observing the target. I trailed who I believed to be a STEM boy for about three hours, until his fourth trip to the Book of Kells informed me that he was in fact a tourist. In my defence the similarity in backpack size of the two groups is uncanny. This blunder however, turned out to be a blessing in disguise. While tailing the French man I stumbled upon a heated discussion between two men in STEM at the entrance of the Hamilton. The hands of the shorter male were terribly shaky, while the taller of the two appeared to be limping. 

“I can’t do it anymore. If I have to roll one more cigarette I swear my hands will seize up.” 

“So what? You want to stay single for the rest of your life? Look at me, I can barely stand up thanks to those feckin’ docs, but I’m still going.” 

They shared a solemn nod, before heading inside. I followed them from behind, doing my best to look as unsuspecting as possible (I was aiming for ‘husband hunting arts girl’). The men ventured down flights of stairs that I had never seen before, but as this was my first time actually inside the building that was not particularly surprising. We continued down more steps, until eventually they halted outside a large steel door. They quickly keyed in a code, and disappeared through the opening. I stuck my foot in just before the door closed (bloody hurt), and peered into the room. 

The answer to my question lay before my eyes. STEM boys weren’t just smart… they were sexy smart. 

The room housed what appeared to be a sort of arts girl bootcamp. There were stations with men carrying loaded tote bags, stations of men running on treadmills with brand new docs. Tables of shaky hands creating mounds of rollies, racks of thrift finds, and more shelves of vegan substitutes than an organic supermarket. At the section nearest to the door, there were groups of men who sat neck deep in horoscope books, desperately scrolling computer screens. 

“I found her birthday post, she’s March 11th.” 

“That’s Pisces, they’re compatible with Cancers. Your birthday is now between June 21st and July 22nd.” 

It all finally made sense. The STEM boys use the only thing they have, intelligence and the ability to appear clueless in everything outside of the big four (STEM), to pull the biggest trick of all.

Bagging an arts girl.

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