Sapiosexuality: What it means to be sexually attracted to intelligence

Ever heard of the term 'sapiosexuality'? It is another type of sexuality describing how some people get attracted to intelligence. Here's everything you need to know about it.
Know if you are a sapiosexual or not. Image courtesy: Adobe stock
Arushi Bidhuri Published: 3 Apr 2024, 10:22 pm IST
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If you’re familiar with the new dating lingo, you must have heard the term ‘sapiosexual’, which refers to an individual who is attracted to intelligence. It is not a sexual orientation like heterosexual or homosexual. It is instead a type of sexuality that involves being attracted to someone’s mind than by appearance. So, sapiosexuals may be attracted to someone extremely intelligent with a high Intelligence Quotient. If you millennials are still scratching your head thinking what it means, we have got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about sapiosexuality.

What is sapiosexuality?

In the simplest terms, sapiosexuality means that a person is sexually attracted to a person who is intelligent. As per Merriam-Webster, the word “sapio” comes from the Latin “sapiens”, meaning rational or wise, and sexual is sexuality. People who are sapiosexuals consider themselves attracted to intellectual stimulation, deep conversations, and mental connection rather than physical attraction. They might be someone with intelligence, wit, creativity, and emotional depth.

It is important to note that sapiosexuality exists on a spectrum, and individuals who identify as sapiosexual may still experience attraction to physical characteristics to varying degrees. Anyone can identify as sapiosexual. A person who is sapiosexual can also be straight, gay, asexual, or of any other sexual orientation. So, sapiosexuality is one aspect of a person’s overall sexual orientation which can be complex and multifaceted.

A happy couple
Sapiosexuals get attracted to a person’s intelligence. Image courtesy: Freepik

Sapiosexual vs demisexual: What’s the difference?

These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they mean different things. A sapiosexual is a person attracted to intelligence and a demisexual is someone who doesn’t experience sexual attraction to another person unless they have formed a strong, romantic, and emotional bond with the person.

A sapiosexual feels a strong sexual or romantic connection to the other person’s wit intelligence, and capacity for deep conversations. They feel a strong connection when they find someone intellectually stimulating. On the other hand, demisexual focus on emotional connection and not intelligence. They may not get attracted to someone immediately but they may develop attention as they form a deep emotional bond with that person.

Also Read: Are you in an on-and-off relationship? Here’s why it can be toxic

What are the signs of sapiosexuality?

Are you still not sure whether or not you are a sapiosexual? Here are some signs to help to recognise if you’re a sapiosexual:

1. You believe intelligence is sexier

If you prefer someone intelligent over someone with a beach body, you are probably a sapiosexual. You feel a stronger attraction to intellectual qualities in your partner than how they look. So, you might be drawn to someone who engages in deep, meaningful conversations that stimulate their intellect. In short, if you are more interested in someone for who they are, and what their beliefs, values, and interests are, you may be a sapiosexual.

2. You prefer deep conversations

Are you someone who prefers meaningful conversations over small talk? You may be a sapiosexual if you find pleasure in engaging in a complex, stimulating conversation where both partners can effectively express themselves. From philosophy to literature to science to emotions, these conversations sail the boat of a sapiosexual.

3. You are curious to know more

Sapiosexuals are generally more curious and open-minded. They value learning and new experiences and they may be attracted to people who possess more knowledge and have an opinion on things. If you think you fall into this category, you may be a sapiosexual.

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4. You are more into building a mental connection

Do you feel a deep emotional and sexual connection with people who stimulate you intellectually? Sapiosexuals connect with someone on an intellectual level rather than on their physical level. That’s the foundation of a relationship for them. If you tend to be like this in a relationship, you are a sapiosexual.

5. Long-term relationships

Sapiosexual people may be more interested in forming long-term, meaningful relationships with partners who share their intellectual interests and values. If you get into a relationship because of a deep emotional and intellectual connection with the other person, you may be a sapiosexual.

Does being sapiosexual impact your relationship?

Being a sapiosexual or being with someone who is a sapiosexual can impact your relationship in different ways:

1. Might put pressure on your partner

A study published in the journal Intelligence found that sapiosexuals may be attracted to people with a higher intelligence quotient (IQ) than normal. IQ of 120 was considered the most attractive. When your partner knows you are a sapiosexual, it might put pressure on them to always demonstrate intelligence to maintain the relationship.

2. Relationship develops slowly

You can assess a person’s intelligence in the first or second meeting. It takes longer for a sapiosexual to understand a person’s intelligence, which may cause the relationship to grow slower than normal. While some people understand and wait, not everyone is going to be on the same pedestal as you.

3. Many people don’t understand sapiosexuality

While the idea is that everyone is allowed to like whoever and whatever they want, there is always some judgment. Parents and friends might not understand it. People who are in a relationship with a sapiosexual for the first time might feel rejected when they don’t notice any effort they made to attract you physically.

Couple in bed
Not everyone understand sapiosexuality. Image courtesy: Freepik

4. Intellectual activities become necessary

Someone who is a sapiosexual may prioritise mentally stimulating activities in your relationship if they identify as sapiosexual. Make sure that your partner knows if you identify as sapiosexual, so they feel respected in the relationship. Telling them also helps your partner understand where you are coming from, which is important in a relationship.

Also Read: What is a Type A Personality? Know how to live with it

Are there any tips for dating a sapiosexual?

Dating a sapiosexual can be great because they value connections and meaningful conversations. Here are some tips for dating a sapiosexual:

1. Show genuine interest in topics that stimulate their intellect.
2. Don’t be afraid of expressing your thoughts and ideas openly. Sapiosexuals appreciate when their partners are willing to engage in meaningful dialogue.
3. Since sapiosexuals are attracted to intelligence, don’t be afraid of sharing your knowledge and expertise in topics that interest you.
4. Show that you value their opinions and thoughts by carefully listening to what they have to say.
5. Plan a date that stimulates their intellect instead of a traditional one.
6. If you are with a sapiosexual and you like them, be patient with them as they allow the relationship to grow naturally and it may take longer than normal.
7. Appreciate and celebrate each other’s intelligence and unique perspectives.

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About the Author

Arushi Bidhuri is a journalist with 7 years of experience in writing, editing, and conceptualizing story ideas across different genres, including health and wellness, lifestyle, politics, beauty, fashion, and more. Arushi has a strong connection in the industry that helps her write concise and original stories as she believes in working towards writing pieces that can enlighten people. ...Read More

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