When you think about that beautiful woman who turns on the coffee pot in the morning, who looks equally as sexy in her college sweats as she does in a cocktail gown and who one of these days, you’ll get on bended knee and ask her to take a stroll with you down the aisle — you know how you feel about her isn’t just in the way she looks.
In the healthiest, happiest relationship, your connection goes far beyond physical attraction and sexual chemistry and extends to qualities that arguably mean more in the long run than anything else. that is why so many people — and likely, yourself included — identify as a sapiosexual.
Now before you raise an eyebrow to this funny-sounding term, chill out: Sapiosexuality is merely an attraction to intelligence, above anything else. This does not mean you do not appreciate other parts of the female body, it just means that what’s going to go the extra mile for you in a relationship and under the sheets is the conversation, the banter and the smarts your partner shows.
Having a firm understanding of sapiosexuality will not only make you better equipped to find what you are looking for if you are single, but it also helps you navigate and discover other, new ways to turn yourself on if you are already in a loving, committed relationship.
Here’s the 101 on sapiosexuality, along with some big signs you are sapio all the way (and why that’s a great thing):
Before you start imagining a sexy librarian in a work inappropriate outfit handing you a text book while she rattles off obscure facts, consider this: you do not have to be a brainiac or date one to be attracted to intelligence. “A sapiosexual is a relatively new word that describes a person who views intelligence as their biggest form of arousal with a partner. Intelligence and observing those using it in action is the greatest turn-on for them,” explains author and psychologist, Paul DePompo, Psy.D, ABPP.
Foreplay for you might not need champagne, teasing and oral sex — instead what could get you amped up and ready for intercourse is having a stimulating debate or hearing your partner discuss, with fervor, something she’s passionately invested in. This level of intelligence is usually reciprocated between both partners, meaning if you are a sapio, chances are, you’ll only be comfortable dating another sapio.
Just like someone might identify as homosexual and heterosexual, being a sapiosexual isn’t something that you choose. It’s part of your chemical make-up, your DNA and your natural attraction level to fellow smart human beings. This also means that because communication and connection are of utmost importance to you, experts say that sapiosexual relationship tend to have a better chance of making it the long haul because the intimacy is on a whole other level that goes far beyond naked bodies.
“This person is much more likely to have a marriage or relationship of ‘true minds,’ over simple attraction. The great thing about this, as we know, is that looks fade, but a strong mind is lasting. If you find someone intellectually stimulating, this is likely to last many years more than physical attraction, which is largely dependent on physical attributes,” explains psychologist Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psy.D, LCPC. “If two people are intellectual equals, their longevity is much more likely, and their interest in each other more likely to remain strong.”
That being said — experts also warn that a sapiosexual needs to be inherently more selective when they’re dating someone because having a true brain melt is essential for happiness within a relationship. “The problem occurs if there is a mismatch and you are either into this person as a compensation for what you lack or that you rate the person on a higher-level because of their intelligence,” explains DePompo.
What Are Some Signs You’re A Sapiosexual?
If you are nodding along in agreement so far, there’s a big chance that you are turned on by intelligence, but you are still not convinced this is how your body and mind truly function, let the pros predict some clear indicators that your orientation is sapiosexual.
1. You Find People More Attractive As You Get To Know Them
“Ever met someone and, though their beauty didn’t take your breath away, something about how they conducted themselves, how they spoke and their confidence was undeniably appealing to you? Then as you go to know them, suddenly, they became way more beautiful? This is a clear sign of being a sapiosexual, Martinez explains.
“[Sapiosexuals] are the type of person who does not find someone instantly attractive. They find that the person grows to be attractive the more they talk to and get to know them. This is because it is their mind, and not their physical attributes, that attract them. So, getting to know that this person is of strong and varied intellect will make them more and more attractive,” she adds.
2. You’d Rather Have A Really Great Conversation Than Casual Sex
This doesn’t mean you don’t want to have intercourse or you wouldn’t have a one-night stand if the opportunity presented itself, it just means that what turns you on and fulfills you is much more mental than physical. But a sapiosexual might find themselves more aroused by deep conversation than deep penetration.
“This is someone who is happy in a relationship that is more of true minds than physical. They would often prefer a good conversation over a good make-out session. If they’ve met their equal, this can be a great fit,” Martinez says. “If their partner values the physical connection more, the person must be sure to be more balanced between intellectual and physical stimulation, to ensure both partners’ needs are met.”
3. You’re More Turned On By What They Know Than What They Have
For you, the finer things in life aren’t luxury items that come with hefty price tag or that others would envy. You’re not the type to judge someone by their place in society, their fashion sense or how much money they have, but more by what they know and what invigorates them to personal greatness. “Status, finances, and looks are way down on the list of must-haves (if on it at all). The sapiosexual is not looking for a smart narcissist; they are looking for a person who has a zest for knowledge, learning, and discussion,” DePompo says.
4. You Just Can’t Put Up With Bad Grammar
You might forgive someone who is in a hurry and sends a “Running l8, c u soon” text one time, but a final straw and big turn off would be consistent bad grammar. You want someone who is on your same intellectual page, and if they’re demonstrating their laziness via iPhone blue bubbles, that alone could be enough for you to say, “buh-bye.”
“You are sapiosexual if you not only appreciate a person who can spell and use grammar that extends beyond a cute abbreviation or emoji, but when their writing style in the form of texts, notes, etc. gives you a literal or figurative woody,” DePompo says.
5. You’re Much More Likely To Find The Diamond In The Rough
So much of what first brings couples together is based on that instant lock-of-the-eyes and scan of their body. However, for a sapiosexual, a powerful, intense attraction might happen far later in the dating process, which gives you the opportunity to meet someone truly remarkable instead of someone who’s merely beautiful at face value.
“It is the times when people on initial look may not see that two people go together, but then talk to them and realize how perfectly suited they are for each other. It’s because they are consistently interested in what the other has to say, and they genuinely find this person mentally and emotionally stimulating,” Martinez says.
6. You’re Turned On By Knowledge – In Any Form
You don’t need someone who has the perfect IQ, who’s the top-of-the-top in their field or has a vocabulary that you need a dictionary to decipher. Instead, what gets you going and piques your interest is far more about just a general, profound love of knowledge, in whatever form it takes in your partner.
“A true sapiosexual loves knowledge for the sake of it. The more well-rounded the knowledge, which can include basic knowledge of everyday facts to obscure Jeopardy! references, the better. For example, in the ’80s, the person who was likely to win any edition of Trivial Pursuit would be more attractive than the person who could discuss the ins and outs of their Pontiac Trans Am,” DePompo says.