Sapiosexuals: People Who Are Attracted to Intelligence Over Appearance

Sapiosexuals: People Who Are Attracted to Intelligence Over Appearance

You’ve probably heard of horosexuals or heteros, but did you know that there are also people out there who are attracted to intelligence over appearance? These are sapiosexuals, and they are growing in number as the years go by. But what exactly does it mean to be attracted to someone’s intelligence? Here we will try to answer this question as well as explore why this type of sexuality exists and what can cause someone to become a sapiosexual. In this article, we are going to explore the topic of “sapiosexuals: people who are attracted to intelligence over appearance.”

The Meaning Behind The Term

The term sapiosexual was coined in 1997 by members of an Internet forum. It’s a play on words, combining sapiens, which is Latin for wise or intelligent, with sexual orientation. In other words, if you are sapiosexual, you first need someone who lights your brain on fire before your heart ignites.

Sapiosexuals: People Who Are Attracted to Intelligence Over Appearance
Photo: College Library.

Of course, there isn’t any actual science behind what makes one person more attractive than another—but when it comes to being sapiosexual, one thing is clear: it doesn’t have much to do with physical appearance.
What it does mean is that looks don’t matter nearly as much as many people think they do. To be sapiosexual means that you desire intelligence over beauty and feel more connected to someone who can keep up a serious conversation about life’s big issues rather than dumb-down humor.

Whether attracted to men or women, a sapiosexual desires companionship above all else. Sapiosexual meaning is often a term taken out of context by some people.

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Is This A New Phenomenon?

Sapiosexuality is not yet a universally agreed-upon term, but many who self-identify as sapiosexual say it has been around for decades. Some experts attribute its reemergence in recent years to pop culture—to television shows like Mad Men, for example, that depict characters with high levels of verbal and psychological sophistication.

But others believe that people have always been attracted to intelligence over appearance; they simply weren’t aware there was a word for it until recently. And still, others think sapiosexuality is just another label invented by dating apps like Tinder and Grindr to categorize users based on their perceived desirability (for example, hunks or dorks). These skeptics may be right—or they may be wrong.

Time will tell whether sapiosexuality becomes part of our cultural lexicon, an ism alongside other sexual identities such as heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual. What we do know, however, is that society continues to evolve in unexpected ways when it comes to matters of sex and love. And though some might argue otherwise, most agree that whatever form your sexuality takes—whatever you call yourself—is nobody else’s business but your own.

Do Women Prefer Intelligence Over Looks?

New research is uncovering a previously unknown phenomenon called sapiosexuality, which entails being more drawn to someone’s thoughts than to their outward appearance. In fact, one in 10 people says they consider themselves sapiosexual. Is that you? And what does it mean if your partner identifies as such? Here are some things to know about sapiosexuals and how they date.

Sapiosexuals: People Who Are Attracted to Intelligence Over Appearance
Photo: Intelligent Woman Reading.

A study found that 11% of participants said they were attracted only to intelligent people, while 9% said intelligence was a turnoff. The remaining 80% fell somewhere in between. Researchers found that women were twice as likely to identify as sapiosexual compared with men (12% vs 6%). But among those who identified as sapiosexual, both genders preferred an intelligent partner over someone who was physically attractive by a factor of 3-to-1.

How Do You Know If You Are Sapiosexual?

Research conducted by David Ley and Justin Lehmiller showed that those who self-identified as sapiosexual were more likely to self-identify as bisexual, asexual, or gay/lesbian. However, it is important to note that sapiosexuality is not classified as a sexual orientation but rather an additional component of an individual’s sexuality.

In other words, being sapiosexual does not mean you are any less heterosexual than someone else. Instead, it means that you are attracted to intelligence in addition to appearance when looking for your ideal mate. It should also be noted that most people do not fit into just one category on these types of surveys—for example, someone may identify as both sapiosexual and straight.

There are several ways to determine if you are truly a sapiosexual. The first is asking yourself what traits attract you sexually. Do you feel most sexually attracted to partners who exhibit physical traits similar to yours? If so, then there is a good chance you aren’t primarily drawn to intelligence in your potential mates.

What Should You Do If You Find Yourself In This Situation?

You’re attracted physically to someone but, after a conversation with them or a series of texts, you realize that you’re actually more interested in their intellect. Unfortunately, there are still some people who don’t fall under sapiosexuality and instead feel that if they find themselves more attracted to someone else’s mind than body then there must be something wrong with them.

The reality is that being sapiosexual is as natural as any other type of sexuality. It doesn’t make you less attractive or less worthy; it just means that your attraction is based on different criteria. If you recognize yourself in this situation, know that it’s perfectly normal and not something to be ashamed of.

In fact, it can even make for better sex because both parties can get exactly what they want out of it—you get an intellectual connection with another person while also getting physical pleasure from one another. Being sapiosexual doesn’t mean that physical attraction isn’t important; rather, it just means there has to be a strong mental connection first before feeling sexually attracted to someone else.

What Next?

To figure out if you’re a sapiosexual, ask yourself why you find someone attractive. Do you like that person’s energy or intelligence? If so, you might be a sapiosexual. There’s no right or wrong here, but we can’t help wondering: What would happen if all sapiosexual people met each other? Could they mate and make sapiosexual offspring? What would happen then? What kind of world would we live in? How many Nobel Prizes do you think it’d win us? Would it solve climate change? Would there still be wars? We’re getting ahead of ourselves here.

Sapiosexuality is just another way to look at attraction—and it’s not even official sexuality (yet). It’s also worth noting that being sapiosexual doesn’t necessarily mean having sex with someone smarter than you are—though many who identify as such claim they’ve done just that. In fact, one study found that most people with a high IQ have had more sexual partners than those with average IQs; however, those who identify as being intelligent themselves tend to have fewer sexual partners overall than those who don’t consider themselves particularly bright.

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