October 8, 2013

Being Sapiosexual: Advice from a Smart & Spirited Sensualista. ~ Jacqueline Cohen


Sapiosexual: (n.) a person who is sexually attracted to the intelligence in others.

I am unapologetically attracted to the intelligence in others.

It turns me on.                                        

If I’m going to be bold and bare naked, I need to be honest. My brain and my ego are warning me to edit and omit a few details, but my heart says lay it out there. Sometimes we have to share what we know and what we’ve experienced.

Have you ever been in lust or in love with someone’s mind?

I flirted with his mind and he danced inside of mine. 

Do you know what happens when you are?

I met him at a fancy bar in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel. We had a mutual friend in the fashion industry. She supported my non-profit and connected me to another Patron of the Arts. I spotted him at a corner banquet wearing a dark suit. When he stood up to shake my hand, my height became the focus of attention.

I was a few inches taller and wearing high heels, but the instant I fell back into the plush seating I knew I was in trouble. He was confident and had a great sense of humor.

Champagne arrived and before long, he was disclosing stories of his mother, his upbringing in New York City and his fascination with Cindy Sherman. I listened hard. His profession was private equity, but his passion was travel and art.

We talked about the poetry of Pablo Neruda, infidelity, divorce, religion and sacrifice.

His brain made me wet and I had to mentally refrain from climbing over to his chair and sitting on him.

I stared at his hands and his mouth. Wondering what he tasted like. Over the next few months, our relationship deepened. We went to galleries, museums and shared intimate dinners. We created our very own private universe.

Timing wasn’t on our side, so we never consummated our relationship. But I still carry it with me in a deliciously cerebral way.

Conversation to me is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

It is a dress rehearsal; conversation is foreplay and a window inside our hearts and our lovers. We start to fall in love with the unexpected pause, the short intermission before the plot unfolds. Personal narratives are worthy of being shared. It gives relationships meaning and context.

By the time I was 21 years old, I had two guys in college tell me they wanted to marry me after I graduated. I received a promise ring and diamond studs to seal the deal. I dated each of them at different times during my undergraduate studies.

It was my first taste of love and long-term relationships. I was sexually curious, quietly self-conscious and petrified that my parents would discover that my virginity was lost forever. Entering an Augustinian University as virgin was not a mandatory requirement, but my Mother and my Father firmly reminded me at the end of every phone call to “be a Lady and say your prayers.”


Glory be to the Father, the Son and every College Male I would have intimate communion with.

When I began writing about relationships and sexuality, I reflected on my behavior and my personality in college in an attempt to re-visit what it was that may have drawn men into my life.

I never had a serious boyfriend in high school, so I entered my freshman year with little sexual history to speak of. I was not the hot girl on campus, and was shocked when I was voted Homecoming Princess my Sophomore year. I rowed crew, performed in obscure plays, babysat and was a waitress at a local bar and restaurant. Miraculously, I had serious boyfriends throughout college.

Not just any boyfriend. They were intelligent, athletic, good looking, funny, and destined for success. What was the factor, the magical ingredient, that made these young men want to commit to me? They introduced me to their families; we went on trips, talked about the future and engaged in collegiate level sex. I stress the collegiate qualifier. Sorry, guys.

Did I disarm them? Was it the long leash? Did I have latent powers or was it my self deprecating humor? My major was psychology, so my beaus unknowingly were subjects in some of my covert experiments.

I needed to get inside their heads and discover what made their neural pathways different than mine.

When I was convinced that their temporal lobes could handle the trek inside my cerebral jungle gym, I let them slide in.

I was introduced to a Japanese word, “YUGEN.”

It is pronounced, yoo-gehn, which is an awareness of the universe that can trigger emotional responses that are too deep and mysterious for words.

Wouldn’t each of us like to have that kind of passionate experience?

“Too deep for words.”

 As I quietly searched for this elevated and mystical experience, I became aware of how powerful it is to be fearlessly open and curious about another person’s mind.

The effect is magical.

I’m not a mind reader or a magician, though I did marry a magician when I was 24 years old. I really did. He once tried to convince me to go on a trip to Boston with him when we first started to date by disarming me with one of the greatest card tricks of all times.

It is called, Out of this Universe. Harry Lorayne, a master of memory, and an old card master invented the trick. The effect is brilliant, because the performer makes the spectator believe that she’s in total control of the deck.

I was an eager student, and a captivated audience. I willfully was pulled into the vortex of his thinking process. You can imagine how I felt when he levitated in front of my Church after Sunday mass.

We did end up going to Boston; and believe me, I made sure going forward to keep a closer eye on his flawless sleight of hand techniques. Oh, and he did have incredible hands.

It was not too long before I could spot a double lift, a false shuffle, a break in the deck and what magicians refer to as the “force.” I eventually became my husband’s toughest audience. He was 18 years older than me; his colorful life experience was a perfect match for my insatiable curiosity about everything, not just illusions.

Insatiable curiosity is one of the essential ingredients for unlocking the gates to a lasting and fulfilling sapiosexual relationship.

When the brain is alive and working hard, the entire body is fed and primed for pleasure. Imagine sitting on one of those expensive massage chairs and getting kissed simultaneously. Our brains crave an above average level of stimulation and novelty. We have to learn to tease our brain. It actually needs a daily jump start to get us to where we want to be.

Time to do some personal research: what are you curious about? When was the last time you read a love story or explored the different sizes of infinity?

Learning new things is a discount ticket to everywhere. It is like installing a GPS in our brains that gets us back on track and anywhere we dream of. All it takes is a little extra concentration, dedication and motivation. Listen to an audio book while driving. Our cars can become our mobile classroom and mini-think tank.

How will we ever know what our deepest needs, or what we yearn for, if we don’t get out there and stumble and fall a few times? I share these questions because I believe we all have the power to captivate and engage someone while adding our own personal sapiosexual touch.

Want to try a little experiment?

Every day this week engage your partner, your lover or someone you want to get to know with your “smart and sensual” side. You will see what happens when your brain partners with your personal way of seduction. Heads will turn, hearts will open and flowers will be sent. 


Jacqueline Cohen’s essay is an excerpt from her new book, The Smart and Spirited Sensualista.

Like elephant journal on Facebook.


Assistant Ed: Jes Wright/Ed: Bryonie Wise

Read 4 Comments and Reply

Read 4 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Jacqueline Cohen