Being sapiosexual is no joke.
For those who are not aware of this neologism, it is a definition for the tendency to be very turned on by someone’s intelligence—more so than even, say, their abs or their curves, depending on your sexual preference.
Some even claim that sapiosexuality transcends sexual preference—in other words, the true sapiosexual makes no bones about whether the object of their affection is man or woman, so long as they have a perspicacious grasp of the world—and oftentimes, the words around them.
For the sake of sticking to a more realistic approach to this minimal treatise, let’s use the definition that has made its way into the parlance of the average dating website: you dig men or women, but you are drawn to the ones who are percipient and insightful.
My own personal experience with this preference has led me to practically put a moratorium on dating for now. I remember recently sitting across from someone at a restaurant and feeling that uncomfortable awkwardness that comes as a result of the conversation stalling out over and over again like an old Dodge Dart. I can vividly remember thinking about “The Myth of Sisyphus” and how it related to this date.
If you are a sapiosexual, you probably already know that that is the myth about the guy who was cursed to spend all of eternity pushing a boulder up a hill, only to have it fall down to the bottom again every time he got it to the top. It was made famous by the French philosopher, Albert Camus. Realizing that my date would have a difficult time discerning the difference between Camus and Shamu, I just put the brakes on the whole process.
Do you think you too might be sapiosexual? Here are a few ways to tell:
1. Small talk is a deal breaker. There you are on a hot day in July—in a bar and grill, just to get something to quench your thirst—when you notice a cute guy at the end of the bar glancing over at you. You feel a little flutter in your tummy when he begins to walk over—and with grace and fluidity, he says, “You definitely look like a Virgo. Tell me I’m wrong!” (Insert muted trombone sound here.)
Within three nanoseconds, the attraction dissipates. You think perhaps you just didn’t get a good look at him until he got close enough. You tell yourself it was just a false alarm, but in your heart of hearts you know that it’d never work. Something in you just can’t get down with someone who thought that was a good approach.
2. You can’t seem to find a free moment for someone who texts you with the grammar skills of an errant six-year-old. Even if you manage to get past the initial “meet and greet” phase, when you begin to get the texts that look a little too much like the average troll from the 2016 election cycle, it’s a wrap.
3. Love at first sight? Um, no. You’ve had occasion, at times, to notice immediately if someone is cute or a little sexy and attractive; but love without an in-depth conversation? Never going to happen. Mind you, it does for some people and these are people who most likely cannot, with good conscience, refer to themselves as sapiosexual.
4. Spirited debate kinda turns you on. Very few people like to fritter away the precious moments of their life with petty arguments, but verbal altercations over whether or not video gaming disorder should be included in the DSM-5—now that’s sexy. Especially when the exchanges begin to get so heated that it carries itself right into passionate lovemaking. If this has ever happened to you at one time or another, you can be assured that you have reached sapiosexual status.
5. Snark trumps social position every time. Some women and men have a tendency to fall in love with their bosses, their professors, and their mentors—specifically because, for the average person, social position is a sexy attribute. For the sapiosexual, when they are within earshot of the quick-witted and facetious, Cupid’s arrow is never too far behind. It has been proven by some very high-end researchers that humor, and particularly dark humor, require both advanced emotional and cognitive intelligence. This is a thing that sapiosexuals understand on a visceral level. The allure to the wry and satirical is automatic.
If you see yourself in one or more of these descriptions, you might indeed be what has currently been referred to as a sapiosexual. If you’re looking to find others of your ilk, I have good news. Some dating websites offer this distinction as a choice in their preferences. As a matter of fact, there is even a dating website that is specific only to this type of person—and if you are a sapiosexual, it shouldn’t take you too long to locate it if you are interested. Or you can do what I have decided to do: give up the dating websites and just hang around the library. When you spot that cutie reaching for the Pema Chödrön book, you’re in!