So, what is a Sapiosexual? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the meaning of “Sapiosexual” is of, relating to, or characterized by sexual or romantic attraction to highly intelligent people.
It’s the intersection between an intellectual connection, and an attraction to a mind that eclipses looks, physical attributes, or even age. Cerebral connections have been around for centuries, but they’ve made an appearance now in popular culture, and the buzzword has become a way for many to characterize just why that professor from college was so strangely, inexplicably attractive, or why a conversation has turned them on more than muscular arms, or a chiseled jawline.
In a recent survey, Seeking.com found that its users with a Ph.D. degree or above got 30% more messages and interaction on the site than any other user denomination. Clearly, there’s something to the phenomenon, and it begs the question: are you a sapiosexual? Would you date a sapiosexual? What makes sapiosexuality so intriguing to us, and why is it something that nearly everybody has felt, at least once in their dating experience?
In order to answer these questions, we decided to get some perspectives from a few active users who consider themselves, and their dating partners “sapiosexual”, and what this means in the modern dating world of 2023.
User 1: The Converted Sapiosexual
A longtime Seeking user, who wished to remain anonymous, disclosed a once-in-a-lifetime meeting with a man who changed her perspective on Sapiosexuality, and who, through their conversations, caused her to fall for his mind first, and gradually, him too.
“I met him on Seeking, of course; I think it was because of our conversation that I agreed to meet up with him at all. He wasn’t my usual type in any way. I’ve always had a thing for the classical sort; tall, dark, handsome— the bad boy Heathcliffs of the world.”
Now, he was tall, but he wasn’t necessarily classically good looking, in fact, he was a little nerdy, and shy too. The thing was, we talked for hours. He owned his own company and had started it from scratch, by himself, when he started working in real estate in his early twenties. He never went to college, he almost didn’t finish high school.
But— he was smart.
He might not have had a degree or a diploma, but on our first date, at the bar of the Ritz Carlton in Tokyo, where I was living at the time and teaching English, he told me how he had just had an idea, and had decided that he had nothing to lose from running with it. He created a company that designed futuristic homes and apartments and taught himself English without the help of a tutor.
He had a thirst for knowledge that I immediately understood and recognized in myself, it was what had led me to take a position working in Tokyo in the first place. I think his understanding of his own mind and his curiosity about other cultures and other ways of life made talking to him an experience unto itself.
I ended up helping him with his English, and in turn, he started to teach me Japanese. We discovered that through our love of these languages, we were not just teaching each other to connect and to speak, but we were connecting in our own way, in our conversations, and in our mutual ambitions for our lives. He taught me about the intricacies of Japanese culture, and how he had built a business, and in turn, I taught him what I could about my own culture and language. It was only natural that attraction would start to spark from that.”
User 2: Long Distance and Sapiosexuality
Another user, Hannah, shared her experience of the difference between an intellectual match, and a more conventional relationship, and what she learned in the wake of this.
“I was always the girl who dated the athlete. The guy who was always at the gym; handsome, and conventionally built. It used to start out the same way every time: fully based on that first spark of mutual attraction.
The problem was, that after that spark started to wear off, I’d start to see the smaller problems that I’d overlooked initially. I felt pressure to keep up with him, to change myself to look a certain way, and to act a certain way.
I was constantly on edge about how he’d talk to other girls, I would check his phone. I turned into a paranoid version of myself because deep down, I knew that we didn’t have much in common. Our conversations were limited, I couldn’t discuss my deeper thoughts, and I felt judged when I wasn’t into the same things as him. When we stopped being accessories to each other, the relationship ground to a halt.
This sense of inadequacy was a combination of my own insecurities and my own need to have a partner that would make other women jealous. It wasn’t based on something that had meaning or depth. It was about a fantasy; it wasn’t about genuine connection.
This changed when I met my current partner. He didn’t fit my ‘list’ of what I wanted. He wasn’t super fit or my typical type, but he was an academic. One of his first questions to me in our earliest message wasn’t about which brands I liked, or complimenting me on my photos. It was about what I was looking for in my life.
We started talking, really talking. I almost want to say it started out as a friendship; he lived in the UK and I was in the US. We couldn’t see each other at first, but we started to chat every day on the site. I shared my dreams with him, the thoughts I had about movies, and how I aspired to work in the film industry. He listened. We discussed old movies together, our favorite filmmakers, and his love of architecture. We decided to meet— my days became about my conversations with him, and something just clicked.
When we met for the first time, he flew me out to London. It was like meeting someone that I’d known my whole life. I didn’t feel insecure around him, because it wasn’t about being secure or insecure. We had too much to talk about, his ideas were fascinating to me. I didn’t feel like an accessory on his arm, I felt like his equal, and he felt like mine.
I started to understand that this is what it is to be Sapiosexual; you’re attracted to someone for their mind, and they’re attracted to you for yours. It was that piece of the puzzle that I’d been missing in my previous relationships because I’d always been too worried about the image, and about showing the world that I could get the guy.”
User 3: It’s the Bio that Counts
Chad, a longtime Seeking user, has long self-identified as a Sapiosexual. Intelligence, for him, as a successful executive, is something that comes through in the way that someone writes about themselves. It’s the first step in disclosing your interests, and your own way of thinking, as well as communicating that to potential partners.
“It’s always the personality, which I feel is a reflection of a well-developed mind, that elevates my attraction and desire for more, and to really spend that time getting to know someone. The first place you’re going to find that is when you’re reading through their bio.
A well-written bio is the best place to start to see if you feel that initial spark of an intellectual connection. I think the main thing that I look for in someone’s bio is their ability to make me laugh. Humor is an underrated tell that can indicate how someone’s mind works. I believe that when someone has wit, there’s an innate brilliance there.
A girl who can slip in a joke without even trying to be overtly funny is really attractive to me, and that kind of spark of creativity can lead me to reach out to her first. It also gives me a great springboard from which to actually message her; I can reference what she said, and it starts us off with a fun back-and-forth. I think that the first conversation, particularly when you can already tell you’re dealing with someone who’s got a fantastic mind, is when you know if there’s potential for more.
I’d consider that Sapiosexuality because there’s nothing physical yet; you see her photos, sure, but there are a lot of beautiful girls around. It’s that clever banter that really catches you, and the intelligence that hooks you.”
Are You a Sapiosexual? A Few Questions to Ask Yourself
- Have you ever overlooked someone’s looks because of a certain conversation?
- Have you ever found yourself attracted to a mentor or professor figure?
- Do you find the idea of a long-distance relationship attractive?
- Does the correct usage of they’re, their, and there catch your eye?
- Would you prefer a conversation about culture, art, and literature to shallow small talk?
If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, you might very well be a Sapiosexual yourself. It’s important to choose the right place to connect with people, and have those conversations that will allow you to meet other Sapiosexuals.
Often, dating websites will allow for those connections to bloom through those initial messages; the written word is a powerful indicator of someone’s intellect.
Sites like Seeking can provide you with an intellectual dating pool that will surprise you with the range of minds that are out there to connect with. It’s up to you to send that first, witty hook.
For more dating stories and tips, visit the rest of the Seeking Blog.