“Your Brain Turns Me On”: I’m A Sapiosexual…?

I came across the term sapiosexual on social media. After some quick research, I learned that it referred to a person who is sexually stimulated by intelligence, or as one blogger put it: “nerd love”. Naturally, as a self-professed nerd, it got me thinking. If tasked with having to pinpoint the most attractive quality of the women I’ve dated, I’d say their ability to partake in thoughtful discussion was key. Sure, visual attractiveness is a plus, but it’s not what makes me totally swoon. In fact, it only enhances a woman’s beauty rather than her looks being the nucleus of it.

It’s rare intelligence is celebrated in our culture. People don’t usually grace the covers of popular magazines because they’ve made strives in curing cancer. Those covers are reserved for whichever celebrity is the flavor of the month: the ‘Sexiest Man Alive’, the pregnant reality star, a cheating politician, and so on. But in this sapiosexual subculture, being intelligent is a turn on and it’s at the forefront.

For the latter part of my high school years, I was the guy with the fast car and devil-may-care attitude, but who also read books in the library during lunch. I remember a friend happening upon me as I was headed to my favorite section of the library–History and Politics–he looked at me with disdain and said, “Shit man, you’re a geek now?” I ignored him and kept on with what I was doing but I realized with each visit to the library, the cabin pressure of my sex appeal was decreasing. If I wanted the pretty girl on the dance team to go out with me, I was going to have to stay out of the library. So I hid my book addiction as best I could. I returned to the cafeteria and munched on waffle fries and chicken fingers with the rest. I laughed and joked and flirted with the girls at my table. I was back, so to speak, and no one spoke of my little vacation into Nerdville. Once I got to college, it was like a weight had been lifted. At the arts conservatory, my affinity for books and jazz went unnoticed. It was like the promised land–I had finally found my people.

I’ve always been a sucker for a smart girl. In fifth grade I fell hard for a girl who loved comics as much as I did, and could wax poetic on how the X-Men’s Storm was a better leader than Cyclops. She spoke with such passion, supporting her claim with story after story of how Storm exhibited superior leadership over Scott Summers. If it weren’t for the bell ringing and having to go back to class, I could have sat on that bench talking all day. Not much has changed for me when it comes to women. I’m still attracted to passion and intelligence; to a woman who believes deeply in something and is well-versed enough to battle tooth and nail. It showcases strength and substance. On a recent date with a pretty Portlander, we talked for hours about music and travel. It was a great date. A few days later she sent me a text that read: “Your brain turns me on.” It was sexting for sapiosexuals. Though I’m not sure I can fully embrace the term yet as a way to categorize someone, I do think it’s nice that intelligence is being showcased as vital to what people look for in a partner. Whether it’s called “nerd love” or a “sapiosexual coupling”, when people of like minds come together, it’s a beautiful thing that should be celebrated.

So if you fancy yourself a sapiosexual, please keep spreading the good word–give us a movement. Because, really, a bunch of intelligent people procreating might just result in the brain child that cures cancer.

The Last Love Letter (An Exercise in Emotional Unearthing Inspired by S. Burke and E. Cleaver)

Dear:__________________________,

Lately I feel my words have been failing so it’s with great apprehension that I commit these words to paper. I’ve come under a kind of bout, a stupor that I can’t seem to shake. This could be a great catastrophe, but I’m prepared for the fall out. Shameless thoughts bullied their way into my head and they’ve taken up residence in my consciousness: I deserve to know you, to communicate with you and this entire happening. I’ve never met a woman like you before and in many ways I’m at a loss. I can’t really form words, build on ideas that can describe the complete gravity of my feelings, but I will try.

I don’t believe in the concept of merit, or karma without the sutra, or any other mystic jazz, but I do believe in fate. As clichéd as that may sound, and believe me it almost pains me enough to erase it, but it is a very real thing…at least to me. It is no mistake that I met you and in our few encounters I’ve developed a profound respect for you. I do seek the profound. Contrary to the advice of those around me who claim wisdom, I’ll take the credit and let the cash go. I prefer to incur interest or debt with the hope one day I’ll be able to pay such a thing off. I could write letters, poems, bleed on the page if need be and get nothing in return. I could do this everyday if it pleased you. I am not afraid of ultimate failure and I do not believe that a beautiful relationship has to always end in carnage. It’s a lie when they say all good things must come to an end. It is true that I’m a realist. Many say too real for my own good. But I do dream and not arbitrarily. I intend to make all things I dream sublime realities. But I’m not without folly or fault. I suppose you caught me in a transition. I have been accused of being things that are not complimentary. I’ve been called aloof, a playboy and an eccentric. So I consider the stakes are high. But with all honesty I must say you’ve cast a spell and in the words of Solomon Burke, “I feel your mark upon me now as surely as the hand that leaves the bruise”.

We know each other little, but with the capacity for much. I know words can be lethal, and can bring about frightening realities. They can resurrect, create and destroy. So I must reiterate that this was not an easy task. But it is an awesome thing and I hope you have the ego for a compliment, but you deserve these words and much, much more. I know as an artist that inspiration can overpower us. It can cascade down on our heads and threaten to beat us into the ground, into the dust. But I’ve never feared such unknowns in my work, so why in my life? I suppose in my work I have more control, but in life one must account for what is not written: real emotions, real souls, and real-life. I am learning. Any man would be lying if he said he would rather hold a woman than for her to stay out of her own free will. Just as any man would be lying if he denied wearing a mask in an effort to impress or con a woman. I say con, because I believe that a man who operates in a sham is a con artist. I bare my soul proudly. I Am what I Am. Now that I’ve begun to write, I’ve put it all on the table, emphatically. I’ve lowered the boom, so to speak. I know what I’ve done but I do not regret it, not one word. I suppose this is all a gamble, a game of hearts and craps. But by meeting you, you’ve tossed me a lifeline. I’ve already won. There is no pressure. In fact, if you never responded to the words I’ve written I’d be fine with that. I just want you to know the impact you’ve had. I admire your tenacity, drive and determination. Your passion astounds me and during our conversations I’ve found myself in owe of you. Aside from your immense beauty is your intellect and wit. I could talk with you for hours and not think of anything else except the words being spoken…what can I say, you put a smile on my face every time I see you and now just for now, nothing is more real than this.

Truly,
Aaron

The Romanticism of Californication

Some may say the humor in Californication is crass, low brow, raunchy, and dirty. To those people, I say you’re missing the point. Sure, it’s a sex comedy, similar to HBO’s Dream On that aired in the 90s, but with a lot more unsavory scenes when it comes to sex. However, Californication is a show deeply rooted in romanticism—exhibited in the theme of unrequited love and the setting of Los Angeles.

As a writer, I’m envious of Hank Moody to an extent. Though he finds himself in a high order of drama, I can respect the love he harbors for Karen, his baby momma and muse. He’s the tortured artist who got lucky and found his other half; then, riding that wave of love was incredibly prolific, and when it ended he couldn’t write. It’s a hell of a thing when writer’s block comes on and if it’s attributed to loss or heartbreak, it’s even worse. And that’s essentially the dilemma of Hank; a man trying to find his way after the ‘end of everything’. He delves into sex, alcohol and drugs, and rock n’ roll; and though I don’t condone his methods of self medication, as a writer I can understand them. When you find your other half, that perfect someone and things just click, you can’t imagine losing it. When it’s gone, you numb the pain in whatever way you can.

Hank is a tragic romantic looking to get back what he lost and punishing himself in the process. Los Angeles provides the perfect landscape for it—a city of glitz and under the surface, horrifically rotten. I believe it was LA historian, Mike Davis, who said “Los Angeles is a sunlit mortuary where you can rot without feeling it”. There have been times in my life where I could definitely relate. But as a writer and human being, you can’t wallow forever. You have to rise out of the murk, which Hank never really does in the series—kind of my major gripe with the writing. And though the series has various short-comings, I think it delivers as a strong depiction of what it’s like to be a hopeless romantic in a city where romance may very well be dead. In the end, we all want a Karen–a muse, a lover, a savior–our other half.

Good luck out there! As Hank would say, “It’s a big bad world.”