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.