Add the term “sapiosexual” to the lexicon of sexual identities if you haven’t already heard of it. Apparently, the term has been making the rounds for several years and it pertains to being attracted to a human being’s intelligence before sexual attraction develops, regardless of the person’s gender.
The latest celebrity to push this new brand of identity is music producer Mark Ronson, who told ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” that he swings that way.
“The definition means intelligence first then attraction,” British journalist Nichi Hodgson explained on the show, as reported by Fox News. “I date men and women and identify as bisexual, and I realized the thing that linked all people that I have dated has been their brains.”
The segment centered on the French equality minister Marlene Schiappa recently coming out as sapiosexual.
“I didn’t know that there was a word for it, but I was really enjoying that segment,” said Ronson. “We were all arguing in the dressing room with a couple of your producers. And yes, I feel like I identify as sapiosexual.”
The term “sapiosexual” has been generating some enthusiasm over the past decade with various outlets reporting on the subject. While some commentators accept it as a genuine sexual orientation, others do not. In 2015, Samantha Allen of The Daily Beast outright dismissed the sudden popularity of sapiosexuality as ridiculous:
The history of “sapiosexuality” is as unclear as its legitimacy. LiveJournal user wolfieboy claims to have invented the term “while on too little sleep driving up from SF in the summer of ’98.” For wolfieboy, being a sapiosexual means that he wants “an incisive, inquisitive, insightful, irreverent mind” irrespective of gender but he notes that the term is open to wider interpretation.
Apparently “bisexual guy who’s into smart people” was too many syllables for him to not invent a bogus sexual orientation instead.
In every scientific and sociological sense of the term, sapiosexuality is not a sexual orientation. A person who likes writers is not a scribosexual, a person who likes lawyers is not a jurosexual, and a person who loudly proclaims that they only date smart people might be dangerously full of themselves, but they’re not a “sapiosexual.”
Diana Raab Ph.D. argued in Psychology Today, however, that sapiosexuality is being “turned on by the brain.”
“Those who admit to being sapiosexual will say that they are turned on by the brain, and tend to be teased or excited by the insights of another person,” wrote Raab. “This means the person whom you are attracted to might have a tendency to have an incisive, inquisitive, and irreverent mind. As foreplay, the sapiosexual person may crave philosophical, political, or psychological discussions, because this turns them on.”
“Those who are sapiosexual are stimulated or challenged by the way another person thinks,” Raab continued. “They are basically in love with the mind. Sometimes, sapiosexual individuals have also been called ‘nymphobrainiacs,’ or individuals who find it arousing to engage with the intellectual perspective of another person.”