Sonam Ahluwalia

So What Is A Sapiosexual Exactly?

By Sonam Ahluwalia


It’s a word that’s in vogue right now.

From Tumblr pages to Tinder profiles, lots of people are claiming to be members of this shadow group.

Urban Dictionary (a fairly reputable source in these matters) defines a sapiosexual as “one who finds intelligence the most sexually attractive feature”.


So sapiosexuality is a term that has been coined in order to describe a group of people who value intelligence over other sexual features such as face structure, body build, performance, aura, and many other components involved in sexual attraction.

People love to identify with something on social media, so this new term adds to the vocabulary list available when describing yourself to others.

“You read so good. Have my babies.” Photo Credit: Marketa/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

However, this term has also sparked controversy.

Some folks don’t believe that you can actually be a sapiosexual and that calling yourself one is merely pretentious and offensive because people are categorized according to their intelligence.

This counter argument goes: how can something so demeaning be considered an acceptable option as a preference in matters of sexual attraction?

Plus, can you be with someone only because they are smart?

Don’t ask many college freshmen that question.

But we can take a different route when looking at this newly fashioned term.

The definition from Urban Dictionary refers to a sapiosexual as someone who values intelligence as the “most sexually attractive feature”.

This does not mean that it is the only aspect we look at somebody.

For many people intelligence is certainly important in a relationship. and having a sexual stimulation from intellect is not a stand alone sexual orientation for them but rather an element of deeper feelings.

“She never remembers to wear shoes but she has a really good handle on thermal dynamics. xo.” Photo Credit: Ulisse Albiati/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Sapiosexuality can vary among people because intelligence varies, and so does the expectations of the level of intelligence one has for their partner.

For example, a lawyer may consider him or herself a sapiosexual for readers while a car mechanic sees him or herself a sapiosexual for people that know a lot about cars.

The incredible variation of what one finds as intelligence stems from the commonalities people have when looking for a partner.

If two people both love to identify plants while hiking, then they value that type of knowledge.

The vast diversity in intellectual interests actually works with the ambiguous definition of sapiosexuality.

Thus, you can be a sapiosexual.

But most of us are already.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Scroll to top