Sapiosexual is a New Dating Term. Is it a Real Thing?

I was reading a profile of someone and they said they were sapiosexual. I thought, “Say what”? I wondered, is that being attracted to sappy people? My curiosity was piqued so I had to look up the word. From the Collins Dictionary the definition of sapiosexual is: “One who finds intelligence the most sexually attractive feature; behavior of becoming attracted to or aroused by intelligence and its use. Sapiosexual is a neologism word (recently constructed word) that has come into common usage; especially on social networking sites where some people are self-identifying as sapiosexual. Origins: From Latin root sapien, wise or intelligent, and Latin sexualis, relating to the sexes”.

Now I am thinking, great, there is hope for me after all! I like to think of myself as intelligent. I have a master’s degree, I read books; I can walk and chew gum at the same time. I’m in like Flynn!

Sapiosexual is a relatively new term being used. Dating sites such as OkCupid have even added it as a new gender and sexuality option. But is sapiosexual a real thing? There have always been people who have been attracted to intelligent people. Sapiosexual is really not a sexual orientation term. For example, being sapiosexual doesn’t mean you would be attracted to intelligent people of all sexes. If you are heterosexual, bisexual, or whatever; you would still be those things if you were sapiosexual.

My take on this is that a sapiosexual values intelligence so much that almost nothing else matters, whereas non-sapiosexuals may value intelligence but they value other things also (looks, humor, body shape, etc.). In the real world there are probably different levels of sapiosexual. That is, at the top of the sapiosexual pyramid, intelligence is the only thing that matters and at the minimum level are sapiosexuals who value intelligence at a defined minimum threshold:


In the above chart the different regions are defined as follows:

  • In region A people are more attracted to “other things” than they are to intelligence and thus, they are not sapiosexual
  • In region B people are more attracted to intelligence than they are to other things but they may or may not be sapiosexual
  • In region C people are more attracted to intelligence than they are to other things as in region B. The difference is than in region C the draw to intelligence is above a predefined level (in our case we are assuming this level is 60%). Therefore if you are in region C you are a sapiosexual.

It would be interesting to design a questionnaire to determine what the minimum threshold would need to be for people to be considered sapiosexual. What do you think that percentage is? Are you a sapiosexual? Let me know in the comments section!