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Is "Sapiosexual" Slang for "Pretentious"?

With the plethora of sexual identities, preferences, orientations and groups, you have to wonder how you're going to keep a track of everyone's sexual affinities, let alone their histories.

Sapiosexual girl at the library
You'll impress a sapiosexual with your knowledge and your affinity for humor

While some use the term "sapiosexual" more loosely, to denote a kind of attraction, others use the term to underscore a kind of lifestyle and a range of preferences that they're looking for in a partner who might align with this sort of orientation.

What Is A Sapiosexual?

An interesting neologism, a "sapiosexual", by definition, is someone who is exclusively sexually attracted to intelligence or those of high intelligence, before any other factors like physical appearance.

The intelligence of the human mind intrigues this person enough that they can only be aroused by or attracted to others who displaying emotional and knowledge-based intelligence.

Many people scoff at the term because they feel it's a not-so-subtle stand-in for "pretentious" and that those who openly identify as this are just weeding out people who don't "meet" their high "standards" for intelligence.

Many groups that find sexuality to be based in a mixture of biology and cultural behaviors stress that terms like "bi-sexuality" or "trans-sexuality" have much more of a basis in reality, are much more justified and feel more "real" than a term like sapiosexual, that sometimes is just a trend appropriated by straight culture.

A Statement As Much As a State of Being

You'll often see this term on dating sites, where people choose to identify themselves as such.

While the term "sapiosexual" may be hotly contested by queer groups, the American Pyschological Association does grant sexual orientation as "an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes". These orientations exist on a continuum, as any sexual preference might, and claiming them can give a sense of "community".

So who's to say what's justified and not? Identity is purely subjective.

For many who choose to identify as such- and find themselves undeniably attracted to others because of this "trait", on a regular basis, it is also a way to speak out against a corrosive "hook-up culture" that some may perceive as shallow and unfulfilling.

Again, one man's trash is another's treasure and there's no real truth to one kind of sexual preference being greater than the other. Still, those who identify as being drawn to intelligence above all are trying to also say that they prefer depth and complexity over superficiality.

How to Date A Self-Professed Sapiosexual

If this sounds like you (or someone you're interested in), don't be shy: we've got some ways to seduce the intelligent object of your affection.

Firstly, there's nothing a good brain-tease loves than a good brain teaser. If your brainiac loves herself some de Beauvoir and Nietzsche, seduce her with existential puns and sexts. You'll impress her with your knowledge and your apparent affinity for humor.

Do an escape room, play a strategy board-game or a word-game with them on your first date. Anything that engages them - and when you can then show appreciation for that displayed intelligence - will turn them on big-time.

And there's no reason why words and thoughts can translate into action. When written and expressed "language" ends, say that there's only so much you can express in words.

Then, show them how it's done with your body.

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Image source: AS Photo Project -