How to Love a Sapiosexual

Some of us have a fetish for intelligence

People often discuss matters of the head versus matters of the heart. We sometimes think of falling in love as an intense chemical reaction — an overwhelming physical and emotional yearning that drives us to connect with the object of our affection.

But what if we fall in lust or love because of matters of the head? What if one thing that drives us especially wild is a potential lover’s intellect?

One of my fantasies involves making love with an intelligent, clever book lover amongst the shelves of a bookstore. Or, maybe he’s the book dealer. Doesn’t matter. As long as devouring the art of the written word does as much for him as it does for me.

I’ve dated guys in school because I was really into the size of their large…GPAs. I’ve fallen for men (and a few women) because of their ability to write well. And I’ve sexted with a guy friend online who incorporated Hemingway quotes into our super hot messages.

If you were to say I was a sapiosexual, you’d be correct.

Sapiosexual simply refers to someone who is sexually attracted to highly intelligent people.

There’s nothing new or original about being attracted to a keen intellect. It’s a pretty common thing, so some find the idea that we identify ourselves with our own special label as pretentious.

But the phrase has gained traction on online dating sites and apps in recent years, and I love it. I think it’s a helpful identifier to mark our interest in intelligence and allows us to find like-minded potential partners.

It’s also a useful way to counteract the often superficial nature of online dating. Some of us need to engage in stimulating conversation and experience a deeper intellectual connection in our romantic relationships.

A lust for learning

A few years ago, I dated a guy I met by chance at a bar. We started chatting because we were standing next to each other as we waited for our drinks, and I learned he was a grad student close to finishing his master’s in psychology.

Someone who loves learning and has worked hard to earn their master’s or — gulp — PhD is incredibly sexy to me. And someone who’s also fascinated by psychology?

This guy had my attention instantly.

So as young bar-goers stumbled and shouted drunkenly around us, we talked about literature and writing — and we discovered we liked a lot of the same authors. I brought a book our of my purse, as I had just been shopping at the bookstore with my girlfriends before hitting up the bar. He’d already read it, and he told me, without spoiling the story, what he loved about it.

We dated for a while — and half of our relationship was him recommending authors and alternative bands I’d never heard of. He seemed to have a steel-trap memory, and I loved how much I was learning.

I look back at the beginning of dating him as one of the most intellectually stimulating relationships I’ve had. And, as a sapiosexual who gets turned on by intelligence, it was also one of the most sexually exciting.

If your long-term partner or the person you’re newly dating happens to be attracted to intelligence, don’t let that intimidate you. It’s not so much a matter of being the smartest person in the room — it’s more about taking an interest in developing your mind.

You can drive your sapiosexual lover wild simply by tending to their intellectual needs, just as you tend to any needs that come up in a relationship.

Ways to address a lover’s intellectual needs

Ask questions

About your partner. About yourself. About the meaning of life.

Ask questions about the movie you’ve just watched together or the woman you both see in line at the store who carries a pet rabbit as her emotional support animal. Being inquisitive allows us to learn, uncover challenges, find solutions, and explore each other’s minds. Curiosity is a major turn-on for us.


Read nonfiction books, current events articles, novels, peer-reviewed journals— or listen to audiobooks and informative podcasts. Then, go talk to your love about what you’ve discovered. Maybe send a link and a sexy little message about how they’ll be intrigued by this piece you’ve just read. Yummy.

Keep cultivating your passion

Maybe your thing is marine biology. Maybe it’s rebuilding Mustangs. Maybe it’s studying philosophy. Maybe it’s special effects makeup or music or some other art form. Whatever you do, whatever you love, keep learning about it, improving on your skills, and sharing your work. But leave room to talk about your sapiosexual’s passions as well — because they have plenty!

Offer to do something stimulating together (stimulating for the mind, I mean)

Suggest a date beyond dinner, Netflix, and sex. Normally you could see a play, attend a lecture on a topic that pique’s your interest, or take a class together. With COVID-19, brainy dating looks a little different, but you can adjust depending on what’s open in your area. Consider a virtual lecture or virtual museum tours. Find an outdoor spot you can visit together — like local parks, art installations, or even just hiking in the woods. Taking in nature while engaging in the lost art of conversation is super underrated, especially when we’re relying so heavily on digital communications right now.

Love smarter

For many who are out there dating, whether casually or in the search for long-term partnership, it takes more than a pretty face or hot sex to hold our interest.

What is it about deep thinkers that does it for some of us? What is it about book geeks or music aficionados or men who can speak multiple languages that drives women like me absolutely mad?

What is it about a potential lover who enjoys reading philosophy or knows when to use lay versus lie that makes me melt into a willing puddle of lust on the floor?


It’s because the brain is a highly sexual organ. And the mind is indeed one of the sexiest parts of a person.

Keep feeding your brain. That way, when you find yourself with someone for whom lust and intellect are interconnected, you’ll be able to love your sapiosexual that much better.

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