17 Signs You Might Be A Sapiosexual (Attracted To Intelligence)

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We all are attracted to intelligence, or we like to think as such. But if one were to choose a dating partner between someone physically attractive with an average IQ and someone average in the looks department but with a high IQ, 80% of the human population would go for physical attractiveness. And, this is not vanity. It’s genetics. Evolution guarantees procreation and continuation of species by making humans value a healthy gene pool more than original thoughts.

Saying that one is sexually attracted to intelligence or sapiosexuality (sapio meaning wisdom) has become common on dating apps. Saying you are attracted to intelligence can be perceived as a way of saying you possess intelligence too. But, many also perceive it as discriminatory since intelligence is subjective. Someone may consider the knowledge of varieties of potatoes as fascinating while someone may consider it good enough only to know what would make the best fries.

17 Signs You Might Be A Sapiosexual (Attracted To Intelligence)

A study was conducted to determine if sapiosexuality is an orientation or just a fetish. Because sapiosexuality has garnered notoriety for being a pretentious term, people saying, “Why am I so attracted to intelligence?”, may make many people roll their eyes. But liking your partner for being intelligent and getting aroused by their intelligence are two different things. Another term used interchangeably is sapiophilia. Sapiophile means a person who feels a romantic attraction to intelligence while sapiosexuality is considered a sexual orientation independent of gender. 

In 2017, a dating app called ‘Sapio’ was launched to connect people with the same level of intellect. The app aimed at asking people around 300 questions as a dating questionnaire for people who are attracted to intelligence. Though intellect is very subjective and can’t always be measured in questions, a sapiosexual would surely love the idea of answering a questionnaire, instead of adding emojis while writing their dating profiles. Here are 17 signs you need to know if you might be a sapiosexual:

1. You seek deep conversations

You hate small talk. You use economy in the words that come out of your mouth, which means that any talk about the weather unless you’re discussing climate change, is out of the window. The question “How are you?” is not a phatic phrase for you, meant only for a social function. When you ask people about themselves, you do it with genuine interest, which is why it is so excruciating to talk to random people.

At the same time, when you like someone, you fantasize about having conversations with them and not just superficial things. When you’re attracted to intelligence, conversations are like having an intellectual journey from which you emerge with new knowledge. And, with every new word they say, you are not frowning, wondering what it means, but you’re appreciating the use of a word most people wouldn’t use or know. 

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2. You look for intellect

People who are attracted to intelligence have a hard time finding love using traditional methods. You don’t know how to hook up on Tinder. Your dating game isn’t very good. You are never really happy with your matches and long to go back to your apartment post first dates to read a book. You have no respect for people who try to hit on you at a bar. You are ambivalent about casual sex, but you’d be completely fine to skip the casual sex for some great conversation.

3. You appreciate semantics

Which is just a fancy way of saying that you’re a grammar nazi. You’re constantly telling people the difference between there, their and they’re, correcting their pronunciation of jalapeño, and telling them that stadia is the plural of stadium, not stadiums. You being attracted to intelligence makes your family and friends worry that you’re going to die alone but you don’t care, you’re happy being the only person laughing at sapiosexual jokes.

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4. Your idea of a first date is a discussion

You are attracted to someone’s intelligence if your idea of a successful first date is to have an intense conversation about your life or life as a concept. While people think about what to talk about on a first date, you probe each other to find out what you like and why you like it. This is why you hate going to bars or clubs on a first date. You’d rather go to a museum and pick each other’s brains about the impact of the Second World War on Picasso’s art. You are also less likely to get sexually involved on the first date. You would rather get to know your date first.

5. You are sexually attracted to intelligence

One must consider that sapiosexuality is an orientation, with its own flag and meaning. Sexual or romantic attraction depends on the perceived intelligence. Intelligence here often doesn’t mean IQ, but possession of knowledge that you would value. If their explanation of subjects such as quantum physics makes you sexually aroused, then you’re truly a sapiosexual.

6. You look for culture instead of partying on vacations

Being attracted to intelligence means that your idea of the perfect vacation includes exploring the culture of a new place, instead of drinking and partying. So, you’re likely to go to a place with museums and old villages and places of historical importance. While everybody would be hunting for crop tops to wear to Coachella, you’re likely to be sewing a historically accurate Anne Boleyn costume for the Renaissance Fair. 

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7. Your attraction doesn’t get affected by other factors

Because sapiosexuals are attracted to intelligence and not someone’s physicality, they’re likely to fare better in long-distance relationships. They’re also less likely to get jealous or insecure since for them, the relationship is not about belonging to someone, it’s about having a connection. True sapiosexuals also care little about other people’s opinions about their partners. This means that despite the crazy things people do to impress others , it’s only what they say that impresses you, and not their possessions, age, or gender.

8. Your idea of a great date is challenging each other

Sapiosexuals love to challenge each other in the growth of their intellect. Guys attracted to intelligence love to do things that they have not done before, like learning a new language. Heard of the couples who like to organize treasure hunts for anniversaries? Or the couple who, at a pool party, criticizes the decision to award both Atwood and Evaristo the Booker Prize? Chances are they might not be uppity as everyone claims, they could just be sapiosexuals. And if you are interested in that sort of thing, you may be too.

9. You love learning new skills

If you love learning new languages and skills that people often consider unnecessary, then it’s possible you’re attracted to intelligence. Sapiosexuals are often found in self-help and do-it-yourself sections. When you travel, you research the hell out of the place. Friends are often turning to you if they want to be tutored about something because they know of your passion to learn about new things.

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10. You find people more attractive as you get to know them more

In a standard relationship, physical attractiveness is a great factor and one’s interest in their partner may begin to wane after some time. But, the connection that sapiosexuals feel with their partners keeps on getting stronger, like a twin-flame connection. This is mainly due to the fact that people who are attracted to intelligence grow intellectually in the relationship.

11. Your arguments are like discussions

Sapiosexuals arguing with their partners could be the most hilarious thing if you’ve only witnessed drama in normal couples’ fights. Think of every time Captain Holt and Kevin fought in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. You may even go to the extent of drawing pro and cons lists, doing debates with points for every round, and referencing Plato and Camus to prove your points. Sapiosexuals do not believe in passive-aggressive tactics and believe arguments in relationships can be healthy.

12. You have little patience for silly things

This doesn’t mean that sapiosexuals are killjoys, it just means that people who are attracted to intelligence have a hard time finding slapstick humor funny or laughing at politically-incorrect jokes. This also means that your biggest turn-offs are millennial abbreviations (who invented BTW, by the way?), lack of punctuation in texts or excessive use of emojis.

 sexually attracted to intelligence

13. You don’t do simple

People who are attracted to intelligence play to win. So, if you’re asked to plan a baby shower or help with a little model of a digestive system, you’re likely to go all out on it, even if it means organizing color-coded decorations for the entire street or using real acid to demonstrate the workings of a stomach. You’re the one who is assigned the important tasks at weddings because everyone knows you are going to get that thing done while everybody else is getting drunk.

14. You have great listening skills

It is important to be a good listener in a relationship. Sapiosexuals live by this advice. You are often the person friends and family members turn to talk about their problems and ask for advice. People who are attracted to intelligence have a great reverence for what their partners talk about and so, they have great listening skills. They do not get into a relationship to just vent off steam.

Infographic on be attracted to someone's intelligence
A true sapiosexual is attracted to intelligence

15. You don’t like the traditional idea of sexy

Since sapiosexuality is an orientation in which attraction is not dependent on gender, it is often misappropriated by people who treat it as a fetish. However, a sapiosexual will always find intelligence sexier than washboard abs or a peachy butt. You could simply be attracted to someone’s intelligence and are not influenced to form a relationship just because of the physical features that attract a man or woman.

16. You engage in the art to learn rather than being entertained

Sapiosexuals do not watch movies to pass time or keep up with the memes. When you are attracted to intelligence, you watch movies to improve your critical thinking, or to learn a foreign language. Sapiosexuals are passionate about art and often, high cultural art. You are far more likely to find sapiosexual jokes in a Shakespearean play than in a stand-up routine.

17. You believe in a long-term relationship

Since it’s the brain that holds a sapiosexual’s attention in the relationship, you’re often less likely to focus on a casual relationship. Also, your relationships grow stronger over time so you’re less likely to drift apart from your partner over time. Even when sapiosexuals take a break from the relationship and see other people, they still feel attracted to the intelligence of their partners and are more likely to look for ways to get back with their ex.

Everyone likes to believe that they’re beyond the appeal of physical appearances and are instead focused on deeper things. But people rarely consider intelligence a major factor in the relationship. Sapiosexuality is often dismissed as a pretentious behavioral tactic and has been subject to controversy due to its ableist and elitist connotations. But, a true sapiosexual will be attracted to intelligence. They will get into a relationship to connect at a higher level and not just to appear as the smartest person in the room. Physical needs will always play some role in that relationship but it’s the brain that the sapiosexual will seek.


1. What do you call someone attracted to intelligence?

Someone who is attracted to intelligence is often called a sapiophile meaning somebody who is romantically attracted to intelligence or a sapiosexual if that attraction is sexual. Sapiosexuality is considered to be orientation independent of one’s gender. You may wonder, “Are queer folks attracted to intelligence?” but straight or LGBTQIA people may also identify as sapiosexuals.

2. Why is intelligence so attractive?

What to look for in a relationship? This answer has altered during the course of evolution. Evolution suggests that physical factors such as strength or health are one of the factors a person may look for in a mate to guarantee a healthy offspring as that offspring will have a higher chance at natural selection. But, with the passage of time and decrease in primitive behavior, intelligence has also become another favorable factor in a mate. This could be the answer if you are wondering about the question “Why am I so attracted to intelligence?”

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