What is Sapiosexual Orientation?

This week we’re going to continue our discussion of sexuality with sapiosexuals. So, what exactly is sapiosexual orientation? This relationship to sexuality adds a layer of complexity to many people’s stories. Some don’t consider it a true separate identity but more of a flavor adding specificity to other orientations. I don’t totally agree.

How to define sapiosexual orientation.

Of course, we need to define the concept for clarity. But, I want to also say that this is my understanding and it is as important for us to consider a person’s relationship to themselves as a sapiosexual as it is in any discussion about sexuality.

I’ll define sapiosexual as a person who is attracted to another person’s intelligence. If you’re a sapiosexual you’re attracted emotionally and/or sexually to someone’s brain. Of course, as these things go, it’s not really that simple. If you’re a “pure” sapiosexual you’d be attracted to smart people regardless of gender identity. But, you can have any sexual orientation and layer sapiosexual onto it. So gay sapiosexuals are a subgroup.

Sapiosexual Orientations can be Very Specific.

Also, as a sapiosexual, you may not just be generally attracted to smarts. The attraction can be much more specific. For instance, I often find myself crushing out on sommeliers. Because I’m gay they’re always male but the attraction often overrides what I would normally find attractive. For me, it’s a powerful filter layered on top of my usual orientation. But, I’m not exclusively attracted to sommeliers.

For the most part, though we can think of a sapiosexual as someone who is attracted more to intelligence than other attributes. Intelligence is the primary attraction. But, it’s usually within the gender or genders that you’re usually attracted to.

Awakening to a More Flexible Orientation.

Because intelligence, or whatever kind of mind you’re attracted to, is independent of gender it’s possible that at some point you’ll awaken to an unexpected attraction. At your core, you are likely to be pansexual.

 If this happens it is crucial that you be gentle with yourself. Our society is only striating to recognize how diverse sexuality is. Our ability to embrace our inborn orientation can be seriously hindered by our culture. Allow yourself to be shocked if that’s how you feel. But, try to embrace this new perspective on yourself.

If you are comfortable, or even happy, that you’ve expanded your horizons that’s great. Ideally, it’s where you want to be. Learning to embrace attraction however it shows up is the whole point. 

Coming out as Sapiosexual.

As with any coming out, it’s important that you do this in your own time with whom you want to. There’s nothing wrong with shouting from the rooftops if that’s what you want. But, before you go to that extreme come to a deep understanding of your sapiosexual orientation first. 

Sapiosexuality is something that many people haven’t heard about. You’ll likely be doing some education. Make sure you educate yourself first. You may also run into homophobia, or biphobia if you’ve previously identified as straight.

If you encounter homophobia or biphobia try to remember that the issue is with the other person, not with you. Your attraction dynamic is part of who you are. You can’t change it any more than you can change your fingerprint. You’ve simply realized that it’s broader than you thought it was. If your people can’t support you, find people who can.

Being your authentic self is the greatest gift you can give to the world. That’s even more true if you belong to a misunderstood group. You can only find real love and support if it comes with acceptance. Coming out is your best bet for being embraced for who you really are. Who you are is exactly who you’re meant to be.

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