Sapiosexual is a term some use to define people who find intelligent people sexually attractive or who get sexually aroused by people they consider intelligent or stimulate them mentally.

A person who identifies as sapiosexual may also be gay, heterosexual, bisexual or other sexual orientation. Intelligence may be the only and deciding factor or it may be one of the top reasons for attraction.

Intelligence is either objective and can be measured, as with an IQ test, and for others it could be subjective like a sense of humor or an expert level passion for a non-academic subject. Stimulating conversation may be a form of foreplay over physical sexual acts. A date may include a trip to a museum over seeing a blockbuster movie, unless the person is a cinephile.

Some say recognizing sapiosexuality is a way for people to express themselves sexually, and others say it should not be included as a term for a marginalized member of the LGBT+ community.

The sourced articles below are a sampling of the information available on sapiosexuality.

  1. What Does Sapiosexual Mean? + Other Sapiosexual Information To Help You Be A Better Ally!

    “While some people claim sapiosexuality as a sexuality or sexual orientation, there are those in the LGBTQIA+ community who say the term doesn’t fit in description used by people who are marginalized the way all other sexual orientations or gender identities are. There are also those that consider sapiosexuality as a fetish for intelligence and some, go ahead to place it in both categories of fetish and orientation. In the end, the meaning of the term, ‘sapiosexuality’ could be up to its intended usage by the person using it. Sapiosexuality can refer to a preference for highly intelligent partners or a type of pansexuality where intelligence supersedes everything else and considers gender irrelevant.”

    Queer In The World,, accessed 5/10/2022

  2. Are You Sapiosexual? Here’s What It Means, And How To Tell.

    “A person who identifies as sapiosexual is sexually attracted to intelligence, according to Shadeen Francis, a licensed marriage and family therapist. Anyone can be sapiosexual, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. (FYI, if you find yourself romantically attracted to people’s intelligence, you might use the label ‘sapioromantic.’ People’s sexual and romantic attractions don’t always align.) … Sapiosexual is not a sexual orientation, which concerns who you’re sexually attracted to. Rather, the label represents ‘one dimension of how arousal and attraction happens to feel for you,’ Francis says.”

    Milan Polk,, 3/29/2022

  3. What It Means To Be Sapiosexual

    “What does ‘sapiosexual’ mean?
    The word ‘sapiosexual’ is derived from the Latin verb sapere, meaning ‘to be wise’ or ‘to have sense.’ It makes sense, then, that sapiosexuality is a sexual identity describing those who are aroused by intelligence.”

    Kate Bettino; Medically reviewed by Lori Lawrenz, PsyD,, 10/13/2021

  4. Demisexuality: What To Know

    “Sexual identities
    Several other sexual identities share similarities with demisexuality, but there are some key differences. … The authors of a recent study that investigated whether IQ specifically was the most attractive trait for sapiosexuals concluded that it was not the most important factor. According to the findings of this study, subjective intelligence seemed to be more important than objective intelligence, which is what an IQ test measures.”

    Jenna Fletcher; Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST,, 7/21/2021

  5. Fact Sheet On Injustice In The LGBTQ Community

    “Individuals who identify in the + category, such as pansexual, demisexual, sapiosexual, etc., are often mocked for their sexual orientation as well.”

    JL Heinze,, 6/24/2021

  6. Everything You Need To Know About Dating A Sapiosexual

    “‘Some believe it is an actual [sexual] orientation, [while] others see it as a ‘conversational’ orientation,’ Dr. Tari Mack, a clinical psychologist and relationship expert, tells Bustle. ‘Like any sexual orientation or preference, it exists on a spectrum. Some sapiosexuals are purely attracted to people based on their intelligence and some find it simply one of the most attractive qualities in a potential partner.’”

    Kristen Sollee and Carolyn Steber,, 4/8/2021

  7. 16 Ways To Turn On A Sapiosexual, aka The Brainy Person You’re Super Into

    “1. Pay attention to their unique interests. …
    2. Orate your foreplay. …
    3. Plan book club and library dates. …
    4. Discover culture together. …
    5. Let them teach you. …
    6. Have a game night (but with a twist). …
    7. Align your interests. …
    8. ‘Are you up?’ instead of ‘U up?’ …
    9. Share your passion. …
    10. Documentary and chill. …
    11. Talk nerdy to them. …
    12. Write a short story together. …
    13. Read to them. …
    14. Pretend-host a podcast episode. …
    15. Get controversial. …
    16. Learn a new skill together. …”

    Farrah Daniel,, 11/16/2020

  8. What Does It Mean To Be Sapiosexual? 4 Telltale Signs

    “Is sapiosexual a real sexual orientation?
    Despite sapiosexuality entering discussions about sexual identity more and more, there are many who still do not view sapiosexuality as a real orientation. Some queer people have also argued that sapiosexual people should not be included in the LGBTQ+ umbrella because it’s not related to gender preferences in the same way identities like pansexual, heteroflexible, and others clearly are. However, some sexuality experts advocate that sapiosexuality is a valid orientation and should be considered as such.”

    Mary Retta, Expert review by Kristie Overstreet, Ph.D., LPCC, LMHC, CST,, 4/29/2020

  9. What Is Sapiosexuality?

    “‘Those who are sapiosexual are stimulated or challenged by the way another person thinks,’ according to Dr. Diana Raab. ‘They are basically in love with the mind.’”

    Carolyn Twersky,, 10/12/2018

  10. A Sapiosexual Person Is Attracted to Intelligence—Here’s What To Know About Dating One

    “Before going on to explain the sapiosexual definition, though, it’s key to understand the difference between a sexual orientation and a sexual identity. Sexual orientation considers culture, sex, and gender presentation, whereas sexual identity focuses on how we move through our sexuality, says Roger Kuhn, PhD, an Indigenous (Poarch Creek) AASECT-certified sex therapist. ‘There are a lot of similarities within [sexual orientation and sexual identity], and there’s a lot of difference as well,’ says Dr. Kuhn, who adds that a person’s identity within any orientation is highly personal. When it comes to sapiosexuality, for instance, ‘whether you identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bi, pan, or demi…[members of] those groups can be sapiosexual,’ says Dr. Kuhn. ‘[Sexual identity] is more a recognition of who I’m attracted to within the orientation.’”

    Natalie Arroyo Camacho,, 12/17/2021

  11. The Other “Q”: Questioning One’s Gender Or Sexual Orientation

    “I often hear, ‘Why do we have to complicate all this with a different name for everything? Can’t we just use heterosexual and homosexual?’ No. I’m sorry if it’s confusing for some, but a binary like that excludes individuals and/or does not truly capture their sexual identity. Being demisexual, for example, is not about being straight or gay; it’s about emotional attachment. The same applies to being sapiosexual; it’s about intellectual attachment. You cannot pigeonhole someone who identifies as demisexual or sapiosexual into a binary. We simply do not live in a binary reality.”

    David W. Wahl Ph.D.; Reviewed by Devon Frye,, 7/2/2021

  12. You’re Not Sapiosexual, You’re Just Annoying

    “I truly didn’t expect the ‘sapiosexual’ discourse to flare up again five years after OkCupid added the term to its list of categories — thus inflicting it upon the mainstream dating world — and two years after the New York Times finally got around to their trend piece. The word itself may date back as far as 1998: that’s when a LiveJournal user known as wolfieboy claims to have coined it.”

    Miles Klee,, 9/23/2019

  13. Study Of Sapiosexuality Suggests Some People Really Are Sexually Attracted To Intelligence

    “In other words, people were most attracted to a potential partner who was smarter than 90% of the population. They found someone who was smarter than 99% of the population to be slightly less attractive as a partner. (But still more attractive than someone who was only smarter than 50% of the population.)”

    Eric W. Dolan,, 1/3/2018

  14. The Hottest Body Part? For A Sapiosexual, It’s The Brain

    “Scientists consider sapiosexuality less a sexual orientation than an identity, Professor [Debby Herbenick, a sexual health educator and professor of applied health science at the Indiana University School of Public Health] said. People who identify as sapiosexual may also identify as gay, straight, bisexual, asexual or something else.”

    Anna North,, 6/2/2017

  15. Stoked On Sapiosexuality

    “So, I’m really stoked that quite a few people are listing sapiosexuality as an interest. Considering that on Sunday, the 10th, there were only two people that had it listed as an interest. Today, there are nine. Not bad for a word that I invented in 1998. … ‘Me? I don’t care too much about the plumbing. I want an incisive, inquisitive, insightful, irreverent mind. I want someone for whom philosophical discussion is foreplay. I want someone who sometimes makes me go ouch due to their wit and evil sense of humor. …’ Edit: When describing sapiosexuality to someone at the Grind, I came up with the phrase: ‘You can only fuck someone for so long (5-8 hours is finite) but you can talk forever.’”

    Wolfieboy,, 3/15/2002