Against Sapiosexual Pride

Two golden mannequin-like robots
Image by epSos.de (CC BY 2.0)

When I started out on FetLife, I encountered a lot of Worrying Things. Like the hordes of people declaring themselves to be sapiosexuals.

My prejudice against sapiosexuality may surprise you. After all, I threw myself at the smartest guy I ever met. He enjoyed using my mind as much as he did my body. Our intellectual chemistry remains a joy every time we meet.

It wasn’t enough. I learned the hard way that intelligence is just as shallow a quality as beauty. But dangerously deceptive. We could communicate, we could strategise fixes. But without emotional compatibility, we simply couldn’t make it work. Our arrogant faith in the power of the brain just kept us fooled for longer.

I’m not saying we should deny this sapiosexual thing. My lust for the male mind is not going to go away. But good grief, it’s not something to be proud of, any more than my thing for men who weigh less than me. Go ahead and own your sapiosexuality – heck, advertise it if you’re not trying to snag suspicious souls like me. But it doesn’t make you better than those who make it work by heartpower alone.

Without that unspoken, ineffable understanding, a good brain interface is worth about as much as good sex. If you think it means more than that, you’re fooling yourself. Not smart. At least, in my needs-to-be-more-humble opinion.

P.S. It is only fair to say that my ex has read this, and he’s not sure my argument is sound.

P.P.S. Okay, I admit it. The real reason I’ll never put sapiosexuality on my FetLife profile is why would I want a bunch of people in my inbox trying to sound smart? Ew. Much more fun to tell me I’m wrong and this is why. Pretty please? :p

1 February 2015: I have edited the text before the postscripts because I think it violated the principles of Nonviolent Communication. Not as bad as my post on Jian Ghomeshi, but it’s better to be less wrong.

7 thoughts on “Against Sapiosexual Pride”

  1. I agree with your conclusions, though got there a different way. I like partners who use their brains, but “sapiosexual” tends to be about “educated” rather than “bright”, and I am lucky enough to have friends (and an ex-partner) who taught me the difference, and the value of seeing past the superficial.

    Even a self-confessed airhead can be insightful – and educated types can be really dim! As the saying goes, “It’s not what you’ve got; it’s what you do with it that counts”.

    1. Ack, WordPress hid most of your comment! So I didn’t see your point about sapiosexuality often referring to education, which I wish I’d thought of. Yes, intelligent beats intellectual any day. Unfortunately I am suspicious of my ability to tell them apart.

  2. I subscribe to the concept of multiple forms of intelligence, which we sadly undervalue in our culture. While i confess that i am highly attracted to people who are so smart, i can smell it, they are sadly very few and far between. So, i strategy is to align myself to people who are incredibly smart *in ways i’m not.* Frankly, brilliance is over-rated in some ways as it seems to coexist with a person who lacks social skills (me) or is not grasping what is obvious to people who are smart in other arenas (Sir Raven). That being said, great sex is often about great chemistry, which sadly dissipates when we learn about the actual person who sends out those pheromones. Not to mention, the truly brilliant waste loads of energy trying to not wield our thoughts like weapons or make anyone “feel stupid.” With the right mix of smarts, some of that energy can be redirected to actually making love (as opposed to hot fucking). Therefore, i think intelligence is far superior to chemistry for all of it’s wonderful ability to reach each other in connections that inspire.

    1. I’m sorry for the delay in replying! Your point about multiple intelligences is very well taken. Emotional intelligence is a thing and it’s absolutely key in making relationships work. However, I will say that I don’t think the problem between my ex and me was “brilliance” or having to hold back. I think it was arrogance about our ability to make it work, and I blame our opinion of our brains for that arrogance.

  3. I concur, but specifically about the “pride” part. Orientation is just orientation — it’s not an achievement per se. Treating sapiosexuality, or any other orientation, as inherently meritorious is delusional, narcissistic and dangerous as the SM clubs I’ve been to where members therein treated SM as such. By fixating on one’s own supposed virtue (pick one), one loses sight of all the glorious ways that others manifest their selves.

    Just $0.02

    1. Ah well, then I am delusional, narcissistic and dangerous, because I happen to believe some orientations are better than others. Sapiosexuality is not one of them.

      If you can’t think of any orientation that’s worse than another, then read this. With compassion.

What do you think?