Posted in Dating / Relationships, Other

Sapiosexuality is a Preference – Not an “Orientation”

I haven’t written about this subject in a while so I thought I would put something together to attempt to explain it a little more. I’ve always been sexually attracted to a certain type of woman – intelligent, thoughtful and nerdy. To a sapiosexual, intelligence is vital and a lack of intelligence can make you feel indifferent towards somebody’s attractiveness while everyone else around you is drooling.

Secondly, when you are attracted to a person’s intelligence, their looks become almost irrelevant (unless they are physically repulsive to you, you won’t care much about their looks while they are whispering quantum mechanics in your ear). Sapiosexuality is lusting for the brain and when I was dating, I had plenty of experience of that to know that this is what I want from a partner – and found it in Mirror Image.

Osgood: Hot or Not? To many sapiosexual men, very hot indeed.

Anyway, I came across some curious and furious debates over whether it is an orientation or a preference. This struck me as very odd that we can even have this debate that all stemmed from a change to the profile system at OKCupid to permit users to select their sexuality/orientation as sapiosexual.

I don’t really understand why this is even a debate and the more I think about it – even as a self-described sapiosexual – the more nonsensical it seems. Feeling attracted to intelligence is a preference just as preferring a body shape, body size or hair colour is a preference within an orientation which defines your sexual identity and the genders to which you are attracted. “Orientation” as we understand it, concerns gender.

Sapiosexuality has nothing to do with gender and to describe it as an orientation like heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual removes the element of gender from the preference and suggest you can be attracted to anybody with intelligence regardless of their gender. Otherwise, we might as well go the whole hog and have “blondesexual”, “legsexual” and “tallsexual” which would just seem rather silly. Does that make sense? What do others think?

My orientation is heterosexual. My preference is for intelligent, nerdy, curious, goofy women in all their glory, but the key thing is that my desire for that in a partner is limited to women.



I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

11 thoughts on “Sapiosexuality is a Preference – Not an “Orientation”

  1. Wow, I didn’t know this was a word. Learning something every day… But yes, it sounds like a preference to me. But what is an orientation, if not a very strong preference? 🙂

    1. I think because we tend to associate orientation with the gender to which one is attracted.

      In my mind, and to other critics, to suggest it is an orientation suggests that you could be attracted to somebody of the same sex so long as they push your intellectual buttons. I’m sure there are people like that but I’m sure they will most likely call themselves bisexual or pansexual.

      As I said, if we’re going down the route of sapiosexuality as an orientation, then surely we should go all the way and have “tallsexual”, “blondesexual”, “beardsexual” in which case it will all get just a bit silly.

  2. Don’t forget ‘breastsexual’. LOL! I hear all the time men saying, “I’m a boob guy.” “I’m a leg man.” “I am an ass man.”


    Labels. I hate them.

    Good on you for explaining this so clearly. Thanks CUCH.

    Looks will only get a person so far and then she/he must rely on brains and personality. Someone famous (a woman) once said (and I forget who), about women: “When a woman’s looks fade, she better have personality and brains to back her up, otherwise she is in deep trouble.” I’m paraphrasing of course, but it something along those lines. I never forgot that sage advice because now that I am 48 years old, I find I am nearly invisible to the opposite sex. In fact, whenever I go for a walk at lunch around the city of Boston with one of my co-workers who is 22, blonde and cute as a button, men just about break their necks to look at her — men of ALL ages, meanwhile, the only heads I turn are of the dogs I see out for a walk with their owners. Granted, I’m not 22 and cute as a button, but I’m not exactly a hag either.


    1. I like bum and legs but would never date or reject somebody purely on the basis of having a nice arse or a flat one, that’s plain daft.

      I wouldn’t be pompous enough to say there aren’t guys like that though. I look at attractive women too but if they have nothing between their ears then I can no more be sexually attracted to them than I can to a classic oil painting. I need a woman with character and brains, otherwise I feel unfulfilled in the relationship or on the date.

      When I think back to the dates I had before meeting Mirror Image, those who stuck in my mind were not necessarily the most physically appealing – but those who made an impression on my mind.

      I went crazy for Ubergeek who, though certainly physically attractive, is not a head-turner (she had crooked teeth and was quite flat chested). She gave me butterflies and when I thought I saw her a year ago, my stomach did about a hundred somersaults – it wasn’t her, but it reminded me of the effect she had on me.

      The other who made a big impression before I met Mirror Image was a woman I referred to as Mischief. Her personality was so enticing, her character so attractive to me that (let me be frank) I really wanted to f**k her. Yet she was easily the heaviest of all my dates. She had a good body admittedly, but most guys would not have given her a second glass because of her weight. Yet to me, her physical appearance became more attractive because of her brains and because she pushed the buttons in my mind. Scratch your head all you like, but it works for me 🙂

      Looks can only get you so far and at the end of the day even the most beautiful people lose them eventually.

  3. i’m so glad i’m not on okcupid anymore. that is the stupidest thing i’ve ever heard. is there an option for d-cupsexual? of course it would make it easier to exclude those tumblr snowflakes from one’s search.

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