Sapiosexual (n)- a person who is sexually attracted to intelligence in others.
Just like any person with eyesight, I know how to appreciate the aesthetics of a good looking man. But I've never connected emotionally with looks. Just like any person, certain physical characteristics appeal to me more than others like dark skin, strong shoulders, hyper-masculine facial features like a strong nose, chin and brow bone, and full lips. That's a good start for me on any day, but it's not the most important thing.
I remember freshman year in college, my frends thinking I was crazy because I refused the affections of a very beautiful latino boy I went to high school with. They met him at the mall and when he found out they knew me, he told them how much he loved me and they later told me I was crazy for not giving him the time of day. He found out where I lived on campus and showed up several days in a row begging me to be his girlfriend. He was good-looking, but so what? He simply wasn't very bright. There was another boy in my homeroom class in high school who was really cute, but he didn't make very good grades and he just didn't sound intelligent when he spoke. He wrote me love letters with terrible grammatical errors almost daily and just made things worse for himself. He stole a kiss from me one day at our lockers and after that, he was basically dead to me.
At the time, I was crushing on my friend of mine from middle school. He was not attractive by any means to anybody, but I had the biggest crush on him. We rode the bus together in middle school and kept in touch during high school. I was so excited when I learned we would be in college together and we wasted no time memorizing each others' schedules and spending every free moment on campus together. He was oblivious. He was always the smartest boy in school, definitely the most interesting person I knew and I never wanted our conversations to end. Only two people knew how much I liked him. I never told him because he was a Jahovah's Witness and I knew that we could only be friends as long as I allowed him to witness to me. He told me so. We were together on campus so much that even the cafeteria staffers and campus custodians would ask if we were a couple. I was aware that we were an odd pair--I was super hot in college--but we weren't a couple. I wanted us to be and I think we reached that point in a friendship like ours where you clearly become boyfriend and girlfriend, and I think it scared him a lot. He was a strict Jahovah's Witness and there was no way we could continue to be such close friends after that.
After freshman year, he transferred to another school and we slowly fell out of touch. Two years later, my cousin, who went to school with him, told me that she told him how much I loved him. I was shocked and embarrassed, but relieved, because at least now he knew. I always worked in the campus library during college and right before graduation, he found me shelving books on the top floor--where he would find me freshman year when I was working and keep me company. It had been three years since I had seen him and I was all but engaged to my husband by that time, but when I saw him, books dropped, hands on mouth, hands over heart, screech, sprint, jump, hug. Neither one of us could stop smiling and laughing. He was actually handsome now! He was always taller than me, but was chubby before and now he was slim, revealing all the important bones in a man's face. His braces were off, revealing a great smile. He claimed he was at our library to find a book that wasn't on his campus, which I never bought because his school's library was way superior to ours. I knew he just wanted to see me, and to let me see his new handsome self. My friends never understood why I was so smitten with him, but he was SO smart!
When I met my husband, my sophomore year in college, his freshman year, I knew he had joined some of our other friends from St. Vincent at college. When I met him, my first impression was wow, he really likes me. If we were cartoons, his tongue would have hit the ground and I'd have seen the the hearts in his eyes and the birds and stars flying around his head. His friends later confirmed that it was love at first sight. I was amused, but that's basically it. After a few more encounters and conversations, I learned that he was super smart in school back in St. Vincent and that's how he got to come to college here. He told me how he had never touched a computer back home, but knew he wanted to program them and so picked the hardest major in our very competitive Engineering program. I found I always left our conversations enriched somehow and having learned about something that I didn't know before. During those conversations, you would have seen the hearts in my eyes. I'd overhear him studying and talking in computer languages to his friends and it really turned me on. Even now, I joke about how happy I am when he decides to work from home because I get to eavesdrop on his computer programming phone calls that sound like a Star Trek language to me--it's like fore-foreplay. Between you and me, I think he purposefully talks extra loud to make sure I'm getting an ear-full. He knows what's good for him. I really like a man who knows a lot about one thing and a little bit about a lot of other things. When Beyoncé's Crazy in Love came out all I could say was amen when she said, "It's the way that you know what I thought I knew. It's the beat that my heart skips when I'm with you..." He's SO smart!
Once, I met a childhood friend of my husband who was even smarter than him and had gone to one of the best universities in the world and had double-majored in insanely hard subjects and had travelled the world and excelled in sports. I remember thinking he was just an all around superior human--physically and mentally exceptional. We all went out and I ended up sitting next to his friend at dinner and we talked (too much) the whole evening. He was SO smart! After dinner, I told my husband, I just met his competition and he'd better keep his friend away from me. I was joking but kinda serious and really glad we lived in different countries.
When I really realized my attraction to intelligence was really real, and was indeed a sexual attraction was this one time when my husband and I took Zack to a neurologist. Zack was 4 months old at the time. Due to an irregularity in his initial examination when he was born, we had been referred to a top pediatric neurosurgeon--in the country--from Duke--a black man--to take a look at Zack to see what next steps should be. I was already intrigued and impressed, then he came into the exam room. He addressed my husband mostly since I was, for the most part, dumbfounded. He began explaining what we were dealing with and the need for next steps and my husband was completing his sentences and conversing with this neurosurgeon and I saw a mutual respect emerge between them as the doctor realized my husband had actually paid attention in Biology or Anatomy or whatever and knew what he was talking about. I was in this small exam room sitting between two dark skinned, intelligent men tossing words and phrases around that I didn't completely follow and I started to sweat a little bit in my arm pits and other grown up places and they both became a swirling mass of big shoulders and strong noses and brains and I was literally turned on. Like, for real. I called my best friend after that visit to confess and we had a good laugh about it.
When I found out that there was a new word to categorize me and that I was not alone, I felt a little less strange. I am a Sapiosexual. If I hadn't met my husband in college, I wonder if I would have trolled grad school happy hours for dates. I'm actually glad that the strongest part of my attraction to my husband (or guys before him) is not on the outside. When we met, I actually was not physically attracted to him. The more we talked and the bigger his chest and shoulders got, the more attracted I was to him inside and out. Although I do feel like I have won the husband lottery in those aspects, his appeal has always been intellectual. Looks fade, change, or can be altered in a minute.
Save the pretty face for somebody else, just give me them brains!