Sapiophile: What Is It? Are You One? And More

sapiophile man

Sapiophile: What It Is And More

Is smart the new sexy? You might just be a sapiophile if you agree.

Decades of pop culture have misled us into thinking that nerds are unwanted. They are weird and uncool, often portrayed as outsiders who exist only to be bullied by the jocks. The hot cheerleaders would never give them the time of day!

Get out of that 80s John Hughes mentality! Being brainy doesn’t automatically make a person undesirable, as the real world will easily prove.

In fact, there are people who find intelligence incredibly attractive, making it the benchmark for choosing a romantic partner above every other trait. Sure, they still find particular physical features attractive, but it’s the brain that trumps everything else. This is sapiophilia.

What Is A Sapiophile?

The simplest sapiophile definition is this: someone who is attracted to intelligence over anything else.

You might be thinking: what’s the big whoop? A lot of people want to have a smart and capable partner. That’s an incredibly basic requirement for most relationships!

Though that is true, what sets someone with sapiophilia apart is the significance accorded to intelligence. It is the single most important trait for romantic attraction, trumping everything else.

Someone could be incredibly beautiful or rich or kind, but it is the brain that really attracts a person with sapiophilia. Everything else comes in second. They might find a supermodel hot and physically attractive, but without a highly intelligent brain to match, they most likely will not pursue a relationship.

Although the concept itself isn’t incredibly new, it has gained a lot more prominence on dating sites lately. People these days want to be very particular about their interest and romantic preference, so as not waste time. Using specific terms that define their requirements for attraction can make things a lot easier.

But wait, there’s more! Some people use the term sapiophilia in their Tinder bio, but it’s just as likely you’ve seen people use sapiosexuality, instead, and now you’re confused.

Sapiophile vs sapiosexual

The two terms are very close, and some people tend to use them interchangeably. It’s not that you can’t, to be honest. After all, a lot of people, won’t really know the difference.

However, a little more knowledge never hurt anybody, so let’s set the record straight. A person with sapiophilia is romantically attracted to intelligence, whereas a sapiosexual — as the term already suggests — experiences sexual attraction when they meet someone with above average brains.

A sapiosexual is literally turned on by intelligence. Talking to them about quantum physics can get them in the mood the same way others might with sensual dancing and the like. In any case, both sapiosexuality and sapiophilia are hinged on intelligence for fostering attraction, both romantic and sexual.

So do you get it now? This sapiophile meaning and sapiosexual definition hopefully cleared everything up for you. It’s now a lot clearer and easier for you to understand when people use these terms in their dating profiles.

sapiophile woman

What really turns them on?

It’s easy enough to talk about being attracted to intelligence, but the truth is that intelligence is a pretty broad word. Some people have taken it to mean that sapiosexuals are snobs and that they only talk to people who read books written by Albert Camus or James Joyce.

That is a very narrow understanding of sapiophilia and sapiosexuality! In fact, one could say that it limits our understanding of intelligence and what it means to be a smart person.

Most of the time, people think smart means one must have a PhD, or be academically superior. They consider book smart the pinnacle of intelligence. In reality, a sapiosexual looks for more than just academic aptitude.

They certainly won’t be asking for a diploma! If you think sapiosexuality means asking for someone’s transcript of records, well you’re dead wrong.

Here are a few things that can turn them on, minus the academic records.

Excellent conversation

Sapiosexuals abhor small talk. They don’t want to chitchat about the weather, or talk to people about the latest on the Kardashians. That sort of thing bores them and definitely will have them looking elsewhere.

It doesn’t mean you have to be an expert on difficult topics. If you want to get a sapiosexual’s attention, all you need to do is to be well-read. They are interested in people who want to learn, and there’s no better way to do that than to read.

Being up to date with the latest information on topics like art, technology, or whatever you find interesting (just not reality TV and the Kardashians, of course) gives you more ammunition to keep dates with a sapiosexual very interesting.

Healthy debating

One of the biggest dating mistakes you can do with a sapiosexual is to just roll over and agree with everything they say. You may think it’s easier to just go along and not rock the boat, so to speak, but that’s the last thing you ought to do.

In any relationship, it’s very important to stay your own person. This is how you can contribute to the partnership. If you just go along with everything they say, it’s going to be a very boring relationship with no input from you.

If you’re dating someone with sapiophilia, you have to be ready to speak up and fight for your opinion. It’s not that you want to be contrary for the sake of conflict. It’s about taking a stand and discussing issues to enrich both of your minds.

That’s the sort of healthy arguing that sapiosexuals are into. Again, it’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong. The ability to articulate your position is a real turn on, and can be more than enough foreplay for sapiosexuals.


Geeking out on topics that you’re super interested in is a surefire way to get a sapiosexual hooked.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to pique their interest! A real lover of intelligence knows that it isn’t limited to math or science. There are way too many things in the universe to limit yourself to just two subjects!

Be willing to talk about your favorite sonnets, discuss the latest discoveries in your field, or just talk about fun things like astronomy. There are so many interesting topics in the world, and if you have enough passion for one, it can be a wonderful experience to share it with a sapiosexual.

Willingness to learn

Sapiosexuals are not snobs. They don’t mind if someone doesn’t know everything, because nobody can! That sort of pride is the anti-thesis of intelligence. Someone who assumes they have nothing left to learn is not a smart person.

So don’t worry if you don’t know something about a topic. It’s better to own up and show a willingness to learn about new topics. In a partnership built on an attraction to intelligence, the goal is to share knowledge with one another.

Be willing to learn from them, and share your own knowledge in turn. Just keep an open mind and show that you’re willing to improve yourself.

Not playing dumb

To understand this, yum must first know that a lot of women are raised to believe that men won’t like them if they’re too smart. In a lot of societies, women are expressly discouraged from pursuing higher education so as not to intimidate potential partners.

Even in first world countries, you’ll see how women are sometimes overlooked because they are “too smart”. They are seen as intimidating just because they are intelligent, they earn great, and they are very independent.

As such, these women are forced into playing dumb so as not to turn men off. They keep their intelligence hidden so as not to ruffle feathers. That’s the last thing a sapiosexual wants!

If you insist on playing dumb to look cute or desirable, know that you’re doing the exact opposite of what a sapiosexual wants. They aren’t intimidated by smart people, and are actively seeking out people who can enrich their lives with intelligent conversation.

sapiophile woman 2


We like to think that kids are curious because they don’t have a lot of knowledge yet, but why do we as adults stop indulging in curiosity ourselves? We don’t have all the knowledge in the world, so why do we warn people off with sayings like “curiosity killed the cat”?

In reality, a smart person isn’t one with all the answers. A smart person looks for answers after realizing gaps in his or her knowledge. They know that there’s something they don’t know, and so they will not stop until this gap is filled.

Someone who doesn’t care to learn more or curious enough to do research isn’t a good fit for a sapiosexual. In fact, the people who gladly tell others that they don’t read or that they think books are for nerds should just go ahead and move along. There’s nothing for them here with sapiosexuals.

Educational dates

A coffee date is fine for the first few times, especially if there’s good conversation involved. If you really want them to get interested in you, however, you need to plan better dates.

If you’re thinking, fancy hotshot restaurant that all the celebrities go to — think again. That’s good and all, but it’s not what really gets them going. Instead, check out the museums near you to see if there are interesting new exhibits to visit.

Go to bookstores, try out new cuisines — anything that will add to their knowledge and experiences will be greatly appreciated. The thing about sapiophilia and sapiosexuality is that these people want to learn. They want to grow!


It was John Waters who said, “If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t f*** them!”

That might as well be the motto for sapiosexuals, right? It’s not that reading books is the be all and end all of intelligence, but it does signify an appetite for learning. Someone who loves books is definitely interested in spending some quiet down time.

Of course, this might not be 100% applicable anymore in this digital world. People don’t always have the luxury of space. Not everyone can stick huge bookshelves in their homes. A love for books is always a good sign, though, be it on your shelf or on your Kindle.

Emotional intelligence

The way smart people are portrayed on television these days, you’d think they were all stunted emotionally. Remember characters like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, or BBC’s Sherlock Holmes? They are portrayed as incredibly smart but unable to connect with regular people. In fact, this sort of condescending intelligence is commonly played for laughs.

But being smart isn’t license to be rude. In fact, really intelligent people won’t act like snobs or be condescending to people who don’t know as much as they do. As we’ve already discussed, someone who’s really smart is open to teaching and learning.

Real intelligence isn’t one-dimensional! It isn’t limited to academics, and it does not discriminate in terms of knowledge. A smart person is emotionally intelligence as well! They are able to listen and empathize with other people, so the last thing they should be is snobbish and ill-mannered.

A sapiosexual knows this, and they definitely are not looking for people who are interested only in “acting” smart or acting like they know everything. They do not want to deal with Sheldons or Sherlocks. Being emotionally intelligent is equally sexy.

So now that you know what sapiophilia and sapiosexuality is about, you’ll be better informed and your dating approach will be a lot more successful. In fact, if you find that these terms might actually fit your own dating interests, then all the better!

At least now you know how best to articulate your desires and what you want in a romantic partner. You will be able to explain what you need in just a couple words on your bio. This will make your dating life a lot easier, and we hope you find the right person for you soon.

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