When it comes to sexy body parts, having a large brain is not necessarily high on the agenda for a lot of people. However, Women’s Health reports on the increasing trend towards "sapiosexuality." This term is used to define people for whom the overwhelming source of their attraction to others is a high intellect.
But can being a brainbox really win out over more conventional ideas of sexiness, such as a lean but muscular torso for men, and a slim yet curvaceous figure for women? It seems that the answer, as usual, is that it varies from person to person. At one extreme, someone might only wish to date rocket scientists, whereas others have a more moderate approach.
You might argue that sapiosexuality really boils down to that good old-fashioned spark; when you meet someone who loves the same books or films as you do, for example. Even if you weren’t initially physically attracted to them, their passion and insight into a shared cultural experience acts like a slow-burning erotic frisson on your mind.
Michelle Herzog, a qualified sex therapist said: "This is just another example of how unique we can all be and how different we can all identify and that we don’t all need to be in one box or another.”
She added: “My experience with terms like this is that once they’re identified and people can openly relate to them and start talking about them with others, it starts to gain traction.”
It seems that there is some crossover with the term “demisexual” which has also been gaining a higher profile in recent years. It is used to describe people who only become sexually aroused with people that they have first bult up a strong emotional bond with. However, the demisexual is not as focused on an intellectual connection as the sapiosexual.
Last year, the BBC reports that the daughter of former New York Governor Andrew Michaela Kennedy-Cuomo, caused some minor controversy when she came out as a demisexual. However, the term is considered to be on the asexuality spectrum. At the most extreme end, asexuals are people who are never attracted to others.
Many asexuals describe themselves as being on a sliding spectrum, where they are attracted to others only in very particular ways or situations. It’s a complex identity, with some experiencing sexual desire in a general level, but never or rarely being attracted to someone.
Many people will simply argue that any of these terms are merely dating preferences which affect all of us to some degree, rather than a way to define someone’s sexuality.
As the younger generation who have grown up with social media reach maturity, it seems that the willingness to be more open and fluid about sexual identity is a natural part of their experience.
Being more diverse and upfront about whatever does turn you on is surely something to be welcomed, whether that’s a nuclear physicist or leather bondage gear, or even a combination of the two…