What is sapiosexuality? The sexual orientation thousands of people identify with

Sapiosexuals say a person's intelligence is their most important trait - but others argue it is discriminatory 

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual  – these are all terms to help us navigate relationships and sexuality. Now, a label for those are attracted to intelligence is gaining prominence and sparking debates: sapiosexual. 

Those who identify as sapiosexual see a person’s intelligence as their most important trait.

The term first rose to prominence in 2014, when the dating site OKCupid expanded the list of sexual orientations its users could identify with. Additions at that time included  asexual, demisexual, heteroflexible, homoflexible, pansexual, queer, questioning and sapiosexual. But use of the term goes as far back as 2002, in a Livejournal blog post by a user named Wolfieboy. 

In mid-October, the Sapio: Intelligent Dating app was launched,  to cater for this crowd. 

“Sick of superficial hookup apps?” its developers Humanist Dating LLC asked potential users on the AppStore. “Sapio is an evolution in dating apps, where physical and intellectual attraction are put on an equal level.”

“True matches are also an attraction to how someone thinks, how they behave, and who they are at deeper levels.”

With a similar set up to Tinder, users answer questions – like ‘what is your biggest achievement’ or ‘what would you tell your 15-year-old self’? – in order to match and chat. 

Since 2014, some 9,000 OKCupid users identify as saopisexual, according to Broadly, while a dedicated Facebook page headed by a picture of Albert Einstein has over 12,500 likes.

But others aren’t so convinced and argue that being attracted to intelligence doesn’t qualifiy as a sexual orientation and argue that it simply is a way to exclude a person based on their class and abilities. 

“Sapiosexual: I'm an entitled, classist, elitist rebranded as a lover of intellect!” wrote one Facebook user beneath a Buzzfeed ‘are you a sapiosexual?’ personality quiz.

“No," said another. "Wanting to be with someone who's intelligent or educated, or just being attracted to intelligence, is not a sexual orientation. It's called having personal preferences," 

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