Being attracted to smart people is being ableist? I'm attracted to people with different types of intelligence, like I consider being intelligent knowing a lot about anything, even video games or cooking. A sapiosexual is like the stereotypical intelligence? Like a bunch of science? I don't see anything wrong in being attracted to intelligence.. But judging people on an ideal of intelligence is indeed wrong. Maybe that's why sapiosexuals are so controversial.
Confession time: I used to think “sapiosexual” was a great word. I’ve always been attracted to very verbal people and it seemed like a succinct way to describe the kinds of things I look for in a partner. I wanted someone “smart”. I judged people heavily on how they typed, specifically.
Here’s where I was wrong: Sapiosexuality is defined as attraction to intelligence, but the kind of intelligence is largely undefined, except by implication.
Most people who identify as sapiosexuals are looking for a very specific personality type and labelling the personality type itself as “intelligence”. This is incredibly problematic in a variety of ways. There are many types of intelligence that don’t manifest in the stereotypical academic personality type, and to erase them can be ableist, classist, and even racist.
People who identify as sapiosexual are often looking for people who are talented at specific skills, often language (but only the most academic subset of language, and specific dialects that exclude people of certain socioeconomic classes or ethnic backgrounds), maths, or science.
Instead of labelling their attraction to “science types” or “academic language types” though, they perpetuate the assumption that people who have these very specific skills are more intelligent than people with other skills, such as the ability to fix a car, communicate nonverbally, or provide childcare.
This is a really oversimplified explanation of some of the problems with identifying as sapiosexual, and I’d love to expand on this in a later post when time allows, but please take it from a former “sapiosexual”: you don’t want to align yourself with that word.
(I’m seriously excited to talk some more about this, because I find the topic very interesting and it directly affects me personally, so expect an even longer post when I have the time to write it.)