There aren't a ton of solid resources defining the terms "sapiosexual" or "sapiosexuality." Urban Dictionary credits dating apps like OkCupid for popularizing the term, which it defines as "one who finds the contents of someone else's mind to be their most attractive attribute, above and before their physical characteristics."
"Sapiosexuality is an attraction to someone's brain — their intelligence," says Carol Queen, Ph.D., staff sexologist at San Francisco-based Good Vibrations and author of "The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone.""The term is derived from 'sapient' — also related to 'homo sapiens' — and means wise."
Dr. Emily Morse, Doctor of Human Sexuality and host of the SiriusXM Radio show and podcast, "Sex With Emily," offers a similar definition, explaining that people who identify with the term don't necessarily set specific educational requirements for their dates. "A sapiosexual is someone who is sexually attracted to someone's intelligence, and they prioritize that quality above all others," she says. "It's not just about scholarly debates, but passion and proficiency around a certain subject can do the trick."
In an article for Psychology Today, author Diana Raab, Ph.D., says sapiosexuals are sometimes called "nymphobrainiacs" (get it?) and that "they are basically in love with the mind." Queen takes this a step further, specifying that sapiosexuality is unique in that it doesn't center on other factors that typically characterize attraction. "A sapiosexual might not identify at all with gendered or physical attraction, but rather have a potential partner's mind be the primary turn-on," she says. "Of course, there are lots of ways a person might experience arousal and/or partner interest. We really are not all the same sexually! But many of those varying preferences have to do with looks or else with sexual/erotic acts. Being sapiosexual is pretty different from these, and sheds light on the segment of people who find certain personal qualities more important than a sexy look or a compatible set of sexual interests."