June 3, 2017

"She has had relationships she describes as purely sapiosexual, in which there was no sex, just intense conversation."

"One man was nowhere near her physical type, but the first time they met, he began reciting poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke. 'I was so amazed at how fluid the whole conversation was,' she said. 'I could feel something happening inside me.' The next time they saw each other, he took her to an art exhibit and gave her all of Rilke’s books. Since then, Rilke has been one of her favorite poets. In such relationships, she said, 'I access my wisdom and love and ability to analyze in this incredible way, and they do, too.' Darren Stalder, an engineer in Seattle, appears to have coined the term 'sapiosexual' in 1998 to describe his own sexuality. 'I don’t care too much about the plumbing,' he wrote in a post on the social network LiveJournal in 2002. 'I want an incisive, inquisitive, insightful, irreverent mind. I want someone for whom philosophical discussion is foreplay.' Sapio, in Latin, means 'I discern' or 'understand.'"

From "The Hottest Body Part? For a Sapiosexual, It’s the Brain/In a society obsessed with physical appearance, sexual attraction for some people is based on intellect, and not necessarily on looks" (in the NYT).

67 comments:

Paul Zrimsek said...

"For fifty bucks, I learned, you could 'relate without getting close.' For a hundred, a girl would lend you her Bartók records, have dinner, and then let you watch while she had an anxiety attack. For one-fifty, you could listen to FM radio with twins. For three bills, you got the works: A thin Jewish brunette would pretend to pick you up at the Museum of Modern Art, let you read her master’s, get you involved in a screaming quarrel at Elaine’s over Freud’s conception of women, and then fake a suicide of your choosing—the perfect evening, for some guys. Nice racket. Great town, New York." -- Woody Allen, The Whore of Mensa

tcrosse said...

A nice precis of Woody Allen movies, the early funny ones.

Kevin said...

"She has had relationships she describes as purely sapiosexual, in which there was no sex, just intense (solving of her IT issues and listening to her relationship problems involving guys who took her for granted)."

Now nerds can understand they aren't lacking for sex, just having multiple sapiosexual relationships with women since middle school. All these years they've just been having sape-sex.

rcocean said...

Just think of Sigmund Freud and Ayn Rand having sex.

That'll heat up your lasagna.

rhhardin said...

The Duino Elegies probably. Rilke wrote them for a woman.

Far too much you belong to grief. If you could forget her--
even the least of these figures so infinitely pained--
you would call down, shout down, hoping they might still be curious,
one of the angels (those beings unmighty in grief)
who, as his face darkened, would try again and again
to describe the way you kept sobbing, long ago, for her.
Angel, what was it like? And he would imitate you and never
understand that it was pain, as after a calling bird
one tries to repeat the innocent voice it is filled with.

(from Duino 10, alternate version)

Bob Colquhoun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
campy said...

All these years they've just been having sape-sex.

Is it sape, or is it sape-sape?

Sam L. said...

One MORE reason to ignore the NYT!

traditionalguy said...

If you had to chose, then a woman's mind is most important. But with a little bit of luck, you don't have to chose. She is intelligent enough to value intimacy at every level, and the only question is if you can keep up.

madAsHell said...

Is there a tag for "that never happened"?

tcrosse said...

You Jane. Me Tarzan of the Sapes.

The Godfather said...

Look, anything can be taken to extremes (especially by Woody Allen), but is it really news that love isn't limited to physical sensation? F*cking is great, sure, but what do you do with the other 55 minutes of the hour?

Witness said...

People can have non-sexual intense friendships. Film at 11.

Ann Althouse said...

Why call it sex at all? If you start thinking of intellectual affinity this way, you could make it hard for a monogamous person to have friends.

M Trumble said...

It's moronic. We are carriers for our genes. Conversation, no matter how deep, does not get the job done. A species that confuses communication with getting it on doesn't last long.

I think these idiots just despise humanity.

readering said...

And what happens to hetero Vs homo.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

. sexual attraction for some people is based on intellect, and not necessarily on looks" (in the NYT) a

DUH!!!

This is news? People are attracted to those that you can have an intellectual connection. A person with whom you can have a decent conversation and who challenges you mentally. Not all people, obviously, are only intellectually attracted and notsexually.

Many others are attracted solely for looks, tits or a big dick. However, a relationship based purely on sexual attraction is doomed to ultimate failure, when you realize that outside of some (hopefully) awesome sex, you are bored to tears with that person.

What is best is a combination of both. Mind (intellect) and matter (sexual attraction)

When I was first divorced and not looking to date anyone, at all, at that time, I met my now husband, who was an acquaintance among friends. We had many interesting conversations, discussions, debates, along with some other people who would meet at a local 'watering hole' after work. Lively, spirited and fun conversations. I fell in love with his mind, sense of humor and character before we even had anything that resembled an actual date. Fortunately, all the rest of the relationship components, they physical aspects, just followed naturally to make a complete whole.

People in the NYT are such self absorbed navel gazers. Tiresome.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

www.reddit.com/r/iamverysmart

BillyTalley said...

Patrice O'Neal - Lesson 3: Women R A P E Our Time!!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nm0N6jCtYtA

Kevin said...

"People are attracted to those that you can have an intellectual connection. A person with whom you can have a decent conversation and who challenges you mentally."

Like Inga and Fen, for example.

tcrosse said...

Has the word 'Platonic' been purged from the lexicon ? Did we need a replacement ?

Ambrose said...

"Friend zone" isn't working. We need a new name. Something snappy and latinate. Hmm.

bagoh20 said...

That's kind of like enjoying the subject and discussion cars and never driving one. Sure there is plenty to talk about, but you are missing something. Maybe you are a lousy driver or scared of it, but that's not a good enough reason to skip it.

Freeman Hunt said...

“Most people get turned on by rock-hard abs, toned muscles or perfect cheekbones. ...”

For an actual relationship, I think this person is wrong that those are the things most people (those terrible, unsophisticated most people) care about.

Jay Elink said...

"The Hottest Body Part? For a Sapiosexual, It’s the Brain/In a society obsessed with physical appearance, sexual attraction for some people is based on intellect, and not necessarily on looks" (in the NYT).

****************

For an example, one needs look no further than at Mary Ann Evans, aka Victorian author George Eliot.

"Homely as a mud fence", as my granddad would put it, but intellectual men found her bewitchingly attractive.

She took pains to hide an illicit relationship with an admirer, who left his wife to live with her. Whether it was just a sapiosexual relationship, I can't say. (wink wink)

A pic:

https://tinyurl.com/y7mlwe5q

M Trumble said...

I don't think it matters. The fact is--we are engines for our genome. Those that mate, survive; those that do not, disappear.

We can pretend that gender is fluid, but in the end, it is the next generation that matters. When you really, really wanted to shag your 16 year old lab mate? That was the genes talking. College fling? Same deal. We intellectualize, rationalize, our choices; as often as not we are fighting our instincts. Sometimes, this is a good thing. As often as not, though, it is not.

Yancey Ward said...

Laslo, pick up the damned phone!

Yancey Ward said...

Have you ever heard of the Planet of the Sapes? Me neither.

Skyler said...

I reject both the pretense that we consist of a duality of mind and body, and the pretense that we are not animals.

You cannot divorce the mind from the body. The body influences the mind and vice versa.

Anyone who doesn't understand the importance of the pleasure of sex and its role in procreation is suffering from delusion and often perversion.

And anyone who thinks that intelligent conversation is not pleasant enough by itself and feels a need to equate it with sex is a pathetic example of humanity.

Meade said...

"...in which there was no sex, just intense conversation."

A sexual relationship in which there is no sex is as safe as safe sex can get.

But intense conversations? No thanks. Too risky.

M Trumble said...

Japan had 1 million live births last year. Not nearly what they need to keep a population. If nothing changes, the Japanese have chosen oblivion.

TIME called it "The Fertility Gap", but it has nothing to do with fertility. Humans are nothing if not fecund. It is about choices. Birth control, abortion, gender, on and on and on.

That's okay. I'm all about personal choice. Just be honest about what those choices mean. From people who tell me I'm an idiot for not believing their "settled science", it leaves me cold that they can not count and celebrate "choice".

Unknown said...

A person attracted to one of the opposite sex is something other than heterosexual based on what particular qualities he (she) finds attractive?

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Of course some Seattle dude invented this term.

Losers.

This is just a version of the so-called "Seattle freeze." It's a euphemism for dudes who gots no game.

Not that I'm complaining. I'm no chubby chaser, but take that out and Seattle royalty Sir MaLot had the sentiment right: they leave it, and I pull up quick to retrieve it.

M Trumble said...

Who cares? If men and women aren't diddling, there are no children.

As I age (I'm soon to be 59) it is increasingly clear that the only contribution I have made is my child. I didn't cure a disease or put men on the moon. I"m just a guy! Who procreated and raised a great kid who will procreate!

We won!

Mr Wibble said...

Why call it sex at all? If you start thinking of intellectual affinity this way, you could make it hard for a monogamous person to have friends.

I think that's the intent. Certainly they've been trying to do it with men for a while. Have an intense friendship with another guy? It's obviously a sign of latent homosexuality!

The goal is to create a world where sex is cheap and deep interpersonal relationships are rare.

M Trumble said...

Or: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG1NrQYXjLU

chuck said...

I have always found smell to be a major component of sexual attraction. Maybe I'm an aromasexual.

mockturtle said...

How intense does the conversation have to get before orgasm is achieved?

M Trumble said...

More important. How intense must the conversation be before conception is achieved?

Virtually Unknown said...

Mock is always right there with the brutal truth, in case anybody should forget.

Comanche Voter said...

Lordy--that is some pretentious codswallop hiding a kernel of truth.

In my high school and college days, I dated a lot of girls. That was long enough ago that the Pill was still a year or two in the future; and the hookup culture was five years off. My Dad had waited to get married until he was 29---I was headed to law school and thought that I should get that behind me before even thinking about getting married. i was (and am) a bit of an intellectual snot. I dated a number of very pretty girls who were just too danged dumb to fit my view of any suitable future wife.

In the spring of my junior year in college I had my first date with my future wife. We left the fraternity party early and sat and talked from 11:00 pm to 4 a.m. Ten days later-without ever having even kissed her, I asked her to get "pinned". I knew from talking with her that she had the intellectual horsepower to keep up with me and that we shared common values. She was the "one". It was not "love at frst sight". We'd had a class together the semester before and were nodding acquaintances in the college hallways before we started to date.


A year and a half later we were married; and are now coming up on our 52nd wedding anniversary. Was she then and is she now physically attractive. Yes--but in a crowd of her sorority sisters she would have been pretty--but middle of the pack. OTOH if you were grading on a mental horsepower curve, she led the pack (and I knew, and had dated, a number of her sorority sisters). Some women age well--others do not. And yes in her mid 70's she probably looks better than most of her peers.

Paddy O said...

For being an advanced people, we're terribly unsophisticated.

Everything is sexualized these days. We've lost the vocabulary for nonsexual intimacy and apparently are at the point of making up silly words.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, agree with your skepticism that the word "sex" applies at all. Seems more like "sapio-platonic relationship." For some of us a woman's intelligence is the sexiest thing about her. But really intelligent women can generally make themselves look pretty good.

tim maguire said...

I prefer my sex to include sex. This smells suspiciously like friendship.

Darren the Engineer, buddy, stop kidding yourself. It's called friendsville. She's not in to you, but didn't want to hurt your feelings.

tcrosse said...

Dorothy Field and Jerome Kern figured it out:
A Fine Romance

Freeman Hunt said...

Everything is sexualized these days. We've lost the vocabulary for nonsexual intimacy and apparently are at the point of making up silly words.

No kidding.

Also, this reminds me of the campaign that claimed being gay was not about sex, it was about who you loved. I always thought that was an odd thing to say because being straight is definitely about sex. You can love all kinds of people, but if there's only one sex that you want to have sex with, that's what you'd call your sexual orientation.

So these days the sex things are not sex things and the not sex things are sex things.

mockturtle said...

Right, Freeman. I love my dog but don't want to have sex with him. And it's quite possible to want to have sex with someone you don't love.

Virtually Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Virtually Unknown said...

I am lousy at picking up girls, not like all of you guys, but I would bet that every woman I ever slept with slept with me because she found me funny and smart. Still I am convinced that a high IQ is mostly a curse of loneliness.

fivewheels said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants has it right at 5:26.

My experience with online dating apps (somewhat dated, but just by a few years) indicates that those who identify as sapiosexual:

1) Are women. Men don't usually beat around the bush or feel a need to project a different image about what they find attractive.

2) Are highly self-flattering.

3) Will coincidentally equate "intelligence" with success/income, which is the real driver of the phenomenon. They just found a word that says, "I am very smart, so no scrubs."

Paul Snively said...

mockturtle:

Hell, it's quite possible to want to have sex with someone you despise. "Maturity" consists in large part of rolling your eyes at yourself in such situations.

Freeman Hunt said...

Perhaps the idea is to eliminate the line between sexual and nonsexual relationships. Make it all a spectrum. A spectrum that normalizes polyamory.

walter said...

Yeah..I have my doubts about the sapio-sexual bit. Usually the accompanying information screams "See how smart I am? I even fuck smart!"

However, I genuinely worry about pan-sexual folk. I mean, have the decency to tell me before I eat that special sumpin' you just fried up.

Virtually Unknown said...

It's a thing. Just not a guarantee of intelligence on the part of the woman in any way, shape, or manner, as Kresgin used to say.

Virtually Unknown said...

Let's just say that it's a component of attraction that's dominant in some women. Nobody expresses skepticism when women claim to be attracted to funny men.

Michael McClain said...

So I guess if you're just talking about it, its oral sex.

Virtually Unknown said...

What makes her not a 'sapiosexual' is that it doesn't seem to get her panties wet.

fivewheels said...

"Nobody expresses skepticism when women claim to be attracted to funny men."

Gilbert Gottfriend (and other sensible people) beg to differ.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I can see I won't be first on this but... I'm old enough to remember back when this was known as friendship.

mockturtle said...

Candy is dandy, liquor quicker but reading Rilke is a sure thing.

Virtually Unknown said...

Gilbert Godfrey isn't really funny, and how do you know he's not just doing a shtick?

Virtually Unknown said...

Besides, ridiculous is a particular brand of funny that probably don't work.

Virtually Unknown said...

She sounds like a nasty cock tease, TBH

urbane legend said...

My wife of 45 years says she loves me for my ability to converse on diverse topics now more than ever. She says get me started on just about any topic and she is certain to fall asleep
quickly. I thought I was really funny until I realized her snore sounds just like laughter.

EMyrt said...

In 1978, when I was in the field for the summer as an archeologist, my now husband and I wrote actual physical love letters to each other (remember them?).

Once, he sent me a greeting card:
"I want a relationship that is both intellectual and sexual."
(open card)
"So, let me blow your mind!"

Summed up our relationship.

EMyrt said...

Paul Zrimsek said...
Woody Allen, The Whore of Mensa

6/3/17, 4:29 PM

Thanks, Paul. I had utterly forgotten this. Hilarious. Back when Woody Allen was still funny.
My favorite Woody Allen bit is in Play it Again, Sam; the business with the Bartok Fifth String Quartet. My ex, my husband and I were the only people I knew who got the joke.

Pantomeme said...

So last week I learned it is now called "breadcrumbing", this thing which I became familiar with from both sides in high school and college. Then I got married and it no longer mattered - or maybe it no longer mattered and then I got married. Regardless, it is pretty funny how every generation thinks everything they experience for the first time is actually new. And really, intensely significant.