is it important to you that your mate be your intellectual equal?
Your Brain Turns Me On--How Important is Intellect to Sexual Desire, Anyway?
We've all known lovers skilled in the bedroom that can't engage in philosophical conversation. Intellectual
stimulation does wonders for stirring up intrigue, but how important is
a potential mate's intellect to our sexual desire? Great
conversations might lead to a midnight foray, but could someone's
braininess outweigh other factors, like physical attraction?
Just how important is how smart someone thinks you are?
"I used to
feel an intellectual connection was key to sexual desire but I've
recently learned that it doesn't have to be," says Rumana, 32, a newly
single lawyer living in Brooklyn. "I've gone out a few times with a guy
who's not really my 'type.' He's sweet, direct, light, easy. There's
almost zero intellectual connection."
30, a professor living in Texas, couldn't disagree more. "Are you
kidding? Conversation with a stupid man is like being doused with cold
water...way to kill the sexy sparks. Maybe my 20-year-old self would
have felt differently but as a grown woman, intellectual stimulation is a
must for sexual attraction, period."
the question—what the hell is intelligence, anyway? It's a relative
term, much more complex than IQ. We might understand intelligence as the
ability to learn, problem-solve and engage in abstract thought, while
also communicating and being emotionally present.
Sapiosexual is a term that's been coined to describe people who are most attracted to intelligence.
and Desiree happen to be highly educated professionals with clearly
different desires. But we know that street smarts doesn't equal book
smarts, right? I love a mix of both.
We asked Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and Chief Scientific Advisor for Chemistry.com. In her annual study, Singles in America, she asked 13
million people—diverse in terms of race, gender, sexuality, geography,
socio-economics—what they thought about sharing education levels with a
level and intelligence are decidedly different," Says Dr. Fisher. "We
asked them, 'How important is having a similar education level?' Only
40% of men said it's very important, compared to 49% of women."