Marlène Schiappa, the French equality minister, says she is one of those attracted to others solely according to how brainy they are
Marlène Schiappa … a self-confessed sapiosexuelle. Photograph: Corbis via Getty Images
Age: Mid 30s.
Appearance: not important.
Why not important? Because it’s all about what’s on the inside.
What’s on the inside? Brains, baby.
I don’t get it. Am I missing something? I’ll keep it simple for you: we sapiosexuals are sexually attracted to highly intelligent people, regardless of looks.
What do you mean “we”? There are lots of us. The French equality minister, Marlène Schiappa, confirmed that she is “sapiosexuelle” in an interview.
How did the subject come up? She was being asked about a novel she had written, in which the heroine finds the former French prime minister Alain Juppé unbelievably sexy.
This is nonsense, surely. No. The term was apparently coined in 1998, “sapiens” being the Latin word for “wise”.
I knew that. Sapiosexuals are sexually aroused by intellectual debate, deep thinking and long conversations about literature.
No they aren’t. Don’t knock it just because you’ve never experienced it.
Are you calling me stupid? Never mind … you have lovely eyes.
Is anyone seriously suggesting that this qualifies as a sexual orientation? Well, it’s as much an identity as autosexuality.
It sounds like a pretentious excuse for having an ugly boyfriend with no sense of humour. The term has attracted some criticism in the past from people who say it reinforces simplistic and outmoded definitions of intelligence, and that it discriminates against neurodiversity.
I’m pretty sure that’s more or less what I was saying. But the term has definitely caught on in recent years. About 0.5% of users on the dating website OkCupid identify as sapiosexual.
I suppose this emphasis on the mind over outward appearance is refreshing, but I’m still suspicious. Because you think the distinction says more about the person claiming it than the people they’re attracted to?
No, it’s just that, clever as I am, I would rather that someone loved me for my cheekbones. Don’t worry, I’m sure the right shallow idiot will come along one day.
Fingers crossed. Anyway, you probably don’t need to be a sapiosexual in order to love a sapiosexual.
Maybe not. Are they taller than me? I’ll check and let you know.
Do say: “You should message me if you like 19th-century novels, quantum mechanics, opera and politics. And have never seen Love Island, like I never have.”
Don’t say: “What’s the word for being sexually attracted to people with lots of money?”