“Give me words that make my mind curl before my toes.”— Rachel Wolchin
Eeeeeeek!! I think I might offend some people with my thoughts in relation to the quote given for this week’s Quote Quest but I’m going to go for it anyway because I for some reason sapiosexuality gives me a bit of a ranty feeling.
First up I think the majority of people are attracted to the minds of the people they choose to spend time with, but I don’t equate the mind with intelligence in that sense and I think for a lot of people who are die-hard sapiosexual they are talking about academic intelligence or at the very least some kind of traditional book smarts.
I have no issues with people wanting a partner who they can discuss a variety of topics with, a partner who is going to challenge them in debates, someone they can share a love of books with or someone they see as their intellectual equal but I do think that sometimes the proclamations of how awesome it is to be a sapiosexual come off as a little bit elitist.
My ex-husband is a super-smart guy, he’s got all kinds of intelligence going on in his head, he’s also dyslexic. Dyslexia is far more complex than the basic information many folks have on it, and I am far from an expert on it, so I’m going to stick only to the things about it that are relevant for this post, which in terms of my ex means reading is a fucking chore for him and his spelling is atrocious. I know for some people those things alone would be deal-breakers for a relationship.
If I judged people on how many books they read, or how many spelling mistakes were in their texts I would have missed out on some amazing connections in this life. Mr F also can’t spell for shit. He knows more about a lot of things than I do though and he quite often can explain things to me that I don’t have a proper grasp on.
I know we probably all have pet peeves when it comes to language and the way people can/cannot or do and do not use it, myself included. As a mum to a child who’s had speech therapy to get him going with her verbal skills and who still regularly has to watch him struggle to understand the right way to use words in speech, as well as having to constantly work with the school to make sure he’s getting additional help with spelling and reading, I have learnt that some of the mistakes people make cannot be helped and we shouldn’t be quite so quick to make assumptions about their intelligence based on those errors.
My next point is a big one for writers and I know it annoys a lot of people but how fierce people get about it does sometimes get me a bit riled up because of all the people I know and love who cannot for the life of them get it right. This point leads us to your/you’re and there/their/they’re. My ex, my son and Mr F are not stupid, not one of them, but they cannot for the life of them get those right. I have seen people say that getting one of those things wrong in the early days of texting a prospective partner will cause them to rule that person out for future dates.
Honestly, I think that kind of decision is so fucking sad and as I said early a little bit elitist and also kind of ableist. Not everyone sees words and letters on a screen or on paper in the same way the majority of us do. Not using the correct word isn’t about laziness or intelligence for a lot of people, it’s about using the word they do know, that for them fits and to their eyes and their brain is perfectly correct. I know someone out there might have trouble with spelling or something like dyslexia and get those things right, and that’s cool, I’m not saying everyone has the same presentation for these things, I’m only talking about the experiences I’ve had with the people I know well to highlight why such a big emphasis on spelling, reading etc in relation to intelligence gets me cross sometimes.
This also carries over into books. Now, I love books and I enjoy reading. I don’t however have the time or energy to judge people on the books they’ve read. I couldn’t care less if your favourite book is Twilight or To Kill a Mockingbird. Or if you read one book a year or one book a week. Even if you don’t read at all, that’s fine too, because I know not everyone can or wants to read lots and I don’t see why we should make people feel like shit for that. Or embarrassed to talk about what they’re reading or show off their bookshelves because they know they won’t be ‘up to scratch’.
I know a lot of what I’ve mentioned above maybe isn’t intended to make anyone else feel bad and I absolutely believe that if spelling and types of books read are a priority for you in a relationship then you should be free to say so, but I do think that sometimes folks forget that their way, doesn’t need to be everybody’s way.
All of that said, I do believe and agree that someone needs to stimulate my mind in some way or other for me to be attracted to them. The biggest way that happens for me though is humour. I’m not that funny, I don’t have great comic timing and as such when someone has the kind of brain that knows how to use humour to make me laugh is a huge turn on for me.
I think it’s safe to say I’m definitely not sapiosexual and my view of intelligence perhaps doesn’t fit with other people’s. Perhaps that’s a reflection on my level of education and the type of people I’ve socialised with. I actually feel like I’m in the minority with these opinions within the sex blogging community. I’m really not fussed about how well my partner can wield words, what matters to me most is having a partner who is kind, passionate and fun to be with.
Once in my life, I did choose to pursue a dynamic with someone who was all about the words, the reading of, the spelling of and writing with the words were all huge for him. He definitely would have judged himself to be a highly intelligent person. He wasn’t physically the kind of person I’d normally go for but he used his words to woo me and it is the only relationship of my life I regret.
Perhaps that too colours my opinion, what it taught me though was that for me, words are not enough, I need physical attraction. My eyes need to be as turned on as my mind, otherwise, we’re going nowhere.