I learned a new word last weekend, and it took me by surprise because I like to think I'm pretty current with these things. The term is "sapiosexuality", and it refers to a person who's sexually attracted to intelligence in others. I read a study a while ago that surveyed women of different sexual orientations or preferences and found it really interesting, so I decided to expand beyond this single term and cover the different ways in which people experience or express their sexuality.
Before I get into this it's important for me to say that first and foremost we're all just people. I don't look at someone first as straight or gay bi or whatever, I look at everyone as human. All equally. This post isn't an exercise in attempting to label people, just explore the different types of sexual orientation:
*heterosexual- one who is romantically and physically attracted to members of the
*homosexual- one who is romantically and physically attracted to members of the
*bisexual- one who is romantically and physically attracted to members of both
*bi-curious- one of hetero or homosexual orientation who shows some
curiosity in having a relationship or sexual activity with a person of
the sex they do not favor, yet distinguish themselves from the bisexual
label. (By the way if you're bi-curious and want to get some information
anonymously I found an excellent website, ShyBi. Not surprisingly it's
geared mainly towards women.
*asexual- one who, while typically lacking in sexual desire for either sex,
may engage in purely emotional romantic relationships.Terms applied to
- aromantic: lack of romantic attraction towards anyone of any gender
- biromantic: romantic attraction towards people of either gender
- heteroromantic: romantic attraction towards people of the opposite
- homoromantic: romantic attraction towards people of the same gender
- panromantic: romantic attraction towards people of any gender or lack of gender
- transromantic: romantic attraction towards people of variant or ambiguous gender
- polyromantic: romantic attraction towards people of more than one gender or sex but without implying, like biromantic does, that there are only two genders or sexes
*sapiosexual- one who is sexually attracted to intelligence in others. I've also seen
it more specifically explained as someone who finds intelligence to
be the most sexually attractive feature in a person. By definition I
believe the subject of this attraction could be someone of any
*fluid- orientation isn't always static; we're influenced by different people and events
in our lives. As we go through life we may find that our orientation will shift.
Today you could be bisexual and equally attracted to men and women, but in
time you may find that this has shifted and you're more attracted to women.
This changing orientation is known as fluid sexuality. For some, their
orientation will change several times in their life.
*hetero-flexible- one who is predominantly heterosexual but engages in limited
homosexual activity. This is distinguished by some as being
separate from bisexuality or bi-curiosity since there is usually
the lack of a wish to "experiment" with their sexuality. To me
this is one of the more ambiguous categories.
*pansexual/omnisexual- one who has the potential for sexual or romantic
attraction towards people of all gender identities.
Some pansexuals say that gender and sex are
irrelevant in determining whether they are sexually
attracted to others.
*polyamorous- one who practices, desires, or accepts having more than one
intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent
of everyone involved. Polyamourists typically reject the view
that sexual and emotional exclusivity are necessary for deep,
committed long-term loving relationships.
So there you go. This is only a partial list, and anyone who has studied human sexuality will recognize that I've oversimplified some terms. But you get the idea.
References: -"Why Women Have Sex" by Cindy M. Meston, Ph.D. and
David M. Buss,, Ph.D.
-ShyBi a website that promotes itself as "a non-threatening, safe and
sleaze-free forum just for bi and bi-curious girls exploring their
-Wikipedia: various articles
- internet: bits of info taken from various sites