Sami Lukis: ‘I’m A Sapiosexual’
I RECENTLY discovered I'm a Sapiosexual.
I was pretty shocked to make this curious discovery at the age of 48. I thought I had come to know myself quite intimately over the last five decades. But I'd just embarked on my virgin voyage to planet 'Bumble', the dating app that promised to deliver a string of eligible, professional bachelors directly to my iPhone, when a kind nerdy-looking guy - Steve (49) - appeared on my screen with the words 'Sapiosexual' beside his name.
"Ewwwwww", I screamed as I swiftly swiped left on Sapiosexual Steve. It all sounded like far too many shades of kink for me.
I'd done my due diligence before venturing into the world of modern dating apps. I'd familiarised myself with all the lingo. I knew all about Ghosting and Catfishing and Benching and Breadcrumbing and Half-night standing. Yep. That's actually a thing now (Done it. Didn't even realise). But nowhere had I seen or been warned about these so-called 'Sapiosexuals'.
At first I assumed that S.S. Steve must consider himself to be the ultimate open-minded sexual being. A horny free spirit who feels an attraction to all 'homosapians', regardless of their sexual preference. So, basically, any human with a pulse will do.
But a quick trip to Google told me a Sapiosexual isn't anywhere near as creepy as it might sound. Simple definition: Someone who is attracted to intelligence over looks. The other person's brain is the biggest turn on (the Sapio part comes from the Latin word 'sapient', meaning 'wise.')
Light bulb moment
And at that moment - as I registered that I, too, have been identifying as Sapiosexual for most of my adult life without even realising it - I had a revelation: I will never find love on a dating app.
For those of you oblivious to the whole crazy 'swiping' culture of modern dating (you lucky bitchezzzzzz!), swiping right on someone's profile photo on a dating app is the modern day equivalent of locking eyes with a cute stranger across a crowded bar and holding his gaze for just that second or two longer than feels comfortable.
In the land of dating apps, the right-swipe sends a convenient little message to your target, letting them know that you think they're a bit of all right, thereby giving you both the green light to connect, which will hopefully lead to hooking up in person and possibly touching bits at some stage. If the photo doesn't tickle your fancy, you swipe left instead, literally swiping him off your phone and out of your pants. Oops! Life.
Sounds pretty straight forward, right?
But for Sapiosexuals like me, there's a major design flaw with the swiping culture of online dating. It's managed to remove one all-important factor that forms the foundation of any successful relationship.
The swipe has taken the chemistry out of dating
I've always believed that true love comes from an undeniable chemistry that connects you to your other half on a level that you don't feel with everyone you meet.
It's impossible to define exactly what 'chemistry' is, but we all certainly know it when we feel it. It's an invisible, inexplicable, unique X-factor that draws the two of you together. For some people, chemistry is aroused by a physical attraction, being turned on by his big shoulders or his soulful brown eyes.
But for me, chemistry is ignited by intelligent conversation. I'm turned on by someone who is naturally quick witted. Someone who talks about his life and his job with passion. And who asks me relevant questions about mine. OK I'll go ahead and admit it … a good debate over topics that matter is my ultimate panty dropper.
That kind of chemistry is not found in a swipe
It can only be discovered when you connect with someone, face-to-face, and engage in a good old fashioned chin wag. There is no way I can know, simply by looking a guy's profile photo, if he has the skills to motivate my mojo.
I spoke to a fella named Pete on my podcast ("Romantically Challenged" on PodcastOne) who says he can swipe 180 profiles per minute. That's three photos per second! And this is not an exaggeration. He's actually timed himself.
Yep, Pete dedicates an entire millisecond to determining whether the photo that just popped up on his phone is the face of someone he wants to get to know better. And that's how he expects to find love? It's no wonder people often struggle to formulate lasting, meaningful relationships when they meet online.
Sure, those online dating apps have the potential to deliver hundreds of potential suitors to my phone every night of the week. But I'd rather meet my guy the old fashioned way. In person. In the end, I've just gotta believe that I might literally bump into my Mr. Right. Anywhere. Anytime.
Like, say, on a flight from Los Angeles to New York?
Which is exactly what happened to me recently.
I was seated beside a nerdy looking barrister from Brisbane who engaged me in a delightfully interesting, witty and charming conversation for five-and-a-half hours, as we flew from one coast of the USA to the other.
As my Sapiosexual inclinations kicked into gear, I started to feel those fluttery butterflies in my belly as my attraction to him grew stronger, hour-by-hour, state-by-state.
By the time we were somewhere over Kentucky, I accepted his very kind invitation to join him for dinner when we landed in Manhattan. I knew he was someone I wanted to spend more time with.
I'll be honest (and I really hope he's not reading this) but I probably would have swiped left on his photo if I'd found him on a dating app. Yes. I definitely would have swiped left. Without a second thought.
And I would have missed out on that whole sexy sapien experience.
So that's taught me a valuable lesson about looking for love in a virtual world: That ain't where I'll find it.
Not only have I discovered that I'm a Sapiosexual. I've also decided that I am a Sapiosexual who refuses to swipe.
PS: So what happened to the QC? Our first date in New York was ah-may-zing (or maybe it was our second date. Does randomly being seated together on a flight count as a first date? I'm not sure). We enjoyed dinner at a gorgeous little restaurant on Madison Avenue followed by a stroll along Fifth Avenue and our first kiss on the steps of The Met. It was all pretty awesome, I'm not gonna lie. It's still early days and we have some logistic issues to work out, so who knows where it will lead? But for now, I can tell you, that my sapio sexual tendencies are most certainly being satisfied.
- Sami Lukas is a TV & Radio Presenter. Continue the conversation on Twitter @samilukas