Musician Mark Ronson said he is “sapiosexual” during an interview with ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” on Thursday.
The discussion started when journalist and author Nichi Hodgson, who appeared as a guest right before Ronson, talked about identifying as sapiosexual.
Hodgson went on to explain what the term means to her: “The definition of sapiosexuality doesn’t mean not physical attraction — it means intelligence first. So that’s how I identify. Intelligence for me is the most important attractive trait in a person — and I’ve dated men, women, trans men, trans women, across the gender spectrum… the thing that has linked all these people that I have dated has been their brains.”
After hearing the term while waiting backstage, Oscar- and Grammy-winning producer Ronson and some of the show’s producers reportedly started talking about it. “We were all arguing backstage in the dressing room with a couple of your producers,” the 44-year-old said when he appeared on the show to promote his new album, Late Night Feelings. “And yes, I feel like I am identifying as sapiosexual.”
“Good Morning Britain” co-host Ben Shephard then proceeded to congratulate Ronson for “coming out as sapiosexual” on the show, followed by co-host Kate Garraway saying, “He’s out and proud.”
So what, exactly, does sapiosexual mean? Sapiosexuality is described as being sexually attracted to a person’s intelligence over their looks or gender identity. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary: “’Sapiosexual’, a term that means ‘sexually attracted to highly intelligent people,’ is becoming increasingly popular. That doesn’t mean that the phenomenon it describes is new.”
Sapiosexuality “removes gender identity as well as looks from the equation of romantic attraction,” noted Merriam-Webster.
The term was reportedly coined by a LiveJournal writer named Wolfieboy, who claims he came up with it in 1998.
Sapiosexuality garnered attention when dating site OkCupid expanded its list of sexual orientations back in November 2014 to include it as an option (there’s even a dating app dedicated to sapiosexuals, appropriately called “Sapio”).
However, not everyone agrees that sapiosexuality — which has been described by detractors as “classist” and “a layer of pretension on top of a more traditional sexual identity” — should be designated as a separate sexual orientation.
As Daily Beast writer Samantha Allen writes: “We don’t need a special word — especially one modeled after minority identity labels like ‘homosexual’ and ‘bisexual’ — to describe a completely normative facet of human attraction. In the modern world, identifying as sapiosexual has about as much semantic utility as claiming that you are kind-sexual, dependable-sexual, or rich-sexual.”