Growing up and finding yourself appear to be two of the most challenging, yet meaningful, tasks for humans on a personal level. Whether it is peer pressure, popular culture, or the ongoing hormone party, developing one’s personality in a healthy and honest manner is both complicated and rare. To make matters worse, the notion of sexuality, and by extent its spectrum, has been highly controversial and left in the shadows. Thankfully, today’s society has opened up to a myriad of new terms which can be used to describe our sexuality, so as to help us figure out another aspect of our already complex and multilevel existence. I wish to shed light on one specific word, not only because I relate to that, but also because of the general lack of common knowledge around it.
Sapiosexualism derives from the latin sapio, which means to know, and sexualism. When a person defines themselves as a sapiosexual, it merely signifies their appreciation and attraction to another person’s mind. Thus, in order to feel sexual interest or grow romantic feelings for someone, firstly you must be drawn by their mental capacities and experiences. These can include their field of studies, current profession, or hobbies. Howbeit, sapiosexualism is not a privilege of the elite. Being attracted to thoughts, aspirations, and interests is not limited to poetry, history, or the opera. In fact, the term highlights the importance of brain connection or overlap, whatever that may be. Lastly, but not least, it should be pointed out that sapiosexualism accompanies other identities, such as bisexual, lesbian and gay. This means that one can identify as both homosexual and sapiosexual, given their appeal to the mind of a same-sex person.
Notwithstanding the great progress made in western democracies for the LGBTQI+ community, being sapiosexual is not easy. Social media have entered all aspects of our daily lives, usually leading to positive effects and changes. In our personal lives, it can be argued that they have become the most common and easy means of approaching someone, primarily through apps such as Tinder, Instagram, and Grindr. However, taking into consideration the lurking dangers of the Web, social media raise more obstacles for sapiosexuals; temporality and superficiality.
Anyone who uses any of the dominant social media apps such as Facebook and Snapchat has become familiar with the notion of “instant and temporary context.” You upload a picture, a video, or a text, and within twenty four hours, or sooner, it disappears. Everything is quickly forgotten and replaced by new short-term memories. Therefore, how can you truly get to know a person if you don’t have stable proof of their existence? How can you fully understand their individuality when you can’t remember an album they liked or a cause they support? Exaggerating is justified, because sapiosexualism necessitates honesty, stability and clarity.
Furthermore, the predominance of social media has been accompanied by superficiality to the extreme. It seems as common knowledge nowadays that we tend to emphasize external aspects of ourselves and even create an ideal digital version of it, often at great distance with reality. How foolish one may feel when they realise such pretentious behaviour? How disappointed and deceived should a sapiosexual feel when they come to terms with the fact that “image” has become more powerful than “mind?” Is it ever possible to be truly your complete self on social media?
So many question arise that it is easy to find yourself struggling to breathe and comprehend reality. Notwithstanding these difficulties, there is no reason to quit or settle for anything less than who we are and what we want. In our daily fight for happiness, I believe we shouldn’t have to sacrifice crucial elements that respond to our unique personality. The first step still remains being honest and true to yourself.