Sapiosexual Is a Word? And Other Stories

So a curious word was in my Facebook feed today. The word was sapiosexual. “What’s this?” you ask. I’ll tell you.

Sapiosexual is “a behavior of becoming attracted to or aroused by intelligence and its use.”

OMG right?

Basically it goes like this:

Me? I don’t care too much about the looks. I want an incisive, inquisitive, insightful, irreverent mind. I want someone for whom philosophical discussion is foreplay. I want someone who sometimes makes me go ouch due to their wit and evil sense of humor. I want someone that I can reach out and touch randomly. I want someone I can cuddle with. I decided this all means that I am sapiosexual.

I feel like this is …  has been the feelings of most people who have a bent towards rationality and logic; however,  never before has this abstract idea been laid out in such a concrete way. (By the way, the word sapiosexual is a neologism.)

And, as so often happens when you (or I at least) discover new knowledge, more intellectual knowledge/information in regards to intellectual love spewed forth. This time in the form of an old(ish) website post about “the needs of an INTP” spouse or mate. It definitely struck a chord with me. Maybe it will with you too.

Below is what I found,  a general gender-neutral statement about what an INTP mate needs. After the jump is what an INTP woman wrote about in regards to her INTP needs in a mate.




1. Lots of sex 
I dont think it is just me as an INTP who finds this a very important part of a relationship and the most important physical expression of love in a relationship – it is NOT a selfish act for selfish physical satisfaction. but hell, it is damn pleasing, too

2. Moral support 
It is a tough world out there for INTPs

3. An equal 
INTPs have no wish to dominate, and are crushed by domination

4. Someone who is next to unoffendable. 
INTPs tend to lack tact, but also want and need to be brutally honest with thier intimate partners – they want someone who they can playfully insult, who will then either laugh in thier face or give it right back.

5. Someone who can accept them for who they are and not try to change them. 
INTPs appear erratic to the casual observer in a relationship, for example – they appear to demand solitude one moment, sex the next. Non-INTPs find this VERY hard to reconcile with their typical conception of “love”

6. Someone who accepts the peculiar WAYS they show thier love. 
Be it really, really sappy hopless-romantic type drivel or passionate physical expression, or just a touch or a simple look. The INTP way is very hard to catch, if you blink, you miss it. Non-INTPs tend to want tokens and words, not a slow dance in a room with no radio, not a quiet cuddle in front of the TV at the end of the day, or the other strange and random expressions that INTPs tend to give. [This ties in with #5.]

7. SPACE [as in both physical and emotional space
In case it was missed, I’ll mention it again: SPACE!! INTP men need their free time to pursue intellectual pursuits, and CAN NOT be:
a.) disturbed 
b.) told they dont love thier partner because they spend too much time “alone”, etc. 
INTP men disappear for a while, then come out swinging. this FORCES most non-INTPs to think that the INTP partner only wants them for sex. This is wrong, but if the non-INTP is not capable of #5 and #6, they are forced to believe it.

8. Comforting. [this goes along with #2.]
The world sucks, particularly for INTPs. They are capable of an utterly staggering amount of patience and responsibility, but in the long run, without #2 and #8, the relationship will ultimately die, or the INTP will DIE a very real death. With #2 and #8, an INTP can take a spectacular amount of abuse, responsibility, and patience in life, as long as his partner supplies #2 and #8 in sufficient quantities.

9. An intellect. a person who can hold their own in a debate. 
The words “you always think you are right!!” are the LAST words an INTP wants to hear from their mate. The INTP wants debate! Wants intellectual stimulation! If they doesnt get it at home, #7 becomes very very very important. If their mate can not handle #7, there will be PROBLEMS. If the mate can supply #9, the INTP will be very happily occupied with their mate for a long, long time.

10. Someone to learn with. [This goes with #9]
Someone who is interested in learning and intellectual stimulation. The INTP needs someone who they can learn with and enjoy the mysteries and adventures of life with. Someone who can understand their interest in the esoteric, show appreciation for their interests, and even join them in these interests, or introduce them to new ones. 

11. Someone capable of self reflection and self analysis. 
Often the INTP finds that they are the only one “growing” in a relationship, the only one who can see the problems in the relationship. This usually forces the INTP to be the one to change, to be the one to compromise for their partner. Because many non-INTPs have no true ability to self reflect the non-INTP thinks they are ALWAYS right. The INTP spends their life examining themselves and their relationship to see what they need to do to make it work. So they spend all their time critically analyzing it, and the mate does nothing but demand that they change. This will eventually lead to the spiritual DEATH of the INTP, if not the actual PHYSICAL death of the INTP. To avoid this, the INTP person NEEDS a mate who can examine the relationship WITH them, so they can grow TOGETHER

Continue reading


Take Some Time for Self Compassion Tuesday

Earlier this year, Dr. Kristin Neff was featured in a New York Times article about self-compassion. If you’ve read my series, Dealing With Anger Mindfully — 6 Steps, you will be familiar with Neff and her work since it is featured in step 3 of the series, Do Self Compassion.

The NYT article illustrates the connection between self-compassion and improvements in a person’s health (depression, anxiety, eating and more).  With that said, it seems like the commenters/readers of the article were still a little skeptical about the ideal of self-compassion, calling it another word for self-indulgence.

Luckily Neff made a video about self-compassion. After watching it, do you understand the difference between self-compassion and self-indulgence?

About That Active Listening

So I picked up my book, Difficult Conversations, again and strangely enough the first paragraph I started on was about authenticity in active listening (Read Points of View and Everything In-Between to catch up).

Scores of workshops and books on “active listening” teach you what you should do to be a good listener. … You emerge from these courses eager to try out your new skills, only to become discouraged when your fiends or colleagues complain that you should phony or mechanical. …

The problem is this: you are taught what to say and how to sit, but the heart of good listening is authenticity. People “read” not only your words and posture, but what’s going on inside of you. If your “stance” isn’t genuine, the words won’t matter. What will communicated almost invariable is whether you are genuinely curious, whether you care about the other person. If your intentions are false, no amount of careful wording or good posture will help. If your intentions are good, even clumsy language won’t hinder you.

This doesn’t help the particular situation I’ve found myself to be in, but I thought it good to share.

Social Media Induces Feelings of Missing Out …What?

In April, the New York Times wrote about the deadly FOMO aka Fear Of Missing Out that can be induced by social media. Basically people who see other people having fun and doing sh*t and posting about their sh*t on their social media profiles, well those people who witness that start to feel like they are missing out on something.

First off: Seriously guys?

Second: WTF?

Third: Get a life.

Fourth: … nevermind

This attention to FOMO is pathetic, even more pathetic that it’s linked to social media. Explain to me how this isn’t just another case of wanting what others have, sometimes called grass is greener on the other side? Even before the masses participated in social media, people were wanting the house, the job, the significant other, the baby, the family (shoes, hair, clothes, body, etc.) that their friends had. (Hence my exclamation, “seriously guys?”)

I guess my disappointment is in the world doing a bad job of repackaging an old concept and linking social media to it to make it “exciting.” The issue is with the people not the technology. (Hence, WTF.)

I feel like a local watching a tourist describe “the wild world of  the social Internet.” “Gee, you mean you still want what other people desire even though you’re on the Internet. OMG how novel!”


From my experience and the experience of a lot of early Internet users, the Internet was great at hooking up like-minded people (which can be great sometimes and horrible in the right circumstances). And quite frankly, when you remember what the purpose of creating the Internet was, to share information, the Internet is doing what it is supposed to do: allow you to share information.

Nerds, people with niche interests and so on, they got to find each other on the Internet. That’s an amazing thing when you feel ostracized because you like things that aren’t for some reason acceptable to the community around you.

And when you feel like you have connected with these people, who cares what they do without you? When they are there, you have someone to joke, commiserate and share with. If you are going, “but I wanna do what they are doing!” Then A) Why aren’t you? and B) What’s the purpose of your relationship with that person? Be happy for them, be happy that they are doing something fun. Employ your social skills and ask them to let you know when they are going out again or even ask them how they know about all the cool stuff they do.

This bring me to my last point, GET A LIFE.

I say that with little judgment.

Be involved with your life, because at the end of the day, if you have time to get depressed over what you aren’t doing then you’re doing it wrong. Yes, it’s understandable to be like “man I wish I was going to the concert/party/movie/etc. like so and so is,” that’s only natural. But depression? Are you living your life?

Me for example, I haven’t been out in ages. And yea I do wish I could go to concerts and travel like I see some of my friends do — eat extravagantly, but I also have an 1 hour commute that kicks my ass five days a week, studying so I can get better at my job trade and applying to jobs since I know that in order to get to that place where I can feel comfortable with traveling and going to concerts I need to be making a certain amount of money consistently. I have a life that needs to be tended.

This goes back to the idea of,”employ your social skills” and even, in this case,  you’re emotional intelligence skills. In a nutshell, what do you need to make happen in your life so that you aren’t looking at what others have and feeling unsatisfied?

Back on me again. Even in my downtime, when I am not being social, I make sure what I do really counts for me. (Which requires you to know yourself, oui?) If I go watch a crappy movie, dammit it’s going to be the most awesome crappy movie in the world.  If I’m going to stay in, I’m going to do the most pleasing thing for myself that makes me forget about what anyone else does. I may even be happy that me and someone else I know got to do really pleasing activities that made us both happy.

Instead of allowing your feelings to make you feel like you are missing out on something, take your feelings as a sign that your life needs some tending to.

So I guess you could be like everyone else and desire what everyone else has; or you can stop right now and try to be happy for everyone who is doing things that make you feel envious and then use your dissatisfaction to make your own life better.

This song’s lyrics don’t really match this writing/rant but the song is still fitting … is social media and everyone else getting the best of you? Video after the jump.

Continue reading

“I wish I could talk in Technicolor” LSD In The 50s

A mental health video of a housewife from the 50s on LSD is being passed around on the Internets right now. I couldn’t put my finger on what was so spectacular about the video until a friend wrote this:

Seeing someone with absolutely no context or expectations for this experience is fascinating.

I agree Joe, I agree.

Watch the clip.

The Othello Error

Lately, I’ve been reading the book Telling Lies by author Paul Ekman. Ekman’s books have been on my reading list for awhile, ever since I realized his life’s work in emotion and non-verbal communication is the inspiration for the Fox television show Lie to Me (starring Tim Ross).

As I read the book, one of the concepts Ekman coined for the mistakes lie catchers may make when trying to evaluate if someone is lying made me think of the recent lecture (Dharma Talk w/Q&A: Abbot Myogen Steve Stücky at SF Zen Center) I received at the Zen temple I go to sometimes. The lecture talked about a lot of things but the things that stuck out in my mind were words about self-fulfilling prophecies, acting with certain biases, and letting go of certainties. (Really, if you have at least an hour of time to kill, take a listen to it.)

The concept is called the Othello Error. The error occurs when “a lie catcher fails to consider a truthful person who is under stress may appear to be lying.” Reading this now, it may not be the error that caught my attention but the attitude that can fuel this error.

(If you aren’t familiar with the play Othello, read up.)

The scene begins with Othello accusing Desdemona of loving Cassio and telling her to confess since he will kill her anyway. Desdemona asks that Cassio be called upon to testify on her innocence. Othello tells Desdemona that he had Cassio killed. At this point, Desdemona realizes that she will be unable to prove her innocence and she will be killed by Othello.

Othello: Out, strumpet! Weep’st thou for him to my face?
Desdemona: O, banish me, my lord, but kill me not!
Othello: Down, strumpet!

From the book:

Othello interprets Desdemona’s fear and distress as a reaction to the news of her alleged lover’s death, confirming his belief in her infidelity. Othello fails to realize that if Desdemona is innocent she might still show these very same emotions: distress and despair that Othello disbelieves her and that her last hope to prove her innocence is gone now that Othello had Cassio killed, and fear that he will now kill her. Desdemona wept for her life, for her predicament, for Othello’s lack of trust, not for the death of her lover.

Othello’s error is also an example of how preconceptions can bias a lie catcher’s judgments. Othello is convinced before his scene that Desdemona is unfaithful. Othello ignores alternative explanations of Desdemona’s behavior, not considering that her emotions are not proof one way or the other. Othello seeks to confirm, not to test his belief that Desdemona is unfaithful….preconceptions often distort judgment, causing a lie catcher to disregard ideas, possibilities, or facts that don’t fit what he already thinks. This happens even when the lie catcher suffers from his preconceived belief. Othello is tortured by his belief that Desdemona lies, but that does not cause him to lean over in the opposite direction, seeking to vindicate her. He interprets Desdemona’s behavior in a way that will confirm what he least wants to be so, in a way that is most painful to him.

So I guess what really caught me is how having certainties all the time; be it optimism, pessimism, stereotypes, basically ideas about everything, can put us askew.

And I feel like the answer to this error is “not always so.” In the lecture (Dharma Talk w/Q&A: Abbot Myogen Steve Stücky at SF Zen Center), the Abbot said that in a response to having certainties.

Not always so.

It’s the concept that something everything can be, “not always so.”

“So this idea, I have about …, it’s not always so. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t.”

And I think that creates the space in which one can, with their eyes wide open, choose to follow a certainty or choose “not always so.”  And that’s cool.

12/30/2010 — This reminds me of that article that said challenging your assumptions improves brain functioning.