Intelligence Is Sexy

I was driving a group of students to a fundraising event in Las Vegas and listening to the radio. It was early in the morning and I was surfing stations trying to find something enjoyable. Unable to locate any good music, I settled on a talk program about economics and the Federal Reserve. The guest speaker was a woman but I don’t know her name because I missed the introduction. She spoke with such knowledge and eloquence that I quickly became captivated. I learned more in fifteen or twenty minutes about the federal banking system than I have in the balance of my life. Her grasp of the subject gave her voice the weight of authority. I felt that I wouldn’t want the system to operate any other way than she described because of how insightfully she described it. I was falling in love. It wasn’t all joy and rapture, however. The radio host was an ignorant man who kept interrupting her with superfluous injections and weak affirmations. Finally, in total frustration I shouted at the radio host, “Shut your damn mouth and let her speak!” Of course, he ignored my demand; the only souls upon this planet that heard my outburst were the students sleeping in the back of the van.

There are many types of beauty. Physical beauty gets the most attention. Some people argue that society places too much emphasis on appearances. That may be true, but it is also how our brains are wired. According to Discover Magazine, ten times more neurons in the cortex of the brain process visual imagery as compared to the number of neurons that process auditory input. I admit that a fine specimen of the female form certainly grabs my attention, but love runs much deeper than appearances. Intelligence is the sexiest trait. Intellectual beauty may stimulate the brain of some people in a more exhilarating and fundamentally rousing way than visual beauty does. People who experience this form of attraction describe themselves as sapiosexuals. Everyone has his or her own notion of ideal beauty, but for me, I don’t care how gorgeous a woman is if I can’t engage in an intellectual conversation with her. I want to be mesmerized by her voice, enlightened by her insights, and enriched by her unique perspective. I want her to show me a world that I’ve never seen, a world that dazzles my mind.

Apparently some women have trouble finding men that value their intelligence. Natalie Portman said, “Smart women love smart men more than smart men love smart women.” I don’t know if that is generally true, but I believe that it reflects her personal experience. Many women have posted, tweeted, or pinned the lamentation that “Women with higher IQ’s have a harder time finding a mate.” Well, ladies, take courage; they are out there. In War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy wrote that, “Nothing is so necessary for a young man as the company of intelligent women.” Nevertheless, if you want a man who values you for more than your body, you must develop something to warrant his deeper affection. Working out and styling your hair is important, but spare plenty of time to devote yourself to developing the mind.

The administration of the private school where I teach asked me to remove the pins from my Pinterest account which depicted nudity or sexually provocative poses and imagery. The administration felt that it was inappropriate for a high school teacher to share such things publicly, because hormones, basically. I agreed to remove the offending images. It’s a shame, though. Why don’t we hide intellectual achievements? Why aren’t hormone-charged boys as aroused by females flaunting their voluptuous intelligence? In my divergent thinking, I can’t help but contemplate a futuristic society when humans have evolved to love ideas more than tits. In that society, girls will be instructed to keep their minds concealed and teachers will be told not to share the intellectual achievements of women publicly because it arouses the boys.

Intelligent men love intelligent women. I tried many times to google the mystery woman from the radio show that I heard on March 5th or 6th of 2011. I dream about surfing through the frequencies someday and accidentally finding her again. In my fantasy, she has been waiting for someone capable of appreciating her intelligence. I will listen carefully for her name. I will then obtain her email address and write to her, telling her how much I enjoyed her show. She will be highly impressed by my writing and decide to respond to my message. As she presses “Send,” she will quietly ponder the possibility that the recipient is the man whose existence she has nearly despaired of. After years of disappointment, a hope will flicker within her again. We will strike up a stimulating correspondence which will grow into love. We will agree to meet on the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building. I will go there and wait, wait, patiently wait, but she will never show. My fantasy will end in the tragedy of learning that, on her way to meet me, she encountered some guy from the circus and ran away with him because he could juggle and do cool tricks. Well, despite the potential for pain, I’ll take my chances with love. To the mystery woman: If you ever read this post, I want you to know that I think you’re amazing. I’ve never forgotten how you dazzled my mind and won my heart.

Ariel Hammon
Author of JACK

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