Mark Ronson had only heard the term ‘sapiosexual’ mere minutes before ‘coming out’ on Good Morning Britain (GMB). And one week after making the controversial claim, he’s decided that he doesn’t, in fact, identify as a member of the “community”.
It started when Ronson was backstage listening to a panel discussion on GMB following Britain’s French minister Markeèna Sciappa identifying as ‘sapiosexual’. Author and panel-member, Nichi Hodgson, explained that while she has dated “across the gender spectrum”, intelligence has always been her primary attraction. She identifies as sapiosexual, too.
And minutes later, during his interview promoting his new album ‘Late Night Feelings’, he told hosts, Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway, that he, also, identifies as sapiosexual.
We were all arguing backstage in the dressing room with a couple of your producers. And yes, I feel like I am identifying as sapiosexual.
The statement ruffled some feathers, drawing confusion and frustration from across the internet (especially in the LGBTQ+ community).
I’m not sure claiming that you won’t fuck an idiot makes you queer, you guys
— Tyler Coates (@tylercoates) September 19, 2019
Mark Ronson is sapiosexual which means he’s attracted to people for their intellect. Which is cool. And I’m glad he’s found so many beautiful women under 35 whose intellect he’s attracted to x
— shon faye. (@shonfaye) September 20, 2019
mark ronson “comes out” as sapiosexual
i’m about to “come out” and say i like people who can hold a conversation, god i’m so brave
— Kerin Cunningham 🍁 Store Open! (@KerinCunningham) September 19, 2019
To be fair to Mark Ronson, he thought “sapiosexual” meant only being attracted to 20-something models/actresses and he was mostly right.
— MARXIST LENINIST MĀORIIST (@oriwa_) September 28, 2019
What Is A Sapiosexual?
Simply, a sapiosexual is a person who finds the intellect of a human mind the most sexually attractive feature in a partner.
The term was first coined, allegedly, in in 1998, when a LiveJournal user ‘wolfieboy’ claimed (in ’02) to have invented the term for his preference for “an incisive, inquisitive, insightful, irreverent mind” irrespective of gender. In 2014, sapiosexuality’ gained mainstream recognition when the dating site OkCupid added it to their list of sexual orientations users can identify as.
But Sapiosexuality Isn’t The Issue Here
While some people were stuck rolling their eyes at the ‘pretentiousness’ of Ronson claiming to like high IQ’s, that’s not the most frustrating part of the story. The issue is the media’s following framing and reaction to the spur-of-the-moment comment as being “out and proud”.
Ben Shephard was the first to kick off the tsunami of false LGBTQ+ celebration, saying:
“So you’re coming out as sapiosexual? This is great news!”
No, Ben, he never said he was coming out as sapiosexual. He never said those words at all.
You can’t position someone who never intended to ‘come out’ (and didn’t) as the same as someone identifying as LGBTQ+. It’s not the same, and to suggest it is, is ignorant and damaging.
Hey folks — being #sapiosexual is not a valid sexuality, it’s just snobbery & a desire to feel very, very special. Many people find intelligence attractive. You’re not queer*, you’re not oppressed, and you need to stop it. @MarkRonson @MarleneSchiappa, @outmagazine.
— El (is a stranger thing) (@EliBrite) September 19, 2019
Saying you find intelligence attractive doesn’t carry the same danger (in many forms) as saying you are attracted to people of your own gender. Realising you’re drawn to the human mind over someone’s physical appearance doesn’t carry the stigma of realising, accepting and living as a gender non-conforming, non-binary, queer, trans, or any-and-everything-else-under-the-rainbow person.
It’s not the same. So don’t conflate the two.
love to be a straight tv presenter having a funny joke about “coming out” as sapiosexual! you see it’s funny because some people have to come out as lgbt and spend years worrying about it, but mark ronson likes people who are clever, and these are the same
— Michael (@michael__42) September 19, 2019
A sapiosexual doesn’t need to be ‘in the closet’ (also, can we pls bin that phrase) like any other member of the LGBTQ+ community. Mark Ronson didn’t courageously ‘come out’, but thanks to the media coverage he’s got to make an awkward back peddle in.
mark ronson didn’t even “come out as sapiosexual” he was talking to the producers of gma about finding himself attracted to smart ppl & they said “you are sapiosexual” and he was like “yeah, I didn’t know that there was a word for it” 🤨
— Sofi the gemini 🥦 (@drugsbalIads) September 19, 2019
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Ronson apologised for his sapiosexual comment, saying he doesn’t consider himself “part of any marginalised community” (check out his statement below).
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) September 26, 2019
And that’s the kicker. A marginalised community. At least Mark gets it (even if he didn’t fully articulate himself all that well on TV at the time).
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with finding a term to build community, legitimacy, and normalisation – and sapiosexuality is legit – but perspective and context is critical. Nobody is going to categorise, villainise, of pathologise someone for finding intelligence sexy the way the LGBTQ+ community has been oppressed for decades.
Don’t forget that.
Image Sources: Instagram (@petedadds)