Helen Fisher, PhD


Is “smart” sexy?  Singles think so.  Today some 80% of singles say they “must have” or find it “very important” to have someone of the same level of intelligence.   And 89% would make a commitment to someone who is “considerably” better educated or more intellectual than themselves.  Why do we want a smart partner?  

Because intelligence comes with a host of perks.  It is statistically correlated with having a higher income and a keener sense of humor, as well as with creativity, social savvy, better motor coordination and skill at solving problems.  

These are sexy traits.  “Money” can buy an exciting weekend get-away.  “Humor” and “creativity” boost dopamine activity, which, in turn, can trigger testosterone and sexual craving.  “Good people skills” can translate into better communication between the sheets.  A “well-coordinated” partner is exciting to watch in the sack.  And those who are “skilled at solving problems” are likely to be better at resolving bedroom crises.  

An anthropologist once asked a Kung Bushman living as a hunter in the grasslands of Botswana if he would marry a woman who was smarter than he was.  He replied, “Yes, because she’d make me smart too.”  A smart partner might even make you smarter.   

Ignorance is bliss?  No way.  Smart is the new sexy.