Sapiosexual is a term for someone who finds intelligence “sexually attractive or arousing”.
The term, which was added to OkCupid’s list of gender and sexuality options in 2014, has been co-opted by a new dating startup that has a broader definition of the word.
Kristin Tynsky, the co-founder of Sapio, said that sapiosexuals “can’t be simply defined” as people who are only attracted to the highly intelligent, telling the Huffington Post: “They’re attracted to someone based on a matching level of intelligence, interests, conversation, drive, sense of humor.
“For many, defining oneself as sapiosexual has become statement against the current status quo of hookup culture and superficiality, where looks are prized above all else.”
Tynski’s new app Sapio aims to offer an alternative by connecting like-minded singles “who are both physically and intellectually attractive” over their answers to a series of personality questions stored on the app.
Sapio asks singles to answer a minimum of three questions (from a bank of 300) to help members share their “story” and give others a more rounded picture of them as a person.
How does Sapio work?
On signing up, Sapio asks users to state their gender, what they are looking for and what their sexual orientation is.
After building their profiles, users are encouraged to answer a minimum of three questions (if they answer less, their profile is hidden from other users) from the app’s database of over 300.
Questions are categorised under topics such as opinion, travel and sexuality, and could be anything from: “If you were granted immunity from the law for a day what would you do and why?” to “What activity makes you forget about your problems and the world around you?”
Once users have answered a number of these personality questions, they can enter the matching area of the app, housed under the Swipe tab.
In this section, singles swipe through the profiles of other Sapio users, and below each profile picture you are shown a list of the personality questions that particular user has answered.
If you click one of these questions, you are shown the answer they gave – but only if you have answered that question yourself.
Members can unlock other users’ answers either by inputting their own answer, or by spending the app’s virtual coins – unlocking an answer costs 10 coins.
This virtual currency can be built up by answering questions (one question = one coin) or by receiving likes on their answers (one like is worth one coin).
Matching over Sapio’s intelligent questions
The second way daters can connect on Sapio is in the app’s Questions tab.
Here, you are a shown a list of all the answers given by the Sapio community to every question you have answered.
In this area, daters can respond to people’s answers with Facebook-style reactions, which include a heart, thumbs up, “haha”, “??”, “!!” and thumbs down.
As the company says, this section is designed to: “Let you discover others through the stories they tell. Select a category, browse through hundreds of questions, and find someone based on their personality, not just their looks.”
The third area is Likes – which tracks the reactions people have posted to your answers, who has liked you, and who you have liked.
So far the app, which was founded by Kristin Tynski and wife Kelsey Liber, has received a total of 543,706 responses to its questions.
Sapio is one in a recent line of dating startups to have found creative ways of bringing the questionnaire back into the dating landscape.
This week we also wrote about Clikd, a new London startup that lets build their own picture-based questionnaires, either by choosing from pre-prepared questions or uploading photos and creating their own, which prospective matches must answer correctly in order to match with them.
Sapio is currently available for iOS and Android, find out more about the app here.