Don't forget: the brain is the biggest erogenous zone.
On the surface we like to say "smart is sexy" and that we place a high value on intelligence when it comes to our partners. Yet, we've all seen that woman who plays dumb to attract her crush.
... And we've watched it work.
You're not the only one wondering what the real truth is.
Most of us have had the hunch that this was the case, and I guess where there's smoke, there's fire. But why is this?
"Why?" is a much harder question to answer in the lab, especially when it comes to people. Turns out, it's super-easy to speculate on when you write for a love and relationship website.
Jokes aside, this mindset is baffling to me, and it's not the only time science has suggested it.
Personally, I find intelligence super-attractive. My girlfriend is way smarter than me; sometimes I feel like a dumb child compared to her ... and that's why I moved over 1,500 miles to be with her.
On the flip side, I find lack of intelligence to be a HUGE turn-off. I've broken things off with a few women in the past on these grounds alone. It's such a valuable trait to me, it made me wonder how it could be seen as a negative when it comes to attraction.
At its root, my totally unscientific intuition is that it comes down to insecurity. Despite the progress women have made in terms of equality, many men still expect to be the alpha leader, with the woman playing a more submissive role.
Obviously, I don't mean all guys are just looking to recreate the gender culture of the 50s when it comes to dating; I'm just saying there are still residual effects of that male-dominated attitude (although in some cultures, it's still very much alive).
Basically, in the back of their mind, a woman who's smarter or more successful goes against their concept of the "ideal" relationship.
How are you supposed to be the leader of a person who's more intelligent than you? How insecure would you feel if you walked into a room with Einstein and tried to explain physics to him?
But I think there's more to it than just blanket, gender role insecurity. I believe it comes down to intelligence — not hers, but his. In this scenario, where a man is intimidated by a more intelligent woman, think about the pros and cons from his perspective.
An intelligent woman is more likely to be funny, able to solve problems, have a great career, and generally have her life together. I could go on almost endlessly. What's the con in this situation? He's uncomfortable. Think about just how uncomfortable he'd have to be to decide that the cons outweighed the pros.
It has to be more than that. From my own experience (and I'd wager yours is similar), smart people end up with smart people. And it also seems to me the more intelligence a man has, the less they have a problem with smart women.
I have a childhood friend. He's an electrical engineer. He married an engineer. I couldn't fathom him having the patience for a woman who isn't on his level mentally.
And you need only to turn to your Facebook feed to see that dumb people find each other as well.
I suppose the takeaway from all this is that if you value your own intelligence, you should value it in a partner as well. Don't be surprised if you're dating a D-student and he isn't psyched about your PhD-level discussions. If you look for someone on your level, you'll find they think smart is sexy, too.