I think the title says it all but just wondering if there is a word that means attracted to talent or attracted to displays of talent.

Examples would be being attracted to seeing someone be a good doctor, dentist, architect, give a good presentation, teacher, engineer, manager, baker. I don't know how specific to make it. Not just knowing they are talented at something being seeing them display that talent. Heck, it could be talent at being a dad or a mom but the moment they seem like they really know what they're doing.

I suspect there is no word (yet?) but I know at least for myself there is the phenomenon that when I see someone show their talent it's a turn on and it's the same turn on for the most part regardless of talent. All of those examples in the question fit. Seeing someone excel at their skills pushes a button beyond just admiration. It's not just they are talented, it's seeing that talent in action. It could be tax accountant of the opposite sex (or whatever sex you're attracted to) but if they are really into the groove and clearly know their stuff it sticks out and is a turn on.

To give personal examples: an x-girlfriend who of course I liked her else she wouldn't have been my girlfriend, she was a professor and one day she invited me to hang out in her class so we could more easily go somewhere after the class. Seeing her be in charge of the class and clearly an expert of the topic matter was a huge turn on.

Another lady friend was organized an event and gave a talk. Before the event she was just an attractive friend but during the event when she was skillfully running everything and given a well researched talk it was a huge turn on.

I saw a mother and daughter the other day at a festival. The daughter, about 10yrs old, was not having a good time for some reason. Within a few minutes the mom had managed to bring her daughter out of the mopes and they were dancing together to the music and the daughter looked like she was having the time of her life. That made the mom show her talent as a mom and was a huge turn on.

In other words, it's not just attracted to people you know are talented, it's attracted to displays of that talent.

Sapiosexual seems to be a relatively recent addition to the language and is used often now in online dating profiles as a shortcut to saying "attracted to intellect". Demisexual as well is now in fairly common usage used in dating profiles as a shortcut to "need to have a strong emotional attachment to be sexualy attracted" . So I'm wondering if there is a word for "turned on when I see someone display their talents", new or old that can similarly be used in an online dating profile.

  • 1
    To be clear, are you looking for a word that means sexual attraction to people with talent or just liking them? May 22, 2019 at 5:47
  • 1
    I'm looking for a word that means sexual attraction to someone when displaying their talent. I don't know if the distinction of displaying is important but it's not enough to know someone is supposedly talented or famous for being talented. They have to display that talent. I'm kind of assuming that's the same for sapiosexual. You can tell someone you're smart but they'll need some kind of evidence, proof. They have to believe it.
    – gman
    May 22, 2019 at 13:08
  • I wonder if there is a word in any other language for this that might lead back to a word in English.
    – gman
    May 22, 2019 at 13:15
  • Why does it have to be a single word? // Turned on by talent. May 22, 2019 at 21:44

4 Answers 4


Sapiosexual is not a well-formed word but a coinage from ignorance (you might as well say brainosexual); it would have had to be sapientisexual. Anyway, it is better to use -phile. Someone ''loving'' the skilled would be dinophile. This has the same dino- as dinosaur, since δεινός means both terrible and (terribly) skilled.

If you really want a pseudo-Latinism ending in -sexual (what does sex have to do with it?) you can use dextrosexual. Unfortunately, this word is also interpretable as denoting sexual preference for one's own right hand.

  • 1
    I think you need to keep the OP's root morpheme -sexual. They mean to refer specifically to sexual preferences.
    – user31341
    May 22, 2019 at 2:41
  • 1
    @jlovegren, -phile also pertains to such preferences. think of paedophiles. i believe words in -sexual denoting preferences are bad, so someone else will have to come up with that
    – Toothrot
    May 22, 2019 at 2:44
  • 1
    @Toothrot the two issues with -phile are (1) there are other senses (halophile, oenophile ,etc.), so the coinage won't obviously refer to someone's "type"; and (2) the sexual sense refers to (to put it mildly) abnormal sexual preferences. Having surgeons or engineers as one's "type" is pretty mainstream as far as sexual preferences go.
    – user31341
    May 22, 2019 at 12:07
  • 3
    It is really valid to judge sapiosexual? It's in common use now or at least common enough that I run into regularly on dating profiles. It's not in most dictionaries but given dictionaries document common usage rather than proscribe correct usage it seems likely to be added. As for ~phile vs ~sexual they have a very different nuance regardless of if they are correct for some definition of correct.
    – gman
    May 22, 2019 at 13:13
  • 1
    @gman, sapiosexual is clearly a coinage from ignorance. the only difference between this and brainosexual is that the latter is less pretentious and less of a turn-off for those it would describe.
    – Toothrot
    May 22, 2019 at 13:24

There is groupie

groupie NOUN
1A young woman who regularly follows a pop group or other celebrity, especially in the hope of having a sexual relationship with them.
Oxford Dictionaries

  • If they are successful, is the result group-sex? That would not fit OP's intention. Otherwise good thinking!
    – vectory
    Jan 19, 2020 at 6:02

I suggest perhaps “peritiosexual” or “peritiophile”. “Perite” meaning “skilled” or “expert”.


To be "talented" implies the attractiveness or positivity of the talent. Who, I ask rhetorically, is attracted to talentlessness, clumsiness, or incompetence, as a general trait?

If you are attracted to the performance of a particular talent, for example film acting, you might say you're a "film buff". You give the examples of doctoring, teaching, managing, amongst others.

As others have said, a general suffix forming words meaning "a lover of" is -phile. So for example, a bibliophile is a book-lover.

But given the range of things that can be liked or loved for all sorts of reasons, boiling every expression of it down precisely to a single word in every case is probably not within the current language.

I also wonder whether "admiring" is what you're describing, as a personality trait. That is, you're an admiring or "wondrous" sort of person - a person who easily gains pleasure from witnessing impressive performances of a variety of skills.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.