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Scorpios: Lethal or Lovebug?

Debunking the fiction and facts of Scorpio mythology.

Scorpios: Lethal or Lovebug?

In conversations about astrology, no sign raises more eyebrows than the mention of Scorpio. Somewhere between ancient divinations and teeny-bop magazines, Scorpios were typecast as the villain of the zodiac. In the words of my Scorpio friend D.I., “We have the reputation of being the fakest signs in the zodiac–we’re even ruled by a fake planet.” While I would argue villains appear equally in all houses of the zodiac (in fact, sweet ‘lil Cancers are most likely to be serial killers), Scorpios don’t shy away from their label because it helps cultivate what matters most to them: an air of mystery. Scorpios are incredibly selective individuals when it comes to friends and romance, so their “villainous” smokescreen only aids them in dodging their biggest pet peeves—obnoxious, prying, or vacuous conversation.

Like their water sign neighbor Cancer, Scorpios can present a hard and intimidating exterior, but this serves as more of a defensive mechanism than offensive. As all water signs are deeply sensitive and porous to emotions, they can often come across as cold because of their highly protective veneers. Because Scorpios tend to radiate a certain amount of emotional intensity, many mistake this as an invitation to overshare upon first meeting—don’t. While Scorpios crave depth and emotion, don’t come on too strong. As natural investigators, Scorpios live for a mystery. Once you’ve proven yourself through a series of Rube-Goldberg-esque psychological tests—all of which happen covertly in a Scorpio’s mind—they may deign to let you into their hearts.

So, are all Scorpios dark and brooding? Are they as vindictive, jealous, and scheming as we’ve all been cautioned they are? How horny are they, really? After interviewing some of the sexiest, most mysterious, and thoughtful Scorpios I know, I’m here to demy

They Crave Intensity (but Don’t Go Overboard)

“In dating specifically, I need you to be absolutely obsessed with me, but don’t you dare let me know that you’re obsessed with me. There’s a safety that appeals to me, knowing they're so into me that they’d murder someone—and to be clear, I’m probably obsessed with you too!—but the moment you’re too obvious about it, bye. I’m out the door.” — E.L.

Scorpios have a reputation for being incredibly intense, and while that is true (as indicated above), they want the intensity to be discreet. Scorpios crave depth, and they know that isn’t something they will discover in trivial conversations at cocktail parties—they want a slow burn. If you are trying to seduce a Scorpio, hint at the intensity they’re looking for without showing all your cards too soon. E.L. elaborates, “They need to play it cool, but not so cool that I’m waiting or doubting myself. Don’t overshare. Don’t trauma dump. Give me little morsels over time, so I have to get to know you. It takes time. Have some secrets. Life is a game, play the fucking game.” The choreographed dance of this “game” paired with their signature intensity is what gives Scorpios the reputation of being machiavellian in the realm of romance. Scorpio friend D.I. explains, “We’re the Slytherins, the Dracos of the zodiac, except our rivals are actually the crushes and infatuations we haven’t processed yet.”

Their Horniness is Misunderstood

“Everyone thinks Scorpios are so sexual, and we are super sexual, but in an intimate setting. Personally, I’m not going out and having one-night stands. I’m not just hooking up with anyone and everyone. When I am feeling safe and have an intimate connection, I can be extremely sexual.” — E.L.

Scorpios have a reputation for being the femme fatale of the zodiac—an ethically void seductress with ulterior motives and lethal consequences for anyone who gets in their way. Yes, as we’ve established, Scorpios can be pretty intense, but their sky-high standards and self-protective instincts make them very selective when choosing someone to be intimate with. Another scholar of Scorpio behavior, C.P., chimed into my conversation with E.L. saying, “A common misconception is that Scorpios are little sluts that will go out and fuck anything, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Also, we all know that would be Libras; let’s be real.” Sorry Libras, but the idea that Scorpios are the biggest sluts of the zodiac has been myth busted.

They Require Depth

“Turn-offs for me are an inability to self-reflect or see both sides of a situation even if it's uncomfortable. Lacking a value system. Asking me, ‘What do you do?’ rather than ‘What do you believe?’ Talking about or to people like they aren't human. Genuinely enjoying social media. Believes they are ‘cool’ when, in reality, they are mainstream. Taking a selfie at an art museum. Terrible taste in music. Looking at their phone while talking to me. Believes commercial success means ‘successful.’ Gossiping is also a big one.” — S.T.

At their core, Scorpios are investigators. They are often typecast as brooding, moody, and drawn to the darkness, but for them, being unafraid of life’s darker truths is part and parcel of being a perpetual investigator of life’s mysteries. As E.L. explains, “The truth sometimes makes you go to the darkness. It makes you question your flaws and anything that’s going wrong. I don’t see that as a negative thing, I feel like that’s something you can use to grow.” Scorpios are allergic to vacuous interactions, trivial conversations, and anything that signals you don’t have the depth they require to make a connection worth their time. What’s the best way to win them over? “Have integrity and care about something other than yourself. As for dating, put on Tom Waits before sex…the early stuff,” adds S.T.

Jealousy Don’t Define Them

“There are two kinds of Scorpios from my perspective: the evolved and the unevolved. We talk about the unevolved Scorpios way too much.” — S.T.

For some Scorpios, envy and jealousy can be an unfortunate extension of their proclivity for intense interactions—but not all Scorpios succumb to this tendency. As a water sign, they tend to be incredibly emotional, but it is actually Cancers and Tauruses that are most likely to hold a grudge. A Scorpio has no interest in wasting their precious energy on someone they don’t respect. As D.I. explains, “Scorpios can sting. But, unlike bees, we have to contend with the ramifications of our actions. Bees have it easy—they ride their stings straight to hell. Scorpios must grapple with the moral consequences of their destruction.” While Scorpios have a reputation for retaliation, they are actually far more reserved and psychologically calculated with their enemies. C.P. further explains, “Rather than hold a grudge, a Scorpio is more like, ‘You’re dead to me. You’re not in my life, and I’m not going to give you another chance.’” I will warn you that while a Scorpio may not fit the stereotypical bill of ‘jealous retribution,’ they aren’t going down without a fair fight. In E.L.’s words, “If they fucked me over, I have to have the last word. I’m not letting them win.”

Don’t Take it Personally, Honesty is Their Love Language

“The best thing I’ve ever heard about myself: I was at theater camp (lol), and I asked a girl if I came off as intimidating because I was worried about it. She looks me dead in the eye, and she says, ‘You’re not intimidating; you’re exclusive.’ That was one of the best compliments I’ve received because it means I care about who I surround myself with. Intimidating isn’t a choice, but exclusivity is a choice.” — E.L.

While Scorpios have a reputation for deviousness, they are conversely one of the most honest signs of the zodiac. As an extension of their relentless pursuit of the truth, Scorpios tend to be brutally honest–but only to people in their inner circle. If a Scorpio takes the time to hit you with a difficult truth, this isn’t an attack—this is actually just confirmation that they give a fuck about you. C.P. explains, “Scorpios have the unique ability to speak the truth and get away with it. They can tell you if your outfit sucks, if your breath smells, they can basically call you out for anything, and somehow you’ll be the one laughing.” While this bluntness can intimidate some, Scorpios need someone who can not only handle the truth but is mature enough not to take themselves too seriously.

How Each Sign Can Flirt with a Scorpio:

Aries: A haunted hay ride

Taurus: A day trip in nature with no cell service

Gemini: Zizek and chill

Cancer: Heinously intense eye contact

Leo: Feeding each other grapes on a bearskin rug in front of a fire

Virgo: Fighting about whether Pluto is a planet or not

Libra: Shopping for a baroque candelabra

Scorpio: Blood oaths

Sagittarius: An impulsive weekend trip after the first date

Capricorn: Truth or dare

Aquarius: Makeout in a graveyard

Pisces: A séance

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