Bi, poly, pan – the options are endless (and sometimes confusing)

I really like that lately there’s so much emphasis on the different types of sexualities that exist in this world. It’s no longer just homo-, hetero- and bi-sexual. There are honestly so many different types of being with recognised names and definitions (not going to go into them here as honestly I’m still trying to understand it all) but it’s a beautiful thing that we’re no longer forced to fit within these little boxes. Of course, we’re nowhere near perfect but we’re making progress.

The term that intrigues me most is pansexual.

According to Amplify Your Voice, pansexuality is the sexual attraction towards people regardless of gender also known as omnisexuality, some pansexuals refer to themselves as gender blind as to them gender is  insignificant in determining whether they will be sexually attracted to others.

I heard this term awhile back and I thought what does this mean? With all the fluidity of sexuality, to identify as bisexual now almost seems outdated. It’s not because of course you can genuinely feel that way. Some people are just attracted to men or women, not trans or gender fluid people.

But what am I? Do I need a label? I don’t necessarily think so but it’s an interesting thing to ponder. Having grown up in a semi-traditional household, my bisexuality didn’t really cement itself until my mid-late teens. You’re taught that it’s normal to be attracted to people of the opposite sex so that’s what you focus on. But, eventually, those of us who are that way inclined start to notice that there are more fish in the sea, so to speak.

Now that I’m 32, I can say with the utmost conviction that I’m attracted to both men and women. I find women more physically attractive than men but connect more with men on a mental level. Women are so soft and beautiful and amazing and I want to sleep with them and seduce them and take care of them but not necessarily be in a long term relationship with them. Men I want to fuck and I connect with them more mentally, conversationally, socially.

It’s weird. I find women hotter but I always end up with guys. Maybe I’m not brave enough to bite the bullet and be with a woman. Actually, I know I’m not because, in my mind, I think it will be more intense, more emotional, more draining and I’m scared of that. Who knows if that’s the case in a relationship setting but in a social setting I already know that I get on better with guys, even if it’s always a woman that turns my head on the street, in a bar, at the grocery store, you get the picture.

Now, I’ve always called myself bi because that’s all I knew but now there’s pansexual so maybe there are more options for me (if I was single). Someone asked me the other day if I could be with someone who was trans and I said yes. For me, I’m attracted to personality and (of course) to looks. As long as I found that person attractive on those terms, I don’t think I would care what gender they were or weren’t (e.g. gender neutral or gender fluid). I find all kinds of people attractive so if they stimulate me mentally there’s no reason I would turn them down on the basis that they didn’t fit into the traditional gender structure. For me, gender doesn’t really play a role.

Then there’s this other neat term, again from Amplify Your Voice:

Polysexuality is the sexual attraction to more than one gender but do not wish to be known as bisexual as it implies that there are only two binary sexes, do not confuse this with pansexuality (Pan meaning All) and (Poly meaning many).

A good option for those who want to hedge their bets with many, instead of going balls deep with all. Of course, I jest but it is a good option because it isn’t as exclusive as bisexual seems to sound nowadays (as AYV says).

Honestly, who would have thought bisexual would one day be an exclusive term? Bisexuals used to be the inclusive ones. We loved everybody and almost everybody loved us (except those who thought we were faking it and/or sitting on the fence and/or eternal cheaters/greedy). The times they are a changin’ and I for one am re-considering where I fit in this great wide spectrum of sexuality. It’s an exciting time to be alive (and sexually active).

4 thoughts on “Bi, poly, pan – the options are endless (and sometimes confusing)

    1. Yes, which is what makes me certain that all our preconceived ideas about what’s “normal” are just learned/conditioned responses. It’s what we’ve been brought up to believe is acceptable.


  1. The terminology used these days cracks me up; a lot of people want to behave as bisexuals but don’t like being called a bisexual. Those who don’t talk a lot about binary sexes and it makes me wonder a great deal about a couple of things, i.e., what sex you think you are… and what sex your DNA and chromosomes say you are. I know I’m old school about this – I’m bisexual but my bisexual doesn’t exclude transgender because, first and foremost, it’s about the person. I maintain – and because I haven’t read anything that contradicts this – that regardless of what sex you think you are or what changes you make to your body, you’re still born male, female, and sometimes both – genetics is some interestingly funny stuff at times – so I don’t pretend to understand all this riffing about one’s sex but I do understand the conflicts that may occur with gender and all that.

    To me, the new terms don’t serve to simplify anything; it complicates something that has become rather complicated and way more than it ever has at any other time in our history. If you look like a duck, quack like a duck, you can’t be a squirrel, right?

    Anyway, loved this writing and thanks for sharing it with us!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do agree that it gets complicated and there seems to be a lot of confusion and overlap between terms but it does serve a positive purpose in that it allows people to see that there are many ways of being and everything of age, safe, sane and consensual is perfectly acceptable – or should be. I think the major confusion comes from people not understanding the difference between sex, gender/ gender identity and sexuality and the many, many permutations that can exist. Plus nowadays more emphasis seems to be put on your gender identity and sexuality rather than what sex you were assigned at birth.

      Liked by 1 person

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