Bisexual vs. Pansexual: What’s the Difference?

There are many differences between bisexuality and pansexuality. Bisexuality is a sexual orientation in which a person feels a physical, romantic, and emotional attraction to both sexes. Pansexuality, on the other hand, is a sexual orientation that centers on the potential for attraction to all gender identities within a given community.

It does not necessarily imply any specific sexual behavior or orientation. Pansexual people can be heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual; they may identify as gay men or lesbians and have a preference for other bisexuals; they can also be “omnisexual” (attracted to all genders).

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Main Difference

There is some debate surrounding the definition of bisexuality and pansexuality. The two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but some key differences exist. Generally, bisexuality is defined as being attracted to both men and women, while pansexuality is an attraction to people of all genders.

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Some people argue that bisexuality is a limiting term because it implies that there are only two genders when there are many. Pansexuality is seen as more inclusive because it doesn’t restrict attraction to just men and women.

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However, others argue that pansexuality is just a re-branded version of bisexuality and that the two terms mean the same thing. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer – it’s up to each individual to decide which term they prefer.

Definition of Bisexuality

Bisexuality is a term used to describe people who experience romantic or sexual attraction to people of more than one sex/gender identity or orientation. It is also called pansexuality and includes people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and the asexual community (LGBTQIA).

The identity can be fluid but not always. Bisexual people may identify as primarily identify as heterosexual or homosexual. However, they may also describe themselves falling somewhere in between (intersex).

The term bisexuality was coined in the early 1800s by Swiss scientist Albert Magnus. He defined it as “the capacity for love between men and women.”

Sigmund Freud later used the term bisexuality in his theory of psychosexual development. He said that all people are born bisexual, but as they grow up, they choose a sexual orientation based on their parents’ attitudes towards sex.

Definition of Pansexuality

Pansexuality is a sexual orientation that encompasses attraction, desire, and love towards people regardless of their gender identity or biological sex. Pansexuals feel attracted to, desire romantic and sexual contact with, and love people regardless of their gender identity or biological sex.

Pansexuality is a term used to describe people who feel sexual attraction without regard for gender identity or biological sex. The word pan has Greek origins meaning all; thus, it means “universal.” An umbrella term for pansexuals may be rainbow families.

People who identify as pansexual may simultaneously be attracted to many different genders and sexes, including transgender or transsexual individuals (see also transgender). Pansexuals are sometimes referred to as bisexuals who do not deny the existence of their innate homosexuality but do not consider themselves exclusively homosexual because they are not sexually aroused by members of their gender only.

Critical Differences Between Bisexual and Pansexual

  1. Bisexuality is a sexual orientation where individuals have romantic and sexual attractions to both men and women. Pansexuality is a sexual orientation that does not discriminate based on gender identity.
  2. Bisexual people may experience attraction to members of their sex (men or women) and members of the opposite sex (women or men). However, they do not necessarily experience attraction to every one of either sex. In contrast, pansexual people may experience attraction to anyone regardless of gender.
  3. Bisexual people tend to fall in love with someone of the same sex before falling in love with someone of another sex. On the contrary, pansexual people tend to lust with someone of any sex before falling in deep love.
  4. Bisexual people may have relationships with both men and women simultaneously. On the contrary, people who identify as pansexual only date people of the same sex.
  5. Bisexual people may choose to have sex with people of the same sex or people of the opposite sex. On the contrary, people who identify as pansexual may decide to have sex only with people of the same gender.
  6. Bisexual people may feel attracted to people of the same sex even if they are not sexually active. On the contrary, those who identify as pansexual do not feel attracted to people of any sex unless they are sexually active.
  7. People who identify as bisexual may have sex with people of both sexes. On the contrary, individuals who identify as pansexual cannot have sex with people of any sex.
  8. Bisexual people may engage in homosexual activities. On the contrary, persons who identify as pansexual are prohibited from engaging in homosexual activities.
  9. Bisexual people may marry people of the same sex, while people who identify as pansexual cannot marry people of any sex.
  10. Bisexual people may adopt children of the same sex. On the contrary, individuals who identify as pansexual cannot adopt children of any sex.

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Gender inclusion and exclusion

It is important to note that gender identities are not fixed and fluid. Gender identity is not set in stone; it can change as one’s life experiences and relationships with others develop. For example, a person who identifies as a woman might become attracted to men later in life because of the men in her life (e.g., her partner or father). Or a person who identifies as male might later identify as genderqueer or gender-fluid if they find themselves attracted to people who do not fit into traditional masculine or feminine stereotypes (e.g., women).

Pansexuality is an umbrella term for romantic attraction toward everyone regardless of sex or gender identity/expression. In contrast, bisexuality refers to interest in both women and men (or both genders). Bisexuality encompasses romantic and sexual attraction toward both sexes. In comparison, pansexuality contains romantic and sexual attraction toward all sexes or genders without regard for assigned sex at birth (i.e., transgender individuals).”

Sexual Inclusion / Exclusion

Bisexual people are often excluded from the bisexual community by members who feel that bisexuality only applies to people who are sexually attracted to both men and women. This is because many people in the LGBT community see bisexuality as a sexual orientation, not a gender identity.

Pansexual people feel they can be sexually attracted to anyone regardless of gender or sex. However, pansexuals do not necessarily feel they have the freedom to be sexually intimate with others of any gender or sex.

Conclusion

Both Bisexuality and Pansexuality are valid sexual orientations. There is nothing wrong in not feeling attracted to everyone, nor is there anything wrong in handling so. It’s a matter of personal opinion and preference. Bisexuality is the state of being sexually attracted to both men and women, while pansexuality is attraction towards people regardless of their gender or sex.