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-   -   Bisexual, Pansexual, Polysexual...is it all semantics? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21158)

PolyInFL 02-10-2012 08:27 AM

Bisexual, Pansexual, Polysexual...is it all semantics?
 
Recently, I have been doing a lot of soul searching and self-reflection on my sexual identity. I identified as a polyamorous bisexual several years ago. Since I have not actually had sex with a woman yet, some would say I can only call myself "bi-curious" which I find kind of funny. Do virgins have to say they are only "hetero-curious" until they do it? :rolleyes:

I think I have found the best definition for how I feel about my sexual attraction to others in the term "pansexual" which, according to Wiki is synonymous with being gender-blind. I have the most actual experience with men who are both biologically male and who self-identify as heterosexual males. But as for individuals that I have felt attraction for they are varied, including ftm trans. The point is, my attraction to someone is not based on their gender. So to me, pansexual fits - if the gender-blind definition is accurate. But I have found some resources that claim pansexual is a derogatory term.

I am curious what others think about this. :confused:

I know, I know - labels suck. But sometimes you need to use words to explain, you know? When I first read about the idea of pansexuality it was like I finally had a word for what I have been feeling my entire adult life. It was freeing.

Magdlyn 02-10-2012 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PolyInFL (Post 124216)
Recently, I have been doing a lot of soul searching and self-reflection on my sexual identity. I identified as a polyamorous bisexual several years ago. Since I have not actually had sex with a woman yet, some would say I can only call myself "bi-curious" which I find kind of funny. Do virgins have to say they are only "hetero-curious" until they do it? :rolleyes:

No, because not all virgins are hetero! And some virgins are not "curious" at all... if they are prepubescent! And some virgins might be bi-curious. Etc.

Quote:

I think I have found the best definition for how I feel about my sexual attraction to others in the term "pansexual" which, according to Wiki is synonymous with being gender-blind. I have the most actual experience with men who are both biologically male and who self-identify as heterosexual males. But as for individuals that I have felt attraction for they are varied, including ftm trans. The point is, my attraction to someone is not based on their gender. So to me, pansexual fits - if the gender-blind definition is accurate. But I have found some resources that claim pansexual is a derogatory term.


I am curious what others think about this. :confused:
If the shoe fits... What have these "resources" said is bad about the term?

Quote:

I know, I know - labels suck.
I don't think they do.

RfromRMC 02-10-2012 03:27 PM

A bisexual man I know explained it to me as this:

Bisexual means two-- you like biological men and women.

Pansexual means a gamut--you like men, women, and anything in between. I.e., androgynous, transgendered, intersex, etc etc.

So he says he identified as bisexual and not pansexual because he "likes his men very much manly and his women very much womanly". (His words, not mine.)

So that's what I've been assuming since.

SourGirl 02-10-2012 04:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PolyInFL (Post 124216)
I know, I know - labels suck. But sometimes you need to use words to explain, you know? When I first read about the idea of pansexuality it was like I finally had a word for what I have been feeling my entire adult life. It was freeing.

No,....people who get 'stuck' on a label..suck.
Or, micro-labelling can suck.

:)

Labels are good for a general purpose, but tend to work like clothes bought off-the-rack . They generally fit, but definitely aren`t ever able to be 'custom-made'.
Then people run into problems, when they try to customize a general-fit label.

I think if someone specifically wants to know what you are into, then details on pansexual, vs. bisexual are quite warranted. Use the label that fits your audience.

AnnabelMore 02-10-2012 06:10 PM

Using the definitions people have shared above, pansexual would fit me best. I don't mind using bisexual though, because most people understand it well and I don't see any downside to using it... like, I don't think an androgynous and/or genderqueer person would think "Oh, I have no chance" after hearing me say I'm bi.

My term of choice, the one I preferentially use if given the option, is definitely queer. It doesn't rule anything out, it's easy and fun to say, and it describes, to me, not just a sexuality but an outlook on life that's a little radical, a little "It's all good, baby, yeah." So, I feel it actually gives more of the flavor of who I am without pinning me down.

redpepper 02-11-2012 06:33 AM

If the term works, use it. I use the term "pansexual" for myself too. :)

NovemberRain 02-11-2012 07:34 AM

It's probably more accurate for me to say pansexual, but having just met the word, I'm less likely to use it. Bisexual has worked for me for 34 years. I'm also likely to only use whatever label is appropriate to the context of whatever conversation I'm in. Once my lovers know, there's not really much need to discuss history. Now that I'm in a fidelitous vee with two men, still not much point in calling attention to the fact that it's possible for me to be with women. I won't back down if asked, but I also don't have a need to announce.

I never liked the word bicurious, but I understand the meaning. I didn't have to be with a woman to know that I wanted to. I started calling myself bisexual the minute I knew girls were an option. (really? I can date girls TOO?) When I read an ad from someone saying they're bicurious and looking, my thought is 'I don't wanna be your experiment.' But some girls like to experiment. The first woman I was with only wanted me because I'd not been with a woman before. At the time, I was totally okay with that. ;)

Once I figured out that the main thing bisexual people have in common is feeling that labels suck, I felt free to use the label as I pleased.

Moonglow 02-11-2012 03:31 PM

I have come to just realize it will depend on the person. Obviously sometimes there's a magical chemistry if you are lucky. I guess for that's what defines it for me. I haven't actually labelled myself either although I do believe it is down to the person. I don't what that makes me but I am happy with it. :) So no label... I am just me!

Tinkerbrat 02-16-2012 01:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RfromRMC (Post 124271)
A bisexual man I know explained it to me as this:

Bisexual means two-- you like biological men and women.

Pansexual means a gamut--you like men, women, and anything in between. I.e., androgynous, transgendered, intersex, etc etc.

So he says he identified as bisexual and not pansexual because he "likes his men very much manly and his women very much womanly". (His words, not mine.)

So that's what I've been assuming since.

I think I like this definition the best because I understand it enough I know I can explain it to someone else.

NovemberRain 02-16-2012 07:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NovemberRain (Post 124370)
I never liked the word bicurious, but I understand the meaning. I didn't have to be with a woman to know that I wanted to. I started calling myself bisexual the minute I knew girls were an option. (really? I can date girls TOO?) When I read an ad from someone saying they're bicurious and looking, my thought is 'I don't wanna be your experiment.' But some girls like to experiment.

I meant to include, regarding the above, that I took a lot of flak for that, too. Everyone i met would say, 'so, are you gay?' and I'd say 'no, I'm bi' and they'd say something about being with a woman, and I'd admit to how I hadn't, and then they'd say, 'how do you KNOW?' 'I just know, okay?' Because I did. Still do.


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