Pansexuality Meaning and Definition – What is Pansexual?

Growing up, I only knew about straight people, but now there are pansexual people, and a wide population of humans do not know who pansexuals are. In this article, we will be discussing pansexuals and what dating looks like for them. Ready? read further.

You do not need to do deep research into human sexuality, or listen to people who have studied sexuality to understand that there is more to it than a female falling in love with a rich prince and living happily ever after.

As much as human sexuality isn’t as simple as black and white, it is also not as complex as rocket science. If you have heard about the Kingsey Scale that was introduced in 1948, you’d know that it is quite limiting, but it was a good one at the time, because of its groundbreaking revelations.

With zero on the scale means that someone is exclusively heterosexual, and with six (which is the other end) meaning that someone is exclusively homosexual, and with the spectrum allowed in between that made room for more options, the scale certainly did not showcase all of the possible sexual identities.

Take, for instance, the sexual identity, known as pansexuality, has no spot on the scale — neither do many other sexualities.

Even though pansexuals did not just create themselves at the dawn of the 21st century (this sexuality has existed for as long as the human race has), it is safe to say that it was only recently that more awareness about them became available.

With celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Jannelle Monae revealing that they are pansexuals, the word has become more mainstream and a lot of other people are getting the courage to come out as pansexuals.

However, long before these two celebs identified as pansexuals publicly, the popular dating site, OkCupid added pansexual as a sexual option with many other sexual options that you may not find in other dating sites.


The question however is, what exactly makes a person pansexuals? Also, people want to know if being pansexual and being bisexual are the same thing.

Pansexuality is Ominisexuality

So, what is the difference between pansexuals and bisexuals? while you already know that being bisexual means you are attracted to both basic genders (Male and Female), being pansexual means that you are omnisexual or sexually attracted to all gender identities or sexual orientations.

Yeah, somewhat confusing yeah? What this means is that you’re attracted to people no matter what their sexual identities are. However, there are Some pansexuals who identify as bisexual, which means both sexual orientations may overlap.

Someone once shared on social media that he identifies as pansexual, but would rather use the umbrella term of bisexual for the purpose of being more inclusive, and also to show that being bisexual doesn’t allow for excluding people based on their gender.

He believes using the term bisexual is OK since he is also transgender just like many other trans and big people.

But is there more to bring pansexual? Yes, there’s so much more to pansexuality and life as a pansexual person. Let’s see what dating is like for pansexuals

1. Dating As a Pansexual Can Be Complicated

Because pansexuality, though training momentum gradually, still isn’t as mainstream as other sexual orientations or identities, trying to date can be very challenging.

The difficulty is not just in introducing oneself as such, but mainly in the inner conflict of accepting and defining oneself as pansexual.

Masini has pointed out that it stirs up a lot of questions for the individual who identifies as pansexual.

“Pansexuals can have a much tougher time navigating the dating world and a much easier one, depending on a few factors,” Masini says.

“For example, I had a question on my relationship advice forum from someone who enjoyed sexual relations of all types with all genders and all variations within those relations, which led him to confusion about defining his orientation.

He wanted me to help him figure out who he was so he could tell people in a sentence (or less). He was troubled with this question.”


2. But Dating, As a Pansexual, Can Actually Be Easier, Too

On the flip side of the pansexual coin, when you are open to all kinds of people, as long as these people are consenting adults, dating should become beautiful and a lot easier for some people.

And this is not only because you have more available options to choose from, but because being pansexual puts you on a different level mentally as you become more about knowing people in-depth on a human level.

With the subtraction of gender and sexuality boundaries from the equation, pansexuality can also create more intense, meaningful, exploratory, and pleasurable experiences.

Masini says that “Someone else might have seen his situation like a party, not a problem. That’s why who you are beyond your sexual feelings is going to determine the way you function sexually, and as a pansexual.”

3. There Can Be A Serious Struggle To Define a person’s Identity As Pansexual

For some individuals, their sexuality is not a problem to define and for other people, it may take some courage, time or even some experimenting.

It has been revealed that one of the present challenges that people are dealing with in relationships is feeling the need to define what their sexual orientation is in a world where definitions are fast changing.

This challenge of wanting to define your orientation and having problems, as a pansexual person, is quite understandable.

For everyone, there are so many cases when we are required to define who or what we are, that when a person is pansexual, the process of discovering what this sexual orientation is, and getting comfortable with identifying as it, will lead to serious definition issues.

4. It Can Be Confusing To Explain To People That You Are Pansexual

You may feel a need to define who you are or date a person or people who have a clear understanding and definition of their sexuality, but the question you must ask yourself is – why do you really have to define?

Wouldn’t live your life as who or what you are, be much easier if you decide to just go with what or how you feel and avoid labelling things?

Life is sweeter and much easier when you can just say, ‘I’m red, black and yellow and I’m looking for a person who is green, pink and red.

But when you can’t define who or what you are clearly, It’s a lot time-consuming and more difficult to live every day questioning and experimenting. However, that is what most of us do in spite of how we choose to define ourselves at any given point in time.

And since we can not all go on a journey with gurus who can help us identify who we are and enjoy the whole self-awareness process, we have a more cumbersome, messier, annoying, socially fraught, and awkward journey trying to figure out who we really are — in a lot of cases. And in the case of pansexual humans, the journey is often a very bumpy ride.

5. Not Everyone Wants to be Label Pansexual— And That Too is OK

Pansexuals, as we have earlier defined, are typically individuals who are sexual without specifications for gender. This means that if gender fluidity is an actual spectrum, then the pansexual folks would find a comfortable spot somewhere on this spectrum.


So if who a pansexual is sounds like who you feel you are, then you should consider, (that is if you feel the need to label your sexual orientation) that you might be pansexual and not bisexual — at least for the meantime.

But have in mind that you do not have to define your sexuality if you do not feel like any of the explanations or definitions represents you or how you feel. Also, if you don’t see the point in defining anything, you can go ahead and save yourself the stress.

At the end of the day, when it comes to sexual identity, it’s OK to be selfish and not bother about what people think or feel about you. It is always about what feels right for you, and this can work with or without the man-made labels.

Pansexuals are a beautiful part of the LGBTQ community, and they believe that love knows no boundaries. If you have met a pansexuals person, or you are pansexual, we would love to know what you think or feel about this article. Please, leave a comment in the comment section below.

Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.

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