What Does Polysexual Mean?

It is not strange that a lot of people do not know who or what a polysexual person is. With the many sexual orientations and sexualities currently in existence, it can get confusing figuring out what category you fall into or what group a particular person should be identified with.

A polysexual person is anyone who is romantically or sexually attracted to multiple genders. A lot of people mistake polysexuality for bisexuality and pansexuality, mainly because all of these sexualities have to do with being sexually attracted to more than one gender.

Some people may also think that polyamorous is the same as polysexual, but that too is an entirely different concept from polysexuality.

Where does polysexual come from?

The word polysexual originates from the Greek prefix poly- which means many, and sexual, which is an English word. Poly is when combined with sexual to form the word polysexual, and the term has been around since the 1920s or the 1930s.

One very interesting attestation of polysexuality can be found in a 1974 article by Noel Coppage featured in Stereo Review.

In said article, Noel Coppage mentioned pop stars who were “asexual, bisexual, polysexual, [and] pansexual” and particularly called out David Bowie. One reason why this article is unique in that it identified polysexuality as a separate phenomenon from pansexuality and bisexuality.

Before polysexuality received more recognition as sexuality, a lot of people had understood it as polyamory.

However, this understanding was utterly wrong because polyamory means having multiple consenting romantic partners, while polysexuality means having numerous sexual partners.

Now you can tell the significant difference between both concepts. One has to do with romantic feelings while the other has to do with sexual attraction to multiple people.

This means that as a polysexual person, you can be sexually attracted to as many genders as possible without having any romantic feelings towards them, and that is what separates you from someone who is polyamorous.

Who uses polysexual?

People also confuse polysexuality with pansexuality and bisexuality, and this is a conclusion that shouldn’t even be there in the first place.

When a person is pansexual, it means that they are attracted to all genders. For people who are bisexual, they are naturally attracted to the two primary genders, which are male and female.

But times are fast-changing, and being bisexual is beginning to take on a different meaning, which is being attracted to people of various genders outside the binary gender identities.

So how is polysexuality different than bisexuality and pansexuality?

A person who is polysexual isn’t attracted to every gender. Also, polysexual people do not necessarily have to be attracted to both men and women, which is what bisexual people are known for. A polysexual person may be attracted to nonbinary people, genderqueers, and men, but not women.

A person might prefer to be called polysexual because it is one label that avoids the gender binary that is traditionally connected with bisexuality even though the meaning of bisexuality is fast changing.

Polysexuality is no doubt one of the most confusing labels, and it would require a lot of explanation to get most people to understand what you mean when you say your police sexual.

One advantage that bisexual people have over for the sections is that their orientation has the advantage of history and recognition, and it is a lot easier to explain what they are and how they feel.

Ultimately it is up to you to decide what you would instead be labeled as once you understand your sexual attraction and romantic attractions, you should be able to pick the right label that defines you.

Whenever there is a discussion about polysexuality, it is usually has a meta-commentary. What this means is that the identity itself is what is being discussed, or it is used in the concept of an individual claiming that identity for themselves.

Another widespread usage of the word polysexual is as a way of describing multiple sexualities. If you talk about a polysexual gathering, for instance, it might be a gathering of people with various sexual orientations and not necessarily the group of people who identify as polysexual.

We hope that your curiosity has been satisfied. Please leave your questions or contributions in the comments section provided below.

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