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Unlocking the biromantic code: Your playful guide to navigating romantic attraction!

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Aug 18, 2023

Unlocking the biromantic code: Your playful guide to navigating romantic attraction!
  • Bisexuality has come a long way since Newsweek hard-launched this sexual orientation in 1995! They somehow made it look like the coolest queer indie rock band ever known. Bisexuality puts the “B” in LGBTQ+ and is when someone is sexually attracted to two (or more) genders. 

    Most people think that bisexuality refers to both romantic and sexual attraction, but those two things aren’t always the same for people. If you have romantic connections with people of multiple genders, you might be biromantic instead. 

    A Newsweek magazine cover in July 1995 reading “Bisexuality: Not gay. Not Straight. A New Sexual Identity Emerges” with three people looking ominously at the camera.

    Source: Twitter

    What is the meaning of biromantic?  

    While bisexual refers to a sexual orientation, “biromantic” is a romantic orientation. If you are biromantic, it means that you can be romantically attracted to people of many different genders. 

    We know many genders are outside of the male vs. female binary. While “bi” technically means two, the modern-day definitions of bisexual and biromantic mean that you are attracted to two or more genders. 

    This means that bisexual and biromantic people can be attracted to trans or cis men and women, non-binary people, genderqueer, gender questioning, and other gender non-conforming folks. 

    Romantic vs. sexual attraction 

    So what’s the difference between bisexual and biromantic anyway? The main difference between the two is whether or not you feel sexual or romantic attraction to people of multiple genders. 

    Many people who identify as bisexual would also identify as biromantic because they feel a desire for people of different genders. These days sexual orientation doesn’t just mean who you have sex with—as lesbians, gays, and queer people have proved. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual are often not just sexual orientations but relational ones as well. 

    However, if you are very specific about it, sexual attraction refers to whom you want to bone. If you find yourself lusting after someone, picturing them naked, and wanting to get into bed with them, likely, you are sexually attracted to them. 

    Some people might find themselves sexually attracted to one gender over another or one gender expression (i.e., masculinity, femininity, androgyny, or gender nonconformity) over another, or you might find yourself wanting to rip the clothes off all types of hotties regardless of their gender or gender presentation.

    If you find yourself sexually attracted to people of multiple genders, but you only have the capacity to fall in love or develop deep feelings for one type of gender or gender expression, you might be bisexual but not biromantic. 

    Whereas if you find yourself romantically attracted to people of multiple genders but only sexually attracted to people of one gender, you might be biromantic but not bisexual. Or you might find yourself romantically and sexually attracted to people of multiple genders, in which case you might be both!

    For example, I am sexually attracted to people across the gender spectrum. I find men (both trans and cis), women, non-binary femmes, trans masculine folks, and gender non-conforming people super sexy! However, I have only ever fallen in love with people who have a more feminine gender expression. 

    Therefore, I would consider myself bisexual but not necessarily biromantic. Whereas my partner has been in long-term relationships with cis men, dykes, and trans men. She is probably more biromantic than I am.

    How do you know if you are biromantic? 

    • You are attracted to multiple genders and experience strong emotional connections with people regardless of their gender identity or expression.
    • You feel confused about your romantic attraction and emotional attachment to people of different genders in a binary world that tells you to pick one or the other.
    • Your capacity to fall in love depends more on the connection than the specific gender of a person. 
    • You’ve had deep and meaningful romantic connections with people of more than one gender. 
    • You feel like you have the capacity to be in a long-term relationship with someone of any gender if the vibe is right. 
    • You don’t want to be pinned down by conventional or binary romantic labels, and/or you feel like your romantic attractions differ from your sexual attractions. 

    Biromantic flag

    A picture of the biromantic flag featuring the pink, purple, and blue bisexual flag colors with a heart in the middle.

    Source: Fandom

    The biromantic flag is similar to the bisexual flag, but it has a heart in the middle to signify the romantic and emotional aspects. The magenta stripe at the top of the flag represents same-gender attraction, the blue stripe at the bottom represents opposite-gender attraction, and the lavender stripe represents attraction to both genders.

    Is biromantic the same thing as panromantic?

    Biromantic and panromantic are similar romantic orientations but not exactly the same. Biromantic refers to a person who is romantically attracted to multiple genders but not necessarily all genders, whereas panromantic people can feel romantic attraction to people of any gender. 

    For example, if you find that you don’t experience romantic attraction toward cis men, but you do towards women, trans, and non-binary people, you might be biromantic instead of panromantic. However, some people who are biromantic might also identify as panromantic and vice versa. 

    What is it called when you’re not attracted to anyone at all?

    If you don’t experience sexual attraction to people of any gender, you might be asexual. Asexual people use the term “ace” or “aces” for short. 

    Asexual can mean different things to different people, and there is no one way to be asexual. If you experience sexual attraction only after developing a deep romantic connection, you might be demisexual. However, if you don’t experience romantic attraction to anyone at all, you might be aromantic

    Biromantic might be an orientation that hits home for many people who identify as asexual because it is not dependent on sexual attraction. Whereas if you are aromantic, you might experience little or no romantic feelings for anyone. 

    Remember that there is no one way to be biromantic. Just like being bisexual, being biromantic can look lots of different ways! Biromantic people are not a monolith. You don’t have to be 50/50 percent into men and women to be bisexual or biromantic. You might find yourself attracted to different genders over the course of your life, with your feelings intensifying over time or changing at some point. 

    Human sexuality and relationships are complex, fluid, and nuanced. Labels can be good if they feel helpful, but your romantic and sexual attraction is valid even if you don’t have the exact language for it.

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    Dusty Brandt Howard is a writer & a fighter. He is a trans masculine cultural narrator who builds worlds with words. You can follow his thirst traps on Instagram, his writing on Substack, or find him at your local queer bar in northeast LA.

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