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Pansexual vs Bisexual: No, They’re Not the Same

Robyn Exton

Jul 29, 2022

Pansexual vs Bisexual: No, They’re Not the Same
  • Pansexual? Bisexual? 🤔 Sometimes, it feels like too many terms for identifying our sexuality, but what do they mean?  

    You may have heard pansexual or bisexual used in similar contexts, and although the terms might sound the same, they have many differences. Stick around to figure out what they are.

    What is pansexuality? 

    The short definition of pansexual is an individual who can feel attraction to anyone, including those who don’t identify as a specific gender. Yes, that means that women, men, gender fluid and agender are all fair game when it comes to a pansexual crush. 

    Don’t confuse that with finding every person they come across attractive. You still have to have attractive qualities, you know? The pool is just a little larger.

    A black woman and a white woman look into each other's eyes. The white woman holds a pansexual flag

    What is bisexuality? 

    Bisexuality is a little more layered. There are various definitions of what it means, and it’s an ongoing debate surrounding exactly what classifies as being bisexual. Through the back and forth, it’s agreed that people who identify as bi, feel attraction to more than one gender. 

    Now you may be thinking that only means men and women, however, it’s a lot more nuanced. Gender identity plays a huge role in attraction. Still following? 

    Bisexual people can feel attraction for more than one gender identity, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be men and women only. You can like nonbinary, agender or gender fluid people as well. Any variety of identities can be attractive to you, just not all.

    For the critics of the term bisexual, it’s understandable why it can feel non-inclusive when it seems to imply only attraction to men or women, but most bisexual people do acknowledge the existence of multiple gender identities.

    • Want to meet safely local bi-women? Found out how and learn more about bisexual dating here

    Pansexual vs bisexual, let’s get into the differences 

    The definitions of bisexual and pansexual aren’t set in stone. As we become more conscious and aware of the ways to describe our identities, the terms we use also evolve. 

    Definitions have constantly been changing and expanding, so the most important thing is having an open mind and the willingness to expand your point of view.

    Now, most people agree that bisexual is an attraction to multiple but not all genders, while pansexual people are a bit more open to having a possible attraction to people of all gender identities.

    To put this in a real-world context, you can be bi and think that women, nonbinary and agender people are absolute babes, but not feel sparks for men. For the pansexual babes out there, you may think that someone of any gender is an absolute hottie but not necessarily feel both romantic and sexual attraction for all of them.

    A diverse group of women, 3 black and 2 indigenous, sit on a couch holding onto one another

    Do I Have to Define My Sexuality?

    Not at all! It’s completely up to you.

    You may identify with one gender or sexual identity or not feel like any term describes you at all. 

    Sexuality is a spectrum just as unique as the people it defines, and there’s no need to force yourself into a box.

    By being both pansexual or bisexual, you also may feel romantic attraction to some identities but not others. You may feel romantic attraction to some, but not all. You may feel both for someone. 

    Defining yourself and your attraction is completely up to you, so don’t hold yourself back.

    Learn more with HER

    HER is a queer dating & community app for connecting with LGBTQ+ women, nonbinary, and trans folks in your area 🙂

    Unlike most dating apps, HER is for making authentic, lasting connections with others. Download HER app today to connect with fellow women-loving women near you and find your community (or even your special someone!).

    Robyn Exton

    Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER. Find her on Twitter.

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