Monday, May 25, 2015

Pansexual Awareness Day

I have few topics to discuss today. My interest was sparked by this Tumblr post my friend sent me:
Naturally I had some disagreements with it (I'm just the contentious/argumentative type, okay?) and I'd also like to take this opportunity to enlighten you about all the different sexual orientations and romantic orientations. Shall we?

What is pansexuality? Is it different from bisexuality?
Most people think pan and bi are different, but everyone sees the discrepancy slightly differently.

My understanding is that bisexual means you're attracted to exclusively men and women (and their parts), but pansexual means you are attracted to all genders/sexes. "Bisexual" as a term was coined before there were believed to be more than two cut-and-dry genders. It was meant for people who are both gay/homosexual and straight/heterosexual. But now that definition is outdated, as it excludes intersex, transgender, and genderfluid people, so instead of updating the definition, I guess they just made up a new one? Maybe I should start "omnisexual" haha. But really though, I think the main difference is
  • Pansexuals are also attracted to people who aren't male or female. Such as intersex, transgender, genderfluid, genderqueer, demiboys/demigirls, and non-binary people. Bisexuals are attracted to just males and females.
But let me clear something up first: pansexual is not for people who just want to be politically correct. This is a valid sexuality. (will discuss this later in this post)

What does panromantic/biromantic mean?
I couldn't find a real dictionary definition to show you because they were all wrong. Urban dictionary was the best I could do, sorry about that. But thanks Urban for being almost accurate this time!
It's hard to explain, but the difference between sexual orientation (gray-a, asexual, demisexual, pansexual, bisexual, heterosexual, homosexual) and romantic orientation (aromantic, demiromantic, panromantic, biromantic, heteroromantic, homoromantic) is that sexual orientation is who you'd like to have sex with and romantic orientation is who you'd like to cuddle with and hold hands with. It's actually not just used for asexuals (asexuals are people who aren't sexually attracted to any gender/sex) or demisexals (demisexuals are people who are only sexually attracted to people who they have an emotional connection with). It is often used for asexuals and demisexuals, but it's also used for people who are not sexually attracted to the same people they're romantically attracted to. For example, someone could be a panromantic heterosexual, meaning they'd cuddle with either gender but they'd only have sex with their opposite gender. This has all gotten very confusing and disorganized so I'll just sum it all up for you.
  • Asexual (aka ace): Someone who lacks sexual attraction to any gender.
  • Gray-a: Someone who's basically asexual, but the line is blurred.
  • Demisexual: Someone who is sexually attracted to only people they have an emotional connection with. (buh-bye casual sex)
  • Pansexual: Someone who's sexually attracted to people regardless of their gender or sex.
  • Bisexual: Someone who's sexually attracted to men and women.
  • Heterosexual: Someone who's sexually attracted to the opposite sex.
  • Homosexual: Someone who's sexually attracted to the same sex.
  • Aromantic: Someone who's not romantically attracted to anyone. (completely platonic)
  • Demiromantic: Someone who is only romantically attracted to people they have an emotional connection with. (This term is QUITE seldom used. I advise you not to use it.)
  • Panromantic: Someone who is romantically attracted to people regardless of their gender or sex.
  • Biromantic: Someone who is romantically attracted to both men and women.
  • Heteroromantic: Someone who is romantically attracted to the opposite sex.
  • Homoromantic: Someone who is romantically attracted to the same sex.
 I'd like to add that many people have a different romantic orientation than sexual orientation. So you can be panromantic and heterosexual.

My disagreements (and agreements) with the Tumblr post
  • First of all, thank you for making this a trending topic on Tumblr, and thank you for including panromantics.
  • The message of this post is great! And I know the author had the best intentions. But there was one sentence that threw me off.
  • "here[']s to all of us who [c]are about hearts not parts!" - I feel like the author is almost shaming homosexuals and heterosexuals for being attracted to exclusively one gender. I disagree with this because:
    • You don't choose your sexual orientation. Otherwise, why would anyone be gay and choose to be bullied and ridiculed? Excuse you for telling me it's wrong to have a gender preference for the people I'm going to sleep with.
    • No sexual orientation is better than the others. Pansexuals are cool, yeah, but homosexuals, bisexuals, and heterosexuals are cool too. :) Pansexuals aren't better because they "don't discriminate against gender." You don't choose who you're attracted to!
    • Pansexuals aren't really decided by the fact that they don't give a shit about your gender. Pansexual people usually figure out they're pansexual by realizing they're attracted to every gender (coming from a true pansexual herself). So pansexuals do care about parts, they just care about all the parts.
      • Furthermore, you don't choose to be pansexual because you don't care about parts. You realize you're pansexual because you care about all the parts. You can't choose to be pansexual because it's trending right now. But sometimes the line is blurred and you can choose what to label yourself as, because no matter what, it won't always be 100% accurate. It's not always clear what gender(s) you're attracted to, and that's okay too.
The purpose of this post was to teach people about the different sexualities (not just pansexuality) and tell you that whatever sexual orientation you are is AWESOME and if you don't know, that's cool too! :D And sorry for hating on that Tumblr post, I just wanted to make it clear that pansexuals aren't any more politically correct than any other sexual orientation.
Anyway, happy belated pansexual awareness day!

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