Labels are more often than not used to explain your sexuality to others, but whether they do justice to how you actually feel is a new question altogether.
Sexuality, as is, can be highly confusing; now, when you’re fed only heteronormativity in the form of entertainment, media, and other sources of entertainment, you are going to believe that there is only one type of way to live and that can add to the confusion surrounding sexuality.
Sexuality is actually a spectrum and houses different types of sexualities, all ranging from homosexuality to omnisexuality. This article will discuss pansexuality and omnisexuality and how these two are different. Although both pansexual and omnisexual individuals are defined as people attracted to those of all gender identities and sexual orientations, one way people differentiate between the two is–that pansexuals are gender-blind, while an individual who identifies as an omnisexual is not.
Sexuality, a brief
When people say sexuality is a spectrum, they mean that there is no one or another; there is no right or wrong; there are multiple different sexual identities and orientations, and they can not be easily classified. Before discussing the different types of sexual identities, let’s first have a quick rundown of what sexuality means at the surface level.
The term sexuality might often lead people to believe that it refers to your libido, who you’re having sex with and how often you have it. That is a misconception usually made due to a lack of awareness. Sexuality is about your sexual feelings, attractions, thoughts, and behaviors towards various individuals. Finding someone physically, emotionally, or sexually attractive is part of your sexuality.
Sexuality is diverse and an important part of who you are, making it extremely personal. Figuring out your sexuality is a process; often, it can take years for one to come out, and sometimes even after they do, they might be confused. Coming to terms with your sexuality can be liberating and exciting; however, it is vital to have a strong support system since it can also be daunting and overwhelming.
It is also common for people to be unsure about their sexuality; it is confusing and rightfully so. Although there are various terms to describe your sexuality in this time and age, you are under no obligation to do so; you do not have to adopt a label if you do not feel comfortable doing so.
What is pansexuality?
Pansexuality is having sexual, romantic, and/or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. They are often referred to as gender-blind individuals because gender is not a factor that they consider when they are developing feelings.
Pansexuality falls under the umbrella term multisexual and is in a way an extension of bisexuality. It may be considered a sexual orientation on its own terms or a branch of bisexuality. The term pansexuality is considered more inclusive since it rejects the gender binary, but it is unclear how inclusive it is compared to the term bisexuality. Both bisexuality and pansexuality are defined as attraction to more than one gender, so you may ask why they have different terms. To answer that question, it is first important to understand that labels are more often than not used to almost explain your sexuality to another. Identifying with one singular label or trying to place yourself on the spectrum can be quite a task. Therefore, if an individual wants to identify as a bisexual but is attracted to all genders regardless of their sexual orientation, then it is a personal preference and most probably the best for them.
What is omnisexuality?
Often people use the terms pansexuality and omnisexuality interchangeably. Omnisexuality is described as an attraction to genders across the gender spectrum. It also falls under the category of multisexuals–an attraction towards more than one gender.
An omnisexual might often get their gender identity confused with other labels like pansexuality, bisexuality, polysexuality, and other identities that fall under the umbrella term multisexuals. This might often lead to them feeling some sort of pressure to conform to a label that is more common or familiar to the public, which shows that labels are indeed used to explain your sexuality (more often than not) to others rather than identify with it.
What is the difference between a pansexual and omnisexual?
Omnisexuality and pansexuality are more or less described as the same sexual orientation; they are also often used interchangeably. However, the critical difference between these two sexualities is the recognition of gender. Pansexuals are considered gender-blind; gender doesn’t affect their attraction. They essentially look at every individual and are attracted to everyone in the same manner; an omnisexual, on the other hand, is not gender-blind per se. They still see gender as part of how they are attracted to someone.
Both pansexual and omnisexual individuals would say that they are not attracted to a specific gender; however, the strength of attraction to each gender varies for an omnisexual but doesn’t for a pansexual. Both of these individuals can be monogamous, polyamorous, and at times aromantic. The status of their relationship has nothing in relation to their sexual orientation.
Pansexual vs Omnisexual Quiz
While figuring out your sexuality, it is possible that you might’ve looked up questions or signs that give you a sense of your sexual orientation. The kind of questions that come up will either clarify what you might identify as or might send you down spiraling; either way, it will definitely give you something to think about.
If you think you might be pansexual, here are a few questions worth thinking about
- Do you accept who you are?
- Are you attracted to people of the same sex?
- What’s your gender?
- Do you have gay or bisexual friends?
- What do you want the most in life?
- I have been in a relationship or would like to be in a relationship with a person of a different sexual orientation
- Are you attracted to people of the opposite sex?
- Which color do you choose: pink or black?
- Do you treat everyone the same, regardless of gender or orientation?
- Choose the word that suits you best: different, weird, better, worse
- Are you attracted to one sex more than the other?
- Which gender do you get on better with?
If you think you might be omnisexual, spend some time finding answers to these questions
- Who do your fantasies mostly involve?
- Could you imagine dating an asexual person?
- How would you react if your partner told you they were seeing other people?
- Who have you mostly had crushes on with regard to gender?
- Are you a jealous person when it comes to your partner?
- What would you do if you start developing feelings for another when you’re with your partner?
- Would you act on any fantasies in real life?
- Have you ever had fantasies involving more than one person?
- Can you imagine dating someone out of the male/female spectrum?
- Do you care about gender?
Remember that these questions do not have a right or wrong answer; they are only supposed to help give you direction and help you introspect. At the end of the day, these labels are personal to you and do not need to be justified. You also do not need a label if you choose not to have one; it is perfectly normal.
Here is a table to quickly sum up how pansexuality is different from omnisexuality.
|Gender blind||Not gender blind|
|Gender doesn’t affect their attraction||Gender affects their attraction|
|Attracted to everyone in the same manner||Their attraction varies depending on gender|
|Strength of attraction towards people does not vary||Strength of attraction varies depending on their preference and gender|
What does abrosexual mean?
An abrosexual is an individual who experiences fluctuating sexual orientations. They are also referred to as sexually fluid individuals. Although sexual orientation is stable for the most part, abrosexual individuals may experience changes in their sexual orientation. They might also have different sexual or romantic attraction levels throughout their lives.
What is the difference between omnisexual and demisexual?
An omnisexual is an individual attracted to all genders and sexual orientations. A demisexual is an individual who can not experience sexual attraction unless they form an emotional connection with their partner. A demisexual can be homo, hetero, bi, or pansexual; the word demi means half and, in this context, means halfway between sexual and asexual.
Can pansexual be grey sexual?
The term grey sexual refers to people who experience limited sexual attraction. This means that they rarely experience sexual attraction, and even when they do, it is with very low intensity. A pansexual is an individual attracted to more than two genders and sexual orientations; therefore, a pansexual can be a grey sexual. Their sexual attraction (however limited in intensity) can be directed to more than two genders or sexual orientations.
Sexuality is a spectrum; it is often hard to categorize each of these sexualities definitively. It can therefore be highly confusing, and coming to terms with your sexuality can be an experience that carries mixed emotions. The range of emotions you might experience when you come to terms with your sexuality can range from elated and liberated to scared and overwhelmed. It is vital to have a support system you can rely on during this process; it doesn’t necessarily mean family or friends; you can find various support groups on the internet that will help guide you through this journey.
Pansexuality and omnisexuality are both defined as an attraction to more than two genders or sexual orientations; however, the difference between these two terms is that pansexual individuals are considered gender-blind, whereas omnisexual individuals are not.
If you are struggling with your sexuality, do get in touch with a therapist for more guidance, and remember that you, your experiences, and your sexuality are validated, and you are not alone.