Sexuality is confusing; sexuality is diverse, and there is no one or the other. Coming to terms with your sexuality is daunting, but you will see a rainbow at the end of that road.

The entertainment industry, one that we find ourselves indulged in on most days, often feeds us heteronormativity. This usually gets in the way of people exploring their sexualities and can lead to them wondering if something is potentially “wrong” with them if in case they do not conform to being a heterosexual. 

Although times have changed and people are more open about their sexualities, talking about it is still a need of the hour. This article will discuss one of the lesser-known sexual orientations, polysexuality. Essentially, being polysexual means being attracted to more than one gender; however, there are more layers to uncover when discussing polysexuality.

Sexuality: a spectrum

Sexuality is a spectrum; there are different types of sexuality, and each of them differs in its own ways. However, before we get into the details of the different sexualities, let’s first talk about what sexuality means at the surface level.

The term sexuality might often lead people into believing that it refers to 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 you have towards people. Finding someone physically, emotionally, or sexually attractive is part of your sexuality.

Sexuality is diverse and is not restricted to one or another. It is often an important part of who you are and is very personal. 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 very daunting and overwhelming.

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. It is okay if you are unsure about your 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 does being polysexual mean?

All of the sexualities mentioned above except pansexuality refer to an attraction towards either one or two (at most) genders. Pansexuality falls under being multisexual. Multisexual is essentially an umbrella term for individuals who are attracted to more than one sex or gender; the attraction can be both sexual or romantic. 

Being a polysexual falls under being a multisexual, essentially meaning that the individual is attracted to more than two genders. Gender may or may not be a factor affecting whether a polysexual individual is attracted to an individual. A common misconception about being a polysexual is that they might also participate in infidelity. Being attracted to more than one gender doesn’t mean that they will encourage or lead on other individuals when they are in a monogamous relationship. Polysexual individuals are no more likely to cheat than any other individual.

Polysexuality has nothing to do with the individual’s libido; they can also have preferences. It is of utmost importance to respect that and treat them like any other individual. Polysexuality is an identity; you can not invalidate their expression of sexuality by assuming it is all a part of them either experimenting or being unsure about who they like.

What is the difference between being a polysexual, pansexual, bisexual, and pomosexual?

Poly, pan, bi, and pomosexuality all fall under the umbrella term multisexual. This means that individuals who identify as any one or more of these are attracted to more than one gender. However, although very similar, these different sexualities can not and should not be confused with one another.

An individual who identifies as a polysexual is attracted to more than one gender, either/or both romantically and sexually. Then again, gender may or may not be considered a factor to a polysexual individual. 

An individual who is polysexual can be in a monogamous relationship; being polysexual doesn’t mean having multiple partners; unless the individual is also polygamous.

Pansexuality is when the individual is attracted to all genders, and gender doesn’t affect their attraction or how they feel about their partner. Bisexuality is when the individual may or may not be attracted to all genders, but definitely more than two genders. The difference between being a pansexual and a bisexual is that for a bisexual, gender does affect their attraction. For instance, how a bisexual feels when they have a crush on a girl would be different compared to how they would feel when they have a crush on a guy. For a pansexual, that would not be the case; their feelings of attraction wouldn’t change based on gender.

Pomosexuality is when an individual denies putting a label on their kind of attraction. They would much rather avoid labels such as homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, or even queer. They can be attracted to individuals of their choice and not feel the need to label their kind of attraction. 

What is polyamory?

Polyamory is not a type of sexuality. It is a term used to define the act of having multiple intimate relationships. Essentially, it is a type of non-monogamous relationship that follows specific guidelines. Being polyamorous does not mean you will have casual sexual relationships with multiple partners. Often, partners of a polyamorous individual are aware of their other partners and might even share a relationship or friendship with each other.

Polyamory isn’t a singular type but instead has a few different types,

Solo polyamory

Where the individual doesn’t have one primary partner but dates multiple people, they remain independent for the most part.

Hierarchical polyamory

In a hierarchical polyamorous relationship, the individual has one primary partner followed by a secondary, tertiary, and other partnerships. In this dynamic, the primary partner gets the most attention, and with each following partner, the amount of time and attention reduces. The primary partner plays an integral role in their life and holds more power over important decisions.

Non-hierarchical polyamory

Individuals in non-hierarchical polyamorous relationships do not have a hierarchy of partners. They might give each partner equal time and attention, and their partners might also have equal inputs on important life choices. This kind of dynamic is also known as egalitarian polyamory or relationship anarchy.

Polyfidelity

This type of polyamory usually refers to a group of three or more people who are in a committed relationship with each other and do not see or date people outside of their group.

How is polyamory different from polysexuality?

The very fundamental definition of these two terms helps differentiate one from another. Polyamory isn’t a sexuality and refers to an individual who is in an intimate relationship with multiple people. Polysexuality is a sexuality wherein the individual is attracted to more than one gender; this doesn’t necessarily mean they have intimate relationships with multiple genders or people at the same time. An individual who is polysexual can be in a monogamous relationship, unlike someone who identifies as polyamorous.

FAQs

What does it mean to be polysexual?

Being polysexual means being attracted to more than one but not necessarily all genders. It is often considered a subset of being multisexual. Two other sexualities that fall under the term multisexual are pansexual and bisexual. Being polysexual doesn’t equal infidelity; it is an identity and one that is very valid; you can be polysexual and in a monogamous relationship.

How do I know if I’m polysexual?

Being polysexual means that you are attracted to more than one gender, and that gender may or may not be a factor. Coming to terms with your sexuality can be liberating but also overwhelming at the same time. Most of the time, the realization of your sexuality happens either all at once or over time; it is a rather personal process. 

However, here are some signs that might help,

  • You have crushes on people of different genders
  • You don’t picture a person of a specific gender when you imagine your perfect person
  • You do not feel comfortable or identify with other labels; they just do not feel right.

Can polysexual people get married?

Yes, polysexual individuals can get married. Being polysexual means that you are attracted to more than one gender; this doesn’t hinder your eligibility to get married in any way, shape, or form. A polysexual individual is as likely to get married as any other individual.

Is polygamy the same as polysexual?

No, polygamy and being polysexual are two very different things. Polygamy is the act of being married to more than one partner simultaneously, where everyone involved is aware of one another. There are various types of polygamy, some of which might include same-sex marriages. Polysexuality is an identity one takes on to say that they are attracted to more than one gender.

Wrapping up

Sexuality can often be confusing; coming to terms with your sexuality can be an experience that carries mixed emotions. You could feel liberated, overwhelmed, and sometimes even scared. It is important to have a support system to lean on, so you do not have to walk this path alone. However, sometimes you might not find this type of support at home, but you are not alone; there are various groups and support centers you could find on the internet that will help and guide you through this journey.

Polysexuality is the term adopted by individuals who are attracted to more than one gender. It is more an identity and less a description of the kind of relationship an individual might be having. Like polysexuality, there are various other sexualities; after all, sexuality is a spectrum and not one definite thing.

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.