Hello my lovely readers!
By now I’ll be heading home from a lovely weekend with my fellow bloggers (which I’ve, no doubt, tweeted excessively about). So, in the meantime, please do accept this fascinating article by Hopeful Honeydew looking in to pansexuality; what it means to her, and what she might say to someone (an anonymous questioner) when faced with the initial confusion of pansexuality.
Hello Guys and Gals, it’s Hopeful Honeydew back for another ramble!
This time I want to natter about pansexuality.
I have been a proud pansexual for five years now, and through my experiences I have discovered it can be a pesky term for some (dare I say leading to PANdemonium?)
I asked my friend who knows little of the pansexual world to throw me some questions, and in this article I shall seek to answer them to the best of my ability. I do want to express however, that I am only one melon, and these are only my experiences, opinions, etc. I certainly don’t speak for the entire community.
So lovely readers, grab a nice cup of tea or a refreshing cold beverage and enjoy my musings.
Did you learn about pan sexuality at the same sort of time as the other sexualities? If not did you feel the other sexualities were inadequate for you until you heard of pansexuality?
No, I hadn’t heard of it.
At first I deemed myself bisexual, but it just didn’t seem to fit me (see your next question for more on that). The journey to my pansexual identity was a long and gradual one, but it terms of hearing of the term I believe I was doing some casual LGBTQ research (I think I was researching what each of the colors on the pride flag actually represented). The term immediately resonated with and captured me, a lightbulb moment if you will. I didn’t discover anything to do with pansexuality In my school education. Other than very very momentarily touching on gay/lesbian relationships (mostly with the back drop of laughter from immature and wholly straight individuals), we only explored heterosexual relationships.
Follow up, how long have you identified as a pansexual?
I’ve known I was at the least bisexual since I was about 13 (girlie sleep overs can take on a whole different view when you realize your best friend is smokin’), however I have identified as pansexual for five years.
I’d say this naturally came as I matured, I’m 23 now, so, once I started to come out (no pun intended) of the confusion of feelings and hormones that is the teenage life experience, I started to notice my eye was drawn to those who didn’t necessarily fit the mold. I also noticed I started to become attracted sexually to individuals for aspects such as their smile, their body shape, their passions and interests, and not their erogenous zones, for want of a better phrase. As one of my favorite quotes from Queer as Folk proclaims ‘genitalia is simply God’s way of accessorizing’.
How does pansexuality differ from bisexuality, how significant are these differences?
Well, I think the best thing to do is to begin with the good old definitions of both terms:
- Sexual attraction to both men and women.
adjective: pansexual; adjective: pan-sexual
- Not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity.
I think, with only these very brief definitions the differences are clear.
First off, pansexuality is far more abstract, whereas bisexuality is far more concise. I think this is why pansexuality can often be a confusing term for some people and why some pansexuals like myself will occasionally identify as bisexual just to simplify things for others. I think this speaks of a strong issue however in the lack of awareness and validation of the term, which is why I now avoid doing this as much as possible, as I feel I have a responsibility as a proud pansexual to champion my sexuality.
I do want to specify at this point however, that I’m not ‘bashing’ on bisexuality or highlighting pansexuality as the ‘superior’ sexuality. Bisexuality is a wonderful and beautiful thing and suits many, as is pansexuality, I really do see Bisexuals and Pansexuals as best friends!
Bisexuality is far more focused on gender, typically biological though this really depends on your concept or standpoint of bisexuality (basically you do you…and others, depending on your attraction). Bisexuality is the attraction to both males and females. It can be seen as quite cut and dry in its typical form. I think this might be why it is far more understood and more prevalent in society. It is easy for the masses to understand, process, and digest.
Pansexuality as I’ve mentioned is far less literal. Gender identities simply don’t come in to the picture for most Pansexuals, (again with bisexuals, I’m speaking of the term in its typical definition), it is the person regardless of what ‘accessories’ they have which is the sexually/romantically attracting factor.
Wouldn’t adding a lot of different sexualities muddy an already confusing issue rather than sticking to fewer broader sexualities?
I feel like Pansexuality is too much of a unique identification, in much the same way as Gay and Lesbian identities have clear defining factors. Pansexuality is just a little more complicated/abstract, without great awareness, due to its conceptual nature. I believe pansexuality’s traits are too specific and prevailing to be defined under another sexuality. I do see it as bisexuality’s best friend.
What kind of things do you find attractive in people, speaking from a purely first impression/at a glance type of contact?
I can’t lie, even though I’m a proud pansexual, there are some visual aspects of people that will make me look twice (purely in the sense of walking down the street).
I really love strong shoulders, as well as curves. I’ll always look twice when someone has a boho/tribal look to them, and in general if someone’s strutting with fabulous confidence with their own personal style, I will deem them wholly worthy of a second glance or approving nod.
In terms of first impressions gained from say a five minute conversation with someone, typically I’m attracted to a person’s warmth (not body warmth, I don’t just walk up to them and nuzzle them for survival). If they exude energy, passion or kindness, I’ll want to speak with them more. It doesn’t have to be much, just that little something. I’m very attracted to people’s smiles, as well as the ability to laugh at themselves, or be free or playful, I really struggle when people are too serious!!!
What is the most frustrating question you’ve been asked about pansexuality (and I apologize if it’s one of the ones I’ve asked)?
Generally I don’t mind being asked questions, no matter how stupid. I think the only thing that has ever irked me, and has happened more than once, is pansexuality’s misclassification.
For example, when I’ve come out to some female friends online, our playful banter can suddenly stop because they see it as having a whole different context, like because I have a broader state of attraction they think automatically everyone is ‘prey’. I think this is where, pansexuality can collide with bisexuality, and also where I think that raised awareness would remove some of the grimy stigma or uncomfortable associations.
I did have a laughable moment once in PM’s on a forum, I told a friend I was pansexual and I got this immediate visceral response of ‘OMFG WHAT THE HELL, GROSS’, to which of course I inquired as to why.
The response I got? (And drum roll on this one).
‘F*cking animals is just wrong dude…I don’t think we should talk anymore’
Through my tears of laughter I calmly explained to them that what they were thinking of was bestiality, which I was not a subscriber to, my broad ranging attractions solely being focussed on Homo Sapiens Sapiens thank you very much.
I feel obligated to ask this one, do pans make you feel saucy?
When it comes to pans, I have to say this one has a special place in my heart:
Although honeydews do taste mighty fine grilled, I think that’s enough questions for now.
I hope my lovely readers found my answers insightful or encouraging. I’d love to hear about ome of your own experiences in the comments section, and if you have questions for me, I’d certainly love to take a crack at answering them in a follow-up article.
Stay sweet my fruity friends!