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Pansexuality: a sexual option beyond gender roles

Pansexuality: a sexual option beyond gender roles

June 25, 2022

The world is full of sexual orientations that they are still taboo (in the best of cases) or directly reason for punishment (at worst). However, the fact that in many cultures begin to recognize the freedom of individuals to be attracted to who they want does not mean that all these orientations are coming to light equally and receive the same attention.

To realize this, it is enough to see how many people are familiar with the concept of pansexuality.

What is Pansexuality?

We could see a simulation of the typical reaction to the definition of pansexuality in one of the last (and worst) seasons of the British series Skins. One of the characters, Franky Fitgerald , was questioned about his sexual orientation at a time that had to be on the podium of the most interesting sequences of the season (note the level of quality).


The answer, that his patidifusas companions had to give by good and that could not be developed much more neither textually nor narratively, was this: I'm into people. This phrase is very short, but it may serve to have a basic notion about what it means to be labeled as pansexual .

How is a pansexual person?

Let's start with the easy: to start from a type of sexual orientation that is not hegemonic in order to define a sexual orientation that is even less hegemonic. Take homosexuality as an example.

Be it coincidence or not, homosexuality is based on a distinction between two sexes, just as the form of sexual orientation that has eclipsed it for centuries: heterosexuality. Both homosexuals and heterosexuals divide society into sexes to determine which is potentially attractive.


Pansexual people, however, do not take into account the variable "sex", or at least they feel it when they meet the criteria by which they are attracted to one or another person. This means that although a pansexual woman may find another woman attractive, her preferences can not be described by placing her on a scale with the extremes "greater tendency toward heterosexuality" or "greater tendency towards homosexuality", because rejects the distinction between men and women that gives meaning to that measurement tool.

Pansexuality is simply a sexual orientation that is not governed by these parameters.

So, pansexuality and bisexuality are the same?

Not at all, although it is possible that there are people who declare themselves bisexual due to ignorance of the idea of ​​pansexuality. They are similar sexual orientations, since question the man / woman dichotomy and its relation to sexual attraction , but there are nuances that keep them separate.


Someone bisexual is, in short, someone who may be attracted to people of both sexes. But nevertheless, the bisexual people define the sex of the people associating to this one a load of gender : women are female and men are male. It is important to bear this in mind because, although being attracted to both sexes may question the value of this criterion, bisexuals continue to recognize the existence of gender associated with sex as something important.

The difference between bisexuality and pansexuality is that gender does not play an essential role in the latter, that is, in a group of roles, attitudes and behaviors that are considered masculine or feminine. Someone pansexual does not take into account neither the sex of a subject nor the way in which their behavior is more or less adjusted to one or the other gender. He simply feels attracted to people.

No, that cliché does not happen in the pansexuals either

The pansexual people consider that both sex and gender are empty concepts , but that does not mean that they are attracted to the whole world. That myth according to which someone who is attracted to people of the same sex feels attracted to everyone is also false in the case of pansexuality. Someone who is defined according to this sexual orientation is perfectly capable of feeling little attraction (sexual or of any kind) by the vast majority of people, and not for that reason will enjoy enjoying the company of a few individuals, regardless of their gender and sex .

In that sense, it is possible that pansexuality implies more openness towards the sexual appreciation of people , but no more opening to all individuals in particular. This is an important nuance.

A silenced sexual orientation

Pansexuality may be a more romantic idea than homosexuality or heterosexuality, but it is also more shocking, more revolutionary.It is a challenge for the categories of sex and gender, and for that reason is a difficult orientation to understand. It is not something that can easily become folklore, such as the one that makes up the stereotypes of the gay community, and therefore is also more difficult to recognize, make visible, and fill with good amounts of clichés Y marketing.

Maybe that's why, ironically, it is possible that here and there it is believed that pansexuality is a fashion , a way to seek the attention of others. Maybe that's why, even today, there are many people unable to assimilate the idea that it is possible to feel attracted to people, without more.

Bibliographic references:

  • Aponte Carías, Yllelyna (2009). I am pansexual and I do not discriminate. Available at: //www.gaceta.udg.mx/Hemeroteca/paginas/573/G573_COT%209.pdf
  • Serrano Ruiz-Calderón, José Miguel. (1994). Ideology and bioethics: The case of pansexualism. Available at: //aebioetica.org/revistas/1994/1-2/17-18/19.pdf

The Diversity of Sex, Gender, and Sexual Orientation (June 2022).


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