First, a point of reference for you to consider in the form of a blog I came across: https://theelectricagora.com/2020/02/03/is-pansexuality-obligatory/
Next, wow… I have a problem with this word and I’ll tell you why I do but first, I gotta tell you this story so I can proceed… hold my beer.
About ten or maybe even twelve years ago, I was chatting with a female friend and we were talking about sexuality and she revealed that she was pansexual. I’d been hearing whispers of this word in places so I asked her to define it for me… and she did… and when she was done, I asked her, “How is that any different from being bisexual?”
She stated that gender is the key word in pansexuality… and my brain shorted out. Now this was about the same time when I started seeing new definitions for bisexuality appearing and many of which included the word, “gender” and to the point where even though I knew what the definition was, I looked it up and, yep, it was still the same definition I’d learned a long time ago. This was also about the same time when some folks started riffing about the gender binary and that it wasn’t a real thing or, at best, shouldn’t exist because, “duh,” not everyone identified as male or female.
My brain really shorted out even though, sure, I was hearing about people knowing they were born in the wrong body and I knew a transwoman who used to be a guy (used to work with her before she was a she). Locally, “transvestites” were everywhere and some were in the process of changing their physical form to some degree – usually getting boobs and retaining their dicks but, okay, how we see ourselves – and choose to present ourselves to the world was seriously changing.
But when you talk about sexuality, you almost always wind up talking about sex since they’re kinda/sorta related and dependent upon one’s point of view about having sex, like you can be bisexual but not of a mind to have the sex that is implied and the “hallmark” of bisexuality. You could… but if you didn’t want to, you didn’t have to.
Even before it became “a thing,” it wasn’t unusual for some men – and even some women – to be sexually attracted to the newly coined word, “transsexuals” and, okay, sure – there is just something either very weird or highly attractive about someone who presents with the sexual parts of both sexes while, adopting the female gender role in though and in deed, well, hmm, until their dick got hard and provided, of course, that they weren’t taking the hormones to minimize their male attributes.
I couldn’t begin to tell you how many dudes would see that fine looking babe, get all hot and bothered seeing her and talking to her, sex gets put on the table but when it was time to get naked, oh shit! She’s got a dick! What the fuck! Some guys would react badly and violently, some would head for the hills… and some would say, “Fuck it – let’s do it anyway!”
And this was in the 1980s and in a time when we still believed that you were either straight or you were gay and being bisexual was still a running joke. But now we were seeing more “shemales” out in the open and, well, while many people were revulsed by these creatures, many were having sex with them either for the thrill of it or just because they could have sex with them. I think – and it’s just a thought – that bisexuals were more… comfortable with transsexuals and some gay men appeared to be quite comfortable.
Now, intelligently, I can almost see why pansexualism became a sexuality issue because, simply, not everyone was male or female in mind, body, or even both – gender identity was being questioned, people undergoing reassignment and all that so in the world of sex and sexuality, these people had to be represented as well. Now it’s a question of whether or not one could find such individuals sexually attractive or not…
But even in this, I didn’t see it as being any different from how we go about determining for ourselves what – or who – is sexually attractive and what – or who – isn’t. My contention, both then and now, is that even if you change your physical form, you’re still either male or female and I couldn’t wrap my head around what those folks who were ranting and raving about the gender binary was bitching about except, okay, you could have the physical attributes of both sexes or have a penis or a vagina depending on how you saw yourself as a person or you could be very female inside your head and even behave like a female… but you still looked like a guy; likewise, you could physically be female but adopt male appearances and mannerisms.
Or, aka, “butch” lesbians and effeminate gay men. Nothing to see here and nothing unusual going on, either.
The thing is that you’re either going to be sexually attracted to people… or you aren’t. Since I know that you can not only be sexually attracted to damn near anyone, you can have sex with anyone… provided they wanna have sex with you but, again, nothing weird going on here. I was raised like most people were in my generation: Sex is only between males and females and opposite sex attraction was mandated so if you weren’t, well, you were queer and, trust me, that was never a good thing.
And gender – the act of being male or female – really wasn’t a “thing,” not like it is now… but pansexuality, in my opinion, seems to suggest that it should be a thing and I’m still not convinced that it really is a thing given my understanding of attraction and sex as well as my personal experiences. I just don’t see a real difference other than pansexuality being touted as being more than bisexual due to gender… but bisexuality is being defined with the inclusion of the word “gender.”
It’s a difference which makes no difference and, at best – and in my opinion only – pansexuality is social engineering but one that might make a “good point” in that we, in theory, should find anyone sexually attractive and things like sex and gender should not get in the way of sexual attraction.
Still not different from being bisexual. Now, the author of the blog I referenced way back in the beginning of this responded to a comment I made like this:
“Here are some ways in which bisexuals may differ from pansexuals (though it’s possible that pansexuality is a species of bisexuality, depending on how you define that word):
1. Bisexuals may be attracted to men and women, but the men and women have to be cis-gendered. Thus, a bisexual wouldn’t be attracted to trans people, but a pansexual would.
2. Even if a bisexual were attracted to trans people, it could be that he’s attracted to only a subset of them. E.g., you’re attracted to people who transmen or transwomen, but not to people who are gender-fluid.”
Interesting premises, huh? And I’d go as far as to say that, in principle, it’s kinda/sorta true… but not the whole truth. One of the questions I had about transgenders was is it possible for a transman or transwoman to be bisexual? Then I got to meet a transwoman who was quite bisexual; used to be a guy, now is a gal, still attracted to men and women, still liked having sex with both.
Meeting this person (and a few others) really and seriously had me asking if the purported difference was real… or a socially-engineered figment of our imagination because we’re still talking about people – human beings – and, duh, humans are very sexual creatures.
Period. And while some people do discriminate in these things, some people don’t… because even in its weirdness, the sexual attraction is still there and having sex just makes sense, you know, if you can convince them (or be convinced) that you’re not making a huge mistake consenting to have sex with them.
Is pansexuality just a matter of semantics and not unlike being heteroflexible is? I despise that word because it’s a semantical argument that seeks to set aside what being bisexual means, well, what it used to mean when I first discovered the word anyway. I’m bisexual. I am and can be sexually and emotionally attracted to men and women or, really, anyone I find to be sexually and/or emotionally attractive and even I got reeducated about what that really means after my very sexual encounter with a transsexual. I was seriously bent out of shape about it, too… but not because that hot chick had a dick but because all of my senses got totally and completely fooled; I just did not know that the girl wasn’t all girl until she got naked.
What does gender or gender identity have to do with this? Not a damned thing that I can see. One can still be straight, gay, or bi regardless of their gender identity or, bluntly, whatever floats your boat and how high one wants to fly their freak flag. Pansexuality appears to want to be an inclusive kind of thing when, maybe it really is just me, but it’s always been like this – it just didn’t have the visibility then than it does now.
I don’t want you to think that I’m hating on pansexuals – I’m not; if you’re pansexual, then you are what you say you are. I question the premise of it because, again, I can’t see what the real differences are – and if there truly is a difference and this just isn’t one of those things where we’re trying to make a difference when one really isn’t needed, not if you really understand the biology of sex and attraction and able to take a step back from the social engineering that has always been in play about sex and attraction.
The author – a learned man with a doctorate’s degree, by the way – opined that it’s a matter of Mind Over Body (MOB) or it could be Body Over Mind (BOM) and, okay, I can get my mind around that… because bisexuality is like that – that whole “hearts, not parts” thing and the reality that some folks about all about the hearts – the person and whatever makes them who they are – and some folks are all about the parts… but not really of a mind to discount the person the parts are attached to.
Gender stuff? Some bi guys go nuts over masculine men; some go nuts over effeminate men… and some are even nuttier over transsexuals and transgenders, too. Does that make them pansexual? You tell me because even in this, I don’t see how gender makes that much of a difference other than, perhaps, an intellectual exercise and on that acknowledges that some people aren’t as male or female as they may appear to be…
But we already knew that, didn’t we? While there’s no escaping the biology of sex and attraction, we still decide what we find to be sexually attractive and by whatever means we do this and for whatever reason makes sense to us as individuals, whether it’s hearts and not parts or parts and not hearts so much… and even if we aren’t totally sure how all of this works.
I have a… thing about effeminate gay men – they drive me insane… but I also find them sexually attractive – well, some of them because their behavior can and will make them unattractive in my mind even when my body might be saying, “What are you doing? I wanna get with that!” It’s a continuation of that mind over matter thing where if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
Or like everything else about sex and sexuality, it’s a matter of personal preference and if we are anything else in this, we are forever inconsistent – it works for some and doesn’t work for others.
Nothing new going on here. It’s always been about what you like, what you don’t like, what you’re supposed to be doing and what you know you can do if you wanted to. You resonate with others at differing levels, from being friends to, ya mon, I wanna get you naked and gain much biblical knowledge of you because not only does the biology thinks this is a good idea, you just like that person – and for who they are and no matter how they are, who doesn’t like who or what they are.
And gender be damned since, duh, that either matters to a person or it doesn’t; thus it remains a difference which makes no difference… and I admit to being clueless as to why people think it should make a difference.
Again, if you’re pansexual, I have no beef with you whatsoever. Should “everyone” be more pansexual at the intellectual level? Sure – can’t we all just get along… and get naked with each other? The thing is that people have sexual prejudices, some real, some borrowed and/or handed down generationally – I still remember the fierce tongue-lashing I got from my maternal grandmother when I introduced her to my very white girlfriend and whom I was having mad crazy sex with. It didn’t make sense to me but, okay, grandmom, I get where you’re coming from even when I can’t agree with your view on these things.
You just cannot stop people from being people and we are prejudiced and biased in a great many directions and that includes sex and sexuality – who you’re supposed to have it with, who you’re supposed to be attracted to; who you’d better not even think about having sex with, let alone be attracted to “those people”, all of that stuff and more that continues to make me wonder if pansexuality – or the premise of it – is a real thing or just more social engineering and just as the riffing over sex and sexuality has always been in play.