What are the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality?



I’m a bisexual woman, and both I and my bi friends include trans and non-binary people in our attraction range. What are the difference between the terms?

In: Other

There isn’t any, truthfully. The word bisexual used to have different connotations; some people used it to describe what we would call bigender or gender fluid or even vague non-binary. As a sexuality though it’s always included trans and NB people; things just kinda got mixed up over time and with generational shifts. A lot of our history has gotten lost to untimely deaths, or has been forcefully erased, so it’s been easy for things to change definitions.

I use both interchangeably but to be honest I’m more inclined to use pan just because I like the flag colors better LOL

There’s very little.

Bisexuality, in current usage of the term, is “I am attracted to both people of my gender identity, and people not of my gender identity.”

Pansexuality, in current usage of the term is “I am attracted to people no matter what their gender identity may be.”

In practice, the terms are pretty much identical. But some people have very strong opinions about the term “bisexual” and whether its an outdated term because it implies a gender binary.

Bi (meaning 2) sexual refers to one being attracted to either a male or female.

Pansexual refers to one who is attracted to, or can be attracted to anyone, regardless of what their gender is or what they identify as (i.e, male, female, any of the lgbt designations…etc).

There isn’t really much of a difference. I identify as pan, it just feels more correct to me than identifying as bi but the differences between the two are pretty minute. I personally feel like saying I’m bi and attracted to all genders doesn’t fit me because I don’t feel like I am attracted to genders at all, it’s just not a factor in the equation or something I even remotely care about. Ultimately I think it’s just whatever you want to label yourself as and whatever feels most right to you

Not an expert, but I think pansexuality is a generalization of bisexuality. As the concept of bisexuality existed before the new gender identities were born (like transgenders or non-binary people), there is a chance that some bisexuals won’t accept those new genders for some reason (would be like some kind of only-cis bisexuality), so a new concept, pansexuality, is created in order to explicitly include all genders and sexualities.

As far as I’m aware you described pan sexuality. Essentially pan and poly sexual are just more wide reaching than bi which is defined as being more narrow.

Pansexual – all gender expressions
Poly sexual – most but not all gender expressions
Bisexual – multiple but less than poly
CIS/lesbian/gay only a single expression

These terms are fluid so this might not be everyone’s definitions of these terms but that’s my understanding of the majority opinion. I think poly could also technically refer to trans exclusionary but NB accepting but it’s all a bit wiggly

I’m bi because I’m heteroflexible. I fancy and have had relations with women but I prefer relations with men. Someone who is pan doesn’t feel like there’s a difference. To me there is, fun with women is just that, it’s not likely to go anywhere.

Ppl saying that bi = transphobic and pan = trans accepting is nonsense. Ppl saying that bi or pan ppl in straight monogamous relations are just straight is nonsense.

The problem about a lot of LGBTQ+ terms is that their heavily debated and people use them in different ways. So the exact meaning can differ from person to person. Some people say that bisexual is liking male and female, some say that bisexual is liking 2 genders (nb and females or males and nbs for example) and some people say bisexuality is liking how many genders youd like and the only thing differiencing bi and pan is that you cant have a preference as a pansexual person but you can when youre bi. What they teach in school is at least that bisexual means liking opposite and same gender and that pansexual means liking everyone and not seeing gender.

Basically, bisexual can mean a few different things (own gender + one other gender; two or more genders; only the binary genders; all genders, etc.) People will argue all day about which one of those bisexual “really” means or which it originally meant, but the real answer is that bisexual people aren’t a monolith, they all choose their term for varying reasons and as a result the term becomes slightly vague.

But pansexual, being a pretty new label, still most commonly only means one thing: attraction to all genders. So if you’re attracted to all genders, which one you use typically just comes down to whether you want that level of specificity or not. Or which flag you like. Or whether you really want to confuse grandma into thinking you’re attracted to cookware today.

In some circles people on both sides will get into a fucking tizzy about whether the other label is transphobic or something, but that’s mostly a bunch of garbage and we have a lot in common!

i call myself bisexual because i am not attracted to transgender people. someone who is pan sexual would not exclude transgender or non-binary people.

i only like cis men and women. i’m bisexual.

Bisexuality and pansexuality are functionally the same thing – you’re capable of being attracted in some capacity to both men and women (although because of the complexities of sex, gender and attraction, that could manifest in a variety of forms). This is opposed to straight and gay people, who are attracted in some way or other to one sex and/or gender, but in no way at all to the other. The simplest terms would just be penises and vaginas, but obviously that’s really reductive and misses out so much.

Pansexual is a term that some bisexual people choose to use to describe themselves, and they may choose to do this for a variety of reasons. Some pansexual people choose the term because they feel that the word bisexual has too strong implications of the sexual or gender binary mattering – as seen in the fact my description above struggled to account for the fact that not all people actually fit neatly into the categories of male or female, and can be attractive to someone regardless of genitalia. These people wish to reject the binary in regard to their capacity for attraction to other humans.

Other people use the word pansexual because they wish to distinguish between people who are attracted to specifically two genders (“bi”sexual people) and people who are attracted to all genders (“pan”sexual people). That one of course is dependent on the belief that there are more than two genders, and on defining bisexual as specifically meaning attraction to two genders, which obviously isn’t how all bisexual people use the term.

Some pansexual people choose the term because to them, gender and/or sex is completely irrelevant. These people typically contrast bisexuality and pansexuality on the idea that while bisexuals can be attracted to a range of people, that attraction is related to sex and/or gender, whereas for pansexuals it doesn’t matter at all. To give an example, I have a bisexual friend who is attracted specifically to masculine-presenting men and feminine-presenting women, but not feminine-presenting men or masculine-presenting women – in this case, sex matters to her sexuality because what she finds attractive depends on the sex of the person. Hypothetically, someone attracted to feminine men and women but not masculine men and women would be someone for whom gender expression matters (ie feminine good) but not sex (because that feminine works the same on both sexes).

So, the difference between pansexuality and bisexuality really depends on who you ask: To have a difference, someone needs to first define bisexuality as something more narrow than being attracted to both sexes, and then determine that their sexuality is less narrow than that definition of bisexuality they’ve come up with.

The way I usually see it expressed, as well as the way I personally express it being pansexual is that

Bisexuality considers gender when thinking about a partner, so like you’ll consider what the person’s gender is when considering someone for a partner where Pansexuality tends to not take gender into account when looking for a partner.

Bisexual comes from the word two. So it means you are sexually attracted to two different kind of people. It could be cis men and women, Cis men and trans women, or any other two combinations of sexual identity.

Pan sexual means that you are attracted to pans. Cooking, oil, or otherwise. But not both; that would make you bipansexual.

Side note: Pam sexual is if you grew up watching Baywatch.