What is pansexual?

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Pansexual refers to a person who is emotionally, sexually, or romantically attracted to people of all genders. Those who consider themselves as pansexuals are attracted not only to men and women but also to other sexual types that go beyond the standard identified sex.  Transsexual men and women are examples of sexual orientation that are typically not classified as either male or female.  For pansexuality, the attraction basically goes beyond the male or female gender.  All categories of sexual orientation are part of being called or classified as pansexual.

The term “pansexual” comes from two root words which are “pan” and “sexual”. “Pan” literally means “all” and this is why pansexuality is strictly defined as the attraction towards “all” sexes and not only to the standard gender classification of male and female.  When compared with bisexuality, pansexuality involves attraction to all sexes or sexual orientation including male and female, along with all other orientations in between like transgenders for example.  Bisexuality meanwhile exclusively involves attraction towards both male and female sexes.

With the main definition involving “all” sexual orientations, being pansexual is considered more of an inclusive term when referring to feelings toward other people.  The feelings are directed to the person regardless of sexuality or gender.  In pansexuality, there is no stereotyping involved when it comes to the sexual orientation.  Pansexuals can be in relationships with people who do not classify themselves as purely male or female.  All sexual orientation and preferences in between are covered when speaking about the feelings of attraction involved in being pansexual.  For this very reason, pansexuality is also referred to as the same with polysexuality wherein the attraction involves multiple sexes.  In rare occasions, pansexuality may also be applied to organizations that appear to be gender-equal in terms of their hiring or employment policies.  A pansexual organization for example simply means that it is open to employees regardless of sex or gender.

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