The stupidest fucking debate.

Bisexuality vs Pansexuality.

Yes. I’ve seen this five times in the last week alone. Can we stop doing this. There are so many different definitions of both of these terms, and they mostly overlap. If someone says that they are pansexual, and you don’t know what they mean by that, ASK THEM. Don’t ask them to tell you the difference between that and bisexuality. If someone says that they are bisexual, don’t assume that they are enforcing the gender binary, won’t date trans* people, and aren’t attracted to non-binary trans* people. If you aren’t sure about what someone means when they say that they are bisexual, ASK THEM. Don’t ask them to tell you the difference between that and pansexuality. Personally, I use the terms interchangeably to describe myself, though I actually prefer the term non-monosexual, but that will never catch on so I usually just say bisexual, because most people know it and it gives them a general idea of who I am capable of being attracted to. Please stop policing other people’s sexual orientation.

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18 thoughts on “The stupidest fucking debate.

  1. So let me see. I consider myself bisexual because I have as much pleasure having sex with a woman or a man. But I may have also as much pleasure having sex with a transgendered person. Now I couldn’t fall in love with a man, that’s certain. So I assume I’m not pansexual… Am I right?

    Eventually, does it really make sense to label people on their sexual tastes? I wonder…

  2. @Blown

    So I assume I’m not pansexual… Am I right?

    Hey, Um, The whole point of this post is that the debate about what constitutes a pansexual and what constitutes a bisexual is ridiculous. You consider yourself bisexual, you explain what that means in your own context, you don’t need to worry about what constitutes pansexuality. There are many definitions of pansexuality. If someone says that they are pansexual, then ask them what it means for them.

    I consider myself bisexual because I have as much pleasure having sex with a woman or a man. But I may have also as much pleasure having sex with a transgendered person.

    A trans man is a man and a trans woman is a woman so the way you phrased those sentences is problematic. It sounds as if you are denying that a trans woman is a woman or a trans man is a man. A cis woman who is a lesbian who is attracted to a trans woman is still considered a lesbian. There are also many different types of non-binary trans* folk who do not belong exclusively to either of those two categories. If that is what you meant, you need to use more specific language.

    Eventually, does it really make sense to label people on their sexual tastes?

    Yes. There are many reasons, but I don’t really feel like getting into all of them right now, but I’ll give you one. We are discriminated against because of who we like. It allows us to find others like us who understand what we are going through. I’ll give you another related one. Without a word to describe what we are it is easier to erase the discrimination against us. I’ll even give you a third that is specific to non-monosexuality. Many people think that someone is either straight or gay. Without words to describe someone who is not monosexual, many people would think that they are the only ones experiencing this.

    Now I couldn’t fall in love with a man

    Romantic orientation is not the same as sexual orientation. For example I experience a fluid sexual preference but describe myself as bisexual/pansexual/non-monosexual/if you’re hot I want to fuck you. I am panromantic with a preference for women. And to define how I am using the term panromantic, it means that I can experience romantic attraction to men, women, and non-binary gender people. And the preference for women means that I experience romantic attraction to women more often.

    -Emily

  3. I get your points. And you make sense.

    This part of the comment was highly problematic and violated multiple provisions of my comment policy, so have a link to a little Emmylou Harris.

    But I finally wonder what use there is in calling oneself by terms others won’t understand anyway. When I searched about pansexuality on wikipedia, it was referencing romantic attraction too. So, the question stays: is pansexuality purely related to sexual aspects or is it also a state of mind and possibly related to love?

  4. @Blown
    “Eventually, we are EITHER a man OR a woman, right?”
    Uh, no. Not everyone is either a man OR a woman. Some people have gender identities that are both male and female, or neither, or in between, or any of a variety of things that doesn’t fit nicely into the system that assumes that everyone either fits into a box labeled male or a box labeled female. If you are talking about biology, specifically, then… still no. There are a variety of intersex conditions which result in genitalia that are not clearly either male or female, and even sex chromosomes aren’t strictly XX or XY. There are people with X, or XXY, or XYY, or a variety of other chromosome types (including chimerism, which can result in, for example, a person having some cells with XX chromosomes and other cells with XY chromosomes).

    So no. It’s not clear cut.

    “I also agree when you correct me because I said man, woman or trans. Of course I should consider a trans either a man or a woman. BUT the fact is, most of time (if not all) it won’t be exactly the same. Changing gender never is 100% the same. A transman hardly will have a penis that works the same as a man’s penis and hardly will feel the same orgasms a man would, and a transwoman hardly will have a real vagina and experience the female orgasm. I’m 100% convinced our orgasms don’t work the same.”

    I don’t even know where to start with this paragraph, there is so much wrong with it. Mostly it reads, to me, as just short of actually saying “but a trans man/woman isn’t a ‘real’ man/woman because biology.” Also, you are not telling anyone anything that they are not already painfully aware of by pointing out that this detail or that isn’t 100% the same for a trans person as a cis person. And so what if it’s not 100% exactly the same in every detail? What is even your point?

    Also, trans is an adjective, not a noun.

  5. nice post, em. i like it. <3 a big fuck off to all the cats who don't respect the diversity and the overlap between the pansexual/bisexual communities.

    @ blown: i'm neither a woman nor a man. hi! yeah, i exist. feel free to check out my blog (rainbowgenderpunk.wordpress.com). you might also want to check out neutrois nonsense, the felt fedora, and nonbinary.org.

    it's "trans* man," trans* woman," and "trans* person." you need to put that space in there for the same reason you put spaces in the phrases "white guy," "gay woman," and "wealthy person." as midori wrote, "trans*" is an adjective.

    fyi, most trans* people don't feel like we've "changed genders." some of us feel that we were born in the wrong bodies, but (as far as i know) all of us feel that we were designated the wrong gender at birth and that we reveal our true genders as we transition.

    your comments so far have been very cissexist. please don't just leave that shit lying around; do some research on your own without subjecting other people to your cissexism. all the good intentions in the world don't make cissexist bullshit hurt any less. please feel welcome to message me via my blog; i'm very open to answering questions and suggesting resources.

    as for your confusion regarding pansexuality, feel free to check out "10 panphobic myths" and "stuff pansexuals need to know" on my blog. it's probably shitty and vain for me to just send you links to my own blog, but there ya go.

  6. holy fuck, i come off as a puffed-up asshat, don’t i? bleh.

    i’d also like to go back on my own words; MOST of us feel that we were designated the wrong gender at birth and that we reveal our true genders as we transition. cuz some of us DO feel that we change genders. sorry about that, cats.

  7. @ Mx. Punk

    please don’t just leave that shit lying around

    Sorry about that Mx. Punk. I haven’t checked in since last night. It is temporarily unapproved. I will probably write out a blog post in response to that comment before editing it for my ammusement. Glad you and Midori Skies could step up to the plate here.

    . it’s probably shitty and vain for me to just send you links to my own blog, but there ya go.

    I was actually going to send Blown over to you for the non-binary stuff since as a binary women I don’t feel comfortable speaking for y’all.

    holy fuck, i come off as a puffed-up asshat, don’t i?

    Not at all.

  8. @Midori Skies

    I don’t even know where to start with this paragraph, there is so much wrong with it

    I know right. Thanks for stepping in here while I was away.

  9. @ em: oops! in retrospect, my comment was a tad misleading. i wasn’t asking YOU not to leave that shit (that comment) lying around– i was asking blown not to leave his ignorance lying around. like, don’t just spout some ignorant shit and go take a nap. do some research, ya know? (which could be what blown is doing right now, for all i know.) sorry for being unclear, em!

    it wouldn’t really bother me (and this is just me) if you left blown’s comment up. imo, it gets shitty when the blogger lets a problematic comment through moderation and nobody addresses the issues. but cats are addressing the issues, in this case, so yay.

    @ blown: you’re still welcome to contact me via my blog if you want to learn stuff. i promise not to be an asshole. seriously, cat.

  10. Emily, I have question here… why do you feel that non trans* people have such a hard time accepting trans* people? (If I got that reference wrong, please forgive me. I claim severe ignorance). I ask because I’m truly curious – from my perspective, you personally identified yourself as female during a previous post and subsequently that is how I think of you. It makes absolutely no difference to me whether you have a penis or not. This may just be my opinion but isn’t your preference the only thing that really matters?

  11. @ William
    Hello there,
    1. I’m working on a response to your latest post, it might take me a while longer, but it is coming.
    2. I’m not entirely sure why you posted this question on this post instead of on my Ask page.
    3. I’ll take your question step by step here and while I am not exactly an authority on everything here I can provide what I know.

    why do you feel that non trans* people have such a hard time accepting trans* people?

    Many reasons. Mostly though, societal factors such as cissexism, transphobia, oppositional sexism, traditional sexism, homophobia, heteronormativity and a few others. Also, a great deal of ignorance. And it doesn’t help that certain groups that should be with us, actively discriminate against us. Plus, we blow their minds. But as to why any specific individual discriminates against trans* folk, you would have to ask them. This is a very short answer to a very complex question. If you wish to know more, I reccomend the book Whipping Girl by Julia Serano

    I ask because I’m truly curious – from my perspective, you personally identified yourself as female during a previous post and subsequently that is how I think of you. It makes absolutely no difference to me whether you have a penis or not.

    And that makes you better than most of humanity in my book.

    This may just be my opinion but isn’t your preference the only thing that really matters?

    From my perspective, YES.

  12. 1. Please don’t feel the need to rush your response to my post. My blog isn’t going anywhere and, after all, I wouldn’t want you to miss the opportunity of impaling me on the point of my own pen, so to speak.

    2. I posted this here because I was being lazy and hit reply while reading your post instead of thinking about the best place to reply. Sorry about that.

    3. Thank you for the information and for the compliment. In response I simply offer this opinion – the only person who can form a complete and accurate judgment of an individual is the person being judged in the first place. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either suffering from self-deceit or has been themselves deceived.

  13. @ Blown
    1. You missed the entire point of this post. It was a post telling people to stop arguing about the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality. Most of the definitions overlap, allthough some don’t and telling people to stop trying to define them in opposition to each other. If you want to know how a particular individual who identifies as pansexual defines that term, ask them what they mean by it. Don’t ask them how it is differnt from bisexuality.
    2. Your previous comment has been edited because it violates my comment policy.
    3. I wrote you a post.

  14. I really like the term non-monosexual. It can imply to some people that one can love more than one person rather than the meaning I think you intended, which is more along the lines of being capable of attraction to various genders. I sort of like the ambiguity of it. I might start using it myself. I’ve been using “pansexual,” and will stick with that as my primary self-label, but I like this term you have coined.

  15. hi! it’s cool if you don’t want to get very specific about your sexual orientation (yay!), but i think “multisexual” is a good alternative to “non-monosexual.” “non-monosexual” centers monosexuality as the default and impies that non-monosexuality is deviant. “multisexuality,” on the other hand, doesn’t center anybody as is value-neutral. just my opinion.

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