Someone who is panromantic is romantically attracted to people of all gender identities.
This doesn’t mean you’re romantically attracted to everyone, but that someone’s gender doesn’t really factor in to whether you’re romantically attracted to them or not.
Nope! “Pansexual” is about sexual attraction while “panromantic” is about romantic attraction.
Yes. Have you ever felt sexually attracted to someone, but didn’t necessarily want a deeper relationship with them?
It’s possible to want to have a sexual experience with someone without wanting to date them.
In the same way, it’s possible to want to date someone without wanting to have sex with them.
That’s because sexual attraction isn’t the same thing as romantic attraction.
There are many words used to describe romantic attraction — by no means is this an exhaustive list.
Some of the most commonly used terms include:
- Aromantic: You experience little to no romantic attraction to anyone, regardless of gender.
- Biromantic: You’re romantically attracted to people of two or more genders.
- Greyromantic: You experience romantic attraction infrequently.
- Demiromantic: You experience romantic attraction infrequently, and when you do it’s only after developing a strong emotional connection to someone.
- Heteroromantic: You’re only romantically attracted to people of a different gender to you.
- Homoromantic: You’re only romantically attracted to people who are the same gender as you.
- Polyromantic: You’re romantically attracted to people of many — not all — genders.
The prefix “bi-” usually means two. Binoculars have two parts, and bicycles have two wheels.
However, the bisexual community has long considered “bisexual” to mean “sexually attracted to people of two or more genders.”
Similarly, biromantic means “romantically attracted to people of two or more genders.”
Biromantic and panromantic aren’t exactly the same thing, although there can be an overlap.
“Many” isn’t the same as “all.” “All” might fit into the category of “two or more,” because it is more than two, but isn’t exactly the same thing.
For example, if you say, “I enjoy many varieties of tea,” that’s not the same as saying, “I enjoy all kinds of tea.”
It works the same with gender.
You may be romantically attracted to people of many genders, but it isn’t the same as being romantically attracted to people of all genders.
If you’d like, you can identify as both biromantic and panromantic, because “all” does technically fall into the category of “more than two.”
It’s ultimately up to you as an individual to choose which label or labels suit you best.
Now that we’ve covered romantic attraction, let’s look at sexual attraction.
Here are some of the most commonly used terms:
- Asexual: You experience little to no sexual attraction to anyone, regardless of gender.
- Bisexual: You’re sexually attracted to people of two or more genders.
- Greysexual: You experience sexual attraction infrequently.
- Demisexual: You experience sexual attraction infrequently, and when you do it’s only after developing a strong emotional connection to someone.
- Heterosexual: You’re only sexually attracted to people of a different gender to you.
- Homosexual: You’re only sexually attracted to people who are the same gender as you.
- Polysexual: You’re sexually attracted to people of many — not all — genders.
Yes! There are many different kinds of attraction, including:
- Aesthetic attraction, which is being attracted to someone based on how they look.
- Sensual or physical attraction, which is about wanting to touch, hold, or cuddle someone.
- Platonic attraction, which is about wanting to be friends with someone.
- Emotional attraction, which is when you find yourself wanting an emotional connection with someone.
Of course, some of these bleed into each other.
For example, many people feel that sensual attraction is a central part of feeling sexually attracted to someone.
For other people, emotional attraction might be a core component of platonic attraction.
Most people are romantically attracted to the same gender they’re sexually attracted to.
For example, when we use the word “heterosexual,” it’s often implied that this person is sexually and romantically attracted to people of another gender.
But some people find that they’re romantically attracted to one group of people and sexually attracted to another group of people.
This is often called “cross-orientation” or “mixed orientation.”
For example, let’s say a woman is panromantic and heterosexual.
In other words, she’s romantically attracted to people of all gender identities, and she can picture herself having a deep, romantic, committed relationship with someone of any gender.
However, because she’s heterosexual, she’s only sexually attracted to men.
We use different words to describe our experiences because our experiences with sexual and romantic attraction are varied and unique.
Learning about different terms and types of attraction may be a little overwhelming at first, but it’s an important first step.
The labels we choose help us understand our own feelings and connect with people who feel the same way.
Of course, if you don’t want to label your sexual or romantic orientation, you don’t have to!
But it’s important to respect those who do label their orientation, even if you don’t understand it.
If you’d like to read up on different terms for attraction, check out:
- GLAAD’s guide to finding your ace community
- Asexual Visibility and Education Network, where you can look up different words relating to sexuality, sexual orientation, and romantic orientation
- Everyday Feminism, which has a lot of articles about sexual and romantic orientation
You may also find it beneficial to connect to a community of people who share your romantic or sexual orientation. You can often find these communities on Reddit and Facebook or in online forums.
Remember that the label(s) you choose to describe your experiences — if any — are up to you. No one else can dictate how you identify or express your orientation.