Pansexual vs. Bisexual: Which One Are You?

Pansexual vs. Bisexual: Which One Are You?


Pansexual vs. bisexual, is there a difference? They may seem very similar, but there is a distinction. Here’s how to distinguish between the two.

Sexual orientation plays a significant role in the way we identify ourselves. It also shapes our relationships with others.

In our modern world, where gender identity no longer defines our sexual preferences, the myriad of different terms can get confusing.

Knowing the differences between being bisexual and pansexual will help you get to know yourself better and build a healthy long-term relationship with yourself and someone you love

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Defining Sexuality

Sexuality goes far beyond sex.  It also encompasses your sexual feelings, thoughts, and behaviors towards others. You can find other people physically, sexually, or emotionally attractive, and all those things are a part of your sexuality. 

Modern sexuality has become much more complex than it used to be. Traditionally, it was linked to a person’s gender and the assumption that people are sexually attracted to the opposite sex.

Nowadays, we have transcended traditional views on sexual orientation, which is considered to be much more fluid than labels such as heterosexual, bisexual, or gay.

In a global survey conducted in 2021, three percent of respondents from 27 countries declared to be homosexual, gay, or lesbian. 

In India, for instance, nine percent, instead, identified as bisexual, representing the largest group of bisexual respondents among the 27 surveyed countries. Moreover, one percent of the interviewees said to be pansexual or omnisexual. 

23 types of sexualities you should know about

  1. Gay: a person who is romantically, sexually, and emotionally attracted to another person of the same gender. Can be used for both men and women.
  2. Lesbian: this adjective is used for women who are romantically, physically, and emotionally attracted to other women. 
  3. Bisexual: a person who is romantically and emotionally attracted to men and women.
  4. Biromantic: a person who feels a romantic attraction to more than one gender.
  5. Queer: it works as an umbrella term for people of all sexualities and gender minorities.
  6. Asexual: a person who doesn’t experience any sexual attraction for anybody.
  7. Autoromantic: a person who experiences a romantic attraction toward themselves. This does not mean that they do not experience romantic attraction toward others as well.
  8. Autosexual: a person who experiences sexual attraction towards themselves.
  9. Aromantic: a person who doesn’t experience any romantic attraction towards anybody.
  10. Heteromantic: a person who is romantically attracted to people of the opposite gender.
  11. Heterosexual: a person who is romantically, emotionally, and sexually attracted to people of the opposite gender.
  12. Homoromantic: a person who is romantically attracted to those of a similar gender to their own. 
  13. Monosexual: it works as an umbrella term for all sexual orientations that feel a romantic or sexual attraction toward only one gender.
  14. Androsexual: a person who is sexually, romantically, or physically attracted to the general notion of masculine people, regardless of their gender.
  15. Gynesexual: a person who is romantically and physically attracted to feminine people, regardless of their gender.
  16. Bicurious: a person who is exploring whether they are or aren’t into people of the same or opposite gender.
  17. Demiromantic: a person who is romantically attracted to people with whom they have a strong emotional bond.
  18. Demisexual: a person who only experiences sexual attraction after forming a deep emotional or romantic connection to their partner.
  19. Polyamorous: a person who is consensually involved sexually and romantically with multiple partners at the same time. 
  20. Skoliosexual: a person who is physically, romantically, and sexually attracted to genderqueer, transgender, and non-binary people.
  21. Panromantic: a person who feels a romantic attraction to someone of any gender or sex.
  22. Pansexual: a person who is physically, romantically, and sexually attracted to all people, regardless of their gender.
  23. Omnisexual: a person is attracted to all genders, but they are not considered to be gender blind.

Pansexual vs. Bisexual…What’s the Difference?

The significant difference between the two is that pansexuality is an attraction regardless of gender, and bisexuality is an attraction to more than one gender.

‘Pan’ means ‘all.’ So when you’re pansexual, you can be romantically, sexually, and emotionally attracted to all people, and gender is of little to no emotional, romantic, or sexual importance.

But if you are bisexual, while you can be attracted to multiple genders, you’ll probably have some gender preferences.

Let’s look at the results of a small study of people who identify as bisexual, pansexual, and queer in which they were asked to describe their sexual identity. 

Most bisexual respondents reported that they find themselves romantically and physically attracted to both men and women, albeit not equally.

On the other hand, respondents with pansexual self-identification weren’t sure about labeling themselves. Some of them stated, “I’m interested in people over people’s bits. Gender is amongst the many variables that literally do not enter the equation of ‘to date or not to date’.”

Is Omnisexual the Same as Pansexual?

Just like ‘pan,’ ‘omni’ means ‘all.’ These sexual orientations refer to people who feel attraction toward people of all genders and sexes.

While they are closely related and often used interchangeably, there are differences between them.

  • Pansexual people feel an attraction to people without noticing their gender. In other words, they are gender-blind.
  • Omnisexual people recognize the gender of a person they feel attracted to.

How Can I Identify My Sexuality?

To help define a person’s sexual and romantic orientation, researchers created the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale

Published in 1948, it suggests that people are not simply either heterosexual, gay, or bisexual. It accounts for people who feel varying degrees of sexual or romantic orientation towards those of the opposite or same-sex gender across. 

The scale has seven ratings:

  • 0: Exclusively heterosexual
  • 1: Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
  • 2: Predominantly heterosexual but more than incidentally homosexual
  • 3: Equally heterosexual and homosexual
  • 4: Predominantly homosexual but more than incidentally heterosexual
  • 5: Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
  • 6: Exclusively homosexual
  • x: No socio-sexual contacts or reactions

The researchers interviewed thousands of people about their sexual histories and found that their sexual behavior, thoughts, and feelings towards the same or opposite sex were fluid across time.

If you’ve already defined your sexuality or not, know that your sexuality can change over time. 

Transcending Identity

When it comes to our sexual identity, you can transcend it by opening yourself up to love from multiple genders. It’s known as transcending sex and gender:

  • It’s about loving someone for who they are as a person, not their gender. 
  • It’s more about the particular person than what gender they happen to be. 

Katherine Woodward Thomas, M.A., MFT, best-selling author of Calling in “The One,” and Mindvalley’s trainer, elicited three fundamental premises of personal transformation

One of them suggests “life is an ever emergent creative process, and our thoughts, beliefs, actions, and words are the tools that we use to invent our experiences and our circumstances.

In other words, your life, (including your love life) doesn’t have to be predestined by your gender, if you don’t want it to be.

Whether you’re pan or bi looking for a special man, woman, non-gender binary human (or whether you don’t care), your relationship with yourself is the first place to look. Once we love ourselves, we are able to love others. 

If you want to start your journey of self-discovery to manifest a miracle in your relationship, join the Calling in “The One” Quest with Katherine Woodward Thomas at Mindvalley. Welcome in.

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Written by
Irina Yugay