10 Myths About Pansexuality We Need To Bust Immediately
So many misconceptions, so little time to address them all!
In the ever-growing lexicon of LGBTQIA+ terms, it can be difficult and oftentimes confusing to keep up with them all. That said, there is never a bad time to learn something new, so let's address some myths about pansexuality.
The term has become more widely used recently, but it can be easy to confuse it with other terms and it's even easier to have the totally wrong idea about how it works.
Here are 10 myths about pansexuality we as a society need to debunk immediately.
Myth #1: Pansexual and bisexual are the same thing
Like a lot of other orientations, there are a lot of overlaps when it comes to pansexuality and bisexuality. The power is in the prefix here. “Pan” means “all,” which means pansexual individuals feel an attraction to all gender identities regardless of what they are. “Bi,” on the other hand, is attraction to multiple gender identities but is more selective. Essentially, gender or sex influences the attraction of bisexual people, while pansexuals have no thought toward gender in that regard.
Myth #2: Pansexual and polyamorous are the same thing
Just because pansexual people are attracted to people regardless of sex or gender doesn’t mean they’re trying to be in a relationship with everybody at the same time. Polyamory involves being in multiple romantic relationships at the same time, either separately or all together. Anyone can be involved in a polyamorous relationship, so while we’re here, let’s go ahead and debunk the myth that only people in the LGBTQIA+ community experience them.
Myth #3: Pansexual and panromantic are the same thing
While “pansexual” and “panromantic” aren’t
the same thing, they are pretty close, and it’s easy to get them confused. Here, the power is in the suffixes — “sexual” and “romantic.” The main difference pansexual people experience a sexual attraction toward all genders, while panromantics experience a romantic one. That’s not to say that pansexuals don’t ever experience romance. Most pansexuals are also panromantic. However, those who are panromantic usually have a specific sexual attraction to a specific gender, or no gender at all.
Myth #4: Pansexuals are the only people attracted to non-binary folx
This one is just ridiculous, and a bonus myth to bust here is that pansexuals are also transphobic. Both of these are just wrong. In terms of transphobia, pansexual people experience attraction
of gender and accept said gender for what it is. In terms of the non-binary, any person of any orientation can be attracted to someone who identifies as such. This covers bisexuals, gays, lesbians, and sometimes even straight people, depending on the dominant gender the non-binary individual outwardly expresses.
Myth #5: Pansexual people are either confused or indecisive
Every person in the LGBTQIA+ community goes through some form of being told they’re “just confused” or whatever. Pansexual people are no different, and they join with bisexual people at being among the most who are told they’re essentially “not choosing” to either be fully homosexual or fully heterosexual. These ideas are queerphobic and need to be busted with this myth. Monosexism is the belief that assumes all people are only ever attracted to one sex or gender, and it plays a huge role in the continuation of this myth.
Myth #6: Pansexuals are attracted to anything and everything
This covers anything from animals to cooking equipment when people confuse being attracted to “all genders and sexes” with “all things in existence.” People may make jokes about the things you’re attracted to when you first come out, but you should still be taken seriously. Jokes like these may come indirectly or unintentionally, but if someone asks you if you fall in love with pots and pans or do it with your ceramic mugs, they might need to quietly exit your life.
Myth #7: Pansexuality is just a new fad
Everything is “just a fad or a trend” when people don’t understand what it is. The thought that pansexuality is just a new fad also ignores how long the idea and term have been around in the first place. The word itself has been in the Oxford English Dictionary since at least the early 1900s and has been in public use in its current definition since the 1960s. As people become more open about how they identify, we’re just becoming more aware of the term. Whether “pansexual” is new or not shouldn’t invalidate the actual experience of the person who identifies as such.
Myth #8: Pansexuals are "greedy" and therefore more promiscuous
Firstly, just because pansexuals are attracted to all genders and sexes doesn’t automatically mean they’re attracted to every person they ever interact with. This is the same thinking that every straight man falls in love with every straight woman he meets, or every gay man is a perfect match, or lesbians move in three minutes after they meet. This idea goes hand-in-hand with thoughts of pansexual promiscuity because people think they hop into bed with every single person they ever meet. They simply don’t let sex or gender affect their decision to date or sleep with someone — that’s all.
Myth #9: Pansexual people can't maintain monogamous relationships
This is another myth that many pansexuals share with bisexual individuals. Polyamory and open relationships are a choice, and the choice is made on a case-by-case basis by the couple in the relationship. To continue on the previous thought, pansexual people aren’t automatically attracted to everyone they meet, and they have just as much capability of maintaining a monogamous relationship as anybody else.
Myth #10: Pansexuality isn't real
At this point, it’s ridiculous that people consider pansexuality less of a “real” orientation just because it’s still newer to us. Those who identify as pansexual value their orientation and view it as an important part of their identity. It requires a way of thinking that looks past physical appearance and disconnects from the traditional way of thinking about attraction. This might be strange to people who don’t experience that for themselves, but it doesn’t make the experience itself any less real or valid.