Most people are Bisexual/Pansexual

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Most people are Bisexual/Pansexual

Unread postby juju445 » 31 December 2021, 05:05

Hello everyone, I am new around. I apologize in advanced if everything is not cohesive my mind stays racing at 10 billion miles per hour when I'm writing so I apologize if I jump back and forth. I wanted to discuss the topic online just so I could get more exposure to other people's opinion. Anyways I have been learning that sexuality exists on a spectrum and that everyone is on it somewhere. Lately I have been thinking that most everybody is bisexual/pansexual to some degree and only a tiny fraction of people are truly at polar opposites of the spectrum after I had a discussion with my best friend's mom. The conversation started when she asked me the question that most LGBT are used to hearing by now which is,
"How did you know you were gay from such a young age?" for context I came out as gay when I was 13 (I am 21 now if anyone was curious) but I had expressed to them multiple times that I knew from far younger. As a matter of fact, I knew I was gay from the moment that I became self-aware. To this day I am perplexed as to how I knew. But I just KNEW. It just seemed like such an integral part to by being. Please let me know if you have also felt this. So, I naturally said,
"How can you NOT know? Was there a point in your life when you didn't?" and she said,
"No. As a matter of fact, I didn't know I was totally straight till' my mid 30s after I had done all the experimenting with relationships and sex with both men and women."
Now I was completely dumbfounded by this because like I mentioned earlier, I just knew I was gay. In fact, I knew I was 100% gay. The thought of being intimidate romantically or sexually with a woman always fills me with revulsion (no shade to the girls lol I love y’all). But anyways the fact that some people have to actually DO to know for sure has always been fascinating to me and I guess it's why a think most people are on the bisexual spectrum even if just a little bit because I have gotten that question way too many times from seemingly “straight” people. And now that I had that conversation I know exactly where it is coming from in their mind. From my own perspective I don't have to DO, it is simply just the way that I am wired there is no real logic to it at all. After I had put a little more thought to it most of the guys, I have hooked up in the past have also been bisexual. And then I also realized, my best friend is bisexual, my dad is bisexual and even my sister. Prior to the pandemic I was working as a banquet server I had the opportunity to have a coworker who was adopted by 2 moms. They had adopted 3 kids (including her), and they all came out to be bisexual. She explained to me had she grown up in a different environment she would've stuck to "being straight." That being in an environment which doesn't force you to pick either way "you sort of just don't care." So, I also think there is a conversation to be had about nature VS. Nurture. Knowing that since I had come out first in my family I asked my sister, and Bingo she said the same thing adding that,
“After you came out, it became pretty clear that nobody important around us cared so for me it was just a free for all from there.”
But anyways is this a coincidence or am I just crazy? There just seems to be many bisexual people around me. Reading this back I realized how lucky I am that I can be this open with the people that I love around me. Now it makes me sad to think of all the people that might be bisexual and repressing it subconsciously or not given our hetero normative society.
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Re: Most people are Bisexual/Pansexual

Unread postby Marmaduke » 31 December 2021, 09:20

Appreciating someone as sexually attractive and having a conscious desire to have sex with them are entirely different things. To all intents and purposes, people are as they choose to define themselves - at least to themselves - their sexuality defined by the conquests they undertake.

On that basis, I would strongly disagree that most people are bisexual.

I define myself as gay. The sexual and romantic relationships are pursue are exclusively homosexual. Can I see women as sexually attractive? Absolutely. Would I have sex with a woman if the opportunity presented itself? Probably. Would I expend any effort pursuing that possibility? Absolutely not. Because I am not bisexual.

The prevalence of bisexuality in your social circle does seem unusually high, but it very much not representative of my social circle, nor do I imagine the social circles of the membership here.

I can see what caused you to draw your hypothesis, but I think it lacks a broader foundational basis required to justify publication.
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PostThis post was deleted by juju445 on 31 December 2021, 17:38.

Re: Most people are Bisexual/Pansexual

Unread postby Derek » 31 December 2021, 20:55

My experiences are different and I don't agree
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Re: Most people are Bisexual/Pansexual

Unread postby pozzie » 31 December 2021, 21:32

Some who study human sexuality have also said that most humans are basically bisexual and I'm sure there is plenty of authoritative literature on the subject arguing all sides. However, I think some of that is dependent on definition and they may define any same sex activity in one's life as bisexuality or something. Experimentation has long been seen as 'normal,' but that's very different than identifying as bisexual.

Then there's also the possibility or potential. Above, Marmaduke basically expressed a potential for a heterosexual encounter but that doesn't change how he fundamentally identifies as an individual.

And like orientation, understanding of one's attractions is rather a spectrum ranging from people like the OP who just knew they were gay (or straight) to people who have no idea or interest in knowing. For me, I started to have a sense during my tweens but of course the social environment didn't countenance anything homonormative. So I spent about a decade fighting with my sexuality but with zero innate interest in the opposite sex beyond "Yeah, she's pretty." or "You really look fantastic today." I dated girls because it was expected. I usually say I'm 97% gay or something like that since I'm kind of on board with never say never. I've also had strong friendships with women, just no romantic interest to speak of.

So, while not as long, I think I've shared my insight to various themes in the OP. ;)
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Re: Most people are Bisexual/Pansexual

Unread postby Josh » 1 January 2022, 03:35

It is increasingly accepted that bisexuality constitutes the biggest group of people within the LGBTQ+ community. This isn't too surprising, however, given that it you can to some extent perceive sexuality as a spectrum where homosexuality and heterosexuality are the ends and bisexuality is everything else in between. This is an immense simplification though, and the true nuance of identity is why it's not just about repressed bi people.

Identity, and labels, are personal. No matter what definitions we give to them, they're ultimately terms that for some reason or another we associate and resonate with. In truest terms I fit the definition of pansexual, but I identify as bisexual the majority of the time and to most people. I dissociate from the label of queer for myself, again on personal terms, whilst acknowledging and respecting other people who identify as queer - including those whose sexuality would be mostly indistinguishable from my own.

Part of seeing sexuality and gender identities through spectrums creates limits to any rigid labels we might have. It doesn't de-legitimise those labels and they can be immensely important, but it means that not everyone will associate with a certain term. In some cases, yes, that'll be down to the bigotries of a heteronornative society. It may be down to internalised homophobia. It might be down to biphobia. It might be down to any number of reasons. So on the one hand, yes, there is an argument that most non-straight people fall under a bisexual umbrella (including often pansexual and queer) but on the other such a fact is impossible to accurately quantify, and is a mostly useless way of looking at the situation, as it can't tell us much about people, their experiences, or indeed why they do or don't identify as they do.
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Re: Most people are Bisexual/Pansexual

Unread postby pozzie » 2 January 2022, 20:51

Josh wrote:In truest terms I fit the definition of pansexual, but I identify as bisexual the majority of the time and to most people.


I have to admit that I'm not terribly clear on the difference between pansexual and bisexual though I'm sure the concept should be an easy one to grasp. Can you share a bit from your personal perspective on how, why, and when you choose one term over the other? Also, what do you consider to be the definition of pansexual? Thanks! :)
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Re: Most people are Bisexual/Pansexual

Unread postby Josh » 3 January 2022, 00:53

pozzie wrote:I have to admit that I'm not terribly clear on the difference between pansexual and bisexual though I'm sure the concept should be an easy one to grasp. Can you share a bit from your personal perspective on how, why, and when you choose one term over the other? Also, what do you consider to be the definition of pansexual? Thanks! :)

Happily :)

So in my view and from my perspective, the difficulty in defining both bisexuality and pansexuality comes from the wildly divergent views of people regarding gender. How you define both terms is dependent upon how you perceive and accept the ideas about gender identity. With respect to different accommodating views, I suspect there are countless definitions of both terms, and that defining the terms is a largely personal thing. This is an inevitable outcome of trying to square a circle. It's the outcome of having fairly rigid language and labels, for something like sexual and gender identity (which exist on multiple spectrums, are fluid, and in the case of the latter is a largely social construct). But that's all quite an academic look at it I guess.

More personally then, it is the slight variations in how to define pansexuality that give me reservation. Is pansexuality defined as an attraction to any gender? Or is it defined as an attraction regardless of gender? These two things are incredibly similar, but there's a slight semantic variation I personally care about. I have experienced attraction, both sexual and romantic, to people with varying gender identities - cis men, cis women, trans people, non-binary people, gender non-conforming people. None of these are a barrier to attraction for me, and so if pansexuality is defined as an attraction to any gender, then it fits me. But this is not regardless of gender. I am attracted to the gender of the people I'm attracted to, if that makes sense. The men I find attractive, I find attractive because they're cis men. This is different to the women I find attractive, because they're cis women. Gender is something that is factored into my attraction towards people - innately so, I can't control that preference. This means I can be attracted to people of any gender, but I'm not attracted to people regardless of gender.

If you think all of this is a bit wordy and technical then you're absolutely right - it is in my opinion too. And so that brings me to bisexuality, which is defined by most bisexual people as an attraction to more than one gender. That fits me too. And it comes without all of that baggage of having to distinguish one interpretation of pansexuality from another. And so at face value, I'm bisexual to people. It conveys my attraction to people of more than one gender, and that's all I need to do. Pansexuality fits too, but I reserve the headache of nuance that sits behind it for those who care to ask, or for those who are invested in gender discussion.

Don't get me wrong, bisexual identity comes with hurdles and interpretations as well. This is a reality endured by anyone who isn't straight, gay or lesbian (aka, monosexual people). We can spend ages discussing and disputing the finer points of our identities, precisely because we sit somewhere on a very fluid spectrum that somewhat defies the idea of labels. We use those labels to help us, and they are still a huge force for good, but they do create complications for non-monosexual people that we have to contend with to some extent or other. Bi people, for instance, have to contend with people who argue 'bi' implies two, and thus reinforces a transphobic binary. This isn't accurate in the slightest, and even if it ever were, 'bisexual' has evolved to absolutely mean 'more than one'. We still refer to 'October' as such, despite it not being the eighth month, and this is because language, like sexuality, can change. It evolves. And that above all is my personal perspective. Something so personal that can change so fluidly, can only be defined on a personal level. :)
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Re: Most people are Bisexual/Pansexual

Unread postby pozzie » 3 January 2022, 01:07

Okay, so if I get the underlying theory and evolution of the language and human understanding, bisexuality was coined at a time when people only recognized the two basic human genders. Gay equals attraction to the same gender; straight, opposite gender; and bi, both genders. I think that sums up the historical usage.

So yes, if we add gender identity to the mix, I see where pansexual comes in to cover the group who don't strictly identify as man or woman. I do see where actual discussion of that could encompass things like pre-op or post-op or where someone would say, I'm a man attracted to other men and those presenting as men (so, including those on hormone therapy or even, potentially, women who simply dress and present much like the stereotypical male). I get where this becomes complex, especially as people use terms with slightly different meanings which may be personal, localized, or regional.

Thanks for shedding some more light on the subject.

Does anyone have a different experience with the words bisexual or pansexual?
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Re: Most people are Bisexual/Pansexual

Unread postby Derek » 3 January 2022, 03:09

I never liked 'pansexual' because it implies that it makes sense to regard non-binary people as a separate category of sexual attraction, even though non-binary people exhibit a wide range of presentations. If I'm attracted to a masculine non-binary person, it would suggest that either I'm not gay, or they're actually male - but really, my sexuality shouldn't have any bearing on their gender identity, and their gender identity shouldn't have any bearing on my sexuality. Maybe it makes more sense to define 'gay' as attracted to masculine features, 'bisexual' as attracted to masculine and feminine features, and 'pansexual' as attracted to androgynous features? I don't like that either, because it implies a far greater degree of rigidity to gender and perceptions of gender than actually exists. My opinion is that 'pansexual' is a term that will not last the test of time. It's just not clarifying or useful.
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Re: Most people are Bisexual/Pansexual

Unread postby pozzie » 3 January 2022, 04:06

I get what you are saying, but also think people might have said the same thing about "gay" in the 60s, give or take a few years. I mean I was still hearing, in the 80s, people saying it made no sense. It's entirely possible something will happen that will help standardize what pansexual will mean going forward, but then again, we seem to moving to more amorphous, more personal language.

I mean how many people who believe in some concept of god call themselves agnostic now. They are theists, but that doesn't change how the word is actually used. Another example: Let's put the kids to sleep and the sick old dog to bed.

At this stage, I'm just interested to read how people are using the term pansexual in their day-to-day life.

Would you like a pansexual happy meal today or just our bisexual happy meal?

No, a gay meal will be just fine for me, thanks for asking.
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Re: Most people are Bisexual/Pansexual

Unread postby Derek » 3 January 2022, 05:00

People weren't saying the same thing about "gay" at all. It's not a question of denying people's experiences. There's just a contradiction in the terminology, which originated in a time long ago enough to be considered outdated, considering how quickly these matters are evolving.
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