Society » Sexuality, Culture; Advice » Dating & Relationships: "Out of the Bi Label, Into the Pan Fire"

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Out of the Bi Label, Into the Pan Fire

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I always bristle at the word “confused,” used to describe a sexual orientation that’s not straight, not lesbian and not gay. I’m sexually attracted to men, and I’m sexually attracted to women. I know this from a rich variety of sexual experiences that were and are pleasurable, memorable, endearing, funny and occasionally tragic, but never confusing.


great article


I'm pan, not bi, but it's important that people be allowed to use "bi" without getting shamed into "pan" because "bi" somehow supports a binary or is cissexist or whatever. It's not. I'm a nonbinary trans* queer, this is my work, and I promise, it's ok to be and say bi. Bi doesn't just mean cis men and cis women, it can also mean "same as me and different from me" or "at least but not necessarily only two". I feel like there's a lot of pressure to say "pan" even if that's not what fits, and that's not ok. It's not ok to police other's identities, and internalized monosexism is still BS.

So, in short? GREAT ARTICLE. Thank you!


On the forum this discussion occasionally pops up. One idea that seems to make sense to a lot of people is that those who identify as bi tend to be attracted more often to "manly men" and "feminine women", or the ends of the gender spectrum. Which is fine- to each their own. For myself, I'm in my 30's, and a mom, wife, and girlfriend. I've been identifying as bi for over 15 years and didn't hear the term "pansexual" until this year. It does seems to apply to me better than "bisexual" does, but I don't know if referring to myself as bi is a habit I'll bother breaking at this point. Those who need to know are already well-acquainted with my sexual preferences, and anyone I choose to inform from this point on would probably need the term "pansexual" explained anyway, so then it ceases to be a useful shorthand, which is about all I feel labels are good for anyway. They're fine for brief description, but they never tell the whole story.

Anyway, I enjoyed the article, and I'll be sharing it!


Great article. Nice to see it explained. I was on Fetlife for a while and it was full of labels. Labels that I didn't always know the difference between. But, I don't like to label myself and put myself in a box.



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