Let's talk about sexuality!
Okay that was a weird transition. So, we're talking about sexuality today!
Let's start off with myself before I delve into anything more.
So you all know, my name is Samantha. Some of you may know (if you're coming from FB or Tumblr) that I am bisexual... well pansexual. There is a difference, but I will get into that in a minute. Now, if you didn't know, that's because it's not obvious to most people that I am pansexual. I don't show it. I am just sort of you know, normal (as normal as I can be that is).
Okay, I can hear your 'pan' jokes. Pansexuality doe not mean you are attracted to pans (or animals, and yes, I have gotten that argument before). Pansexual just means 'pan' as in the prefix pan- meaning 'all' or 'every'. We don't discriminate based on gender or identity (we can also be called 'omnisexual;' omni- meaning 'all'). Unlike bisexuality, most pansexuals do not see the the binary 'male' or 'female' we include intersex or anything else inbetween.
Granted, of course there is preferences as to what certain people like to date (I mean, I prefer men but I can be attracted to females, trans* or anything inbetween - I just prefer men). But then we get into the 'romantic' aspect of it. That's where things get a little wavy. My tastes tend to be pretty 'heteronormative' (it's a fancy word for straight people). I prefer men sexually, I prefer them romantically. What you prefer romantically is emotionally what you like to date. For instance, you can be a female and prefer women sexually, and romantically prefer men (this person is bisexual). Or it could be a male and prefer women romantically but sexually want to be with men (also bisexual).
Sexuality is very fluid. It's a spectrum.
SEX: refers to your born gender, I believe. For instance, I was born female.
GENDER IDENTITY: refers to how you identify as. I identify as female, the gender was born as. This makes me cisgendered (fancy word meaning I identify as the gender I was born as).
GENDER EXPRESSION: refers to how you express your gender. This basically means do you dress feminine, androgynous, or masculine... or somewhere in between. My gender expression is female. I prefer to dress feminine, though I have a few pieces that could be androgynous (like my new favorite top).
SEXUAL ORIENTATION: Well, this is basically what are you sexually attracted to. Male, both, all, none or females... or again, somewhere inbetween. I identify as pansexual. I have an attraction to all sexes, identities and orientations.
ROMANTIC ORIENTATION: refers to what are you more emotionally and romantically attracted to. Male, Panromantic, biromantic, aromantic, or female... or of course, some mix.
This chart is not the end all be all for orientation and sexuality. There are always more things to identify as. As to where trans* is on this chart, I believe it would be under GENDER IDENTITY at the tip of the triangle. I can't really delve into trans* things because I don't know any transgender people. I mean, I know some genderqueer people but not solely trans people.
Now, I bring this up because at work, I got into a conversation with my coworkers about Pridefest that happens every June downtown. They asked me, since you know, I was talking about it and thinking about how most of our summer stuff I could not wait to wear down there and this will be the first year I am 21+ at Pridefest. Get excited for the booze (not really, I hate the taste of alcohol but there's a Hooters like right there... so fruity girl drinks and chicken wings)! I answer my coworkers in the easiest way possible: I told them that I was bisexual - explaining pansexuality is pretty hard to do, so I normally go for bisexuality and it's just easier. I can hear it already "but if you tell people you're bisexual, why not just be bisexual?"
Because there is more than one gender and if someone identifies as more than the gender binary, I am not going to make my loved one feel uncomfortable. And yes, there is a lot of hate on the bisexual and pansexual people. "You're all greedy," "You're all whores and sluts and can't keep in it your pants," and of course, "does that mean you fuck everyone and are polygamists?"
First off, no, I am not a polygamist nor polyamorus. Polyamory and polygamy are not the same as bisexuality and pansexuality. Just because bisexuals and pansexuals are attracted to both or all (respectfully) genders and identities does not mean that they get in bed or have multiple lovers at the same time. I mean, yes, there may be bisexuals and pansexuals out there that are polyamorus or polygamists, but that's not my business.
As for greed, no... not really. We just like both genders, again look above. When it comes to the slut-shaming going on there... well... the number of people in my bed (or anyone else's) isn't anyone's concern but my own. And as long as it is done safely (practice safe sex, please) with birth control and condoms... and if you know your partner is disease free, then why does it matter?
Now, I say I am pansexual, but in reality, I do have preferences. I am attracted to all genders (specifically really attractive people) but I prefer men to women (I count a lot of trans* FTM (female to male) as male but they could be genderqueer) romantically and sexually. I mean, there are some really attractive girls and there have been more than a few times where I have done a double take on a female and been like 'did you see her' to a couple guy friends (and maybe a boyfriend or two). And to me, there are things that are attractive on females and there are things attractive on males.
If you were to look at a male, I normally prefer them with a more feminine aesthetic. I like them thin, tall and a little curvy in most aspects. I actually am attracted to my current boyfriend who is probably one of the most masculine looking men I have dated (I am so sorry to the few of you I dated reading this, I am). But really what is masculine or feminine? To me, it's well, the amount of body hair, muscle... how that person acts.
There is so much more I could go on but then it would be a rant. This is just a little taste outside of the fashion and hauls I normally do.