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Author Topic: Pansexual  (Read 5428 times)

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Offline NoelleTopic starter

Pansexual
« on: January 23, 2011, 07:39:20 PM »
I'm not particularly sure how "controversial" this topic is, but I wanted to discuss it at length from some of my own questions I've raised recently about it. If it's in the wrong section, feel free to shanghai it to the appropriate place.



I've heard a lot of people describe themselves as pansexual. At large, the definition given to me about the word is that it's for people who recognize and are sexually attracted to more than just the gender binary -- the genderqueer, transexuals (I think? Correct me if I'm wrong about this.), genderless, etc. That's fine. I can comprehend this pretty well and I don't think I have any qualms with this at all. Okay.

What I'm concerned with, however is the kind of arbitrary, 'abridged' definition I've heard from more than a handful of individuals -- and that is the claim that they are pansexual because "they are attracted to the person and not just their genitals." This is almost always said with an air of pride, or a kind of self-congratulations, which is why I find this definition to be far more disturbing and something I can't really support.

Perhaps I'm taking it out of context, but what I find upsetting about this is that it almost seems self-aggrandizing, turning a preference into superior choice much in the same way that people who "go green" turn it into a competition of "greener than thou" or "organic-er than thou", etc. I find this kind of attitude to be condescending and frankly inaccurate of what I think the first definition I gave is getting at, not to mention inaccurate of how most people treat sexual orientation -- as something you don't choose and can't help.

At any rate, I take issue with this particular explanation because it kind of seems to look down on every other "conventional" orientation. It implies that "standard" orientations are merely concerned with what's in a person's pants and doesn't really see the other person's ~true~ self due to their biological shallowness, and I'm almost certain that while gender is a concern to me in the loosest sense, it's not an active thought where I say BOY DO I LOVE THIS DUDE'S COCK...Oh, and I guess he's a pretty cool guy, too. It's an unconscious preference the same way that gay men aren't consciously choosing to be attracted to other men and lesbians with women and so forth.

So I guess what I'm really looking to discuss here is to clarify the impression I've been given of pansexuality. It's a subject that is still somewhat new to me, and though I think I get the gist of it, I don't necessarily want my perception colored by weird, orientation-elitist dicks who are implying that my sexuality is somehow outdated or underevolved just because I don't get a magic boner at the entire world of possibilities. Tell me your thoughts.



I should also note for clarity that this isn't a dig on those who are pansexual -- I think the first definition I gave is fine and dandy, it's just the attitude that seems to accompany it with many of those I've met that has me concerned.

Offline HockeyGod

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2011, 08:06:14 PM »
I think that there are people who are honestly attracted to people around a wide spectrum of gender identities and do not conform to male and female or gay, lesbian or bisexual.

I've written about this in the Education thread: http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=67993.0

I don't think that the majority of people honestly think, "Hmmm...how can I be elitist and look down at others. Let me do it with sexuality." I wouldn't think that someone is going to choose to be a sexual or gender minority - it's not like they're accepted openly in society.

Just my thoughts.

Offline NoelleTopic starter

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2011, 08:21:33 PM »
I don't mean to say that I don't think it exists -- I think if someone tells me they're pansexual, then who would know better than them? It's the same attitude I'd give any other person professing their sexuality, and I don't consider it a choice.

However, I fear sometimes that the pansexual label is being abused by people who recently learn about it and apply it to themselves. It's definitely not common to hear it the way homo/bisexuality is, most people have no idea such a label even exists, and sometimes things like the internet can give voice to people who otherwise wouldn't know what to call it.

At the same time, I think there is a wrong impression happening, as I mentioned in the OP. I have a friend who's pretty young yet and still very much impressionable who has recently come out as being gay and also confusingly calls herself pansexual (I want to say she's referred to herself as bi, too, which is a source for much confusion). I think of her in particular when I mention that people have used the "I fall in love with people" example, since it's a kind of tagline I've heard from her several times. Another, older friend who claims bisexuality has also begun to use the pansexual label with the very same line attached.

I guess I almost see it as the "college lesbian" or "sorority bisexual" kind of phenomenon happening in certain cases (again, not saying everyone who says they're pansexual is really a liar and doesn't exist, just some of the cases I know), if that makes sense.

Offline Sure

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2011, 08:26:06 PM »
I mean, people being snobs about their orientation and self classifying into a gender category they're not in happens with just about every orientation, doesn't it? Or am I not understanding what you're saying?

Offline Jude

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2011, 08:46:28 PM »
What confuses me is that individuals who identify as gender queer do not have traits or characteristics that define them physically in the way that males and females do.  Being a gender queer individual is not about male or female physiology at all, but gender-identification which is a matter of self-concept.

Orientation however is all about what someone finds physically attractive.  I'm heterosexual because I'm attracted to women's bodies.  Alxnjsh is homosexual (I think), because he's attracted to the male form.  So what exactly are pansexuals attracted to?  Intersexed, male, and female?  Again, intersexed is a whole spectrum of conditions which have less in common than the varying possibilities of male and female.

Or is it simply saying that the biological features a person possesses are not relevant for determining their attraction?  That seems impossible to verify given that you'd have to consider every potential permutation of biological sexuality, including the most extreme of abnormalities, then conclude that you would be willing to engage in sex with all of those individuals (even the ones that have no genitals at all, for example).

One thing is certain, being straight is no more a good thing than homosexuality is a bad thing.  You shouldn't be ashamed if you enjoy masculine characteristics anymore than a pansexual individual should take pride in the fact that they enjoy more characteristics.

I'm still very confused in saying "more characteristics."  Do I give a long list of characteristics which they attracted to, starting with male and female?  If we were going to add more things to that list, what would they even be?  Do people have characteristics which are neither male nor female and are not sexually neutral, or is to be gender queer simply to be an unspecified mixture of traits that belong to both genders?  That's one thing that's always confused me about discussion of a third gender:  what traits would you assign to it?  Not male and not female isn't enough to go on on its own.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 09:42:58 PM by Jude »

Offline NoelleTopic starter

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2011, 08:53:28 PM »
I mean, people being snobs about their orientation and self classifying into a gender category they're not in happens with just about every orientation, doesn't it? Or am I not understanding what you're saying?

I'm not so sure that kids read about being gay on the internet and decide they're going to try really hard to be attracted to people of the same sex in the same way that an impressionable young person might read a romanticized description of "loving someone for who they are rather than for their genitals" and decide that it sounds like something they could get on board with. Bisexuality definitely experiences the same thing -- thus my example of curious college girls suddenly taking the label and then outgrowing it on graduation day. There is a certain "tagline" for bisexuality, as well, that I hear quite often about "getting the best of both worlds".

Mostly, I'm trying to come to a better understanding about the subject since I've already admitted it's one that I have very limited knowledge about save for the few people in my life that apply.

Offline Sure

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2011, 09:24:35 PM »
I'm not so sure that kids read about being gay on the internet and decide they're going to try really hard to be attracted to people of the same sex in the same way that an impressionable young person might read a romanticized description of "loving someone for who they are rather than for their genitals" and decide that it sounds like something they could get on board with. Bisexuality definitely experiences the same thing -- thus my example of curious college girls suddenly taking the label and then outgrowing it on graduation day. There is a certain "tagline" for bisexuality, as well, that I hear quite often about "getting the best of both worlds".

Mostly, I'm trying to come to a better understanding about the subject since I've already admitted it's one that I have very limited knowledge about save for the few people in my life that apply.

It manifest itself differently, but an impressionable young person might mistakenly conclude they're homosexual, yes. Or wonder about it, only to find out they're straight. But if you're just talking about people who claim to be it without actually being pansexual, then that's different. In that case, I'd say it's a combination of a holier-than-thou complex and/or a desire to be seen as attractive (the idea that boys will like them better if they're willing to engage in lesbian acts, or something that makes them 'unique', etc.)

Anyway, pansexual, to me at least, means being attracted to literally everything. Men, women, anything in between. In order to qualify as pansexual, in my mind, you'd have to find men attractive, women attractive, transgender people attractive, cisgender people attractive, all of it. This was the original definition, from a hypothesis that Humans were attracted to virtually everything and are naturally but are taught certain kinds of sexuality are 'wrong'. Of course, you get people who claim it's 'gender blindness' which I was always a bit suspicious of. I can see how someone could find features of all genders and then some physically attractive, in the same way someone can find both male and female traits attractive and thus be bisexual, but claiming they don't matter seems bunk to me. But still, not my place.

But you certainly get plenty of fluffy bunnies, so to speak.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2011, 10:12:08 PM »
What confuses me is that individuals who identify as gender queer do not have traits or characteristics that define them physically in the way that males and females do.  Being a gender queer individual is not about male or female physiology at all, but gender-identification which is a matter of self-concept.

This is why the term has always bugged the biologist in me. Sex is binary. Gender is a spectrum (both between and beyond the concept of Man or Woman). If you have a Y chromosome, your sex is male. If not, your sex is female. There are certain rare gradations within these two states (and alternate phenotypes in the case of the inter-sexed) but the genetics doesn't change. This is an independent factor that is irrelevant to your gender (although for quite a while society has done its darnedest to inextricably link them). Thus I have always found pan-sexual to be a misnomer, even in the first use Noelle outlines, as what those people are discussing is gender rather than sex. This is why I stick by bi-sexual to describe my orientation.

That was a bit tangential though. To address the topic directly: Regardless of the etiology of orientation, I think that the idea of one as superior is absurd. Now, this is not to say that there aren't people who view their partners as bags of meat existing to serve their sexual whim, but I doubt it is the norm in any orientation (and I am sure it exists in every orientation). To suggest that any one orientation is inherently more respectful of their partners as people seems unfounded. Preferences are preferences and a "pansexual" is no more better a person than a non-"pansexual" than someone who likes blue and purple is a better person than someone who just really likes purple.

Offline Shjade

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2011, 11:12:13 PM »
What I'm concerned with, however is the kind of arbitrary, 'abridged' definition I've heard from more than a handful of individuals -- and that is the claim that they are pansexual because "they are attracted to the person and not just their genitals." This is almost always said with an air of pride, or a kind of self-congratulations, which is why I find this definition to be far more disturbing and something I can't really support.
Here's the thing that bugs me about this definition: it's not that it could theoretically be used for taking "the high road" of sexual orientations - as if such a thing existed - it's that what they're describing isn't openness in terms of attraction, it's simply specifying a different set of parameters, isn't it?

To put it another way, rather than "pansexual," aren't they describing themselves as personality-sexuals, whatever that would translate into for latin terminology? The important detail isn't what they're ignoring, it's what attracts them, in this case "the person," meaning their personality, behavior, etc. If they were pansexual they'd be attracted to, or at least possibly attracted to, all personalities like they would all anatomies, right? This definition suggests they're not, that they're just using a different set of characteristics for parsing out prospective partners than their undercarriage. It's still parsing, not panning, so to speak.

God but I love puns.

Online Oniya

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2011, 11:27:27 PM »
I couldn't find 'personality' in the online Latin dictionary - the closest I could find was 'soul'.

Unfortunately, the Latin for that is animus/anima.  I have a sneaky suspicion no good would come from trying to make that into a compound word.

Offline NoelleTopic starter

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2011, 07:20:22 AM »
This is why the term has always bugged the biologist in me. Sex is binary. Gender is a spectrum (both between and beyond the concept of Man or Woman). If you have a Y chromosome, your sex is male. If not, your sex is female. There are certain rare gradations within these two states (and alternate phenotypes in the case of the inter-sexed) but the genetics doesn't change. This is an independent factor that is irrelevant to your gender (although for quite a while society has done its darnedest to inextricably link them). Thus I have always found pan-sexual to be a misnomer, even in the first use Noelle outlines, as what those people are discussing is gender rather than sex. This is why I stick by bi-sexual to describe my orientation.

This is probably my favorite response thusfar...I hadn't even considered the sex/gender difference (despite the fact that I've used it in my own points in the past), but it does raise an interesting point. I wondered to myself if sexual orientation is explicitly biology-based...This is what the dictionary brought up:

Quote
–noun
one's natural preference in sexual partners; predilection for homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality.

Not terribly clear. Wikipedia's is also somewhat inaccurate:

Quote
Sexual orientation describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction to men, women, both genders, neither gender, or another gender.

It goes beyond biology, but it also seems to mix and match the words gender and sex, though it references 'both genders', implying the gender binary/the male and female sexes.

I guess I'm beginning to confuse myself. If one of your factors in determining your partners is personality, then couldn't we all make the claim of some degree of pansexuality? And if intelligence is a factor, aren't we dabbling in sapiosexuality? I guess I find a little danger in using those parameters to define one's sexuality, but it would be nice for someone who uses the label for themselves to come in and clarify or give their perspective.

In any case, I agree with you completely, Alice, and the more I think about it, the more I realize examples of similar (though not quite the same) happenings with people of other orientations, as well, and I hope I'm not giving the impression that I think this is a unique and evil phenomena to pansexuality, it just so happens to be on-topic and what I'm wondering about :P

Offline DudelRok

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2011, 08:41:19 AM »
When in doubt, I ask Wikipedia then ignore all the arbitrary definitions given by the individual.

Quote
Pansexuality (also referred to as omnisexuality)[1] is a sexual orientation, characterized by the potential for aesthetic attraction, romantic love, or sexual desire towards people without regard for their gender identity or biological sex.[2] Some pansexuals suggest that they are gender-blind; that gender and sex are insignificant or irrelevant in determining whether they will be sexually attracted to others.[3] As defined in the Oxford English Dictionary,[4] pansexuality "encompasses all kinds of sexuality; not limited or inhibited in sexual choice with regards to gender or practice."

Basically:

Pansexuality vs Being Gender-blind

Quote
Gender-blind (or unisex) is a term describing activities undertaken and services provided without regard to the gender of those who participate.

A trick is knowing what people mean even though they are saying something else altogether. There is ultimately a difference between not caring about physical sex and being attracted to them.

Offline Acinonyx

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2011, 03:24:58 PM »
Taking a high-horse approach and claiming yourself pansexual because you love the person and not the gender is not working out logically. First of all I am certain that many gay, bi, and straight people actually are attracted to their partners' personality. It would be sad, if they weren't, at least when it comes to serious relationships.

We'd all have to start calling ourselves pansexual, simply because we love our partners for who they are. If a declared pansexual is claiming an attraction to personality only for pansexual people, thus excluding other orientations from that realm, that person is probably confused about the terminology. However, what l think is the actual problem is that the concept of pansexuality is sometimes hard to grasp for someone unfamiliar with unusual orientations. I've heard of pansexuals being mistakenly assumed to include animal sex and object attraction in the term. It can be tough to explain to an outsider what it means to be pansexual. To some, the "personality" explanation might seem like a good way around this problem, without considering that they may sound condescending and that any sexual orientation has the right to claim attraction by personality.

They may not mean anything by it at all, but may simply wish to be understood.

Offline mystictiger

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2011, 03:58:37 PM »
I... don't understand.

How is pansexualism different from being bisexual?

Offline Jude

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2011, 03:59:20 PM »
I don't think anyone is attracted purely by personality.  Sexual attraction involves physical characteristics.

I guess a better way of phrasing my question simply would be:  what traits are pansexuals attracted to that bisexuals are not?

And some follow up thoughts... Do they simply find varying states of androgyny arousing whereas bisexuals do not?  What about straight men who find shemales attractive, do we need to invent a label for people who are attracted to all but the pure masculine form?  The same could be said of females.  What is the purpose of coming up with labels for abstract sexual orientation anyway?

Offline DudelRok

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2011, 04:32:49 PM »
I... don't understand.

How is pansexualism different from being bisexual?

Bisexual implies: Male and/or female attraction

Pansexual implies: Male, female, neither, both, and everything in between

Generally speaking, and only on the technical line, "Pansexual" (the word/term) covers all the gray areas by being broad and vague while Bisexual (the word/term) states only a listed two options where there are (technically speaking) more. It is a nice, safe and politically correct catch all.

But that's strictly from the actual definition and nothing added to by people on a personal level. I've seen some attribute the word to imply everything as far as racial and extreme height differences, which would be the entire "not their genitalia" argument put to light. In this instance a more accurate definition would be "Non Judgmental" and has nothing to do with sexuality or sexual orientation at all.

Personally, I'll stick with my "Mostly Straight" option to cover those little gray areas and go from there. XD

Oh and anyone using a sexual orientation to be a snob is, well, kind of silly.... if that the actual case at hand. I doubt people do, and certainly hope they don't, especially here on E where such a thing would be a no-no.

Offline mystictiger

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2011, 05:00:42 PM »
As DarklingAlice said, you are either male or female - the other gradiations are vanishingly rare. My understanding is that the 'neither' / 'both' genders are so uncommon that I very much doubt that anyone who calls themselves pansexual will ever encounter one. Further, it is my understanding that everyone will identify externally as either male or female.

I find the use of the pan- prefix disturbing. It means 'all', and therefore would include all forms of sexual expression, including - say - those that like animals, toasters...

Offline NoelleTopic starter

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2011, 05:11:55 PM »
Generally speaking, and only on the technical line, "Pansexual" (the word/term) covers all the gray areas by being broad and vague while Bisexual (the word/term) states only a listed two options where there are (technically speaking) more. It is a nice, safe and politically correct catch all.

I wonder, though, is it really an accurate label? What if I'm attracted to the genderqueer and women only and don't find any other categories, so to speak, to my taste? I guess what I have trouble wrapping my head around is that there's a catch-all that...doesn't really catch-all? I don't know of anyone (which isn't to say they don't exist) who is attracted to one potential example of every single group out there. What if you find traits of every group but, let's say, hermaphrodites to be sexually attractive?

Quote
But that's strictly from the actual definition and nothing added to by people on a personal level. I've seen some attribute the word to imply everything as far as racial and extreme height differences, which would be the entire "not their genitalia" argument put to light. In this instance a more accurate definition would be "Non Judgmental" and has nothing to do with sexuality or sexual orientation at all.

This is a really good and interesting example. For those who do have inclinations towards certain sexes, it's just as applicable a concept as if you don't have any inclination towards any sex/gender. There is no conscious discrimination for the 'standard' three orientations, so the active preference of things like height or race or music taste or what-have-you comes into play anyway for the pool they are looking at. You're right -- being non-judgmental is not really enough grounds in my book to create a sexual orientation separate from the rest...at least not in that context.


I'm starting to get a little clearer picture in some ways of what really defines pansexuality, but at the same time, you guys have raised a lot of interesting points which only have me confused more in others :(

Offline Xenophile

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2011, 05:15:59 PM »
Maybe Pansexuality focused on "the person, not the sex" when it comes to sexual attraction, while Bisexuality focused on "both men and women"?

If that's true, then I'll concede to the point that Pansexuality is a little more... Pompous sexual direction. But that just might be the cynical me speaking. It's just probably a label used to include attraction to men, women, transsexuals, genderless and hermaphrodites and not -just- "men and women" like Bisexuality.

Offline GothicFires

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2011, 05:51:40 PM »
i think of it like this.

I am sexually attracted to men. I can look at a guy and think 'i would like to give him a try in bed' (not that i follow up on that). Women do not get this response from me. I can recognize them for their beauty and appreciate one of fine form. but it doesn't do anything to rev up my blood stream.

But i acknowledge that I may one day meet someone i want to date, get to know better and spend the rest of my life with and that person may be female (or other) simply based on who the person is not my sexual attraction to their gender.

I think this is the difference at least for me in being pansexual v/s anything else.

Offline Xenophile

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2011, 05:55:53 PM »
i think of it like this.

I am sexually attracted to men. I can look at a guy and think 'i would like to give him a try in bed' (not that i follow up on that). Women do not get this response from me. I can recognize them for their beauty and appreciate one of fine form. but it doesn't do anything to rev up my blood stream.

But i acknowledge that I may one day meet someone i want to date, get to know better and spend the rest of my life with and that person may be female (or other) simply based on who the person is not my sexual attraction to their gender.

I think this is the difference at least for me in being pansexual v/s anything else.

But you just said that men, in general, can spark a sexual fantasy while women don't. That's pretty straightforward heterosexuality, if you're a woman. Imagining that one day your preferences might change doesn't mean that you have that sexual direction right now.

Offline kylie

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Re: Pansexual
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2011, 08:34:42 PM »
      I have not heard pansexual used as an individual description of self orientation so often.  For whatever reason, I'm more familiar with it as a way of describing the official openness of larger and usually, hetero-majority BDSM groups to a range of personal orientations.  In this sense, we speak of "pansexual communities" rather than individuals as being this or that per se.  So in this context at least, pansexual is more a signal that there is an ongoing effort to invite more marginal identities and to make them feel similarly at home.  (In this case it's also under a broader umbrella of shared interest in kink.)

      As far as individual takes, there's going to be some variation there.  It's rather challenging to claim a marginal identity, and that's true whether or not one begins with or adopts a specific physique, attire etc. to express it.  There's often a good deal of internal struggle and some real social backlash (in both more intimate and more institutional senses).  Generally, people who are not in such a minority are not challenged to justify their orientations on a regular basis.  Heterosexuality still tends to be an assumed norm by contrast.  I think all this has something to do with situations where some queer and pan individuals celebrate those strengths they have identified for themselves quite stridently.  The part about being strident is not really limited to queer and pan, but the part about naming and openly associating it with the identity stands out in this context. 

        In addition to wishing to disperse the rather undeserved social tension surrounding all of that, and perhaps just wishing to scatter a few seeds of doubt/curiosity around (not entirely unfounded since "totally" straight or totally gay people seem to be a little rare when you look closer)...  There may be some speaking past each other, too.  I wonder if it isn't similar to situations where my bi friends feel very confident that they have a rather pragmatic outlook.  Something like: "After all, why would anyone really want to limit their sexual options?  They haven't even tried sampling the whole menu.  They don't know what they're missing."  That may sound a little intrusive to others.  But I think some bi people at least, see it as more of a disagreement about a technical recipe for happiness.  It would be kind of like feeling superior for having a more consistent shot at winning the local pie baking competition.  Sure maybe a little irksome to some people...  I doubt so many are seriously thinking on the level of a new eugenics, if you pick it apart.

        As far as the claim that people don't actively choose their orientations, I would dispute that at least somewhat.  People respond to social situations and whether or not we consider it free will etc...  They often choose groups and lifestyles that they feel serve their interests best based on past experience.  I've talked to quite a few people who say that after specific experiences they decided that this sex or that (or even this gender or that) does more or less for them, this is safer, oh they are more interesting, or now that I've gotten experience it's good to have some of both (maybe this for this purpose and that for the other).  It isn't all decided at birth, nor is it all simply a matter of raw physical attraction or unconscious processing.  At least, I can say surely not everyone recalls it that way.   

         Alice kind of touched on this and it's perhaps more obvious to some but...  The term "sexual orientation" has not has not always been used with a biological dichotomy basis (setting aside right now, my skepticism about how such a dichotomy has been socially drawn and conveniently re-drawn).  At least in psychology, orientation has been charted and defined through references to gender roles.  There is a slight overlap in the sense that some clinicians attempt(ed) to claim that only strict reproduction is a sign of normal sexuality...  But particularly if you go to the early sexologists in the 19th century, the original ideas are shot through with demands about how sexuality should equal sex should equal gender.  Wherever one of the three was caught different or changing, the whole model has been in a tortured knot ever since. 

       There have long been so many groups and everyday cases that were either widely neglected or treated as "lesser."  It's not a really new thing (although the clinical and governmental fascination with it is new to the modern age).  It's also not because a few people insist on resisting conventions per se.  It's because the "conventional" definitions, despite the convenience of their mythos for (particularly) Men in high places, were always rather silly and never awfully scientific in a socially reasonable sense.  They are trying to capture a huge range of objects, sensations and emotions under a couple categories built of so many rigid parts and grounded in the conservative thought of a particular time. 
 
« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 08:38:50 PM by kylie »

Offline NoelleTopic starter

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2011, 08:51:26 PM »
Kylie...All of that is well and good, but seems only vaguely related to the topic at hand, and if it is more direct, I lost the message somewhere in some of the more tangential sections. I don't mean any offense, but I find it hard to follow the point you're making in a succinct manner, which may be why I'm missing it entirely. Do feel free to summate a bit so I can follow you and respond more closely.

What I can respond to is that in terms of your bisexual friends who claim people "don't know what they're missing out on" -- it's like a straight man telling a gay man that he's missing all the hot titties that he's partaking in. He's not missing anything. He doesn't care. It's not relevant at all to him. He sees boobies, he does not find himself attracted to said boobies, there is no feeling of loss or a large, aching hole to fill with more supple funbags. You can't miss what you don't know. The poor living in thatched huts in Africa can't miss watching Lost. They just don't know.

Offline kylie

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Re: Pansexual
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2011, 11:05:24 PM »

          Myeh, frame as you like.  I sensed people going a few different particular ways with it, but speaking to that in a linear fashion isn't going to be very thorough nor necessarily very clear either.  I brushed with a couple of them and said something broader around a couple of them.  I also think I've said something about one question in particular which was this sort of assumption that people are "lording over" their orientation or something of the like...  So take it or leave it, do some thinking and incorporate new stuff or don't.    I don't feel like trying to go quote for quote on everything all the time.  Sometimes that can get tiring on the level of pickiness, and it insists that I pick up assumptions that I just don't agree with in the first place.

         As far as not knowing, yeah sure.  I don't tend to swing so broadly bi as the people that come to mind.  Although in our case, I think it's more that we have a mutual understanding of what is possible and how it may be easily justified either way with slight changes in personal experience or even (for some people) in political goals.  So we don't get in much of a tuff even where we don't take each other's roads for our own.  But in that case, the party smiling confidently and saying "you just don't know" isn't really saying "My way is the only way."  This is not so much "You should be modernized!"  For my part:  I wouldn't say the application has such an obvious parallel in international relations, if we go to the level of oil companies with political pull on nations with TV propaganda and armies.

       Still, there may be some very practical arguments about other things not so far away from just what kind of partner you take on.  Like, does the range of partners you will or won't take on connect through gender rules with the types of jobs you may have or the range of family structures you will accept.  How many guys who identify as straight will have multiple partners (or maybe be allowed to within another relationship), versus how many women who identify as straight will, what is the typical orientation balance in a poly family, what kinds of kinship do people in each orientation lean toward more often, etc....  There may be interesting arguments there about how flexible a society is when it takes a given orientation for granted, who it tends to sacrifice more than who and whether orientation is played upon at the cost of other values people pay lip service to.  These are real differences with practical consequences, and they have a way of making people uncomfortable across identity divides.  It's not only about individual desires for a kind of partner per se, but about social organization.  Yet people often latch onto the part where patterns appear involving orientation, and then conclude their orientation itself is somehow being attacked or excluded.
       

Offline NoelleTopic starter

Re: Pansexual
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2011, 05:17:23 PM »
If I understand you -- and you don't make it easy to -- all I can say is that there is absolutely no inherent better or worse value to being any orientation period. Being open to a larger variety of genders does not make you smarter or more open-minded or more advanced, and having any kind of notion that it does is absolutely unfounded except for nonexistent, pompous, self-congratulatory kudos that mean nothing in the grand scheme of things unless you're trying to form some kind of hyper-unrealistic caste system based on orientation. Society literally would not stop progressing and would not collapse if there suddenly ceased to be pan or bisexuals present in it. It sounds harsh and it is most definitely not a society I'm wishing for, but it is what it is. Fact is, ego over sexual orientation of any kind is ridiculous.

Otherwise, most of your post is so tangential and indecipherable that it has little to nothing relevant to say about pansexuality and the questions I've posed here, so if you could please, as I asked before, succint your points on the topic of pansexuality and remain relevant to the subject on hand, I would greatly appreciate it, otherwise you're welcome to go create a new thread to discuss everything you want to talk about in greater detail.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2011, 05:21:16 PM by Noelle »