“I really wanted to die
When she left me in breathless weeping
Among many things still saying to me:
“How atrociously we suffer, Sappho,
I leave you against my will.”
And I would respond to her:
“Go serene and of me keep the memory.
You know how much I loved you.
If you ever forget, always
I will remember the good times we lived.
When of wreaths of violets
And of roses and crocus, beside me
You were girding your gentle head,
And put around your neck
Braided garlands of flowers.
And sprinkled with fragrant essences.
On the soft bed you would satiate yourself,
Nor ever were there dances
In the sacred woods to which we were absent….“
The text is an excerpt from a famous poem by Sappho – poetess born on the Island of Lesbos in 630 BC. She bequeathed us a splendid series of poetic compositions, characterized by gentle and romantic sounds never desperate, on the contrary, charged with a bewitching sweetness.
Alas, it is regrettable to note that the artist is particularly known for her love life rather than for her works. This is because the poet was not exclusively attracted to the opposite sex and openly shared her fluid sexuality.
Despite historians’ interest in Sappho’s private life, no one has ever been able to give precise answers regarding the artist’s sexual orientation. In fact, she could have been bisexual, lesbian, or pansexual.
Brief history of the pansexuality
The term pansexual, whose Greek prefix “pan” means everything, refers to those whose sexual, romantic or emotional attraction is not directed to any particular gender. It can be said that the pansexuals Are attracted to people in general.
La pansexuality is not a phenomenon of the late 2000s, contrary to what one might think. It was already known from 1914, when it appeared in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.
This was an article by Dr. J. Victor Haberman criticizing Sigumnd Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis, particularly the part that “pansexuality of mental life finally brings back every tendency to the sexual“.
As can be seen from the Austrian psychologist’s statement, at the time the term pansexual was not conceptualized as a sexual orientation. It referred to the conception that sex was the motivating factor for anything.
Although there are documents that attest to the fact that between 1920 and 1930 the concept of pansexuality was used in Harlem and South Chicago to mean “individuals who loved beyond labels and boundaries“, it was not until the 1940s, thanks to sexologist Alfred Kinsey, that the hypothesis that sexuality operates on a continuum that oscillates between heterosexuality and homosexuality began to be endorsed. The American sexologist’s work is of crucial importance because it paved the way for definitions of sexual orientation that go beyond the simplistic distinction between homosexual and heterosexual.
History shows that unfortunately, Kinsey’s theory did not immediately convince most. In fact, during the same period, any orientation that deviated from popular heterosexuality was condemned and identified as a mental disorder. Even, in 1952, Pope Pius XII declared that the pansexuality went against Christian moral values.
It was not until the 1970s, with the sexual revolution, that the first advances began to be appreciated. Many were those who came out of the shadows and identified freely as homosexual, bisexual, and pansexuals. However, news outlets such as the New York Times, did not paint the event as something particularly positive-it was rather described as a bizarre trend. Regardless of how the pansexuality was being described, there is no doubt that media attention contributed to the growing popularity of the term.
There is, however, another theory of how the concept of pansexual has taken hold in mass culture. It refers to the kinky groups o BDSM – bonadge and discipiline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism – arose especially in large cities at the end of World War II.
It was the 1990s, however, that represented the radical change. During this period, the reappropriation of gender identity and sexual orientation became entrenched among communities of fluid, nonmonosexual sexuality, to the extent that it erupted into activism. At this point, the freedom to identify according to one particular definition rather than another was increasingly commonly recognized and accepted-obviously not without its difficulties due to a history of oppression and denial.
It is not surprising that the boom in the pansexuality can be traced back to the advent of social media. In 2002, the online community LiveJournal shared the first post in which he advocated for group rights pansexuals. From there on, as can also be seen through Google Trends, the term has captured more and more attention.
After the virtual appearance of the flag pansexual in 2010-characterized by pink, blue, and yellow stripes that stand for different sexual identities-celebrities such as Miley Cyrus in 2015 and then Janelle Monáe in 2018, have sealed the term’s rise to popularity.
Today the community celebrates its Pride Day on December 8, and May 24 coincides with World Awareness and Visibility Day panromantic. A big step forward from the early 20th century when the term first appeared.
Bisexuality, pansexuality, queer identity and kinky sexuality
It often happens that bisexuality, pansexuality, queer identity and kinky sexuality being confused with each other.
As explained above, individuals pansexuals are attracted to people in a broad sense, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. They can be understood as individuals with a sexual orientation non-binary.
This differs from the bisexuals, in that their sexual orientation is based on sexual behavior or attraction to both males and females. Those who identify with this definition may describe themselves as leaning more toward heterosexuality, or homosexuality, but also both equally.
Regarding identity queer, defining it is more complex. While many individuals who identify as queer experience attraction to more than one gender or sex, the label is intentionally ambiguous, deconstructionist, and individualistic; therefore, it is impossible to make concrete assumptions about the sexual behaviors or attraction of queer individuals.
Kink o BDSM sexuality involve an erotic attitude toward activities that involve intense sensation (pain), sensual experiences that increase arousal because of their connections to erotic goals (fetish), or involve differences in power and expression of power/impotence (dominance). It is therefore a behavior rather than a true sexual orientation.
The link between the LGBTQ+ community and kinky sexuality stems from the fact that studies have shown how BDSM practices are more common among that group than their heterosexual counterparts. Unfortunately, this type of sexuality is linked to the stigma that BDSM is due to abuse in childhood and thus needs special treatment and care. In truth, there are studies that report antithetical results to this hypothesis-which is therefore scientifically premature to be endorsed or rejected.
Despite little evidence supporting the correlation between kinky sexuality and childhood trauma, there are many therapists who often terminate their clients (regardless of their sexual identity and orientation) because they have a pathological view of BDSM practices. This often leads to bisexual individuals, pansexuals and queer to not want to admit their kinky sexuality to the therapist they are being followed by.
There are several reasons why some individuals indulge in certain practices.
Some use kink behaviors or encounters (called “scenes” in kink/BDSM communities) to explore aspects of their gender and sexual orientation. In these cases, cross-dressing is used as an element of role-playing or fetish, including the feminization of men as an aspect of a scene of humiliation, cuckolding fantasies (someone–the cuck/corner–is aroused by their partner–the cuckoldress/corner–having sex with another person–the bull/bull), pornography that fetishizes trans women or butch/femme identities (terms used in lesbian subculture to attribute or recognize a male or female identity with the traits, behaviors, styles, or self-perception associated with them). Given the wide range of behaviors or styles encapsulated by “kink” as a generic term, there is a range of options for personal identity and objects of sexual desire that provide opportunities for exploration of sexual orientation and gender.
Other people adopt eccentric behaviors as elements of a “healing journey.” The use of role-playing, intense sensation play, erotic fantasy talk, and intentional use of sexual or erotic experiences to achieve altered states of consciousness or to cope with past trauma or mental illness have been reported by the kink/BDSM community.
Therapists working with kink-oriented clients have also noted the above. Some practitioners have reported the case of clients using kink behaviors to manage symptoms of bipolar disorder or autism spectrum disorder, so as to direct impulses to nonsuicidal self-harm and to self-regulate depressive moods, or to cope with past trauma such as childhood abuse.
The “healing journey” may also include finding a place in the kink/BDSM community, which becomes a way to overcome experiences of marginalization or social rejection caused by stigma.
Let’s dispel some myths about the pansexuality
The psychologist David W. Wahl helps us scale back certain prejudices and stereotypes associated with the pansexuality.
Pansexuals are sexually promiscuous. They will sleep with anyone.
FALSE. Just because one feels sexual attraction to anyone, regardless of their sex or gender identity, this does not imply that one is willing to have sex with any person. It is a bit like saying that every heterosexual woman is willing to have sex with all men, without distinction. This is a disparaging and superficial assumption.
Pansexuality is not real.
FALSE. Not only the pansexuality is a real thing; those who identify as pansexuals embrace the uniqueness of their identity.
Pansexuals should “choose a side” and stick to it.
FALSE. Exactly which side should they be on? As already explained, “pan” comes from the Greek and means “all.” Since “all” refers to all gender identities, there is no line that demarcates one identity or orientation over another.
Pansexuality is a new thing. It is just the latest trend.
FALSE. There is an entire detailed paragraph devoted to the history of the term and the community that embraces it. It clearly explains how it is a real identity and not merely a social construct.
Pansexuality and bisexuality are the same thing.
FALSE. It is necessary to make a distinction between the two. Bisexuality was once considered a sexual orientation in which the individual had the capacity for sexual attraction to both men and women. This is no longer necessarily the case as we recognize that gender is not binary. It is more accurate to say that bisexuals have attraction to their own gender and to another gender (or more than one other gender). The pansexuality, on the other hand, does not only include sex and gender identities. I pansexuals are also attracted to others regardless of their sex and gender identity. In other words, they exclude sex and gender from the equation altogether. Some pansexuals have adopted the phrase “hearts not parts” (hearts, not parts) to illustrate their ability to have emotional or romantic attraction to someone despite their sex or gender identity. To clarify another confusion between the two sexual orientations, it is often questioned that whether bisexuality includes an attraction to one’s own gender and, potentially, multiple sexes, is not the same as the pansexuality. This is not the case. Simply put, the multiple is not the same for everyone.
Pansexuals cannot be happy with one person.
FALSE. It is a bit like the lie of promiscuity. Just because a person has the ability to be attracted to anyone, regardless of their gender identity, does not mean that they are attracted to everyone or want to be with everyone. I pansexuals have the same propensity for monogamy or polyamory as anyone else.
Pansexuals are just confused about their preferences.
FALSE. Just because their preferences may be more inclusive, that does not mean they do not know what they want or who they are attracted to.
Best dating sites for pansexuals
Do you identify yourself as pansexual, are you looking for a romantic or sexual partner, but don’t know where to start? I dating sites online can be a viable option.
- OKCupid is a site that has been around for quite some time, but still particularly good. In recent times it has embraced inclusivity and expanded options for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
- Bumble is another example of a dating app that originated for the heterosexual community but has now expanded to include LGBTQ+ people.
- Bicupid originated to approach bisexual individuals, but has since expanded to include those who identify as pansexuals.
- Lex does not tolerate any discrimination or hate speech against anyone. This is why it is a particularly popular app for LGBTQ+ members.
- The League is perfect for those with particularly high standards. Access to the application is subject to approval, and information such as one’s employment, level of education, and LinkedIn profile are mandators in order to be accepted into the community.
- Feeld is the ideal site for individuals who are looking for multiple partners, regardless of their sexual identity or orientation.