Getty | Katie Buckleitner
Similarly to pansexual people, panromantic identified people can move fluidly among binary and non-binary partners when it comes to emotional (panromantic) or physical (pansexual) relationships. And while the two terms share the prefix ‘pan,’ the two terms are not the same thing. If it’s confusing, don’t worry, we gotchu. Read on below for more commonly asked questions about what being panromantic means.
What does it mean to be panromantic?
Someone who identifies as panromantic is “romantically attracted to people of all genders (same sex, different sex, trans, etc),” explains Xanet Pailet, sex and intimacy educator and coach. “Panromantics have a large palette of romantic interests and can fluidly move among binary and non-binary romantic partners,” she adds.
Is panromantic different than pansexual?
You betcha. “Pansexual people are more interested in the sexual connection, but not necessarily an emotional connection,” Pailet explains. Panromantics, on the other hand, care much more about the level of intimacy they have with a partner.
“Sexual attraction refers to sexual desire toward a person, whereas romantic attraction refers to desire for intimate and emotional relationships, adds Justin Drwencke, executive director of the Midwest Institute for Sexuality and Gender Diversity. Therefore, a panromantic person has the capacity to experience desire for intimacy and emotional relationships irrespective of gender identity, adds Drwencke.
It’s important to remember that being panromantic does not necessarily mean that a person experiences desire in the same way toward persons of all genders, and it does not mean that a person experiences sexual attraction irrespective of gender. That’s why there’s the distinction between panromantic and pansexual.
What does it mean to be ‘panromantic demisexual’?
A term that often comes up in association with panromantics is ‘demisexual,’ which refers to someone who needs to have an emotional connection in order to feel physically and sexually attracted to someone, Pailet says.
To be panromantic demisexual, you would be open to having a romantic or emotional relationship with someone of any gender identity, and believe that you need that deep romantic, emotional connection in order to feel sexually attracted to them. “The panromantic part of that definition is that this emotional connection leading to sexual attraction can happen with anyone,” Pailet explains.
Note though, that panromantic demisexual does not automatically equal pansexual. You could, for example, as Drwencke explains, have a person who identifies as panromantic, demi-homosexual, meaning they experience romantic attraction irrespective of gender, but they only experience sexual attraction toward a person of the same gender with whom they have formed an emotional connection.
Can an asexual person be panromantic?
Yes! “An asexual person can be panromantic, experiencing emotional connection and intimacy without a sexual relationship,” says Pailet. This can also be viewed as a deep friendship, she adds.
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