Omnisexual

Omni-sexuality has a number of interpretations and it can be easy to confuse this term with pan-sexuality.

The term ‘Pansexual’ defines a person who is gender-blind (i.e., they’re attracted to anyone regardless of gender), while an ‘Omnisexual’ person is gender-inclusive.

Omni- is a Latin-based prefix meaning “all,” while pan- is its Greek counterpart, which allows for the terms Omnisexual and Pansexual to be used interchangeably.

Dave Wells has researched the labels used to define gender and sexual orientation extensively, and has found an important difference between the term ‘Omnisexual’ and ‘Pansexual’.  ‘Gender attraction’ encompasses the terms ‘Bisexual; meaning attracted to male and female (American) or more than one gender (English), or Pansexual; Gender blind – does not choose based on gender.  Omnisexuality is a sexual orientation where the individual recognizes and is attracted to people of all sexes, genders, and gender identities, with gender as a factor in their attraction.

In other words, the term ‘Omnisexual’ is often used to define people who have a broader attraction to gender then what the American version of ‘Bisexual’ defines (Male and Female), but is not gender-blind as the term ‘pansexual suggests’.

There are people who find different variations of gender attractive, and unattractive, and due to an absence of a label to define these people, ‘Omnisexual’ has the closest definition.    For example; a person may be sexually attracted to cis-women (born with complementary genitalia to gender identity), as well as to trans-women.  This person may hold no sexual attraction to men and trans-men.

Another example could be; a person who is sexually attracted to male, female, and trans-men, but they are not attracted to trans-women.  The updated English term for ‘Bisexual’ would encompass these people as “they are attracted to more than one gender”.  However the American definition (traditional), would not be inclusive as the attraction is identified as; male or female (based on genitalia).

Many people are aware of the basic sexual orientation labels such as; Heterosexual, Gay, Homosexual, and Bisexual.  Few concern themselves with other labels that fall outside of these commonly-used ones.  If a person presents as a sexual orientation label that you are unsure of the definition, it is best to ask them what the identity means to them personally.