Why aren't we all pansexual?

From auto to pansexual: how we love

I admit: I am irritated by the mania for categorization when it comes to people's sexual orientation. Don't the many small, narrow drawers tend to emphasize otherness than to ensure that all ways of life and love become normal?

Maybe that's just the naive point of view of a cis-hetero woman who has never been attacked because of her own sexual orientation and therefore has easy talk. Wait a minute, cis-straight? Exactly, here we go. So let's try to shed some light on the darkness.

Who am I? Cis, trans or inter?

Anyone who is born with clearly female or male gender characteristics and identifies with this birth gender in the following years of life can call themselves a "cis woman" or "cis man".

"Cis" comes from Latin and means "this side". Similarly, "trans" (beyond) denotes people who do not identify with their biological gender.

More on this: man? Mrs? Both? - What exactly is intersex?

Intersex people, on the other hand, are born with both male and female gender characteristics and cannot clearly assign themselves to either sex. Since last year, in Germany, in addition to "male" and "female", "diverse" can be entered as a third gender option in the birth register.

Who do i like Straight, gay, bi and pan

Cis, trans and intersexuality describe part of a person's identity, but do not say anything about who a person loves or prefers as a sexual partner. The straight man likes women. The homosexual woman too. So far, so clear.

But already with bisexuality it gets more complicated. Basically, bisexuals are attracted to both sexes. But not necessarily equally strong. This is made clear by the Kinsey scale, a representation of the sexual orientation of humans and an invention of the sex researcher Alfred Charles Kinsey.

According to the scale, there are still a few shades between "exclusively heterosexual" and "exclusively homosexual". Kinsey grouped all of these gradations under the term bisexuality in 1948.

Today he would probably rather speak of "pansexuality". While bisexuals think in man-woman categories, pansexuals expand the circle of potential sexual and life partners to include the "diverse" gender.

Bisexual (and probably pansexual) people often have to listen up that they didn't want to commit and go to bed with as many people as possible. This is about as true as the assumption that heterosexuals are generally monogamous.

More on this: Homo, hetero or bi - sexuality can hardly be categorized

Whether someone lives monogamous or polygamous, i.e. limited to one sexual partner or has several irons in the fire, is another matter. Probably no one has counted it yet, but there are likely to be polygamous cis-heteros as well as monogamous trans-bisexuals.

What am I into? A selection

Some of the following terms will seem silly to some readers. Or bizarre. Probably both. Perhaps the question arises again, why does everything need its own drawer?


Sexual pleasure cannot be felt unless there is also an emotional connection to the person. That too has a name: demisexual. Demisexuality may lead online dating ad absurdum, but it should protect against lousy one-night stands relatively reliably.


A well-trained body, radiant smile and beautiful eyes are not enough to blow the sapiosexual away. Intelligent conversations and the intellectual level of the other person are primarily erotic. Pretty useful for anyone who would like to be stimulated on all levels.


Sigmund Freud coined this umbrella term for all forms of sexual masturbation. But autosexuality also means that someone is in love with themselves. Those affected report butterflies in their stomach as soon as they see themselves in the mirror. Let's leave it that way and agree that (healthy) self-love certainly doesn't hurt.


Asexual people have no need for sex. Not because they find sexual interactions generally gross or because they are uptight. Unlike celibacy or other forms of abstinence, asexuality is not a conscious choice, but rather a sexual orientation. Just without sex.

Now why all these categories? If the majority of people are cis-straight, isn't it enough just to name those sexual orientations that deviate from this norm? Sure, you can do it. However, this would further legitimize the division of people into "normal" and "not normal".

Another option would be to abandon all categories and consider any sexual orientation as part of the norm. But we are not there yet.

  • 10 species of animals that show homosexuality is natural

    Giraffes in foreplay

    Same-sex mating is the rule with giraffes. 90 percent of all observed sexual activities take place with partners of the same sex. However, the animals don't always get straight to the point. Male giraffes often rub their necks gently along the body of the other. This foreplay can last up to an hour - and sometimes it leads straight to the climax.

  • 10 species of animals that show homosexuality is natural

    Oral sex with dolphins

    In bottlenose dolphins, both males and females display homosexual behavior. This includes oral sex, in which one dolphin stimulates the other with its snout. In the bottlenose dolphin world, same-sex sex is as common as straight pairings. Males are generally bisexual, but they also go through periods of only having fun with other males.

  • 10 species of animals that show homosexuality is natural

    In the lion's den

    The kings of the animals are also homosexually active. Two to four males often form a community that together court the lionesses. They depend on each other and together drive away groups of other lions. They strengthen their bond by having sex with one another. Researchers call this an intimate male relationship rather than a classic homosexual relationship.

  • 10 species of animals that show homosexuality is natural

    Lack of women

    In the American bison, sex between men is more common than heterosexual matings. The reason: the females only mate with the bulls once a year. If you feel the urge when no female is available, you will have fun with another male. More than half of all young bison ascents therefore meet another guy.

  • 10 species of animals that show homosexuality is natural

    Macaques and the one-night stand

    The macaques also like matings with the same sex. For males, one night of gay pleasure is enough. Females, on the other hand, are usually monogamous and develop close relationships with one another, including other females. They sleep close together, clean themselves and defend each other against enemies.

  • 10 species of animals that show homosexuality is natural

    Albatros alliance for life

    The Laysanalbatross, which breeds in Hawaii, is also known for same-sex matings. 30 percent of all couples on the island of Oahu are lesbian couples. They are monogamous and usually stay together for life. They allow their eggs to be fertilized by males from other partnerships. The two women then take care of the fertilized egg and the chick together.

  • 10 species of animals that show homosexuality is natural

    Horny bonobos

    Bonobos are the closest relatives of humans. Her motto: love instead of war. They often have sex, even with members of their own species. They enjoy it, but it also helps them climb the social ladder and reduce tension. Two thirds of all homosexual activity occurs between females. But even males like to romp around in the grass.

  • 10 species of animals that show homosexuality is natural

    Homosexual swans start families

    Like many other species of birds, swans stay with the same partner for life. And that can definitely be a same-sex partner. Around 20 percent of all swan couples are gay - and still have families together. For example, a male mates with a female and drives them away once they have laid eggs. Or the gay couple adopt abandoned eggs.

  • 10 species of animals that show homosexuality is natural

    Tenderness in walruses

    Male walruses reach sexual maturity at four years of age. By then, almost everyone is gay. After sexual maturity, they are bisexual: they mate with females during the breeding season and have sex with males for the rest of the year. But for them it's not just about one thing: the males hug each other and sleep snuggled together.

  • 10 species of animals that show homosexuality is natural

    A sheep's preferences

    In studies, eight percent of male domestic sheep chose another buck as a partner, even though there were enough fertile females available. Scientists examined the brains of these sheep and found a different brain structure than that of their heterosexual conspecifics. Your brain released fewer sex hormones.

    Author: Anne-Sophie Brändlin