What Does It Mean To Be Omnisexual?

This sexual orientation is an inclusive one.

As more people come out on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, the language to describe sexual orientations will keep expanding. One term popping up more often is omnisexual.

Here's what it means to be omnisexual, who omnisexual people are attracted to, and how to be an ally to individuals with this identity.

What Does Omnisexual Mean? Back view of two men hugging each othe
Getty Images - Design: Alex Sandoval

What Does Omnisexual Mean?

Simply put, people who are omnisexual feel an attraction to all gender identities. "Omnisexual is classified as a 'multisexuality,'" said Debra Laino, DHS, MEd, a clinical sexologist and relationship therapist based in Delaware.

"These individuals are open and attracted to people of all genders—male, female, and every gender beyond that," said Dr. Laino. This can include expressions of gender like agender (not identifying as any particular gender) and those who are gender fluid (meaning a person's gender identity is open to change, but not to be confused with non-binary).

Gender identity is your own internal experience regardless of what your chromosomes, organs, or external physical characteristics might indicate, Austin, Texas-based clinical psychologist said Jo Eckler, PsyD.

Omnisexual flag
The omnisexual flag was designed in 2015 by Pastelmemer to represent attraction to all genders. LGBTA Wiki

Omnisexual vs. Pansexual

The key difference between omnisexuality and pansexuality is the recognition of gender, said Casey Tanner, a clinical sex therapist based in Chicago. "Most people who are pansexual are attracted to people in general regardless of gender," said Tanner. "Someone who is omnisexual still sees gender as part of how they are attracted to someone."

Someone who is pansexual and an individual who is omnisexual would both say they are not attracted to a specific gender, said Tanner. "Pansexuality is more gender-blind, while with omnisexuality, gender influences the type or strength of attraction to each gender," added Tanner.

How Does Omnisexuality Look in Practice?

Omnisexual individuals can experience a wide variety of sexual attraction, from being monogamous, polyamorous, or even aromantic (aka, not capable of feeling a romantic attraction to anyone). The key element is sexual attraction to all genders, said Tanner. People who are omnisexual can be in straight, monogamous relationships and still acknowledge their omnisexuality.

How To Connect With Others Who Are Omnisexual

While there are no official figures around how many people identify as omnisexual, finding a community of people who belong to and affirm your sexuality is important and validating, said Tanner. Browsing online communities, such as Reddit and Tumblr, can help you find others who share your orientation, or at least understand it.

"This is a really expansive, wonderful identity that can absolutely be as healthy as any other identity," said Tanner.

How Can You Be an Ally to Omnisexual Individuals?

Tanner recommended educating yourself and being open-minded, as the language around sexual identity is constantly expanding. With more focus on sexual orientation and identity, more people will be coming out and acknowledging who they are, and they will appreciate feeling accepted.

"Just because you don't know a term or wouldn't use it for yourself, it doesn't mean it isn't equally affirming and valid for another person in your life," said Tanner. "Instead of letting that lack of knowledge create stigma, let it fuel your curiosity to educate yourself about your identity and those in your life who use it."

A Quick Review

People who are omnisexual feel an attraction to all gender identities. If you identify as omnisexual, finding a community of people who belong to and affirm your sexuality is so important. If you want to support those who identify as omnisexual, be curious and open-minded and that will help you learn more and in turn, be a good ally.

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