Because I am a woman married to a man, people tend to assume that I am straight. That usually doesn't bother me, and I'm very aware of the privilege I am afforded by passing as straight. It does have the effect, however, of making me feel as though I don't quite "fit" anywhere. I don't really understand the heterosexual experience, as I've not only slept with but also fallen in love with people of multiple genders. I've never felt "queer enough" for the LGBTQIA+ community, because discrimination based on my sexual orientation isn't something I've really experienced. So many have fought so hard against such horrific abuse and bigotry because of their identities as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and I often feel that I haven't earned the right to carry that designation.
Beyond the issues of where I fit in, there are some other struggles that I experience, and all of them revolve around assumptions that other people make once they know my sexual orientation. First, there's the assumption that my attraction to people of all genders means that I am incapable of monogamy, because I could never be physically satisfied with just one person. This idea is ridiculous. If I were a straight woman who found men with different shapes/sizes of penis appealing, it wouldn't be assumed that I would have to be with multiple men in order to be satisfied. My sexuality is no different. I am fully capable of monogamy, though my husband and I have chosen to have a non-monogamous marriage for other reasons.
Another assumption I am faced with frequently is the assumption that, because I am pansexual, my husband and I always want group sex. Now, don't get me wrong, I love group sex. It's something that I'm certain will always be part of my sexual repertoire. Most of the time, though, I prefer one-on-one sexual interactions. Just like anyone else, I crave the intimacy and connection of sexual exploration with a single, loving partner.
The final assumption that I encounter regularly is the idea that, because I am attracted to all kinds of people, I must be willing to sleep with anyone. That is definitely not the case! I'm actually quite choosy, despite my wide variety of attraction and somewhat promiscuous nature. The reality is that, while what is in your pants or how you define your gender does not determine whether I am interested, there are a whole lot of other things that do. I'm pretty outspoken with my interest; if I'm attracted to you, I've probably made sure you know it. If I haven't, just ask and I'll tell you honestly, and then you don't need to assume.
Even with these few minor frustrations, I have found that navigating the world as a pansexual woman in a cis hetero relationship hasn't been terribly difficult for me. A lot of that ease stems from the comfort with and awareness of my sexuality that I possessed prior to marriage. That has really enabled me to communicate clearly and openly with my husband about my needs from the beginning. Still, our relationship has continuously evolved along our needs and growing awareness of the way we function together within our marriage. Growth and change keep passion alive, in relationships as with anything.
Are you a married, bisexual or pansexual person? How has your sexuality impacted your marriage? Feel free to tell us in the comments! And as always, if you have questions or just want to talk more about this topic privately, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org