Omnisexual (often shortened to omni) is an orientation defined as the sexual attraction to all genders, though gender often still plays a role in one's attraction. Some people who identify as omnisexual may have a preference to which gender they feel most attracted to. For others they may be equally attracted to all genders, but they may feel the act of being attracted to one gender feels different than the act of being attracted to another gender. They might also find certain traits only attractive in certain genders.

The romantic equivalent is omniromantic.

Omnisexuality vs. Pansexuality[edit | edit source]

Pansexuality and omnisexuality are very similar as they both involve the attraction to all genders, however one can make a distinction between them if they wish. For pansexual people, they do not feel any internal difference between genders.

Omnisexual people are also attracted to all genders, much like pansexuals, but omnisexuals tend to feel a difference between genders. This can manifest itself as a preference for certain gender(s) (though omnisexuals do not have to have a preference). Omnisexual people may also feel as those the act of being attracted to certain gender(s) feels different from being attracted to other gender(s). They might also find certain traits only attractive on certain genders.

History[edit | edit source]

The word omnisexuality appears as early at the 1959 beat poet Lawrence Lipton's The Holy Barbarians,[1] but the first time it was described in the context of the current definition was in a 1984 text titled simply Sexual Choices: An Introduction to Human Sexuality.[2]This text described omnisexuality as "a state of attraction to all sexes", stating that some researchers believe that every individual is born omnisexual before developing their sexual attraction into the labels of homosexual, heterosexual, or other orientations.

The term spread even further in the early 1990s as M. Jimmie Killingsworth undertook an analysis of the poet Walt Whitman.[3] In Killingsworth's study, he found that Whitman had a general omnisexual character throughout his work The Leaves of Grass. In the 2010s, The Atlantic noted that his poetry expresses sexuality towards all genders, sometimes even the sea or the Earth.

Omnisexual was a common message board term in the 2000s. The knowledge of this term was boosted even further when several celebrities, such as Janelle Monáe and Brendon Urie, came out as pansexual. The media made several non-monosexual terms known in the mainstream as that took place. Many popular articles discussed omnisexuality alongside these celebrities' pansexuality.

Some fictional characters, such as Jack Harkness from Doctor Who, the Marvel character Deadpool, and Kevin Crawford from Paradise P.D. have has been canonically confirmed as omnisexual.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The prefix omni- comes from the Latin word omnis, meaning "all". Pan-, which the term pansexual comes from, also means "all", and is of Ancient Greek origin.

Resources[edit | edit source]

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