There is a large spectrum of sexualities, and some of them have very subtle differences. You may have heard of bisexual people, but there is a term biromantic, which is slightly different. What does this mean, and how can it be combined with other orientations?
When talking about sexualities, sexual orientation is what pops in people's heads. However, there is also romantic orientation, which is a slightly different concept.
Sexual attraction vs romantic attraction: what's the difference?
When you are attracted to someone sexually, this means that you feel sexual desire towards this person. Your sexual orientation determines whether you feel this desire towards the opposite gender, your gender, multiple ones, or none at all.
However, when you experience romantic attraction to someone, this means that you are falling in love with them and focus more on an emotional connection with them rather than feel the sexual drive.
These two types of attraction are not interchangeable - you can have both towards the same gender. However, you can be asexual (experiencing no sexual attraction), but still have romantic feelings for people - or you can be aromantic (experiencing no such feelings), but still want to have sexual relations with people.
It is also possible to have a sexual and romantic attraction towards different genders or have the former towards both genders and the latter towards just one of them.
What is biromantic? While bisexual means "having sexual attraction towards both men and women, or not restricting yourself to experiencing it towards just one gender", biromantic means the same, just with intimate attraction.
Being biromantic involves being romantically attracted to people of two or more genders. This suggests that if you wish to kiss, hold hands, fall in love, and experience an intimate connection with both men and women, or people of other genders, this term may describe you accurately.
In the past, being bi suggested that you were only attracted to two sexes - men and women. However, lately, various other gender expressions, such as nonbinary, have been popularized, so the term does not exclude them. It does not exclude transgender people either.
Therefore, being bi could mean attraction to men and women, men and nonbinary people, women and nonbinary people, or all of them.
Types of biromantic
This type of orientation can be combined with any sexuality.
Here are the following combinations:
- Heterosexual biromantic - you are attracted exclusively to the opposite gender physically, but to two or more genders romantically.
- Biromantic homosexual - you are attracted exclusively to the same gender physically, but romantically, you like people of multiple genders.
- Asexual biromantic - you experience no sexual attraction or very limited one (asexuality is a spectrum, where some people are sex-repulsed, while some are sex-favourable yet do not have a strong drive). However, romantically, you are driven to two or more genders, which makes you a biromantic asexual.
- Biromantic demisexual - you start experiencing physical desire only when you have established a strong emotional relationship with the person, regardless of their gender. However, you can be romantically attracted to two or more genders.
- Biromantic bisexual - romantically and sexually attracted to two or more genders.
Biromantic and panromantic: what is the difference?
A lot of people are confused about the bisexuality and pansexuality concepts. The first one means that you identify as being attracted to people of multiple genders, while the second one means that gender does not play an important role to you, and you are attracted to the person first and foremost.
The same goes for being panromantic: your intimate feelings do not depend on the sex of the person, but the particular person. When you are biromantic, gender does come into play - you can be attracted to multiple genders, but not necessarily all of them.
Is there a biromantic flag?
There is an official bisexual flag, which consists of three colours - dark pink, dark blue, and purple in the middle. Biromantic flags are used to express this identity.
The most popular variation of this flag resembles the bisexual one, but the difference is that it has a heart in the top-left corner. Sometimes, the bisexual-coloured heart is put on heterosexual, homosexual, and asexual flags to demonstrate how there are various types of attraction and that they can co-exist.
How to "come out" or share your sexuality with other people
Perhaps you just realized that you are romantically attracted to a few different genders, and want to share it with your friends or family. It is hard to predict their reaction, especially if you are unsure whether they are LGBTQ+ allies.
If you are certain that your loved ones will react well to it, you can share your new realization with them. There is no right way to do it - you can tell them in person, text them, or make a social media post.
In case you want to come out as a person who is romantically attracted to two or more genders, you should keep in mind that not all people may initially understand the difference between the types of attraction. Therefore, you can explain to them how romantic orientation is different from sexual attraction, and perhaps mention how it differs in your case.
If you have friends who use this label to express themselves, it is important to listen to them, ask respectful questions (if need be), and be supportive of their choices. Above all, you should still treat them the same as before, no matter what their orientation is.
Being biromantic is unique, and it is up to you whether you feel like using this label or want to describe your sexuality as something else. Remember that you have the right to make a decision about your identity based on personal feelings, and absolutely no one can dictate which labels you use.
Every stage has its own unique challenges and opportunities. The knowledge of stages helps navigate your union better.