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Panromantic Asexual: What It Is and What It Isn’t

If you’re in a romantic relationship but aren’t interested in having sex with them, then you might be a panromantic asexual. Read on to find out more.

panromantic asexual

So, you find yourself romantically attracted to random people, whether male, female, homosexual or whatever their preferences are. But you don’t have a sexual desire for them. It might be because you are a panromantic asexual.

The thing is, the other person falls for you in a way where they want to take things to the next level. And that’s where you become the problem *or so they say*. 

You have no intention or desire to take things to the next level *read: have sex with them*. Though you are hugely attracted to them, you just can’t bring yourself to consummate your feelings. 

Well, if you have always wondered why you’re like that and why you feel and act the way you do, you may be surprised that there’s a term for you. You’re a textbook panromantic asexual.

What does asexual mean? 

A person who is asexual has little to no sexual attraction to other people. And the term “sexual attraction” means that you find a person sexually desirable and, therefore, want to have sex with them. [Read: 18 Signs you’re asexual and don’t like getting laid as much as others]

With that said, being a person who is asexual means different things to different people. Some people might experience sexual attraction, but it is very rare. They might only feel sexually attracted to someone when they are in a romantic, loving relationship.

Other asexual people might not have any sexual attraction to other people, but they still choose to be in a sexual relationship. And some asexual people don’t feel any sexual attraction at all to anyone.

But just because an asexual person doesn’t experience sexual attraction doesn’t mean that they don’t have other types of attractions, such as these. [Read: What does it mean to be asexual and how to understand it better]

1. Emotional attraction

This means desiring an emotional connection with someone.

2. Platonic attraction

This is the desire to be friends with someone.

3. Aesthetic attraction

This is being attracted to someone based on how they look.

[Read: Asexual people – what it’s like for them in the dating world]

4. Romantic attraction

This is having the desire to be in a romantic relationship with someone.

5. Sensual or physical attraction

This is the desire to hold, touch, hug, or cuddle with another person.

As you can see, an asexual person is capable of feeling many different types of attraction, but just not the sexual type. [Read: Demiromantic – what it is, the signs, and why you take longer to fall in love]

What does panromantic mean? 

Someone who is panromantic feels a romantic attraction to people regardless of their gender. Some people might say that panromantics are “gender blind” because they are capable of feeling a strong emotional connection to people of both genders without being sexually attracted to them.

In addition, many panromantics can feel attraction not just to men or women, but also to bigender, non-binary, agender, gender fluid, and other gender types. The term only refers to people who are romantically and not sexually attracted to almost anyone.

Being panromantic is different than being pansexual because it doesn’t involve sexual feelings like a pansexual. [Read: What is pansexual? The full guide to everything you MUST know]

What does panromantic asexuality really mean?

A panromantic asexual is someone who is capable of being romantically attracted to people irrespective of their sex, gender, or preferences. However, this type has no sexual interest in partners. 

In other words, you can say you are a panromantic asexual if you are interested in relationships and capable of feeling love and affection towards people regardless of their gender, but you are not interested in following this through with sex.

For panromantics, gender has little, if not nothing, to do to define their relationship. Therefore, they may be attracted to males and females, as well as those who are transgender and belong to the third gender. [Read: Romantic orientations – the most common ones all of us must know]

The asexual part, however, comes from their lack of desire for sex. They just don’t want sex. It’s not like they see sex as scary or gross like they have past trauma when it comes to it. It’s just they don’t desire it. They don’t need it in the relationship.

A panromantic asexual is actually someone who puts more interest in romantic connection than physical intimacy.

The difference between panromantic asexual, pansexual, and aromantic

Many people get confused with all the different terms that involve romance and sexuality. So, let’s discuss the difference between a panromantic asexual, a pansexual, and an aromantic person. [Read: Lithoromantic – what it is, what makes one, and 15 signs you may be one]

1. Panromantic asexual

As we just discussed, a panromantic asexual is interested in having a romantic relationship. They feel affection and love toward other people regardless of their gender identity. It’s just that they don’t want to have sex with them. 

2. Pansexual

A pansexual person is sexually, romantically, and/or spiritually attracted to any or all types of genders. They could be male, female, agender, transgender, intersex, or genderqueer. They don’t have a single sexual orientation because they’re equally sexually attracted to all genders.

3. Aromantic

Having romantic feelings involve passion, desire for closeness, and emotional intimacy. When people start dating, these feelings can be intense and overwhelming. However, a person who is aromantic, they don’t feel this way nor do they have any desire to. [Read: Aromantic dilemma – 16 myths and truths about their love life]

Romantic attraction vs. sexual attraction for panromantic asexuals

Since panromantic asexuals don’t feel sexual attraction, what does that actually mean? Well, physical attraction refers to the way someone looks or smells, and it’s usually instantaneous. 

The feelings can be intense and can be felt for someone you know very well or a complete stranger. It is the desire to have sex with someone, which panromantic asexuals don’t feel.

On the other hand, romantic attraction usually develops over time and isn’t instantaneous like sexual attraction. It goes beyond physical feelings and the appearance of a person. [Read: Romantic attraction – how to know when you feel the real thing]

Some other factors that contribute to romantic attraction include a sense of humor, intelligence, compatibility, shared values, or personality styles. 

It’s easier to control romantic attraction than physical attraction, and it can lead to love, but it doesn’t necessarily have to. It can also include sexual attraction, but for panromantic asexuals, it doesn’t.

Panromantic asexuality and sexual activity

By now you might be thinking that panromantic asexuals just don’t ever have sex because they don’t have the desire. Well, that may be true for some, but not all. [Read: Psychology of attraction – 6 types and the ones that make you fall in love]

Yes, some of them find sex absolutely repulsive for one reason or another. It could be because they just were born that way and their brain is wired to be turned off by sex. Or, it could be due to a traumatic sexual experience or even sexual abuse as a child.

However, not all panromantic asexuals refuse to have sex. Even though they don’t have a strong desire to have sex, some of them find it tolerable. Therefore, if they’re in a relationship with a sexual person, they will probably engage in sexual activity from time to time in order to please their partners.

How to tell if someone is panromantic asexual

Just like straight and gay people, no one goes around carrying a sign with their sexual orientation. Sure, you can guess all you want, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to be right. [Read: How to tell if someone is asexual – 5 hints they’re not into sex]

If you don’t want to ask someone about their sexual orientation, then you just need to watch their behavior. For example, if you’re dating someone but they seem to have zero interest in any sort of sexual activity, then they are probably asexual.

Spotting someone who is asexual is probably easier than spotting the panromantic part of the equation. It’s more obvious if someone isn’t interested in sex. But it’s not as obvious if someone is interested in all types of genders.

In this case, you will have to watch their behavior and listen to what they say. They might say they have a crush on someone, and then you can observe what gender that person is. [Read: List of sexualities – 15 gender orientations you need to know about]

If it’s always the opposite sex, then they’re straight. If it’s the same sex, then they’re gay. But if it’s any and all genders, then they are probably panromantic.

But the only way you will know for sure if someone is a panromantic asexual is to ask someone straight up if they are. Sure, that can be uncomfortable, but it’s better than making assumptions. When you make assumptions, many times, you are wrong.

Questions and misconceptions of panromantic asexuals

If you’re not familiar with the panromantic asexual orientation, then you might have a lot of misconceptions of it. So, we’re going to clear it up for you right now. [Read: Pansexual confessions: What is it like to be one?]

1. They are not attracted to each other? 

A panromantic asexual couple can still be attracted to each other. There are actually many kinds of attraction, and sexual attraction isn’t just one. There’s such a thing as romantic attraction, which glues the relationship together, making them want to be with another person.

2. Can they fall in love? 

Well, they actually can be in love with someone regardless of gender. It’s just that they can’t or aren’t sexually attracted to them. In other words, they can have a romantic and intimate relationship with someone, but not in the physical sense.

3. Are they going to be alone forever? 

Being panromantic asexual doesn’t mean they can’t be with anyone. They can have a relationship or partnership with someone, more likely a panromantic asexual like them, and there are people who have long-term relationships with such. [Read: Are some people meant to be alone and single? 18 signs you’re that one]

4. Are they able to commit? 

They can be with people that serve as their romantic partners, even long-term ones. They can be in a deeply committed relationship, except that sex is not part of the equation.

5. Does this mean they can’t have sex forever? 

There are couples actually madly in love with each other but are just not having sex. The same can be said of asexual couples. The sexual flame may not be there, but they can still be inseparably in love.

6. What do they do? 

People who are in a panromantic asexual relationship actually have lots of things to do together that just don’t involve sex. They live together, go on dates, have vacations, sleep together *as in just sleep*, and just spend their lives together like any normal couple. 

However, the interest with sex just isn’t there. [Read: 13 non-sexual touches to feel connected and loved]

7. Is it the same as celibacy? 

Asexuality describes someone’s sexual orientation, which means they don’t experience sexual attraction to anyone they are romantically attracted to. On the other hand, celibacy describes a behavior. 

In the sense that they do not have sex with anyone, even if they can be sexually attracted and even aroused. The two are not mutually exclusive or mutually related.

8. Is asexuality a choice? 

It isn’t. Again, it’s a sexual orientation. They just don’t wake up one day deciding they don’t want to be turned on and have sex anymore. [Read: Sexually fluid – what it means, how it feels, and how to make sense of it]

9. How does it all work out? 

While this relationship may not be conventional, it works out. Actually, in ways that you may never thought it could. You might be surprised, but it works out just like any other relationship. 

Some are short-term and fade away within a few months, some last for a couple of years, while some even go all the way—they move in together, get married, have kids, get divorced, and all that jazz. [Read: How to make a relationship last: 19 love commandments]

10. How do they have kids? 

Well, a panromantic asexual relationship doesn’t mean it is totally sexless. The couple may still have sex, but it’s just not that important or central in the relationship. 

So, kids may come out of conception, but there’s also another option that involves adoption. Either way, things work out when it comes to the child-rearing department, similar to how other couples are.

11. Can they be romantically attracted to other asexuals? 

For panromantic asexuals, love is blind and comes in many ways. It doesn’t have to have sex to make the relationship work. Still, they can fall in love with asexuals and non-asexuals alike.

12. You have to have sex first to find out you don’t want to have sex

This is another misconception. You don’t really have to have sex to find out you don’t like it. Asexual people just don’t feel sexually aroused, but they still crave companionship and even a romantic relationship. [Read: Emotional intimacy or sexual intimacy: Chicken or the egg?]

13. Maybe they just need to get laid? 

If you think sex fixes the lack of interest in sex even if you may be interested in being in a relationship with people regardless of gender, then you’re wrong. 

As an asexual, you may not have had sex and feel no desire to have it. On the other hand, you may have had sex many times in the past, but still relate to the panromantic asexual orientation.

14. Do they masturbate? 

Asexuals can masturbate. In fact, many of them do. Asexual doesn’t mean they have anything wrong “down there,” or that they don’t feel good when they use their “part.”

They may masturbate for many reasons, such as relaxing and just feeling that good ol’ “O.” [Read: 12 Fun ways to masturbate and experience pleasure in a whole new way]

People can feel meh about sex sometimes, but if you have felt this consistently for as long as you can remember, then you may be asexual. And, if you are into anyone regardless of gender, then you may be panromantic.

As you may have grasped by now, panromantic asexuals are reflections of how romantic and sexual identities can be different. They often clash or just do not jive. The important thing here, however, is that we all understand and accept people have different preferences and respect this.

Panromantic asexuality in relationships

This is a tricky thing to answer. But let’s start with the easy way to answer it first. [Read: Sapiophile – what it is, 20 signs, and why it’s not the same as sapiosexual]

If you have two asexual people in a romantic relationship, then there will probably be very little or no sex involved. And that’s okay with both of them because they like it that way. 

Whether or not they are both panromantic or not doesn’t matter, because they are in a committed relationship. It’s almost just like when a man and woman are in a sexual relationship, that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t still be romantically attracted to other people, but they choose to be with the person they’re with.

Now, if one of the people in the relationship is asexual but the other isn’t, then this could present a big problem. The panromantic asexual has very little desire for sex – if any.

But the sexual person in the relationship does have a desire for sex. [Read: 7 Scary signs of sexual incompatibility and how to beat it together]

So, they will have to have a lot of compromises. The asexual person might have to agree to have sex with the sexual person once in a while. And the sexual person might have to agree to have sex less than they want to.

If both people don’t equally compromise, then the relationship probably won’t make it. Neither of their needs will be fulfilled, and thus, they are not a good match.

Pros and cons of having a relationship with a panromantic asexual

As with anything in life, there are always pros and cons to having a relationship with a panromantic asexual. Let’s discuss some of them.


1. They aren’t judgmental

There are a lot of close-minded, judgmental people in the world. Some people think that anyone who isn’t straight isn’t normal and that it’s “unnatural” to have feelings for anyone other than the opposite sex.

But panromantic asexuals aren’t like that. They love and accept everyone equally. [Read: 5 Lessons to deal with judgmental people]

2. They are romantic

As the term panromantic tells you, they are capable of feeling romantic emotions. So if you’re someone who likes to hold hands, hug, and cuddle, then a person with this orientation could be a good option for you. They might even like to have frequent romantic dates and experiences with you.

3. If you’re asexual yourself, they are a good match

It can be a struggle for an asexual person to find another asexual person. It may seem to them that most people do have a desire for sex. So, if you’re asexual yourself, then being in a relationship with a panromantic asexual would be a good match for you.


1. If you’re sexual, you might not be a good match

You might really like and be attracted to someone who is a panromantic asexual. However, you’re going to have a difficult time getting them to be sexual with you.

If you have sexual desires and want to experience that physical connection, then a person with this type of orientation isn’t a good match for you. [Read: Sexually incompatible? The unlucky 13 signs that confirm bad sex]

2. You might never know which gender they are most attracted to 

Many people are afraid that their partner might cheat on them. However, in straight or gay relationships, they know they only have to “fear” the opposite or same sex. However, if someone is panromantic, they are capable of having romantic feelings for anyone regardless of their gender orientation.

3. If you’re more traditional, you might not understand them

If you tend to be a more conservative or religious person, you might not really understand their experience of being a panromantic asexual.

You might think that everyone should have sexual feelings and only for the opposite sex. In this case, you shouldn’t date a panromantic asexual.

What does a relationship with a panromantic asexual look like?

On the surface, a relationship with a panromantic asexual looks like any other relationship. It consists of two people who want to be together and are committed to one another.

Outsiders probably don’t even know or care that their relationship is a bit different than other people’s relationships. [Read: Healthy relationship- 27 signs, qualities, and what it looks like in real life]

However, when you look inside the relationship, it can be quite different than a more traditional romantic relationship. The biggest difference is the level of sexual involvement – or lack thereof.

Most people who are in a romantic relationship want to have sex. Sure, some people have higher sex drives than others. But people who are sexual want to have sex at least on occasion, if not frequently.

That’s just not what happens when you’re in a relationship with a panromantic asexual. There will not be much sexual activity between the two of you. [Read: The lack of sex in a relationship – why it happens and what it means]

However, there may be a lot of romance. There could be a lot of date nights, thoughtful gifts, holding hands, and cuddling. You will probably have a deep emotional connection that will take the place of a sexual connection.

For some people, this works very well for them. But for others, it could be a struggle. That’s why it’s important to have open and honest communication with a panromantic asexual if you decide to enter into a relationship with them. 

Talk about expectations and boundaries. Once you are both on the same page, then you can have a successful relationship with them regardless of your own sexual orientation. [Read: How to set boundaries in a relationship – 19 rules for healthy love]

Panromantic asexual flag

Believe it or not, panromantic asexual people have their own flag. Kind of cool, huh? It is a pretty one, too. It has a heart in the middle with different colored horizontal stripes. And in the background *behind the heart*, it has even more colored horizontal stripes too.

If you know someone who is a panromantic asexual *or if you are one yourself*, why not pick one up and display your pride in your sexuality? 

[Read: Identifying with grey asexuality in a world of sex]

So, if you yourself may be in a relationship with someone who you see as panromantic asexual, then now you have a deeper understanding of what they are—and what they are not—so you can make the most of the relationship.

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Tiffany Grace Reyes
Tiffany is a wordsmith who has played with words ever since her letter-to-the-editor was published nationally at the age of 9. Since then her writing has gone f...
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