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Nicole McNichols is quoted on what it means to be polysexual on

Polysexual vs. bisexual

People who are bisexual often say they are attracted to genders like their own, as well as genders different than their own. Some might use the terms bisexual and polysexual interchangeably, according to Harper. But others feel that having the distinction of the two identities is important, she says, especially because using polysexual moves away from the male-female gender binary that people (wrongly) associate with bisexuality.

"[Having the term polysexual] allows people to really have a more accurate word that feels like a more honest representation of what their sexual orientation is," Nicole McNichols, PhD, an associate teaching professor in the department of psychology at the University of Washington, tells Health.

Although each is different, bisexual, pansexual, and polysexual do fall under the same umbrella of being attracted to more than one gender, sometimes referred to as non-monosexuality or multisexuality, according to Harper.

While you might get overwhelmed with learning all the identities and feel anxious about using them correctly, McNichols points out that understanding sexuality and being more accepting to these concepts doesn't have to be confusing, "it just requires being open minded and understanding that we need to respect people as individuals."

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