Polysexual, also spelled plysexual or polisexual, sometimes shortened to ply, is the sexual attraction to many, but not necessarily all, genders. For example, a polysexual individual could be attracted to all genders except men. Or a polysexual individual could be attracted only to non-binary individuals, genderfluid individuals, and male-aligned individuals.
Polysexual general implies that one is attracted to more than three or more genders, but one can be attracted to any number of genders anywhere between two genders to all genders besides one. Polysexual individualists may or may not have a preference and may or may not experience a difference between genders.
Polysexual vs. Other Identities
Polysexuality is sometimes compared to other multisexual identities, such as bisexual, omnisexual, or pansexual. While omnisexual and pansexual are attracted to all genders, polysexuals are attracted to several genders, but not necessarily all.
Polysexual and bisexual may be similar in some cases, and some individuals may identify as both bisexual and polysexual, though others may prefer one over the other. The choice to use one identity over the other usually comes down to individual preference, particularly where individuals may feel that different terms communicate their personal experience of attraction with more accuracy. Some individuals may prefer to identify as polysexual because bisexual is often assumed to be strictly disexual and binsexual. Although this is not an accurate definition of bisexuality, it is a commonly held misconception. For some individuals (particularly those who don't fit the preconceived ideas individuals may have about bisexuality), they may find it more comfortable to identify as polysexual.
Other terms may fall under polysexual umbrella, such as trixensexual, neptunic, uranic, and torensexual. Many individuals are attracted to all non-binary genders and one binary gender, such as to women/fiaspec individuals and non-binary, sometimes including non-binary men.
The polysexual flag has three stripes, pink, representing attraction to women, green, representing attraction to non-binary individuals, and blue, representing attraction to men. The flag was created by user Samlin on Tumblr in 2012. They posted a design to the blog fuckyeahpolysexuality with the caption, "I, as a poly individual, was greatly saddened that we don't have a flag...so I made one :P I made it similar to the bi and pan flags, since they're all in under the multisexual umbrella -Samlin".
The alternative poly flag was designed by an anonymous wiki user on October 21, 2020. It is designed to be easier on the eyes, while also maintaining most of the same meaning. In addition to the original stripe meanings, the lighter pink and blue stripes also represent a-spec ply individuals. The very light green (nearly white) stripes represents peace, as well as transgender poly individuals. It is intended to represent polyromantic individuals, but it can be used for polysexuality as well.
The prefix poly- comes from the Greek prefix polus, meaning "many".