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Saturday, October 9, 2010

There is a Unicorn in my garden!!

First off, have you heard the term Unicorn before? A Unicorn is that elusive bisexual female creature that is willing to join an existing M/F couple and have relationships with each individually or both of them as a couple, including physical relationships. For many women, including those who are bisexual, the idea of joining an existing relationship that requires them to be involved with both partners is not completely attractive. Just because they are attracted to the woman from the couple doesn't mean they will be attracted to the male by default. The situation often also implies the new woman will be a lesser partner, or Secondary, which is also somewhat unattractive giving the appearance the new woman will basically be a warm body to fill voids and sexual fantasies. Because women willing to enter into these arrangements are hard to find they have become termed Unicorns, an impossible to find mythical creature.

In the interest of disclaimers I must admit up front that I have very little patience for Unicorn hunters. Although I can respect people knowing what they want and making it known up front, a couple in search of a Unicorn most of the time is covering what I consider to be concerns in other areas. Polyamory is about having multiple loving relationships. Does that mean the guy can have multiple loving relationships with as many women as he wants but the woman can only have a single loving relationship with a male? That's not Poly in my book. Does Polyamory also mean that all the partners involved in the extended poly family must be having relationships with all the other people in the poly family? Again, not in my book. Requiring anyone you add to your poly family to have relationships with anyone already in the family is ridiculous.

I know there are a few guys out there shaking their heads and flipping me the bird right now. Well guys, forget your One Penis Policy (OPP) for a moment and think about it this way. Can you really think it is okay to limit your girl to you being the only guy in her life while you want to sleep with all her friends? Turn that around. What if your girl wanted to sleep with all your guy friends, told you it was okay for you to sleep with all your guy friends, but that she was the only woman you could have sex with? Now take it a step further. What if she expected you to have a sexual relationship with any other guy she brought home? Or what if your girl told you she was going to form a family with you and another guy, expected you two guys to have a loving physical relationship as well, that the guy would be living with you both, AND he would be the only additional partner added to your relationship so you weren't allowed to date other women.

Once again, that isn't Polyamory in my book. If you don't like it, write your own book. Hopefully that explains why I have little patience or consideration for Unicorn hunters. More often than not it is either the guy driving the restrictions, or the woman trying to make her guy happy.

That said, there are exceptions to the rule. And again, I need a disclaimer so you know where I'm coming from.

My current partner is a female focused bisexual woman. She is also looking for a female partner. She is not looking for a male partner. I am also open to finding another female partner and don't have much interest in finding a male partner. Ideally what would we find? You guessed it, a Unicorn! Now before you chop me up and dissolve my body parts in a bathtub full of acid let me tell you why we aren't Unicorn hunters. My SO's disinterest in other men is her choice. We have had many conversations and she knows that I support her completely should she find another male partner. That extends beyond just supporting their relationship. Although I wouldn't expect to be physically involved with her male partner, I would welcome him to our family and would have no problem someday living under the same roof as a literal family. And although a Unicorn would be ideal, we in no way expect any woman my SO dates to be involved with me, nor is it a requirement for us in any way. The same goes for any women I might date.

What we got to thinking about today was how to present yourself to overcome the Unicorn hunter stigma. Even putting an ad on an internet dating site that mentions my SO is already in a relationship with a male may cause females to run away. They may believe that although it isn't being said directly, that my SO is Unicorn hunting. Putting something in the ad mentioning that new partners are not required to become involved with me might help but could still result in people thinking she is Unicorn hunting without saying as much.

We batted the problem around a bit and I suggested different wording but nothing seemed to completely avoid the possibility of assumption. We even briefly thought that mention of our existing relationship should be eliminated but both had concerns potential new partners may consider that lying were it to come to light later. Something else we noticed was that most of the dating site ads by Unicorn hunters were from the female of the couple. I realized then that I had been focusing on Unicorn hunters from my own male perspective. I hadn't thought about it much before but it dawned on me that any personals ad I might place would probably also create assumptions by potential new partners e.g. a woman reading my ad would probably think I was Unicorn hunting and would expect being involved physically with my existing SO was a requirement to a relationship.

Would we enjoy finding a woman who was able to enjoy relationships with us both and as a family? You bet, and we do keep our eyes open for just such a partner. Have we become the Unicorn hunters I dislike so much? From outward appearances I think that is very possible. However, my SO and I know in our hearts that isn't the case. That is supported by the fact we have both had independent relationships during our relationship together as well as the odd Unicorn. The question is how to let the world know we aren't Unicorn hunters.

I think anyone who took the time to get to know either of us would realize we aren't Unicorn hunters. But the bottom line is; I don't know.

What do you think about Unicorn hunters? Do you dislike them as I do or think that is completely acceptable? Are Unicorn hunters truly poly in your book? Do you have suggestions on how my SO and I can present ourselves so we aren't assumed to be Unicorn hunters?


  1. I think that this is a really, really hard issue and a very thought provoking post.

    I am lucky enough to be in a relationship where we sort of all happened together. It happened because the dyad were not actually looking but were talking and got to know the person first and then we all realised how we felt.
    This situation must be rare!

    I think the thing is not to go looking but just to be open to the possibility that you'll meet someone (without the whole sweet shop thing).

    At the end of the day it is about the person and not a list of requirements and you have to trust that when it hits you you'll know.

  2. Kester,
    Thanks for the comment!

    You are quite lucky that you have found the relationship dynamic you desire. And it is nice to hear about a situation created from love rather than a restriction used to create a particular relationship paradigm. (I'm assuming you are in a FMF relationship rather than MFM which don't usually seem to be created by restriction).

    My experience has been that most couples who have found a Unicorn have done so by accident and everything just fell together as you mentioned. Those specifically Unicorn hunting don't seem to have much luck. Of course given the number of couples looking for a Unicorn and their rarity it makes sense more failures than successes would be observed.

    My partner and I aren't actively hunting a Unicorn but as you said, are open to the possibility. Where I'm at a loss is how to present ourselves, particularly in the online world, without appearing as Unicorn hunters. It is overcoming the assumptions that confounds me.


  3. Guilty as charged. We are reformed Unicorn Hunters. I agree with all that you have said but I also think that there is a naivety aspect. For couples new to polyamory a Unicorn can seem to tick all the boxes in keeping both parties happy. As a mostly mono woman in a poly relationship I liked the idea of being involved in my partner's relationship. I was bi-curious and I suppose it was something that we had to try to see if it would work for us. I see this same mentality a lot on the forums.

    It didn't work and our lovely Unicorn got hurt so it is not something I will be repeating in a hurry.


  4. Thank you
    Yes. We are an FMF triad. I imagine it is very difficult to overcome the assumptions. In our case The dyad stated up front that we were not looking (we had just come out of a two year V relationship which was a bit of an FGE so looking was not on the cards).

    Good luck

  5. @Sage,

    Your comment brought up a situation I didn’t think about in my article, that those new to Poly may find a Unicorn the solution to keeping everyone happy and in a comfortable place. In that scenario it seems the Unicorn isn’t being used to support restrictions as much as to avoid possible problems. Maybe that isn’t such a bad way to start and since it isn’t the result of restrictions I personally can’t argue with it.

    Thanks for bringing that up, great comment!

    FYI, I have also posted a link back to your blog on mine :)


    I’m curious, if you don’t mind a few questions. . .

    -Is your triad polyfidelitous and closed to new members?
    -If not, is it open to members of either sex for everyone involved?
    -How long has your triad been in effect?
    -Does the entire triad reside together?
    -And to confirm, FGE = Full Girlfriend Experience?

    If you are willing to respond but would prefer to do so in private feel free to e-mail me directly. I often hear folks quote statistics I don’t find realistic so I like to hear about real life relationships to keep a balance in my head.


  6. FGE= F**king Growth Experience!

    We are polyfidelitous triad. We are sort of open in the sense that any new member would have to be someone that we could all really get on with (not necessarily all be sexually involved with)
    We do live together
    We have been involved about 15 months but only been living together since February.

    we run a triad blog at


  7. @Kester,
    Thanks for the FGE definition :) and for the relationship info.

    I'll add a link to your blog, thanks!!