Unicorn Hunting: 5 Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
By Lexi Sylver for ASN Lifestyle Magazine
Ah, the elusive unicorn!
Within the realm of ethical non-monogamy, unicorns are the rarest and most sought-after species.
Let me get you up to speed with the lingo I’ll be using throughout this article:
Ethical non-monogamy is any kind of relationship that falls outside of the standards of traditional monogamy. A couple may open up their relationship to the possibility of sexual and/or emotional aspects that may happen outside of their primary relationship. This can include open relationships, swinging, hotwifing, polyamory and everything in between. The “ethical” part of this is that everyone involved is aware of and consents to the boundaries that a couple decides upon. It’s not like cheating, in which one partner is unaware of the other’s activities.
Unicorns are single females (and individuals identifying as female), typically bisexual, that a non-monogamous couple seeks to play with, often to fulfill their fantasy of having a threesome. A unicorn can also be a woman who is already in another open relationship with one or more partners, but within the boundaries of those relationships, she can also explore sexually on her own, with whomever she wants.
When it comes to “unicorn hunting” (which isn’t a term I’m fond of, but it’s commonly used in the lifestyle), it’s usually couples who are newer to the swinging lifestyle who make certain rookie mistakes, rather than more experienced swingers. Often, new couples want to have a threesome with another woman as their gateway experience in ethical non-monogamy. They’re trying this for the first time and aren’t educated in the ways of the lifestyle.
So, what can end up happening is the unicorn, in her frustration, feels she has to educate these newbie couples. Or maybe that’s just me…
To guide you on your quest for a unicorn, here are some basic mistakes that couples tend to make and how you can steer clear of them to maximize your success.
#1 You and Your Partner Aren’t on the Same Page
If you and your partner still haven’t figured out where you fall on the spectrum of non-monogamy, that conversation absolutely has to happen before you entertain the idea of introducing someone else into your relationship. Potential unicorns need and deserve to know about your and your partner’s boundaries and comfort zones, so she is aware of what she’s getting herself into if she agrees to play with you both. I recommend listening to my podcast, where I have a bunch of episodes about how to talk to your partner about swinging.
If you and your partner have decided together to open up your relationship — and you agree that one of you can peruse an online erotic dating community to look for potential matches — okay. But I absolutely can’t stand getting messages from men who say they haven’t convinced their wife / girlfriend yet to have a threesome, and maybe I can help him do that. That kind of manipulation is a major red flag for unicorns that we’ll avoid — there’s DRAMA written all over it. If you think you’re going to “surprise” your partner by telling them you found another woman for them, you might fall flat once they realize you’ve been doing all of this behind their back. It’s not a good feeling to start off any kind of open relationship with a lack of mutual communication.
#2 Thinking a Unicorn Will Help You Cheat on Your Partner
One of the reasons I love the lifestyle is because it’s based on everyone knowing what’s going on — it’s not sneaky or shady. Most unicorns aren’t going to agree to help you be unfaithful to your partner, who still believes your relationship is monogamous. In the same vein, don’t lie to a prospective unicorn and say your relationship is open if it isn’t.
#3 Assuming She’s Bisexual
There’s a misconception that single women in the ethically non-monogamous lifestyle are all bisexual, and are, therefore, interested in playing with both partners of a heterosexual couple.
Not all single women in the non-monogamous lifestyle identify as bisexual. Even if a woman has played with other women before, maybe it was situational or in the moment, and she might still identify as heterosexual, heteroflexible, or any other term she feels comfortable using. So unless she tells you or has “bisexual” written in her dating profile, be sure to ask before you make a broad assumption concerning her sexuality.
#4 Not Being Clear About What You’re Looking For
Unicorns get approached by couples who identify as swingers, open, poly and whatever other term they prefer to use to describe their non-monogamy. But just calling yourself a “swinger” does NOT give me insight into your relationship and your boundaries. Do you only play with others when your partner is around? Does each of you play separately? Are one of you polyamorous and looking for a girlfriend?
You absolutely need to be clear and honest about what your boundaries are as a couple. Then it’s up to us unicorns to decide if that works for us or not. That’s consent, baby. Maybe she’s not interested in playing with a couple if there are romantic stakes on the line because her own relationship or mentality isn’t polyamorous. Do everyone a favor and don’t be duplicitous and pretend you’re looking for one thing when you really want something else.
#5 Having Unrealistic Expectations
Even if you and your partner agree on a unicorn that you’re both attracted to, and this unicorn happens to be bisexual, that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s into both you and your partner. Chemistry with one person is hard enough to find and can be even trickier when you’re talking about two people. She has to feel enough chemistry with each of you individually, as well as your chemistry and vibe together as a couple.
Know that it might take time for you to find a match that everyone is excited about and comfortable with. So be patient and don’t rush into a less than optimal situation with the first single woman you find.
Until next time, Stay Lexual!
This article originally appeared in the January 2020 issue of ASN Lifestyle Magazine.