Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

February 16, 2016

"To Unicorn Hunters, From an Ex-Unicorn"

...Not that there's anything inherently problematic about a couple looking for a hot bi third, to follow up yesterday's post. But you need to discuss and negotiate the relationships thoroughly, respect that things may change, and value the autonomy and agency of everyone. Especially yourself.

In the lesbian online mag Autostraddle, Chelsey Dagger offers a friendly, sympathetic guide to navigating these waters. She runs the poly-education site PolyFor.Us, where this pair of articles first appeared, and co-moderates reddit's polyamory subreddit, now 32,000 strong.

Here are bits to give the idea; click the titles to read.

Part 1: To Unicorn Hunters, From an Ex-Unicorn

Dear Newly Poly Couple,

Welcome to exploring the world of non-monogamy! It’s exciting, scary, exhilarating, tense, thrilling, and any other word you can think of in the rollercoaster of emotions. You’ve already talked about what you want, laid down groundwork, and set rules to make sure that each of you are comfortable. You may have even had a threesome or two already! Now, you’re all set to find a bisexual woman to join your relationship, love both of you, and be just what you both need. Right?

Not really.

...The main difference between people looking for a triad and Unicorn Hunters is that Unicorn Hunters tend to look at the third partner as an addition to their relationship, instead of realizing that you’re creating a brand new relationship, with three people instead of two.

Interrelated Relationships...

Triads are complex.... When you’re in a relationship with three or more people, it doesn’t just mean you have one more person, you have two more relationships, and your relationship with everyone else’s relationship. Sound confusing? It is.

...The point is, everyone gets to decide for themselves, [including as time goes on and things change], and they don’t get placed in a role they didn’t have a part of creating.

Rules, Boundaries, Agreements

There is one big difference between rules, boundaries, and agreements: Rules are set beforehand, without involving the person that has to follow the rules, whereas agreements are negotiated to make sure things are fair for everyone involved....

How To Protect Your Existing Relationship

You don’t.

Be Fair

If you remember nothing else from this article, remember this: Fair does not mean equal.

Date Separately

Yes, this is exactly what you don’t expect to do. But it is important to build relationships with individuals, as individuals....

Part 2: To Unicorns, From an Ex-Unicorn

Hello, this article is for other bisexual women who are interested in dating a couple! You may be brand new to the idea of a relationship with multiple people, or you may have been polyamorous for years now. Maybe one particular couple has approached you, or you might have your eye on a couple yourself. Or maybe you just like the idea of a triad in the first place. Congratulations, in any case! Triads can be happy, healthy, caring relationships. However, there are a lot of pitfalls to watch out for on your way....

...Many times these [mistakes] are not malicious, and if you start a discussion with a couple that displays one or two of these, it can be fixed before it becomes a problem. However, if these are not addressed, they are extremely likely to cause a problem, sooner rather than later.

1) “We want to add a woman to our relationship”...

The problem with this phrase is that it assumes that a woman would be grafted on to the existing relationship. What actually happens when a healthy triad is formed is that a brand new relationship is created between three people. The third person is not just added as an afterthought, but rather each person in the relationship evaluates where they are and where they want to be in the relationship. Everyone has to have an equal say in how the relationship is formed [and stays formed]...

2) “Primary” and “Secondary,” and “Protecting the Relationship”

I deliberately used quotes around the terms “primary” and “secondary”...

3) “If she doesn’t like the rules, she can leave!”...

4) You’re supposed to love them both equally...

5) You can’t have sex with only one of them (but they can have sex without you)...

Go read the whole articles.

She also suggests this long advice piece by David Noble: So somebody called you a unicorn hunter?

That page has further links, including Franklin's So What Is Couple Privilege, Anyway?

A foundational document underlying all of this is Eve and Franklin's Relationship Bill of Rights. It grew out of Franklin's much older A Proposed Secondary's Bill of Rights, which was bitterly controversial at the time (2003); now it's the standard wisdom.


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Blogger Squirrel Bait said...

Am I missing something? Are unicorns only female?

February 16, 2016 11:02 PM  
Blogger Eunice Hung said...

The cliché is that a unicorn is the 'hot bi babe' who will love you both equally.

February 27, 2016 6:04 AM  

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