The Reluctant Unicorn


The Reluctant UnicornA great deal has happened since I last wrote a piece here- most significantly, I divorced my husband.  While the reason we separated had a great deal to do with sex, the Lifestyle had little to do with our split. Unlike some couples, the Lifestyle probably kept us together longer than we would have been without it. Although we never really played much beyond my being with other women and the (very) occasional soft-swap, we developed a wonderful network of friends, had an amazing social life, and really embraced the sense of community that the Lifestyle provided.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to keep us together, and by the end, our relationship had devolved to one of friendly roommates. Luckily, there was no animosity in the divorce, just a sense of sadness and failure that we couldn’t salvage things.

After everything was said and done, I found myself transformed into a “unicorn” in the lifestyle. At first, I loved the idea of it- who wouldn’t? Being a highly sought after, prized, valued creature- a single, bisexual, attractive woman- everyone wants a unicorn! I was ready to sow some oats and do all of the things that I felt that I couldn’t do while part of a Lifestyle couple (especially part of a Lifestyle couple where the male is more exhibitionist than swinger, and where her curiosity and sex drive far outweighed his- see my article “The Reluctant Husband” for more on that). So, I dived in, or at least I went to the edge of the water to dip my proverbial horn in and swish it around for awhile.

I quickly realized that being in demand as a unicorn is a bit exhausting, and comes with a number of pitfalls. Once people heard that I was single, the offers to play came fast and furiously, some more subtle than others. It was like a pack of wolves had been waiting at the edge of the forest ready to pounce and now that their prey was left unattended, they had their chance. I felt as though many thought to themselves, “Good, now that HE is gone, now we can have our turn to be with Mynx” as if my ex-husband was the sole reason why I/we hadn’t played with them. While that might have been true in some cases, it certainly wasn’t the case in all of them, and it was slightly off-putting. When I responded with reluctance, or even declined some (most) of the offers, there was a distinctive chill; the sense of annoyance was almost palatable, and in some cases, the friendship disappeared, or at least diminished. That saddened me. I got the impression that many of them thought that now that I was “free,” then I was “supposed to” play with anyone who offered. When I did accept an offer, there was a sense of “that’s not fair, it is OUR turn!” from the others and a sense of possessiveness from those with whom I’d chosen to share an experience. Being fought over was both flattering and disturbing. I loved being wanted, but now I had to wonder whether their desire was for the right reasons. And on the flip side, I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I didn’t want to be with just any and everyone because they thought that’s what I was supposed to do now that I was single.

I can’t deny, I internally adopted this attitude too, to an extent. I thought that I should have all of these Lifestyle experiences as a “unicorn” now that I was single. I also (wrongly) assumed that my ex was the one who had prevented me from having many of them while we were together. So of course, I ventured out. I definitely had some fun times, but I also realized the value of having a partner in all of this, too. For example, at a party, if you’re stuck talking to someone who you’d rather not be, or worse yet, if you’re in a play situation and decide that things are not comfortable anymore, there’s no one to rescue you. There’s no one for you to give “the look,” or say a word, or even blame for your exit. You have to figure it out on your own. While playing, there’s no familiar touch to ground you, or someone who you can depend on to know what you like and what you don’t (less applicable in my case, but still…).

Group situations, I found, were not my thing. It was too overwhelming having so many people in a room without really “knowing” anyone. I focused on all the wrong things- conversations in the background, when/how to get involved (should I initiate, or wait?), Whose leg is that? Who is touching me? Oh, that feels good, but this bed is too small, now I’m halfway off of it. Un-sexy stuff like that.

And threesomes-  I thought I would LOVE being the guest star in threesomes, that I would be the one who got all of the attention, and that I wouldn’t have to endure any of the sometimes uncomfortable “debriefing” after all of the fun times (or not-so-fun times, depending on how the night went). Again, only partially true. As a pleaser, I found myself trying to be deferential to the couple, especially the female half, so as not to upset the balance of their relationship or overstep any boundaries. It made me even more tenuous rather than fully able to enjoy the moment. And yes, while there were no uncomfortable conversations after the fact, there was plenty of awkwardness when things were over – deciding how long is an appropriate amount of time to hang out before I left, getting dressed while the couple snuggles, and going home alone, to an empty house. Not the most awesome feeling, even if the sex itself was great. And I still had to have those conversations. Maybe not aloud, but I still had to process my feelings and emotions and what was good and what wasn’t.

I also didn’t love feeling like a “Sex Pet,” or the beck and call girl, either. You know, the girl who gets a call on Friday night to spice up a couple’s week, and that’s it. Maybe there might be some texting here and there, but it isn’t like they are really interested in a friendship or anything beyond playtime. It left me feeling rather empty and unfulfilled, no matter how amazing the sex.

All of my time as a unicorn hasn’t been bad, despite my melancholy tone. There’s freedom in being a unicorn, to be sure. You can come and go as you please. People want you around, even if it is just because you’re a hot single chick. Beyond that, I have been able to learn a lot about myself and my likes and dislikes throughout this process. I’ve been forced to become more independent, and to speak up for myself when I don’t like something or I’m uncomfortable (something that is still a struggle for me). I’m learning who my true friends are. And I’ve learned that I don’t need to feel like I should do anything just because my marital status changed, that it is okay to go at my own pace or to take a break from it all and return when (if) I’m ready, no matter who it might disappoint.

All of that being said, I do think I may eventually dip my magical unicorn horn back into the water here and there with these experiences and perspectives under my belt, but I also think that I’m better suited to having a partner in the Lifestyle. My ex-husband wasn’t necessarily the right one, and that’s okay. However, this reluctant unicorn might need to have a stallion to graze with her from time to time. Perhaps I’ll find one.


Devin has navigated her way through the lifestyle as both a married and single woman. She seeks to quiet the slut-shaming voices in her head, be present in the moment, and push her boundaries, all in the throes of friendship, community, relationships, and love... With a little submission for good measure.


  1. Very well written my dear friend. Being a married couple and loving the lifestyle together, I have often wondered what kind of things were going threw a unicorns mind. Some of the things that you have mentioned, going home to an empty house, what should you do after sex, feeling like your alone. I have put all that into perspective and often asked the unicorn how we can make her feel more comfortable

  2. Devin thank you fit expressing exactly how I have been feeling as a former couple and newish unicorn. It had been hard to find the right place for me in the lifestyle. I am also a girl meant to be a couple in the lifestyle.

  3. I’ve been single my entire four years in (on the periphery of) the lifestyle. Some of the parties are okay, but the general disdain for single men is pitiful.
    I now decline all offers if single men are banned. Why go if there’s no one there for me?
    Rather than consider myself a reluctant unicorn, however, I have come to the conclusion that being a single female demands a more discerning approach (and frame of mind) than most swinging couples care to acknowledge.

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