Why is this so much to ask? -OR- I am NOT a unicorn!


A poly/kinky/life rant-ifesto by yours truly

The prompt for this post was a misunderstanding between myself and a local member of the sex-positive community. He posted a status update on a social networking site stating that he was “seek[ing]bisexual, poly switch. Must be decisive, consistent and not fear commitment.” I re-posted his statement on my Twitter account, thinking to myself, “Wow. That actually sounds a whole lot like what I'm looking for.” I was surprised to see words that I found so very apt coming out of someone else's mouth – or, I suppose, fingers. I was pleased and impressed.

Turns out, his post was actually a joke. What made this “funny” was that he felt those traits, in combination, don't exist. That it's simply too much to expect from a potential partner. He compared this hypothetical person to unicorns (of course), four-leaf clovers and the tooth fairy.

Well, surprise. Not only do I believe those traits are possible in combination, but I know someone who's holding on to all of them. Yeah, that's right. Me. The bisexual, poly switch thing is in some ways just a convenient correlation of traits. But the second half is what gets me. “Decisive, consistent and not afraid of commitment.” I can speak only for myself here, but I'm someone who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to go after it. Why is that something so preposterous? Why is that something we don't dare look for in a partner?

I pointed out to my friend that I did possess all of those traits, and he described me as “the rarest of beasts,” again making an allusion to the unicorn. We all have some idea in our heads of what a unicorn is, and I'm becoming increasingly certain that everyone's idea is different in certain ways. 1 Which brings me to the alternate title of this post:

I am NOT a unicorn.

I have some of the “textbook” traits. I am poly, I am bisexual, I am a switch, I am young and female. Yet that is not what makes a unicorn because it is a creature that exists in the minds of the couple looking for her. She's the one that will make their relationship more fulfilling and whole just by existing, without anyone putting in extra work. That's the part that's mythical. I am not interested in falling into a couple's pre-existing dynamic, and being available and convenient. I am not capable of being exactly what a couple needs to make their poly lives more well-rounded, secure and satisfying.

The list of traits that I responded to and re-posted myself are not mythical. Let's go over them again, shall we?

Bisexual: Not indispensable for me. As long as a person's identity is attracted to my identity I don't care what s/he chooses to call it. (In fact, I tend to identify as “gay” rather than bisexual, but that's neither here nor there.) However, a bisexual person is not a rarity.

Poly: I am a married woman. I can't exactly date someone who wants to be monogamous, and swinging isn't the life for us. So poly is really a necessity rather than a preference.

Switch: I am a sadomasochist. Sadomasochists do well when in pairs. It's just a good pain exchange dynamic.

Decisive: Being decisive in a relationship is not a big thing to ask for. If someone cares about me, I want them to be sure of it, and I want them to be brave enough to ACT like it.

Consistent: I have dealt with a lot of emotional instability, from a lot of people. Affection, depression, sexuality, rage, misery, fear and protectiveness have all been thrown at me by a single person in the course of a single day. I've been on the receiving end of that flavor of bullshit and it's highly distasteful. I want a partner who knows their own feelings well enough that they don't fly around the emotional spectrum constantly.

Not afraid of commitment: I made it through and out of my hook-up phase. Dating is fun, sure. It's meeting new people, crushing, the excitement of attraction. But if I get involved with someone, it's because I want a relationship with them.

See? I'm not a mythical creature, nor am I seeking one. I'm not perfect and I don't want perfect. I don't think these things are imaginary in combination, and though they may be rare, I don't think they really ought to be.

1NOTE: I have come to learn, through some brief education, that the unicorn concept has a totally different definition in the swinging community, compared to the poly/kink community. Fortunately for the swingers, it's also much more concrete. As I understand it, a unicorn in swinging terms is simply a single, bisexual female who is willing to play with couples. Their elusiveness is due simply to the lack of single females in the swinging community. This is not the variety of unicorn that I am referring to.


Star is a 20-something kinky, poly, pansexual, educated, married lady who just likes to talk. About everything. All the time. She can be reached at starontheswingset@gmail.com.

1 Comment

  1. Considering this was posted in Life on the Swingset, it might behoove you to explain the type of unicorn you are referring to, since your biggest readership at this website is probably gonna be swingers…the context of your reference was lost on me…I’m not in the kink/poly world.

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