Hunting the Mythical Unicorn, an Unethical Tale

As previously discussed in Isn’t Polyamory Just Cheating?, polyamory (shortened as poly or polyam) is having, or being open to having, multiple committed relationships with the KNOWLEDGE and CONSENT of everyone involved.  Polyamory comes in many different shapes, sizes, and colors.  One of those designs is a triad or a trio of persons who are in a relationship with each other.  These relationships generally consist of a couple who bring a third into their relationship as a boyfriend or a girlfriend.

Of all the forms of polyamory, triads tend to have the most discrepancies.  The term unicorn hunting is a popular term heard in the polyamorous community.  Unicorn hunting is a couple seeking to bring a third into their relationship, often a male/female couple bringing a bisexual female (a unicorn) into their relationship for the perfect MFF threesome.

While the definition of unicorn hunting may seem benign there’s more to unicorn hunting than just bringing a third into the relationship.  Keep in mind that all relationships are valid as long as they’re consensual and there are unicorns who are okay with this sort of treatment.

The Rules Are Set By The Couple

Unicorn hunters are often found on dating apps advertising a couple “seeking a “third” to date or sleep with” or asking for a woman to “play with me and my husband”.  Requesting a third becomes hunting when the unicorn is requested with rules already set.  If the dating profile looks like a job ad, it’s likely a couple unicorn hunting.  These rules are non-negotiable and the unicorn has no say in them because the couple comes first.

One Penis Policy

One of the more common rules seen with unicorn hunting is the one penis policy, where the two ladies of the triad are forced, unwillingly, to only have the one male as a partner.  This could mean the women could have other females as partners or that they’re a closed triad.  As with any rules, this is an issue if it is an unwilling rule that the women follow.

Setting Sexual Expectations

Triads are a form of a relationship, thus feelings and desires develop at their own pace.  Many unicorn hunters are inviting a third into their relationship simply for the sexual pleasure of a threesome.  An ethical triad will allow for sexual and romantic freedom amongst all three of the persons in the throuple.

A Unicorn to Fix a Broken Relationship

The idea of a threesome is often brought up to fix a broken relationship.  The thought is that spicing up the relationship will help heal it.  Using unicorns in this manor is treating them as if they were a tool or an object to caulk the cracks of their relationship.

Much to the dismay of actual unicorns, ‘unicorn’ has become a derogatory term in the lifestyle/polyamory community.  Those bisexual females who legitimately want to join a couple, for sex, for a relationship, or for other means, are looked down upon in the community due to the preconceived notion that they allow the rules such as those above.  This belittling has deterred some bisexual females interested in a triad from using the term unicorn all together.  Dragon is a term that has been coined in replacement of unicorn to remove the disparage of unicorn hunting.  Bisexual males have also been referred to as dragons to differentiate them from bisexual females.

Ethically bringing a third into a relationship can be exciting and rewarding.  It’s showing a unicorn that a couple sees them as human and not as an object.  There are many bisexual women who would love to join a couple, but the fear of the couple treating them unethically makes the idea unpleasant.  Triads are not a bad thing, but having an unhealthy, uncommunicative, limiting relationship is, and that is unicorn hunting.


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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