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Sep 4, 2020

How to meet and treat a unicorn

Abby Moss demystifies unicorns and what to do when interacting with one

By Abby Moss


Looking to find a third person to bring into your bedroom or your relationship? Finding your unicorn (or your unicorn finding you) can be a fantastic experience for everyone involved. But the most important thing to remember about threesome dynamics is that everyone’s feelings are equal.

What is a unicorn?

Unicorn is a term used to describe a human who is interested in meeting a couple. This person might be looking for one great night, something more serious and longterm, or anything in between. They might want to date a couple exclusively, or they might expect complete freedom to keep meeting people outside of their dynamic with you, or anything in-between. They might want to be there for the couple, taking part in a sexual fantasy or role play, or they might be searching for a couple who will focus all their attention on them, or anything in-between. In short, never assume that every unicorn’s desires are the same. As with all sexual dynamics, the only way to find out exactly what that person is looking for is to ask them.

How to approach a unicorn

Keep in mind that the term unicorn works as a useful shorthand for humans to signify (in their bio or elsewhere) what sort of dynamic they’re looking for. Beyond that, it does not define that person. The best way to approach a unicorn is to be honest and upfront about what you’re looking for and to ask what they are looking for. The sooner you get this out in the open the better, so don’t be shy.

Don’t make assumptions about their sexual preferences. There are lots of reasons people are interested in dating couples. Not all unicorns are bisexual, so if you’re a mixed-sex couple, don’t assume they will be interested in having sex with both of you.

Respect and empathy are key

A unicorn is not like a sex toy that you can just switch on and off anytime. Their emotions and desires are every bit as nuanced as those of yourself and/or your primary partner’s. Treat them with the same respect you would expect yourself.

To learn a little more about what it’s like to be on the unicorn’s side of this dynamic, read up on first-person unicorn experiences. You could also check out the work of Dr Ryan Scoats, who has a PhD in threesomes and has written one of the world’s only academic textbooks on the subject.

Accept change

Relationship dynamics can change for lots of reasons and when three people are involved this possibility is naturally multiplied. No matter how much you plan, things could still take an unexpected turn. This is not something to freak out about. If unexpected feelings do arise, communicate these openly and as soon as possible. This helps prevent miscommunications that can lead to situations turning sour. Try not to take change personally as another person’s feelings are often not about you.

Top 6 rules for meeting a unicorn

  1.  Make sure that you are all on the same page about what you want (and don’t want) out of the dynamic.
  2. Everyone should talk openly about their sexual desires, fantasies, and boundaries.
  3. Establish ground rules and plan logistics. This includes details beyond sex. For example, whose place will you go to and will everyone sleep over together?
  4. Communication doesn’t shut down during sex. Keep checking in with each other.
  5. It’s always OK for anyone to change their mind, and to say no, at any point and for any reason.
  6. Remember that within this dynamic you are three people, all with equally valid feelings. Be prepared to respect the boundaries of a unicorn as much as you would your primary partner’s.

Top 3 misconceptions about unicorns

  1. Unicorns are all bisexual women.
    WRONG – A unicorn can be a person of any gender or sexual orientation
  2. Unicorns want to date a couple exclusively
    WRONG – Although some unicorns may be interested in exclusivity, others will expect the freedom to keep meeting other partners
  3. Unicorns are only there to help the couple
    WRONG – Although some unicorns may be interested in facilitating sexual fantasies for a couple, others might not want to do this. Always take the time to find out what they want out of the dynamic too.

Abby Moss is a freelance journalist specialising in sex, relationships, and feminism. She lives in London with her partner and their growing animal menagerie.

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