Your last SLLOTD struck my fancy and I responded to the couple looking for a unicorn in NYC. I am somewhat familiar with the unicorn community. I didn't choose to be labeled a unicorn; flattered, yes, but it's not the only thing I'm interested in. Most of the time I'm just happy to be a horse. In fact, I had a conversation recently with a friend in which we observed that the term "unicorn" doesn't even accurately apply to bi women anymore—single, hot, up-for-threesomes bi women—because they seem so common these days. The new unicorn is the bi-male, Dan, because a decent (everyone equally involved) MMF threeway is so much harder to put together than an FFM one.
I wrote to Penny&Marco and am in contact with them and I've been offering them some advice based on my experiences as a "unicorn" (by the more accepted female definition) in NYC and thought maybe you'd be interested in hearing my advice and sharing it with your readers. I've been reading your column for the last 14 years and am so indescribably grateful for your advice that I have to offer at any opportunity I might have to help by sharing my experiences. The pic I've enclosed, btw, is hopefully just to prove my assertion that I fit the term "unicorn," at least for the hot part, if you're going to accept my advice as any sort of guest "expert." Here goes:
1. My first tip is to use OkCupid. Many people think it's only for this or that type of dater. The problem is that you have to stay on the site for a few months in order for it to adapt to your needs (e.g. if you're rated in the top 50% of attractiveness, you are only shown to others in the top 50%; elitist sure, but just an example of how it helps narrow it down). Many people sign up and expect it to work right away or they give up. I've been up on it for about two years, I get a lot of messages from couples and people in open relationships because I am in the system as a bi-female who doesn't believe in monogamy and is cool with open relationships, among many other subtle indicators of who I'm interested in and who should be interested in me. That OKC even allows these indicators may make them pretty unique in the dating site realm. That's where couples should start.
2. For those that contact me: If you start out with, "My wife and I were checking out your profile and pictures...", I will not even bother to respond. That's the first red flag for me to sort out people I don't want to see. I don't want to be with a woman who is unsure, a little curious, or wants to give her husband an anniversary gift by tolerating my presence in their bedroom. The enthusiasm of the female half of the couple is the most important evidence I'm looking for. Basically, if the "wife" is the one searching out potential matches and starting the conversation, I might consider it.
3. Pictures are essential. Everyone is terribly afraid that (gasp!) someone they know or a family member will happen to see their profile and realize they want one of the most obvious and commonplace sexual fantasies that couples have. Truth is, anyone that stumbles upon your profile is someone who is looking for a couple because they want to be a third person themselves. Being embarrassed about your completely normal and mundane kink just makes it that much harder to find that unicorn you're looking for. Crop out your heads or blur your faces, but post something that shows you have personality; something that shows you have fun together as a couple; something that tells me you want a threesome because you guys are adventurous and interesting and can't keep your awesomeness to yourselves any longer. Be prepared to send the unedited photos because it will be the first thing I ask for if I contact you.
4. Threeways are complicated and even ones that are hot rarely go perfectly. I look for a relative balance of attraction between all parties, but even with that, preexisting relationships can complicate things and make someone feel excluded at some point. The best ones seem to involve people with similar levels of attraction and similar relationships... or lacks thereof. (Sorry, but that means the best threeways usually involve two unicorns and a stallion.) When I'm meeting a couple, I'm looking for the same qualities I look for in anyone I might sleep with. Which for me means that I have to like you (both) enough to want to be friends and hang out even if we weren't sleeping together. Sure, we probably won't hang out without the sex, I know, but I still won't sleep with anyone I wouldn't want to hang out with, no matter how hot you might be by other standards. Makes sense, right? Still, I think it is often neglected when couples aren't used to "dating" with the sex being the primary goal and no pretense of a relationship.
5. I don't want to "meet you both for a drink." Not because I'm worried for my safety or because playing is off the table, or that I don't like meeting new people, or drinks. I don't want to meet you for a drink because going on a semi-blind date is awkward enough with one person; two is just that much worse. I don't want to sit and have drinks and feel pressured to charm two people in what amounts to an interview for a job I don't even know if I want. So let's just pretend we're all hanging out as friends. Maybe you don't want to invite someone you don't know to a dinner party or the movies, but try to be a little creative. A concert, a stand-up comedy club, something you might go do with your real friends. Invite your real friends too if you're not terrified of what they might deduce (you don't have to tell them).
I'm not laying out these rules because I speak for all "unicorns." I'm just letting you know what I look for when I consider donning my horn. I just want things to be simple, hot, and fun! And I want people in relationships who can sometimes make things uncomfortable with their emotions and their shame to stop it! The whole thing is about having fun and sharing your awesomeness with the world!
I wrote back to UNYC and asked her if I could share her picture—which was something else—with "Savage Love" readers. She responded:
I don't want to undermine my credibility here, but I'm reluctant to share the photo. I'm a public school teacher, you see, and while the black-circle-treatment would normally be fine even with that in mind, I'm worried offering the picture with my identity hidden will then expose me to accusations of hypocrisy. I'm not afraid of my identity being out there and my views on sexuality being out in the open (as they are on OKCupid), and I already have partial-nude self-portraits of myself on my photography portfolio website, but unfortunately combining the two in the same place could actually put my job in danger.—UNYC