Tips From One Female Unicorn to Another – Forming your Triad

I had just gotten home from my first date with my first couple, Heather and Mark.  I was a little tipsy because we had been drinking slowly but steadily throughout the date.  Each of us just needed a little help to take the edge off.

What I had thought was going to be a quick meet and greet ended up being a four hour long conversation about our jobs, our home lives, our aspirations, and our best stories.  Pleasantly buzzed and giddy with excitement about what had objectively been a great date all around, I laid down in my bed and opened up my phone to text them good night.  I had met Mark first on a dating app so I only had his number.  I smiled when I saw that he had already texted me.

“We had a great time tonight and would love to see you again!  Heather is pretty busy with her new job right now though.  Would you want to hook up, just you and me?  We also play separately.”

I read the message over again, crestfallen, to make sure I had understood.  Everything had gone right; how did we end up here?  I don’t think he thought twice about the difference this might make to me, given that I had already expressed I was attracted to him.  Hooking up with a man who was already in a relationship, in his eyes, would be just as agreeable as developing a sexual relationship with a couple.

At this point in my search for a couple who was interested in a triad, or even threesome, I had repeatedly engaged in conversation with the male who spoke on behalf of his female partner as well.  Each time, I was eventually propositioned for sex alone with him and ghosted when I turned him down.  After all, I had had male partners in the past and I was no longer actively looking for that kind of relationship.

My recommendations to avoid this scenario:

  1. Talk to the female (if there is one).  She is more likely to take the time to get to know you.  Before you go out on a first date, you ideally should know that you have the potential to be compatible.  She probably is not interested in a one on one with you without her partner present. Additionally, she is more likely to be picky about the female unicorn that they choose.  Most of the women I spoke to in my search had never had a sexual experience with a woman and had very particular desires about what they wanted in a female partner.  They had to be attracted to me, first and foremost, and had to feel comfortable in my presence during sex.  That typically meant that they wanted an experienced unicorn to show them the ropes (a quality I did not yet have). By going through the more narrow filter first (the woman), I was able to have more successful dates since I already knew the woman was interested in me.
  2. On a similar note, set your Tinder/Bumble profile to show you every gender.  Most couples post on the woman’s account and will most prominently display her photos.  On several occasions, the photos excluded the male partner completely.  Only the bio revealed that she was interested in a threesome.
  3. Pick a couple similar in age to yourself.  Choosing a couple significantly older or younger than yourself puts you more at risk for being the subject of a fetish.  If that’s what you are into, then go for it!
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Does the Gay Couple of Bachelor in Paradise do the LGBT+ Community Justice?

For the fans of Bachelor Nation, Demi’s reveal of her non-traditional sexuality was stunning.  The Bachelor has long been undeniably heteronormative in its representation of relationships.  So much so, that I may be the only LGBT+ person to watch the show.

The presence of the same sex couple, Demi and Kristian, certainly puts a crack in the foundation of the Bachelor’s traditional relationships.  Does this couple really provide positive representation of the LGBT+ community though?

The first feature of this “storyline” that is revealed is Demi’s sexuality.  She states that she is “fluid”, and does not want to put labels on her sexuality.  This is common (and encouraged!) in the LGBT+ community as it does not place boundaries on who a person can love and how they choose to identify themselves. 

Initially, Demi’s statement that she is fluid and does not wish to label herself comes across as a disavowal of her status as an LGBT+ individual.  She rejects the terms bisexual or queer in favor of a less definitive title.  In this way, she maintains plausible deniability should her decision to come out publicly harm her brand as a wild and bubbly bachelorette. 

Despite this, she later owns her identity in a positive and inspirational way without showing any signs of backing down.  Ultimately, she comes through stronger by rejecting societies’ insatiable need to label her sexuality.  This proves to be excellent representation for many LGBT+ individuals who do not use traditional labels. 

In several recent interviews, she is labeled by the host as bisexual, a term Demi herself does not use.  Demi does not correct the error (perhaps to a fault), but therefore generates less negative representation for those who identify as bisexual by not taking offence.

It is also worth noting that Demi and Kristian are both very feminine-presenting women.  This makes the couple much more palatable to the unsuspecting audience of the heteronormative show.  While this expands the reach of LGBT+ representation deeper into the public eye, it is also not anything particularly new.  We have seen femme couples in several 21st century television series and movies such as The Foster’s and Riverdale.  While I would love to see more butch and transgender lesbians in the media, we are talking about reality television with people choosing partners for themselves, not for a fictional plot.

Overall, I am ecstatic to see a same-sex couple in Bachelor Nation. I can only hope that the season ends well for Demi and Kristian and that we might see more LGBT+ relationships in the future.

How to Subtly Dominate Your Partner

Have you ever noticed how the waiter at restaurants always seems to choose one person at your table to give the check to?  In my heterosexual relationships, the waiter has always given the check to my male partner.  I never thought to ask myself why that was until I had my first relationship with a woman, followed months later by my current polyamorous relationship with a man and a woman.

Society typically assigns the dominant role to the masculine partner.  As woman, I find I have to be more original than in early Hollywood films to be subtly dominant.  Here are five ways I have learned to do this.

  1. On date night, state where you want to eat.  Better yet, initiate the conversation of going out tonight.  If your partner asks where you would like to go, tell them!  Don’t worry about what you think they want you to say.  Sure, they might not like your suggestion, but at least you weren’t wishy-washy about your decision. 
  2. Ask your partner to do something for you.  This could be anything, although try not to simply dump a task on them that you don’t want to do yourself.  A few ideas: Ask them to rub your feet, start your bath water or make you a cup of tea.  This displays confidence that you know they care for you and you are deserving of their time and attention.
  3. Make rules and boundaries.  These should be established in every relationship, regardless of if you want to dominate your partner.  However, if you make rules that you will not compromise on, you are asserting yourself and demanding respect.  For example, tell your partner that you don’t want to cuddle if it is too hot in your bedroom.
  4. Guide your partner where you would like them to go.  If you are walking through a new city, be the navigator.  If they are in your way, gently move them.  If you would like them to hold you a certain way, place their hands where you want them.
  5. Be the one to initiate sexual contact.  If you make it clear what you want (and practice good consent!), your partner will now be in the position to follow your lead.

Dominance in a relationship should be sexy and should always be desired by all parties involved.  If it isn’t, take a step back and find out why so you can proceed sensitively and respectfully.

Why I Love Shibari

Shibari is a form Japanese rope bondage.  With a quick Google search, you will many different ways in which people practice Shibari.

Bondage typically has very sexual connotations.  Images of someone tying their lover to a bed before they ultimately have intercourse may come to mind.

Personally, I like to practice Shibari for the art of it.  Not all ties are restrictive at all.  They may be purely decorative or even designed to be worn as an accessory or article of clothing.  The ties can be incredibly beautiful, often reminiscent of lingerie on female bodies. 

I also enjoy Shibari because of the level of intimacy and calm that it instills in both the rigger (the person doing the tying) and the rope bunny (the person being tied).  Shibari should always be consensual (in some cases, couple may prefer consensual non-consent).  By consenting to allow another person to immobilize you, you are demonstrating a high level of trust in that person.  You must place your safety in their hands.

Some people even find Shibari meditative.  The rope bunny enters “rope space” or “sub space” in which they are quiet, calm, and accepting of the rope as it is being applied to them.  The rigger also can enter a state of calm and meditation as they tie, much like the state of mind you enter when you are knitting or driving home on a route you know well.

Do you practice Shibari?  Comment below why you enjoy it.

Why I Don’t Think my Rapist is a Monster

I honestly believe if you gave my rapist a truth serum so that he could only say things that he genuinely believes are true, he would say he had never raped me.  If you asked him if I had ever said no to sex and then he preceded to have sex with me anyway he would say yes.  If you asked if I had ever pushed him away and pleaded with him to stop, he would also say yes.  Yet, despite knowing these truths, he would not make that critical connection between his behavior and its consequences.

Rapists have a sociopathic lack of compassion for other’s needs.  They see your hesitation, struggle, and fear, but somewhere along the way they justify their actions.  They believe that what they are doing is either not wrong or at least justifiable due to their own need to overpower another person.  Most people would call a person like this a monster.

Here is the problem with viewing them like this.  That rapist is someone’s son and someone’s best friend.  They have a respectable job; they help people.  They open car doors for their grandmother.  Everyone, except for the one person who has experienced him at his worst, in private, sees him as a good person.  So, when the survivor tells her community that she was assaulted by this person, everyone looks at this man who is respectable and who they love, and they think… but he’s a good person.  He couldn’t have done this. 

When we are told that a person is assaulted, we expect the perpetrator to be a monster who stalks people in bars, carries a knife just in case, and has probably been to prison countless times.  We look for that monster, and all we see is a nice guy.  We don’t recognize him.  Yet, most survivors know their attacker.  They are acquaintances, maybe friends.

No one is all good or all bad, and that includes rapists.  The black and white thinking that most of us think is justified does nothing but hinder us in our attempt to find justice. 

Who Should Make the First Move in a Triad Relationship

Somehow, I ended up here.  I found myself anxiously texting my best friend just before I went over to my partners’ house asking for advice on how to initiate intimacy.  Unfortunately, my friend, like most people, has never been in a triad relationship and had no idea how to navigate its complexities.

My two partners, we’ll call them John and Tessa, had been together for years.  I had only joined their relationship 2 months prior after a little luck on Tinder.  We had spent upwards of 24 hours a week with each since we first met at the beginning of the summer, but we had not been intimate in any way.  Tessa is demisexual so I knew entering the relationship that it would be a slow simmer as opposed to a rapid boil.  Yet, this was unknown terrain to me.

Every relationship is different.  Not every triad relationship involves any physical intimacy at all.  In my case, I knew that this was eventually the goal for all three of us.  Traditionally, when a couple first engage in an intimate act the man initiates it.  This is mostly because of gender roles and the expectation that the man is sexually dominant in the relationship.  Of course, this varies hugely, and relationships do not always involve a man at all. 

Sexual dominance plays a big role in who makes the first move.  In some relationships, there may be little to no inequality in power dynamics.  For the sake of discussion, I will assume that there is a non-equal distribution of sexual power.

In a triad, sexual dominance can be distributed in a variety of ways.  Suddenly power dynamics become incredibly complicated!  The original couple may dominate the unicorn (a term often used to describe the third addition to an existing relationship), or the man might dominate the 2 women.  A woman might dominate 2 men.  A man might dominate the unicorn while the unicorn dominates another woman.  The possibilities are endless. 

Generally speaking, I am most comfortable if the most sexually dominant individual in the group initiates intimacy.  That may mean that the existing couple have an immediate advantage since they are already familiar with each other’s boundaries and preferences.  On the flip side, a couple may have brought in a unicorn because they want to play with a dominant figure who brings more fire into the bedroom.

In my relationship, I found that it made the most sense for John to initiate physical intimacy.  Tessa is a very submissive person and would never be a top during sex.  John is exclusively dominant, and I am a switch.  Essentially, this means that I would feel less comfortable initiating intimacy with John than I would with initiating intimacy with Tessa.

Of course this is all theoretical.  You need to have conversations with your partner/s in order to determine what makes everyone involved feel safe and comfortable.  My experience is most likely different from yours, or another person’s.

Now go have fun!

Why I Want to be in a Triad Relationship

My first exposure to a triad relationship was on the TV show Shameless.  Alone in my room, on a shared Netflix account, I watched the entire raunchy series within a month.  The creators were unapologetic in their depiction of romance, sex, and relationships, and I could not get enough.

Other avid viewers of the show will remember the featured triad relationship known as a “thrupple” and thus my curiosity set in.  I was approaching my first year of college at the time and had been questioning my sexuality since the age of 16. When I first met Svetlana, the prostitute with a heavy Russian accent and an aptitude for mathematics, and couldn’t help but be a little smitten.  She was beautiful and she knew it. 

I had wanted a boyfriend since kindergarten, but why would I want to be with a disheveled man when I could have someone like her?  It didn’t occur to me to label myself as a bisexual woman until I had completed undergrad (my own take on being a “lesbian after graduation”). 

By the time it did occur to me, I was not looking for a relationship with a woman.  I was still involved in a messy friends-with-benefits situation with my ex-boyfriend and I was thoroughly enjoying the sex.  I had developed a keen interest in having my first sexual experience with a woman, but I wasn’t ready to set heterosexual sex on the back burner.

I enjoy being the little spoon.  I like to feel big, strong arms around me while I sleep, and I even enjoyed how naïve my FWB was regarding my female anatomy.  But, we were no longer together, and I knew he was searching for a girlfriend.

Not to be left behind, I took to Tinder where it seemed all of my friends were finding their significant others.  I thought I might as well enable “Everyone” on tinder as opposed to just men.  Eventually I found my first couple.  I giggled and immediately told my roommate what I had done, thinking it was a little saucy.  I swiped right.  I found another couple, and I swiped right again. 

I want the soft sensuality of a woman, and the protective cocoon of a man.  It is hard to imagine being completely fulfilled by either gender.  As a relatively jealous person, I do not feel that I could handle an open relationship.  Yet, if all parties were involved in a polyamorous triad, I might just be able to find my niche.

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