Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Fabled Unicorn and Couples Privilege

During my time as a free lover the term "Unicorn" has been thrown around a lot. If you don't know what that is (I'm sure that applies to no one in this blogs target audience), the term refers to the mythical horse or goat-like animal with a spiraling horn growing from it's forehead. It's supposed to relate how rare a bi-sexual female who is into dating couples is. Funny because only virgins are supposed to be able to capture one. Also bi-women who want to date couples actually exist but, in much smaller numbers than the couples who want to date them. 

Now as the male half of one such couple, I'm not going to try to speak for all poly-male-female-seeking-women-couples but, I will address a few things that caught my attention about the subject.
Now in assuming that most couples who identify as polyamorous are genuine, I'll go out on a limb and say that poly couples who date bi-women exclusively aren't doing so with malicious or lecherous intent. We truly seek to meet a woman who thinks as much of each of us as we do her and each other. We want to love everything about her from her interests to her flaws, of which she may have as many as each of us. We want to build something lasting with the three of us. Together. Hopefully it grows into a relationship where we all share the same roof, resources and pains. The three of of will discuss any problems that arise as a family and work through them together.

The only problem is, just like monogamous dating, finding the woman or man that is just right is a total crap shoot. Again I am reminded of how fortunate me and Elouise were to have found Candy the way we did. She wanted the same things we did. We accepted each others faults and virtues. Most importantly though, we made her feel like was a member of our family because she was. She still is.
Also for the woman it's especially risky as the couple may not be as "secure" as they purport to be. This really well written article on Couples Privilege makes a point that some couples feel that they're adding to what they have but, give no regards to the woman that may be potentially become part of their family. She isn't looking to fix a broken relationship or be a live in sex toy. This is a person with their own desires and needs. She has to be given the same consideration as if you weren't trying to add to a couple. This story, and this alienating article about it, is a particularly extreme example of how an insecure, jealous couple can make it unappealing for bi women to join a established couple (please bear in mind this is a fringe of an otherwise lovely sect of people). On a personal note, the fact that they're all African American really hit home for me, especially after having experienced the polar opposite where there was love overflowing between us three. It doesn't really paint a good picture of us. Fortunately around 96% of poly folks are wise enough to realize that one incident like this doesn't represent an entire race. The point that stuck out to me the most was that love became a problem in this relationship when it came from someone other than the established couple.

This brings me to Couples Privilege. How, as a couple, we unconsciously protect our relationship above all else. What does it mean to us?

Absolutely nothing.

It doesn't really matter to us because we never exercised it, from the many descriptions I've read about the subject and there are maybe HUNDREDS of different articles about it. We haven't ever made the relationship about "us and her" or set down "rules" about what should and should not happen. Neither Elouise or myself like restrictions so to set them on someone else who wanted to be with one or both of us was never in the cards. Our relationship was stable enough that we weren't worried about an outside force breaking it apart so we definitely saw no threat from someone we were inviting in. Also this flawed woman, whoever she would have been (turns out she was an awesome woman) we wanted to feel welcome and safe. That couldn't happen if we were constantly trying to protect something that didn't need protecting from someone who was no danger to it.
In the aforementioned article on couples privilege,the final three paragraphs speak about trust. Not trusting one's partner or worse not trusting the new woman or man in the relationship. That's why I think Elouise and I had and still have so much success in our romantic pursuits. Because we trust each other implicitly and unconditionally. It's why we date together and separately. Just think about. Why waste so much energy suspecting and questioning everything about my partner? If that's the case why even bother being in a relationship, poly or otherwise? We are in a relationship because we love each other and to be happy. Suspicion and happiness don't even belong in the same paragraph (yea, I know just roll with it.)

Not my work but I like the message.
To be fair no one ever really mentions how couples can be used by bi-women. Whether it's to have a place to live, extra money to burn or, in our case, used for sex, couples are taken advantage of as well. There was a time right after Candy had to leave for Japan we jumped right back into the dating pool, separately and jointly. There was a woman who I'm not going to name who called us only when she was horny and her boyfriend wasn't satisfying her. After about two months we realized she wasn't at all what she claimed and we backed off (Elouise backed off before me) but not before she shook our faith in loving freely. Fortunately we took it as a learning experience and moved on.

In the end the idea of a bi-woman or man who wishes to be with a couple isn't as far fetched as it seems but, it does require a big human investment on the part of all involved. At times it will feel like a futile search for both sides but, the end result, if you have all the parts in place, is worth the immense effort.

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