A great new monthly column brought to our attention by fellow poly advocate lawyer Diana Adams, “Oh, Bi The Way” from yet another poly advocate lawyer named Heron Greenesmith who according to their site is a thoughtful, progressive policy attorney & advocate who specializes in providing support for bisexual and pansexual communities.
Their current column offers their take on the phenomenon of ‘unicorn hunting’ through the lens of privilege and power dynamics, rather than one of strict ethical nonmonogamy. It raises valid and valuable concerns, but in our opinion contains a dangerous flaw.
Heron’s article includes the quote, “the fundamental problem of unicorn hunting […] is, couples who want a third are generally looking for something to fulfill a fantasy that they both share. They aren’t looking for a person who has her own desires and interests and needs.” [Italics ours]
We agree that this is the general reality, BUT Heron’s column gives short shrift to couples (and throuples and larger / differently-structured units) who ARE cognizant and respectful of a prospective new person’s autonomy. This *can* be magically waved away by saying, “then that’s not unicorn hunting,” and if that’s your definition – that unicorn hunting refers to only those problematic scenarios described – then technically their argument holds, although it reduces their position to a tautology. The article would be better served with a clear and explicit acknowledgement that the “generally” in the quote ignores and erases the many partnered entities who “do it right” by seeking new partners in empowering and respectful ways. These may be in the minority in practice, but they absolutely exist – and through the education and conversations fostered by columns like both of ours, hopefully more and more people will engage in responsible rather than harmful seeking of new partners.
(Yes, that *is* a “NotAllX” statement, and yes it needs to be said.)
Heron wraps the article by encouraging people to celebrate Pride month by having sex with lot so of people at once, as long as they do so authentically. Far be it from us to discourage either authentic relating or enthusiastic sex! But this is a great opportunity to remind all readers that not all meaningful relationships require or contemplate sex by any definition, and this includes existing structures looking to add new partners.
Happy Pride, however you celebrate it 🙂