ASK ARIA: How can we find a unicorn without seeming creepy?

Category: Advice

Author: Aria Vega

Dear Aria,

I’m a bi woman married to a straight guy, and we’ve been together about 12 years total. We met in college, so we’ve basically spent our whole adult lives together. We’ve been monogamous the whole time, which really does feel like the right structure for us. That said, now that we’re married, I’ve become increasingly aware that I’ll never have relationship experiences that affirm my queerness, which is starting to bother me. I’ve been thinking the solution might be to start occasionally inviting women to have a threesome with us.

I bounced the idea off of my husband, and like most straight guys would be, he’s incredibly into it. The problem is, we don’t quite know how to go about it. This must sound so basic, since threesomes and unicorns are common joke fodder online. But that’s just the thing: there are plenty of jokes, but few honest conversations about etiquette. What’s the best way to approach a potential unicorn without scaring her off or getting people gossiping? It’s not that I care what random people think, but if there’s a right way to go about this, then I’m completely clueless.


Unicorn Hunter

from Giphy

Dear Unicorn Hunter,

I seriously love this question! Sometimes, when awareness of a semi-taboo sex act reaches critical mass on the internet, we start discussing it in a way that gives the sex act an irreverent, meme-like aura (as such, I remain unconvinced that eating ass is actually as popular as it is on Twitter). Before long, the jokes start to blend in with the actual anecdotes, and it’s hard to tell what’s earnest from what isn’t.

Unicorn-hunting is a common subject of such conversations – so much so that couples seeking a third for a sexual encounter hardly qualifies as taboo anymore, especially now that dating apps like Tinder are overrun with them. But you’re right: while the jokes and memes may signal broader acceptance, they're not exactly helpful guidebooks. Here’s hoping I can inspire you with some actionable ideas for organizing your dream threesome.

First off, don’t think of ‘unicorn-hunting’ as a separate endeavor from regular-degular dating. Think about it: you and your husband want to find someone you find attractive, intriguing, and sexually compatible. If you were single, how would you go about that? You’d ask them out for drinks to gauge the chemistry, or start exchanging some flirty texts and sexts, right? That works here too! Just about anything you would do to court someone in a traditional way could work in this scenario.

First off, don’t think of ‘unicorn-hunting’ as a separate endeavor from regular-degular dating.

If you’re with your husband in public and someone catches your eye, go easy. Most of us prefer to make one decision at a time, so instead of approaching her as a pair, try taking turns. Allowing her to connect with each of you individually can boost the chemistry if it’s there. If you go first, take your time building a rapport, and then invite your husband to join the party later. Or, your husband can take the lead by playing wingman, and you can clarify your relationship if the three of you hit it off.

If you’d rather go the online route, there are a handful of dating apps and websites that are especially well-suited for making this kind of connection. FetLife is a great option if you and your husband are kinky, and looking for someone else who is too. Feeld, a more niche dating app, can streamline the search for non-traditional sexual arrangements and desires, including threesomes. There’s also plenty of swingers’ sites, many of which feature solo swingers, which could be perfect for you.

I’d also highly recommend hiring a sex worker to be your third, especially since you’ve never done this before as a couple. It could be really helpful for you two to have professional support with things like setting boundaries and establishing an activity ‘menu’. Plus, this eradicates the couple/outsider power imbalance that’s inherent in traditional encounters with a unicorn. Going this route would enable you and your partner to have a highly curated experience with lots of guardrails, all while supporting your local sex worker. Everyone wins!

Sure, maybe queerness is at least somewhat about the sex you have, but it’s also a politic and a way of moving through the world.

If I may, I’d also like to suggest something else entirely. Knowing that your desire to express your queerness within the confines your monogamous, hetero-presenting relationship is what inspired your interest in a threesome, I feel compelled to mention that sex is not the only way you can do that. Sure, maybe queerness is at least somewhat about the sex you have, but it’s also a politic and a way of moving through the world.

Think of ‘queer’ like a verb: what might it look like to queer your platonic friendships, and establish new forms of intimacy within them? How can you queer your conception of family, imagining how to build one beyond the nuclear family model? How can you begin building community with other queer people, and divesting from the systems and institutions that prevent us from thriving? In pondering these questions and acting on their answers, you’ll begin feeling more aligned with your identity.

By all means, have the threesome if it’s going to be fun and affirming for you. Just keep in mind that it’s not the only way to experience the fullness of who you are. Sending so much love and support as you navigate this new terrain. It’s a gift to get to do it with a lover to lean on, so let that offer you strength. By the way, when you’re ready to level up, we’ve got your guide to planning an orgy right here for you!


Podcast Transcript: