Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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On Unicorns and Unicorn Hunting

It is impossible to be a bi woman on a dating website without being constantly approached by unicorn hunters. You know: straight men and their bi woman partners, looking for a bi woman to be their shared girlfriend. Even f you're on a site that lets you make yourself invisible to straight men and you make use of that option, you'll still get approached by unicorn hunters via the profiles of the bi female partners. I'm never sure whether to believe the bi women are actually the ones doing the messaging; maybe their straight male partners are just using the female partners' accounts to hunt unicorns, on the theory that women will respond better when approached by other women. But I don't know.

The men are absolutely always straight, never bi. I know because I've always made it a point to ask. Over the past twenty years I've asked multiple hundreds of such couples and have yet to come across even one in which the male partner is bi.

I always wonder about the bi woman partners in these situations: as bi women, don't they know firsthand how irritating unicorn hunters are? How do they bear the shame of becoming such loathsome creatures themselves? Are these real bi women with actual connections to the queer community, or just slightly older versions of the straight-identified girls who kiss each other in dance clubs for the purpose of attracting men? Do some of those girls decide at some point to label themselves bisexual for the continued purpose of attracting men, while utterly failing to actually identify with the queer community and retaining all the same slavishly man-pleasing tendencies of their younger years? Also, as bi women, shouldn't they already know they have no actual chance of finding a unicorn? Do the women in these unicorn-hunting couples actually even want to find a unicorn, or do they just figure it's easy enough to placate their male partners by pretending to want this since they know there's no way in hell that their male partners will ever actually succeed in finding a unicorn?

Really, there are no unicorns. Really, nobody likes unicorn hunters. The poly community certainly doesn't like unicorn hunters. I certainly don't know of anybody who likes unicorn hunters.

This post is brought to you by the fact that I just got messaged by a unicorn hunter. My profile states that my relationship style is monogamy. One might think this should be enough to ward off unicorn hunters, but somehow it never is. He messaged me to say that I seem like an awesome person. He messaged me to say he hoped we could be friends. Well, people who send messages on dating sites to say they want to be friends approximately never ever ever mean that they want to be friends. What they mean, if they've just introduced themselves, is that they want to have sex with you; and what they mean, if they've been on a date or a few dates with you or maybe just had a particularly lengthy correspondence with you, is that they want never to speak to you ever again. This was a clear case of the former. But in his eagerness to make "friends" with me he expressed a desire to learn about California native plants, and I thought, oh well, I do enjoy writing about native plants, so I'll go ahead and send him some information about native plants despite my lack of interest in being "friends" with him. So I did. He then expressed confusion about why I only seemed to want to send him information about native plants and not actually get to know him. I said, well, I don't have any interest in polyamory. He said, "I'm sorry, I mistook your politeness for interest. My mistake." And all his interest in further conversation with me instantly evaporated.

Now, this was not a surprise in the least. I knew perfectly well what was coming. But it was still irritating, and I decided to say so. This is what I wrote:
Why would you make that mistake, though? Did it just not occur to you that a woman who identifies herself as monogamous on her profile could possibly mean it? Are you unable to comprehend the idea that not all bi women are poly?

I mean, I suppose it's nice that at least you apologized for wasting my time . . . but really, there's no good reason for you to make such a mistake in the first place when people's profile pages specifically include a field indicating whether the people are monogamous or polyamorous. Women who write something in that field do so because they're trying to communicate something. If what they write is that they're monogamous, it is a really good bet that this means - guess what? - they're probably monogamous!

So if you message them and say you want to have a friendly conversation about a topic they're interested in and they bother writing something about the topic they're interested in, the most likely explanation for why they did that is that they enjoy writing about topics that interest them, NOT that their profile is a bunch of lies and they're actually interested in dramatically different kinds of relationships than their profile says they are.

I really think you should take a careful look at your own behavior here and find out why you're deluding yourself with implausible hopes. Assuming that "monogamous" doesn't actually mean "monogamous" is rather reminiscent of the cliché of assuming that "no" doesn't actually mean "no." Which some men do genuinely delude themselves into believing, even when any objective observer could clearly see that "no" perfectly obviously did mean "no."
Sometimes I am not altogether nice to people on dating websites. I think, though, that this is sometimes called for.

Has anyone reading this known any unicorn hunters well enough to be able to provide some insight into what's up with the bi female members of those couples? I'd really love to know the answers to my questions about them above.
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