SL Letter of the Day: In Demand

Comments

1
No, she's NOT the bisexual everyone is looking for. She just said she didn't want to be a unicorn: "This could possibly involve three-way sex, but probably not." She wants to have two partners, one male and one female. She presumably wants both to be faithful to her, which is what people are understandably hating on.
2
I wonder if she's OK with her M/F partners to have sex with each other when she's not around? If yes, then getting into a poly triad shouldn't be a big problem. If not, then she's getting greedy and is going to have a hard time with this.
3
I agree with @1. I think Dan misunderstood the question. She seems to wanted a committed relationship with a single man and an unrelated single woman, not a couple and a man or woman.
4
I think the commenters above called it!
If she were actually a bi poly woman, she shouldn't have any trouble finding people to date. She might have issues finding the commitment she wants, but that goes with any dating.
I think the real issue is, she doesn't want to date other poly people.
If she wants multiple partners she needs to learn to "deal with" her partners also having multiple partners... That is just how it goes (usually).
5
I dislike unicorns, in the poly world they seem to have huge egos and are a dime a dozen. That's just me, though everyone else seems to want one. She needs to find another non-monogamous bi partner.
6
@4 dismiss the labels. She wants to be the axis of a three-way relationship. It's a fantasy I've had.

Truly, my desire was cured by my inability to manage the feelings of jealousy between two partners when I got my second cat; I figured, well, a human will probably not be swayed quite as easily by two cans of friskysnacks a day.
7
'Unicorn' is a bit pejorative, at least as a label for those SEEKING one. As far as theme being 'a dime a dozen,' #5? If that were so, why would there be such a fuss about them.

If the OP is considering 3-ways as a possibility, it doesn't sound as if she isn't seeking a couple. But the rest of her letter implies that she's seeking a stable, exclusive, poly arrangement. That could mean a menage, or her having two relationships that don't overlap with each other.

Not quite OKC 'standard,' but probably possible, with real-life adjustments and failings.
8
Could it be her communication skills? Because we're all unclear on exactly what she wants.

The first part of her letter reads like she wants a relationship with a guy who only sees her AND a r-ship with a woman who only sees her. But they both know she's banging someone of the other gender while they're not allowed to? Yeah, that's a stretch.

The end of the letter discusses past partners wanting her to be monogamous, which is clearly not what she wants - if that's her only problem, she just needs to seek other poly folks.

"poly" "commitment" " loyalty,"

I do think those mean what she thinks they mean. I think, taken together, they mean "self-centered".

If not, what's the problem? Find a poly guy and a poly gal. Which, as Dan says, is a lot more likely if she's out about wanting one/two poly relationship(s).
9
So let's pretend she gets her wish. She has a bf and a gf, both committed to her and in love with her. Cool with each other, but their relationship is each a separate thing with her.

Then she and one of them break up. Relationships don't last forever, even when we are just managing one at a time, and so she and one of them break up. She and the other stay together. Does that mean she now gets to go out and date whatever the gender that broke up with her? Like, I have a bf but not a gf so I get to date all the girls I want while still being in a relationship with my bf? Or vice versa?

I mean, I guess poly people manage this all the time, but I thought that meant all three were a couple together so that a bi poly woman who wants a bf and gf would either be the unicorn for a couple or be part of a couple looking for a unicorn. Not a woman with a bf and gf separate. If BDF is correct and Dan misunderstood and this woman wants a bf and gf separately, then here's another question- can each of them also have a separate other relationship? Like, I have my bf and my gf. My bf also has his own bf and my gf has her own bf. And so on?

BTW I have no problem with any of the above scenarios so long as the parties involved are happy with it, though it seems a headache to juggle. Maybe some folks just really need a hobby? To me, a straight woman who doesn't have the slightest idea what it's like to be bi, it seems like the best solution to her problem is just to be more flexible- some sort of open relationship and see how it goes. Or, as Dan said, look for a couple. It seems a tall order to get both a separate bf and gf, but who knows. Kids today!
10
I disagree with David @8, I don’t think LW knows what “poly” really means. She is describing a closed triad comprising two women and one man, all living together in one happy family, mostly engaging in twosomes, perhaps with occasional threesomes, but only sexually involved with each other. It's definitely not what I think of as a poly arrangement, where people are free to have sex (and sometimes long-term relationships) outside the primary partnership. It’s also not the classic "unicorn" triad, in part because LW wants to be the primary in both her M-F and F-F relationships, rather than providing the added spice for an existing M-F coupled partnership. It’s not even clear that she would be OK with her male partner and her female partner having their own separate sexual energy and connection, rather than just being happy housemates each awaiting their turn in her bed. (Maybe a non-issue if her GF was a lesbian.)

Could it happen? Sure. Would there be lots of potential for hurt feelings, jealousy, resentment, and competitiveness between all parties involved? You betcha. Even the most loving and committed two-person relationships generate occasional fights and dark days (or weeks, or months), and it seems to me that with the addition of each extra partner within a sexually exclusive relationship, there would be exponentially more potential conflict points and opportunities for drama. I'm sure there are many successful closed-triad, closed-quad, etc. relationships out there, but they require a huge amount of tolerance, generosity, and open communication between all partners. Is LW prepared to give as much as she hopes to get?
11
The LW jumps in late in the comments in the original article. She says she is open with the partners having other partners as well.
12
@10 hm maybe I don't know what poly means either -- I would say a consensual closed relationship (of >2 people) can qualify, and sure it can be a vee rather than a triangle. Is that not the common usage, that a poly relationship can be closed to various degrees up to "entirely"?

It's not objectively fair, okay, but people like all kinds of things.
13
(Looking over the old thread -- I miss having seandr around.)
14
Well, people are probably turned off by her because they want to be seen as individuals, as opposed to simply interchangeable accessories LW wants "one each" of.
15
This is actually the third time this letter is printed:

Original (17 sep. 2014): http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Savag…
First reprint (29 jul. 2016): http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/07/…
16
Calico @11: Thanks for that. In that case, she shouldn't have anywhere near as hard a time as she thinks she will. There are many forms of poly, and "one boyfriend and one girlfriend" is certainly one of them. She may be going wrong by dating monosexuals. Bisexuals would be far more sympathetic to "I want one of each." LTB, if you're still looking, get thee onto OKCupid and get messaging. I recently met a woman whose relationship structure was exactly as you describe, so it is possible to find.
17
@8. DavidinKenai. I think what she wants is two relationships, one with a man, one with a woman. This man and this woman each have only one committed and monogamous relationship in their lives, with her.

She's spiced it up a bit in hinting she isn't theoretically closed to a threeway. But she doesn't really like the idea of this. She threw it in because she was writing to Dan. Incidentally, Dan's supposition that everyone who has a problem for him knows all his standard lines on relationship combos, even all his maxims ('campfire rule', 'price of admission' etc.) is misconceived. People write in when they have an apparently insuperable, painful problem. Someone in this situation will not be a self-proclaimed expert on relationship ethics and etiquette, on the fine points of sexual courtesy, reasonableness, flexibility, magnanimity etc.. They're likely to be averse in some way, e.g. not reading about other people's problems at all. But they choose to write to Dan because they've seen, once or twice, that he's sympathetic, nonjudgmental, insightful--then they maybe (needlessly) tweak what they're looking for or thinking to make it racier, because they think that's what a hardcore, kink-positive sex columnist wants.

There are signs to me this woman doesn't move in uber-liberal, sex-positive or -liberated circles, even maybe in queer circles at all. She's a kind person who doubts the validity of her own feelings. I hope she found what she wanted. Maybe the solution for her is to be open to an old-fashioned French menage a trois, or to allow her girlfriend just the one male partner and boyfriend just the one man.

@16. BiDanFan. I agree with everything you say on this one.
18
@11. CalicoCat. If it's as straightforward as that, she's moving with the wrong crowd. She should be able to find that easily--especially given her thoughtfulness and lack of a sense of entitlement.
19
Oh, and P.S. Apparently looking at the comments she left in the original letter (thanks, CalicoCat) she goes on regular dates and then springs the poly bits on people later: "You're nice, but I'm bi so I want to have another lover of the opposite gender along with you."

...yeah, that would get a person shut down hard. I think "bisexual everyone loves to hate" = "asshole who thinks being bi makes them too special to behave along basic monogamous or poly ethics."
20
Just over here to offer some hope for LW. I'm a dyke into love, trust, commitment, etc. But guess what? I don't see those things and polyamory as being mutually exclusive. On the contrary, I've got them with my amazing bi girlfriend, who also has a boyfriend. He and I are good friends, but there's zero chance of us ever being romantic. We just happen to love the same woman. So, you don't have to be anyone's unicorn if you don't want to. I would recommend doing a bunch of reading and research about polyamory and find friends you can trust who are too. (Assuming you haven't already.) That groundwork will be invaluable when you start to figure out where your boundaries are and tune your bs detector for the assholes using poly as an excuse to be jerks.
21
IMO this reads as if she wants to date a couple, just isn't that interested in 3 person sex.
22
I am just like this woman. My ideal would be to have my husband and have a girlfriend on the side who probably also has a husband or wife and for my husband and my girlfriend and her husband or wife being fine with us having our thing separately and sometimes together. But I've also finally given up on this being a reality.
23
Roberta @20: Thank you for giving, not just LTB, but all of us bi women some hope! <3
24
@1 and @3 (and others) EXACTLY. Dan was too harsh in 2014, and he's being too harsh now by reposting it without correcting or expanding what I presume to be his original commentary. Lots of people are looking for unicorns, but they generally have a different type of unicorn in mind.
25
Traffic @19: An asshole would just cheat, wouldn't they?
I read LTB's comments and I don't see any baiting and switching going on. I read it as getting comfortable with someone and then mentioning there is something she would like. A lot of men are turned on by the idea of their female partners being with other women. As long as she is not insisting on getting what she wants -- ie, she brings up "what would you think of my having a girlfriend on the side," and is willing to accept "no" as an answer, then I don't see a wistful desire to one day have a boyfriend and a girlfriend as a necessary first-date disclosure. I do think that she'd have more luck on OKCupid, where she could openly state in her profile that this is what she's looking for.

And no, 6 @21, she doesn't want to be a third wheel to an existing couple. She wants individually fulfilling relationships with two people, one of each gender. These are very different things.
26
@23, always happy to help, lol. After re-reading the original letter, I do have one thing to add: Both BF an I have/have had other relationships or partners. I'm not saying it's impossible for LW to find folks who would be monogamous with her indefinitely and down to have her date them both (if that's what she's suggesting), but it's probably a lot less likely.
27
@22: Per my understanding, that's not an uncommon poly dynamic. Maybe your problem is that you're simply looking in the wrong spaces - monogamous instead of polyamorous; look to poly-specific social events or dating sites.
28
I don't know what letter Dan was reading. This woman wants a "committed" (exclusive) relationship with a man and a "committed" (exclusive) relationship with a woman. She gets to have sex with either one when she wants. They don't get to have sex with each other or anybody else. Are there people out there who will go for that, sure, but she better be pretty damn special or she's going to have to look for a long time to find one, let alone two.
29
LW said "I want to be in a romantic, sexually committed relationship with a man and a woman at the same time." That's "a" as in one relationship. Just not into threeways. Seems clear to me.
30
Or, based on what she apparently said in the 2014 thread, maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I got out of her letter.
31
DCP123@ As a polyamorous person, "committed" does NOT mean "exclusive." It means loving, supportive, long-term. You can have all that without sexual exclusivity.
32
@31 cont. That should have been @28. And read the comments -- she does not expect her two partners to be sexually exclusive with her.
33
@31,
Thank you!
As a poly person I am sick of people equating "commitment" with exclusivity! They are not the same thing.

17+ years ago when I married my husband there was no mention of exclusivity in our vows. Instead we stated promised each other, "I will never knowingly hurt or deceive you"... Among other things.
Obviously I prefer the latter versus sexual exclusivity. Shouldn't most people? Even if they are mono?
34
I thought "unicorns" were bi women who're happy to fuck around with a straight couple and then kind of...go away. Yknow, not actually alter the makeup of the relationship, just show up now and then for sexy times with no personal demands of her own.

She's the kind of bi lady people "love to hate" because no one trusts bi people to stay monogamous. LW is owning that she's the thing a lot of people (esp. lesbians) are afraid of--the bi lady who won't be satisfied by one person (or one gender).
35
@20 THANK YOU! @22 also me. Hey, we're not alone! I'm not looking for threesomes though. Just a woman in my life, in a committed and sexy way, as well as a man (which I've already found). Not sure how to go about finding that though... The lesbian scene is a bit slow IRL. OkCupid you say?! I've been reluctant to take that step. @34 very true, a lot of lesbians don't deal well with this whole, "no actually I'm bi AND non-monogamous so yeah I sleep with a man, actually we live together, sort of like marriage if you will yeah, so yes I'm confirming your bi bias, nice meeting you!"