Have you met Mr. and Mrs. Dunning-Kruger? You may not want to. They mean well, but, wow, their social skills? Not so good.

You see, the Dunning-Kruger effect is a psychological phenomenon in which people who are unskilled at a given activity perform it badly. But because they are so unskilled, they don't understand that they're making mistakes and they erroneously rate their performance highly. I doubt the real Dunning and Kruger hung around sexual networking sites for their research, but if they had, they'd have seen this theory illustrated by a certain group of people: male/female couples seeking a bisexual woman for a triad.

It goes like this: A Mr. or Mrs. Dunning-Kruger posts in a public forum, complaining bitterly of their inexplicable lack of luck in finding a beautiful, loving woman who wants to share her life with said couple. "What's wrong with all the bi/poly women?" they ask. In six whole months, no one has responded to their profile and messages they send to women are ignored. They're wonderful people; why are women not lining up to join their family?

The poster expects incredulous sympathy but instead receives lots of snarky remarks about their profile and a smattering of advice: Your expectations are unrealistic. Hot Bi Babes, as they are fondly and satirically called by poly people, are highly sought after and hard to find. Sharpen up your game: Post good photos of yourselves, ditch the persnickety list of requirements, and focus on what you have to offer such a woman. And, for god's sake, don't use the word sisterwife, even playfully.

The trouble is, Dunning-Kruger couples frequently come into a sexual-minority community with a two-step agenda: (1) Locate Hot Bi Babe. (2) Leave. They don't bother making any non-HBB friends among the locals, so there's no one to deliver these suggestions tactfully in a private conversation. Thus, the unskilled couple, who fondly suppose themselves the answer to a bi/poly girl's dream, get defensive at the barrage of public criticism. No, we're not doing it wrong; this community is simply full of mean, ugly people. This attitude annoys the regulars—all of whom do have friends. The whole forum starts piling on, and everyone forgets his/her party manners. And the bi/poly women reading it think, "Christ, what a pair of wackos—better avoid them!"

Online sexual-minority forums may be a rough school for the naive, but their essential lesson is correct. There are relatively few women hunting for couples online. The women who will even talk to couples know they're a golden ticket, and they're choosy. If your profile and your approach aren't pitch-perfect, you're toast. You may think you're more awesome than every other HBB-hunting couple. But if you thought enough of a community to complain to them in the first place, you should listen to their instructions and refine your technique. Otherwise, you're destined to remain the Dunning-Kruger couple forever. recommended