Published on 6 April 2023 at 14:05

Chasing subs and unicorns... 

Let's say this were a hypothetical situation...(though it isn't).

A mature woman contacts a man (he's married but open to that sort of communication) and she starts the conversation something along these lines:

"Hello. How are you? I apologise for contacting you so suddenly but I noticed you were on the poly Facebook group and I would like to know more about it!"

Off to a decent start I'd say.

A series of quasi-apologetic phrases are exchanged between them. This is all very typical of the French speaking Belgian community. They generally start on a soft and indirect tone and then slowly and painfully get to the point.

He answers her in a direct manner but all the while sticking to the Francophone style of superfluous gallantry. 

He explains "poly" to her briefly and gives a short account of the past and present aspects thereof in his own relationship.

Without really diving deeper into the aforementioned topic, she quickly moves on to describing her own context in detail: divorced, far away, jobless and in need. And just as quickly proceeds to lay out her wants and desires:

"I would like to be the lover between two men. I would also like to be with a woman. In fact I'd like to be the unicorn to a married couple."

Considering she uses the term "unicorn" one could guess that she already knew what poly was about. 

One might also guess that her initial question was simply a pretext to scout whether this man was also looking for random "unicorns".

"I would need to ask my wife about this." He replies.

"Ok! So what did she say?" She types a few minutes later.

"No." He says. "She's not interested at present and would anyway need to get to know you first."

The conversation beyond that point takes its usual turn. He suggests that they get to know each other a bit first before jumping to the sexuality part. She agrees politely. He further puts some basic questions and she answers them curtly.

A few days of silence follow, broken only by his last text where he eventually calls her out for not actually wanting to get to know him at all. She neither says yes nor no, but suggests that his feeling is probably correct; essentially, shifting the responsibility of closing or continuing the conversation on the person that she had initially contacted.

And thus we finally reach the end of this little true-life analogy of superficial communication and 🦄 husbandry. 

Is the hook-up culture to blame for this phenomenon displayed in almost equal proportion by both men and women?


I just think to myself that the best time-saving approach would have been different.

Had I been that lady, tired of a failed 20+ year marriage and interested in kinky fun, I would have started the conversation something more along these lines:

"Hello. I like your picture. You are very handsome. Is you wife as cute as you? I'm freshly single and looking to explore my sexuality with open-minded people. Would you be interested to meet and chat?"

Ladies: It's ok to be direct, no matter your language or culture. Just say what you want without being pushy or rude.

Gentlemen: It's ok to want casual sex. Just be a man and don't take rejection so personally. Attraction isn't automatic. 

If you look at my approach above and deconstruct it, you can see I used a greeting (social norm check!), a compliment showing I looked at the person (interpersonal norm check!); a tease to indicate my wide scope of interest (objective check!); explained my civil status and my adherence to a specific group of people (subculture norm check!); and indicated that I had no expectations (introspective norm check!)

Socialising is supposed to be a light game of chess, not a throw of darts or a cricket match to see how far you can hit that ball before the other can catch it and call you OUT!

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