A little bit nervous that I'll get flamed for this, but it's been on my mind for awhile.
I've been approached too many times by male/female couples looking for an "extra" girl and it's causing me to roll my eyes. I don't think there is anything intrinsically wrong with male/female/female configurations. Some couples are open to different scenarios including but not limited to MFF, and for some MFF is what ended up happening because they all really liked each other. I'm just tired of the multitudes who specifically seek out another girl as the ONLY possible option, most of who haven't thought it out.
It's always the same story: she's bi and he's straight, and maybe he's too jealous to let her explore bisexuality on her own, or he wants a chance to co-opt it for his own enjoyment, so somehow the only solution they can come to is finding and sharing an extra girl--either as a temporary relationship enhancer or a closed triad relationship. Usually the profile is loaded with **NO MALES AND NO COUPLES! WE'RE ALREADY A COUPLE AND WE WANT AN EXTRA!!!** etc. Bonus points if there's a long list of requirements for the girl.
I haven't taken a poll, but it seems that most bi/poly women are also weary of this. It is like being preyed on--and I also feel like my primary relationship is disrespected. If the girl-seeking couples would just swap women with each other it would solve the "extra girl" problem, but that would require putting an end to double standards: men being allowed to have sex with the opposite sex while women aren't, and having different expectations from the "extra" girl than they have of themselves. I don't see how having different rules for each person is a healthy way to deal with conflicts, or why this is thought of as a good way to try out non-monogamy (has the potential to put a third party into a very awkward situation). It was not something I wanted in my early poly days, because I knew that seeing a partner with someone else can be more of a jealousy trigger than just hearing about it.
It's the hypocrisy and double standards that get on my nerves, but also the fact that the female to male ratio is nowhere near 2:1. The problem with polygamy oriented only one way or the other is that one of the sexes has to be "disposed" of. In polygyny, men are sometimes shunned so that other men can have more wives. In other cases, "surplus" men have been killed in war or they are sent to war or they are frustrated and more likely to be get involved in violence. (Not sure which came first--the war or the polygyny.) In polyandrous societies (which occur in places where population needs to be limited), the female population is suppressed with infanticide.
I know that it is harder for men to get involved in poly, and even more in swinging where sometimes the gender ratio is deliberately manipulated ("this party open to females and couples--no single men"). It's harder for a guy to get a girlfriend, but once he does he has a chance for more women. If all of these couples got their coveted women, I picture poly being mostly made up of "alpha" males with two girlfriends, and other males shut out, like polygynous societies or certain species of animals.
I also see a bit of homophobia, because I've very rarely come across couples looking for an extra guy--most likely because male bisexuality is not as well accepted, and males are less likely to come forward. An MMF arrangement doesn't have to involve gay action but most men are still disgusted or insulted by the idea. Female bisexuality is tolerated more than male, but the allowing men to have sex with other women while not vice versa might also be related to the "stud vs slut" double standard.
Yes, I have thought of the other sides to this. I think people should only do things they are comfortable with (although I suspect not all females are completely comfortable with the arrangement--it's more of a compromise). Relationships are not concerned with equal distribution among larger society and they shouldn't be. Other things also skew the male/female ratio, such as same-sex relationships. While this gender-skewing has an affect on the poly and swinger subcultures it probably is negligible to larger society. It isn't my business what other people want to do--but when I am frequently approached about it, my reaction is.
That's the thing, there are times that people just get along like your relationship--in a way the unicorn hunting gives MFF a bad name!
And occasionally I think there are people who genuinely only want MFF, like my friend whose boyfriend was apparently the only exception to her lesbianism...the arrangement they came to is they can either date girls together or she can date girls on her own. Not sure how I feel about that but they're really nice people.
Is it a double standard if the girl is bi and wants to date women? I've heard this argument so many times. I casually debated this back in monogamy days. "I don't want a guy telling me I can't be with women. " "If you get to be with women then so do I. " "No, you get to be with men. " "I don't want to be with men." "Oh well, but you could if you wanted to!" Some people solve this with unicorning. Some couples I've known have started out with same-sex non-monogamy and ended up having open relationships with everyone. I guess that's how it happened for me.
I hadn't thought of calling it liberal and conservative before. There are some who haven't really gotten past other social attitudes, maybe. I've met a lot of awesome people among my local friends. There is no problem with male bisexuality and some guys are sort of post-orientation.
I haven't been in the swinger community firsthand so I only know the accounts I've heard from others...I think a lot of things I was talking about are magnified there. My ex who was bi went into the closet because he knew his girlfriend didn't like that (this kinda thing is why he was my ex). His wife, who was size 14 most of the time I knew her (and that seems like a very average size to me), was rejected by many for being too fat.
In my experience the unicorn thing is associated with conservative gender roles, where men need be in control. I had to reject one couple because the guy wanted to give his wife and me directions, as if we were puppets.
I am very sorry if I gave the impression that I think all men are unicorn hunters! I certainly don't think that. I haven't met many who are, out of my sample of friends and acquaintances.
I can just imagine the positive-but-misguided comments you would get from some people.
I do see what you're talking about but I think it might actually be the case that there are more bi women than bi men.
In fact in all honestly I might be one of the guilty wannabe studs your dissing. This is for a couple of reasons:
1) Once you take away my broad shoulders and some of my body hair I could pass as a woman... this is to say that I am the most physically (and emotionally, although I suppress it) feminine/pretty/beautiful man I have ever seen in person (please count mirrors :P). Even with this being the case I have never been hit-on by a man, and the only way I can ever see myself in a relationship with a man is if he was handsome with more feminine facial features (like myself) and pursued me proactively. I have a general preference for proactive (though not necessarily dominate) partners - but I will pursue when I'm attracted enough.
2) So I'm more inclined to think of myself as mostly lesbian and slightly bi rather than a typical straight or even bi male... Having a straight male in my circle of lovers would make me very uncomfortable - as the odd man out. I've decided I'll only ever invite bisexuals into my circle - one reason for this is to avoid a lot of the normal possessive tension.
There was more but I forgot :S
Anyway I will only consider being part of a closed poly circle (group marriage)- where all (bi) partners are married to each other and considered equal (at least theoretically). I really dislike formal hierarchy in poly relationships.
It's kind of hot the idea of two bi couples forming a square...lots of permutations!
There probably are more bi women than bi men, but the fact that for women it's encouraged means that some women might have not all that much interest in women, but go along with it anyway, sometimes not realizing the pressure. Meanwhile men are generally discouraged from being attracted to men if they have anything to do with women. If they're just plain gay it seems more accepted. Kind of like how gay porn is in one category, and straight/lesbian porn is the other. This means that fewer men in relationships with women will come out, more will repress their sexuality or not be aware of it, and they are not encouraged to experiment with the same sex in the way that women are. It depends on what kind of people they are hanging around with though...I also know plenty of people who accept male bisexuality, and even some men who made out with each other mostly for the benefit of women.
My partner is straight but he seemed to be turned on by other guys liking me, at least if he was cool with the particular guy. It can be a male bonding thing.