Tainted horn and bareback heart: who is exterminating the unicorns?

It is easy to see by the numbers.  Men and women exist in ratios of approximately 50:50, yet on the swing scene, you have lots of couples and lots of single guys.  Where are all the women?

Even if we assume a large proportion of the ‘single’ guys on the scene are not really single, but discretely playing away (which is true), it still doesn’t account for the disparity.  Is it that men like sex more than women?  Society tell us so, but it’s not really the case.  Where do the unicorns go?  Fact is, they come, they explore, and nine times out of ten they leave – not enlightened and emancipated as one might hope, but bitter, broken and disillusioned.  What is happening to them that makes their experience so different from the couples and the single men?

I’m going to digress a little, but why will come clear in the end.  It’s time to have ‘the talk’. Just the once.  Then, armed with a complete set of facts, you may do whatever you see fit.

  1. Anyone can catch an STI.  Whether you have sex with one partner protected, or 100 bareback.  Nothing is foolproof.  The odds might be different, but everything in life is a risk.  You might even sit in a mysterious wet patch at a party and end up with gonorrhoea.  The stigma associated with STI’s is not about risk- it is about our prudish attitude to sex as a society.  I’ve yet to see someone being tutted at and told they should be more careful if they get food poisoning because they like to eat out at different restaurants.
  2. Condoms do not give 100% protection against anything, and give very little protection against many things.  They work best at preventing pregnancy and HIV. They are very poor at protecting against gonorrhoea, chlamydia, genital warts (HPV) and herpes.
  3. Blow jobs do count.  Sorry Mr. President.  There are treatment-resistant strains of gonorrhoea going around, largely being passed by oral sex.  They recommend you rubber up for oral as well, though anyone who has tried this will find their technique very much impaired in its effectiveness, and, if you are unfortunate, the victim of a near fatal choking incident when the condom comes off and decides to lodge in your windpipe while doing deep throat.  As far as I know, science has yet to resolve this disparity.
  4. You can get stuff from girl to girl and ‘not full sex’.  Though some things, like HIV, die fairly quickly outside the body, others can last for hours on body fluids.  The saying, ‘goes like the clappers’ exists for a reason.  Some conditions give people few or no symptoms.  Herpes can be spread by contact with the buttocks or inner thighs.  The person may be a carrier and never even had an outbreak (though this is less likely, it’s still possible).  If they know they have it, they may well not tell you. Non-fatal STI carriers are not required by law to tell their prospective sexual partners.  It’s treatable but not curable.  What you might consider low risk activity, like gentle touching and foreplay, becomes high risk in a larger group.  I’ve yet to see a long queue for the sinks where people are washing their hands between gropings.  I’ve seen men use the same condom on two women, switching between them.  I’ve seen men slip a condom off (stealthing) and carry on. This probably makes any event sound like an overwhelming free-for-all of bonobo chimp people, but you won’t notice.  You will be swept away by the glamour and the luxury, the exquisite sensation of soft hands all over you, drifting you away in a dream world of pleasure.  So you need to arm yourself with knowledge.
  5. Get checked.  A lot.  Not just for yourself, but for everyone who isn’t involved.  The wife at home who doesn’t know her husband was out, quietly sat expecting their first baby.  Want to see what congenital syphilis looks like?  Here: https://www.reddit.com/r/creepy/comments/5kpnc1/congenital_syphilis/?ref=share&ref_source=link   Shocked you enough yet?  That’s a little kid.  Don’t be responsible for that.
  6. Even if you get tested every week, you can’t be sure you don’t have something. There are dormant periods for the different STIs in which they can’t usually be detected.  There are false negatives.  There are periods of overlap.  They also don’t test for herpes or genital warts.  They wont swab your throat or anus unless you specifically tell them you meet the criteria to be high risk.  So someone showing you a clean report, taken that day, really means nothing.  It slants the odds slightly in your favour, that is all. Furthermore, most clinics don’t do the swabs themselves or do a visual check.  They will hand you a cotton bud and get you to do it yourself. Whatever someone tells you, or whatever they think they know about it, arm yourself with the truth.  It won’t protect you all the time, but if you fall foul of fate when you’ve stacked the odds in your favour as best you can, at least you won’t feel like giving yourself a massive kick in your own butt.
  7. Get vaccinated.  Hepatitis B is preventable with a course of 3 vaccines.  If you have it, it’s too late and it’s not curable.  It’s free, it’s easy to get.  It’s a no-brainer.  The world eagerly awaits the day you can vaccinate for everything else.
  8. Get treated.  When you catch something, get treated straight away.  Follow the treatment exactly, and stay away from any sexual contact until your follow up test has come back with the all-clear.  Depending where you live, this may put you out of action for over a month in total.  Not nice.  No choice.
  9. Use condoms.  They may not be 100%, but they are a lot better than 0%.  Show you respect yourself and your playmates by bringing ones you like, in a variety of sizes, and get them out early in play, ready to go.  you can get a wider selection at good prices if you order online.  Not that buying 6 boxes at once in the supermarket isn’t fun.
  10. Women, use an additional back-up method of contraception, if you are fertile.  Even if you rather fancy the idea of raising a child alone, no kid deserves ‘one of 10, probably’ on their birth certificate.  At some point, any kid is going to have at least an idle curiosity about where half their DNA came from; they will be thankful if you could narrow it down a bit.  Condoms break, idle fingers with fluids get places – just best to have back up, whatever you think your actions are going to be when you first start out.  Things change in the heat of the moment.  In certain situations, there’s an awful lot more heat than you expect.

Lecture over.  Not that it is a lecture.  It’s the world we live in.  There’s no point pretending things are how we wish they were.  Some things we can overcome, and some we can just do our best to work around.  Wishing on a star never stopped anyone from catching the clap.  Sorry Disney.

Looking back to the start of this, one might wonder if I’m suggesting all the unicorns have left the scene through being struck down with STIs.

No, though it happens to a few that way I’m sure.  What kills the unicorns off?  What is the touch of their horn that brings them death and destroys their magic?  It’s you.

Just kidding, it’s not you.  They do it to themselves.  Your fresh, new unicorn, at the start of her journey, is, in a sense, very much an innocent.  No doubt she thinks she has sexual prowess, she thinks she’s got game.  She sees herself as wild and sexy and free and liberated, enjoying her power and her rare, semi-magical status.  She is sought after, desired, valued.  What destroys her is they way she will lose the innocence she did not know she still had.

For ladies, much as I adore you, my God but you can be stupid.  You wrap your views in fantasies of how you want the world to be, and act on your daydreams.  You treat the scene as try before you buy, but nobody else does this or knows it’s what you are doing. No-one but the other daydreaming unicorns, too wrapped up in their own denial to tell you the Emperor has no clothes on. You will find a guy you like, head dizzy with the chemistry of good sex, and you will hold your head high, ready to be his prize; all set to move your role to that of the primary female, hunting together.  You will let him bareback you, groin and heart, feeling that this makes you special- that it’s more intimate- that it shows you have more value to him than all the others.  For you have finally found your worthy match- the man you can be both sexual and respected self with: your hunting mate and your protector.  The pinnacle of your quiet expectations from the start.

But the Emperor has no clothes on.  When you become bareback partner to a man who is not monogamous to you, however he might dress it up, and whatever he says, he is disrespecting you.  Rather than sharing a special intimacy, he is showing you that he cares about you so little he is willing to put his pleasure before protecting you from whatever he is going to give you.  He will give you something, sooner or later.  And the moment you need him for anything real, he won’t be there.  Because he never signed up for that, and he told you so all along.  Silly little unicorn.

So now, heartbroken and discarded, what does our poor unicorn do?  She does what she does best.  She anaesthetises herself with pleasure.  She dresses herself up in daydreams and looks to prove how valuable she is, with someone else.  She lifts the crown of adoration from her knight in shining armour-turned-villain, and sets it straight on the head of another, with whom she will try that much harder.  Harder to impress, harder to win over.  Harder to demonstrate her value to.  But she comes with unresolved baggage. She will screw it up, because she has learned not to trust.  Her new beloved is not new- he is wearing the shoes of her former love.  The role has been re-cast, but the play doesn’t change.  And so descends the unicorn, into a spiral of endless repeats, until her spirit is crushed utterly and she leaves.

Or.

She can change.  She can decide that the daydream she initially sought is something she has outgrown, with experience.  It can happen at 18, it could happen at 80.  For many, it never happens at all.  But the trajectory from innocent to broken unicorn, resentful and insecure, is never cured by repeating the same cycle.  Hurts can never be undone, scars will never heal if they are endlessly torn open and refashioned.  Rather, she can have a moment of clarity.  This is where your experienced unicorns split in 3 new ways:

  1. The endless repeater.  She will make drama that makes no sense to you.  She is stuck in a circle of hell, forever recreating and trying to make sense of a host of experiences that have left her damaged.
  2. The escapee.  She will set down rules for you that, in effect, make her no longer a unicorn.  She has drawn lines in the sand of exactly what she will and won’t tolerate.  She has built a new castle around herself, and is protected by it.
  3. The driftwood. She has let go of the notion of ever fixing what is broken, and found her focus elsewhere, somehow.  What you do, or don’t do, no longer matters to her. She doesn’t take you seriously.  She will entertain you when it amuses her to do so, secure in the knowledge that you were never a prince in disguise anyway.

These unicorns don’t sound so fun for sex anymore, do they?  They sound kind of hard work?  No wonder everyone likes a fresh new unicorn, full of hope and laughter and light spirit.  Give them 1 to 2 years.  That’s the lifespan of that.  Until they learn that being sexually desirable and respectable are mutually exclusive in the eyes of all but their own kind.  That being said, every journey is unique.  Consider carefully where on the journey your intended unicorn is, and you will understand what you need to give her to get what you want.

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