"Unicorn" is a term that doesn’t have the most positive connotations in the poly community. It’s used to describe a solo poly being sought by a poly couple, and if rules are set by the primary couple, it may not always be a relationship where everyone has an equal footing.
Unicornland is a web series, described as a "dramedy" by its writer and producer Lucy Gillespie, puts the unicorn first. In a series of eight short but beautifully shot and scripted episodes, newly divorced New Yorker Annie, played by Laura Ramadei (Orange is the New Black), is the unicorn in question. She explores one poly date after another, progressing from vanilla newcomer to experienced poly with sweet, ridiculous and sensitively portrayed consequences.
The web series has been well-received by the wider sex-positive community and feels authentic to the core. Its creator writes from a place of personal knowledge, and feedback was sought during production from the communities it portrays. Care has been taken to establish a broad range of voices and experiences, too. Unicornland was shot with a cast and crew of 70% women, and the (uniformly excellent) cast is 60% non-white with genderqueer, trans and disabled actors.
What’s especially good to see — apart from the bittersweet situations Annie gets herself into — is the deep understanding of consent that runs through the series. If you weren’t sure what consent looks like in the poly, kink and fetish scenes, you’ll learn a lot by watching the series. Sexytimes look real, not shot for the male gaze. The characterisation is also a joy to watch. Though each episode is three to five minutes long, it packs in so much detail that the viewer is never left in doubt that characters have lives to live beyond their sexual preferences. It’s a series that says yes, you can be a new parent and still invite guests over for an evening of kink. It’s not easy. Nothing’s easy. But you can.
The web series has got it all. Wit, sensitivity... oh, and humor? You betcha.
Unicornland was released on Vimeo on 14th February 2017, and is available to stream for free.
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Magda Knight is the founding editor of alternative feminist website www.mookychick.co.uk. She writes speculative fiction about witches, ghosts, robots, mutants and dreams for adults, young adults and changelings. Her YA/MG novels Jabberwack and Gateway Boy were longlisted for the Mslexia Children’s Book Awards in 2012, and her YA novel Star Burn was shortlisted for the Commonword Diversity in Children’s Books Award in 2016. You can follow her on Twitter.