Women Are More Likely To Be Into Threesomes With Strangers Than Men

Today in Obvious Sex Findings, we have a study out of the Archives of Sexual Behavior, which found that both straight men and women have a high interest in participating in threesomes, but very few folks actually get around to doing it. The far more interesting finding, however, was about men and women's preferences for threesomes with strangers versus so-called "familiar others" (like friends or acquaintances).

Researchers found that men's interest in threesomes remained constant as long as the third person joining their romantic partnership was a familiar other, rather than a stranger. Conversely, women only cared about familiar other status if they were the third person joining a couple. In other words, it was only important to women that their threesome partners be friends or acquaintances if they were the third wheel, not if they were having a threesome with their own romantic partner.

It's an interesting finding because the rest of the research supports men's stereotypical heightened desires for threesomes: 82 percent of straight men versus 31 percent of straight women were interested in participating in a threesome. One would think that, since dudes have such a high desire for them, they wouldn't be too picky about who their potential threesome partners were. But that's not true, in fact, and they prefer threesomes with familiar people.

Women, conversely, seem to prefer anonymous third partners when their hookup involves their own romantic partners. One possible explanation for this might be jealousy. Perhaps it's easier for a woman not to feel threatened by the threesome partner in her relationship if she can think of the partner as a "disposable," anonymous person whom she never has to see again. But it's interesting that straight men prefer to have a bond.

And any woman who has gotten unsolicited OkCupid messages from couples trolling for a threeway knows why it's nicer to be the third to a familiar couple.

The researchers also found that, in spite of the high desire for threesomes, actual experience with them lagged far behind. Only 24 percent of men and 8 percent of women reported participating in a threesome, which further suggests that men are either exaggerating their reports of experience (which mostly involved accounts of threesomes with two women) or that they are primarily having threesomes with women older than the age group of the study (18-24). Otherwise, there's a "logical inconsistency," as researchers called it, in how so many men could be having threesomes with so many women, while so few women were.

As the study authors conclude, "Taken together, these results suggest that young people are not judgmental about others engaging in MGTs [mixed-gender threesomes] but are not highly motivated to do so themselves."

Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast, I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our Soundcloud page.

[Embed]

Images: Andrew Zaeh/Bustle; Giphy

Must Reads