What Nobody Talks About When They Talk About Threesomes

Just the idea of having a threesome tends to stir up strong emotions. One may love the idea and have group sex right at the top of their sexual bucket list, yet another could be utterly repulsed at the idea of seeing their partner being intimate with another person in front of them. The raw, performative, and uninhibited nature of this kind of encounter is the kind of thing that's hard to feel indifferent about. Although there's no conclusive data on the percentage of the population that has ever participated in a threesome, according to a 2013 Metro study and a 2014 sex study from LELO, the number hovers around 20 percent. So apart from porn and the hot-and-heavy flicks that usually pander to the male gaze, it's not uncommon to know someone who's actually had a threesome, though the idea of it to most people is still glossed over with a fantastical lens. 

The threesome in reality may live up to, or even surpass the enormous expectations placed on the event. Here is a little more light shed on the oft-overlooked details of what really goes down when you get down with two other people:

Getting In The Mood Is The Most Awkward Part

One of the misconceptions about threesomes is that they are automatically just the sexiest time ever, which probably is what makes a lot of people uncomfortable with the very idea of it. Even if you're fine with getting sexy with your partner, it’s hard to feel that same level of intrinsic comfort when you add in a third party. No use denying it — getting in the mood and being sexual with one person in front of another is really strange. To lessen the tension, perhaps just two of you could go on a date before the third party meets up, so everyone’s not going into the experience cold. If you're meeting your third person or "unicorn" through a dating app like OkCupid or 3nder for the first time, having a non-sexual first dinner date is a good way to alleviate the nervousness of the encounter and it still allows enough space if anyone wants to put the kibosh on the operation after the first meeting. 

Negotiating Safer Sex Boundaries Is A Must

Here's an obvious, but unpopular statement: Your default mode should be to use protection with all parties involved during a threesome. All of that condom-switching and dental dam-positioning and latex glove-wearing during multi-partner sex takes an extra effort (plus, it's also unfortunately an extra expense). But you want everyone to feel safe and happy to lead to the possibility of more threesomes in the future, right? If you feel strongly about having protected sex with all parties, including your primary partner, you should make total barrier protection one of your "hard boundaries" with everyone before your first group experience together. 

If anyone isn’t OK with that, or thinks that protected sex isn't as good as unprotected, then they probably aren’t the right person to be doing this with. These boundaries can be open for discussion down the line, if this particular group of three seems to gel, but for an initial encounter everyone should walk away with the peace of mind that they had the safest and most responsible three-way possible.

You’ll Invent Positions That You’ll Never Be Able To Recreate

Once you’re in it, it’s far less awkward than when you're trying to establish the mood. Suddenly, everyone is open to requests, and creativity is more than welcome. But good luck in ever trying to coherently explain the nuances of your copulation to other inquiring minds. You might be focused on one person in the group while the other person does something to you, and you don’t know what they’re doing but it feels great. Or suddenly the couple is having sex on top of you, but you inexplicably don't feel crushed by the weight of two bodies. Everybody’s in the contact high of the moment, and logic has flown far out the window. The key to allowing yourself to enjoy a good threesome is to be as sensual as possible and do what feels good to you. The more in touch you can be with all of your senses before and during the experience, the more open you'll be to receive pleasure from it.

There's No Clear Way To Determine When It Should End

A threesome ends when everyone gets tired and kind of bored. They never show this part in porn. In a perfect world, everyone flops back into bed feeling like a satisfied winner. But if, say, you’re in a three-way with a couple that you are not romantically involved with, it might feel strange to cuddle or go to sleep with them afterwards. A good threesome etiquette tip is to check in throughout the scene with a “How is everybody doing?” Then later on towards the end, that quick check-in is a good segue to let them know that you feel the energy waning, and maybe it’s time to call it a night. If you’re a part of that couple who is playing host to the third person, make sure you’ve discussed a post-threesome plan with each other and with them before it all goes down to avoid any awkwardness. Let your date know ahead of time if it’s cool to stay over afterwards, or if you’ll be calling them a car home.

It Could Be Awesome For Your Relationship, But It Might Make It Difficult, Too

Maybe having a threesome was the jolt of adrenaline that your long-term relationship needed and it feels like you guys are a brand new, crazy-in-love couple again. You could also realize that you both make a really good threesome team and you’ll try to have them regularly. But it’s also possible that it could slow things way down for both of you. And it's not because one of you fell in love with the third person and wants to leave the other for them, but just because you end up not being on the same page afterwards. Aftercare for the "come-down" of a threesome high should extend into the weeks following the event. It's important to pick up on the cues from your primary partner on how they act when you recall details from the first episode. Threesomes are a major event to some people and not a big deal to others, and it's important to go into it prepared that your partner may end up feeling way differently from you about your intimate, shared experience.

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Images: _theo_/Flickr, Giphy.com (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

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