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3 Tips for Threesomes

Three is the magic number

Freakiness is subjective. Let’s just get that out of the way. There are people who will think one sexual act is “extreme,” while others will consider the same act tame, and maybe even boring. That’s the nature of human sexuality, and the sooner we accept that we’re all different, the better our conversations about sexuality and behaviors will be.

The “threesome,” or ménage à trois, is one of the most highly debated experiences when it comes to talking about sexual morality and social acceptability. Some people would never even consider having sex with more than one person at one time, while others make group activities part of their complete, balanced sexual diets. I’m not here to make judgment calls either way; I’m simply here to help.

If you and your lover are considering having a threesome—or if you’ve had one in the past that didn’t go so well and you want to try again—I’ve got some tips to help make the experience as pleasurable as possible, while minimizing the risk of harm to your relationship.

Are You Really Ready?

The first piece of advice I give to any couple thinking about having a threesome is to make sure your relationship is in order and in a good place. Do you make it a habit of inviting people over when your house is dirty?  Dr. Steven Lamm, a sexual health expert based in New York City, notes that “when love is involved in the relationship, it is not uncommon for intense feelings of jealousy, betrayal, and anger to be experienced.”

If you’ve had trust issues in the past, or have recently been going through a rough patch, inviting another person into your bedroom is inviting a heap of trouble. A threesome certainly won’t save your relationship, and if things aren’t exactly going smoothly, it may very well destroy what you’re holding onto. You and your lover should trust each other fully, be equally excited about the opportunity, and agree on the parameters of a threesome experience.

Setting Boundaries

A threesome isn’t a free-for-all, universally accepted sex act based on boundaries and principles everyone knows and agrees upon. Each couple and situation is unique, and it is important to establish clear boundaries and expectations. As with everything related to sex, communication is essential. Be completely honest about what you hope to get out of the experience, what you’re comfortable with, and what you absolutely will not tolerate.

If you and your lover are considering having a threesome, I’ve got some tips to help make the experience as pleasurable as possible, while minimizing the risk of harm to your relationship.

Your lover might have similar boundaries and may even introduce some you hadn’t considered. For example, you might both agree the third partner will be a woman, but while you want it to be your close female friend, your partner might prefer it be a relative stranger you meet via a dating site. I’d even recommend writing down a list of rules that you both agree to, so if there’s any confusion later on, you can revisit the list and check in with your feelings about the experience.

People vs. Sex Toys

One thing you can do is, think of adding another person as you’d think about adding a sex toy. Introducing inanimate sex toys (like vibrators or paddles) into your sex life can absolutely enhance the overall experience and help you tap into the more intense side of pleasure. I believe the same can be said about introducing another person, if you focus on that person being there solely to enhance the experience for you and your lover.

It’s then important to vet the person and make sure he or she is someone you two can trust to play the role as you’ve imagined it. If you two opt to bring in a relative stranger, there are adult dating sites where you can interact and meet people specifically for that purpose.

Some couples opt to go to swing clubs and keep the sex extremely casual (but safe!) with strangers they’ve never met, which can enhance the excitement. Others prefer to invite people they know, either acquaintances or long-time, close friends. There are pros and cons to each option, and I advise couples play out various scenarios and go for the one least likely to cause conflict while maximizing pleasure.

The Afterglow

After you’ve agreed your relationship is ready, you’ve found a partner, and you’ve had the ménage à trois, what next? You need to debrief and have an honest conversation about how you felt during the threesome and whether or not you’re comfortable enough to do it again. You both have to decide if it’s a one-time thing or if it’s something that might become a regular part of your sex life. Maybe it wasn’t all you expected to be, or maybe you just wanted that one experience to cross it off of your bucket list. Whatever your respective afterthoughts, you should have a no-holds-barred discussion about the experience.

Threesomes aren’t for everyone. Most people prefer