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We Ask Real Couples: What's It Like to Have a Threesome?

We Ask Real Couples: What's It Like to Have a Threesome?

Have you ever thought about having a threesome? If so, you certainly aren’t alone. In fact, having a threesome is the #1 sexual fantasy for Americans. According to a study on American adults, 95% of men and 87% of women said they've fantasized about sex with multiple partners. The percentage of adults who actually carry out this fantasy, however, is much lower, as another U.S. study found that 18% of men and 10% of women recorded having had a threesome in their lifetimes.

According to Dr. Katherine Frank, author of Plays Well in Groups: A Journey Through the World of Group Sex, a threesome (also known as a three-way or ménage à trois) refers to group sex between three people. All three people may be single, or the situation may involve a couple inviting another person into their bedroom.

Before You Begin, Be Sure This Is What You Want

If you are in a couple and are pondering the idea of engaging in a three-way, it’s important to openly communicate honestly about any and all concerns you may have with your partner. Be sure to determine whether this is something both of you genuinely want and have an extensive conversation about the possibilities.

For some couples, having a threesome may be a desired fantasy for both parties. For others, there may be one person who is more interested than the other. Either way, it is incredibly important for both partners to openly share their thoughts and feelings regarding the possibility of having a threesome, regardless of whether both or one party is interested.

The most important thing to remember when planning a threesome is that consent is your top priority; ensure that this is really something that you both truly want. For many couples, discussing a mutual desire for a threesome may provide an opportunity for a conversation about opening the relationship. If you or your partner are interested in the idea of ethical nonmonogamy, check out this article to learn more and see if it may be right for you: Ethical Non-Monogamy (ENM) Explained.

It’s also crucial to discuss the possible issues that may come up, especially if you are approaching this situation from an unfamiliar space and are in a monogamous relationship. Talk about the possibility of jealousy, and you may want to create a plan between the two of you if this does become an issue before or during the threesome.

We asked the hosts of the Double Teamed podcast (@doubleteamedpodcast) how they recommend monogamous couples approach having a threesome. According to host Niki, “I truly feel all couples should have a discussion about what would happen if the situation organically arises during a night out. That way, if they find themselves in that situation, they have some basic ground rules and boundaries to follow and understand where they both stand on the subject. Now, the chances of it happening organically can be rather slim. If a couple really wants that experience, it is often recommended to hire a sex worker or professional who will be well versed in this kind of event. You can also hop on the dating apps and see if you find individuals interested in exploring threesomes, but just understand there will be a supply/demand aspect to it. My best advice if using the apps: be respectful, make it mutually beneficial, and don’t force it.”

For an overview, here’s a list of what experts recommend discussing with your partner when having a conversation about the possibility of a threesome:

Consent

This is the most important aspect to consider when discussing a threesome with your partner. Be 100% sure that this is something you both genuinely want. The best way to ensure this is to have an open and honest conversation about your thoughts and feelings regarding the possibility of a threesome.

Jealousy

If you are in a monogamous relationship, there is definitely a possibility that jealousy could come up for either one of you when pursuing a three-way, whether it’s while getting to know a potential partner or actually engaging in the act.

Emotional Maturity

Similar to having a discussion about the possibility of jealousy, it’s important to consider whether or not you or your partner would be emotionally strong or mature enough to engage in a three-way. Sharing your partner with another person can bring up feelings of possessiveness or jealousy. There is nothing wrong with this, but if you think this could harm your relationship with your partner or be emotionally difficult for you, be sure to communicate that strongly with your partner.

Honest Communication

Whenever engaging in any type of ethical nonmonogamy, honest communication is key. This doesn’t mean having a single conversation before pursuing a threesome and then jumping right in. Rather, honest communication between you and your partners should be a priority throughout the experience. This will ensure each person is getting what they need, and any concerns that arise can be addressed between all parties involved.

Finding a Partner for a Threesome

Once you’ve had an extensive and honest conversation with your partner, you may want to move forward and find someone to invite into a threesome. You may also be a single person looking to join a couple or other singles in a threesome. Either way, there are multiple ways to meet someone who may be interested in engaging in a three-way, such as dating apps, meeting people organically on a night out, or apps dedicated to threesomes or non-monogamous relationships.

If you are approaching a threesome in a couple, discuss what you both are looking for in a threesome partner. It’s also important to set boundaries with each other, and determine what you are looking for and what you would not be open to in a three-way partner.

According to Niki of Double Teamed podcast, “Choosing a partner or partners for a threesome will feel like dating. Are you physically attracted, is there chemistry, is everyone getting along well? If you find someone with mutual interest, get to know them in a no-pressure setting first to feel the energy and get comfortable together. Then schedule another night to have fun and explore. If you’re a couple out at a bar and you find someone who interests the both of you, approach them together (don’t bait and switch!). If you’re an individual approaching a couple, just be yourself and express your interest clearly.”

If you are interested in finding a potential partner(s) for a three-way, here are some apps you may find helpful:

Apps to Explore

Feeld: Feeld is one of the most popular dating apps for open-minded couples and swingers. You can browse this app as a single person or a couple to chat with others online and arrange a meet-up if you wish. There is also an option to hide from your Facebook friends that may also be on the app to keep your search for a three-way partner(s) anonymous from those you know.

Grindr: This app is for gay, bisexual, and bi-curious men. Grindr is not an app for threesomes or group sex, but you will find quite a few couples looking for a third partner.

3Somer: This app is marketed towards couples and swingers that are interested in finding a three-way partner. It’s a great app if you are a couple experienced in threesomes and are looking to meet someone new to invite into the mix.

3 Real-Life Tips for Having a Successful Threesome

Once you are ready to jump into a threesome, whether it’s as a single person or as a couple, there are several things you can do to ensure it’s a successful and fun experience.

When asked what makes a successful threesome, Niki of Double Teamed podcast advises, “Discuss health and safety practices, boundaries, limits, and desires beforehand. Don’t overdo it on alcohol or substances in an attempt to relax or loosen up. Keep everyone’s pleasure in mind. Don’t be afraid to bring toys and plenty of lube. Create a warm and comfortable environment, relax, and have fun!”

1. Set Boundaries and Ground Rules

This should be a process that all parties are involved in. However, if you are approaching this situation as a couple, boundaries and ground rules should be discussed beforehand so you are going into the situation with the same intention and understanding.

With your three-way partners, discuss the sex acts you are comfortable engaging in and those that you are not. It’s a great idea to propose a safe word that you all agree on, just in case one of you feels uncomfortable during the act and needs to pause. Having an honest conversation between the three of you about these things will solidify consent and understanding, and help create a safe environment so you can let go and have fun with the experience.

2. Maintain Open Communication Throughout

Once you have agreed on boundaries and ground rules, it’s important to continuously communicate with each other during the experience. Simply asking, “How are you doing?” or “How does this feel” during the threesome can provide a safe opening for each person to communicate how they are doing. Also, before the three-way, openly stating that communication should be a priority during sex can help each person feel safe in being honest about how they are feeling. Having open communication during this experience will help maintain a warm and comfortable environment that makes it easy to have fun with each other.

An anonymous couple shared about the importance of communication during a three-way, “A successful threesome requires consent and open communication from all parties. Talking about what each person wants out of it beforehand is very important for the experience.”

3. Debrief With Your Partners Afterwards

Once you’ve had the threesome, it can be helpful to ask each other how the experience was. Some partners may desire a bit of aftercare, whether that is cuddling, hopping in the shower, or having some water or food. According to an anonymous couple, “Aftercare is essential in helping everyone come down from the experience and feel included.” It is also okay if a partner does not wish to stay long after the three-way.

The bottom line is that this experience is unique to every individual, but debriefing may help you reflect on the experience and continue to prioritize each partner's physical and emotional needs. If you approached the situation as a couple, have an honest conversation with your partner afterward and ask each other how the experience was for both of you.

There may be things that you really enjoyed and others you really didn’t. This step is especially important if you intend to have more threesomes in the future, whether it is with your current partner(s) or other people.

Conclusion

Approaching a three-way from a conscious and informed space will enrich your experience. While group sex may not be for everyone, it can be an incredibly freeing and fun experience if you and your partner are interested.

Prioritizing communication and consent is most important when engaging in a threesome so that all parties involved can have a fun experience. An anonymous couple we interviewed highlighted the benefits, “There are lots of benefits of threesomes. When done successfully, they can help people explore their sexuality. They allow for fluidity and creativity while also being an exercise in trust and consent.”