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Are Threesomes Right for You?

Guest post written by Stella Harris

While threesomes are one of the most common sexual fantasies people have, that doesn’t mean having one in real life is the right choice for every person or every relationship.

So how do you know if threesomes are right for you?

Start by asking yourself where the idea is coming from. Are threesomes something you’ve long fantasized about, or is it something a partner is eager to try? While there’s nothing wrong with trying new things that are someone else’s idea, it’s important to make sure you’re not just trying to go with the flow, or be a people pleaser. Finding yourself in the middle of a threesome only to realize you don’t actually want to be there is awkward at best.

Next, whether it’s your fantasy or that of a partner, spend a little time trying to make the fantasy more real. Are you picturing yourself in the scene? Are you imagining the other person or two as people you know in your real life? If one is an existing partner, how do you feel when you think about seeing them kiss and touch another person? While jealousy and insecurity are possible to move through, it’s helpful to get an idea of what you’re working with before you dive in and involve other people.

Before deciding to have a threesome, ask yourself why it’s something you want. As you consider the reasons, you can evaluate whether a threesome is actually the best way to get those needs or wants met. It’s also a useful conversation to have with the other person or people you’re planning your threesome with. Does everyone’s “why” line up? For example, if you’re interested in a threesome as a one-time adventure to add some novelty to your relationship, but it turns out your parter is interested in a threesome as a way to test the waters of an open relationship, that could be a serious mismatch.

Journaling is a great tool for this kind of self exploration. If you’d like to dig deeper into the topic, here are some questions offered in The Ultimate Guide to Threesomes you can ask yourself as either journal prompts, or simply thought experiments:

  • Do you like to share?
  • Does it turn you on to see other people turned on?
  • Do you feel comfortable setting boundaries?
  • Do you feel comfortable negotiating for what you want and need?
  • Do you feel comfortable having sexually explicit conversations?
  • Are you comfortable being seen naked from various angles?
  • Are you ready to say no, even if it might disappoint other people?

As you work through these questions, you’ll likely find at least one sticking point or two that you might want to work on for yourself, or with a partner, before having a threesome experience.

If you feel ready to test the waters a little further, there are some great ways to get started without diving straight into the deep end. Whether emotional safety is your main goal, or being safe around Covid restrictions, why not get started with some virtual exploration?

The simplest way is to get started without any other people at all. Try picking up an erotica anthology that focuses on threesomes and reading the stories. Do they turn you on? Are there some elements that work for you, and some that make you uncomfortable? This is all great information to have. And if you’d like to do this exercise with a partner, you can both read the stories and then discuss — like a sexy book club.

If you have a current partner you’re exploring this idea with, try incorporating threesomes into your dirty talk or role play. Talk through the fantasy together. Who would your third be? Where would you meet them? What do they look like? What would you do once you all get home together? You ought to be able to get several hot dirty talk sessions out of this fantasy. Not only might this be a turn on, but as you’re talking through the fantasy, you may find points you need to spend a little more time thinking about. Are your tastes in a third in alignment? Are you interested in the same activities? You can even dirty talk your way through a test negotiation to build comfort with the idea.

When you’re ready to dip a toe a little deeper, but still want to stay safe, consider your many virtual options. Try phone sex or watching cam shows together. These can be a great way to see how you’ll feel when there’s another person involved, while still being one step removed for emotional and physical safety.

You thought you knew how you’d feel about your partner being turned on by someone else — now how does it feel in practice? Are you comparing yourself to the other person, or simply enjoying the experience? Are you finding yourself in more of a watching role, or do you feel comfortable participating? Are you enjoying being watched, or listened to?

After these experiences, check in a day or two later and have a debriefing with your partner. What worked well? What would you want to do differently next time? Did the reality match up with the fantasy? You can do as many of these test runs as you want. In fact, you might even find that the virtual threesomes scratch the novelty itch for you, and perhaps decide not to go further.

If you do want to find another person or two for a real life threesome experience, remember to take your time. Getting to know people first is always a good idea and right now we all have the perfect excuse for a long courting period. Set up a group text for everyone involved and take your time chatting and building rapport. When it feels like time to turn up the heat, spend a while exploring everyone’s fantasies — and make sure they all get equal time and weight.

While there are a lot of difficult things about our current slow-down, it’s also creating a great opportunity to spend time researching, fantasizing, and planning. So don’t hesitate to take advantage of that time to set yourself up for success making your fantasies a reality.

Stella Harris is changing the way people experience their sex lives. As a certified intimacy educator and sex coach, she gives her students the tools and confidence to explore their sexuality safely and free of shame. THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THREESOMES (Mar. 9, 2020, CLEiS Press) discusses some of the most frequently asked questions she’s experienced in her work around one common topic: threesomes.

A national and international speaker, Harris teaches everything from pleasure anatomy, to communication skills, to kink and BDSM. Harris writes a weekly sex advice column for Portland’s Willamette Week newspaper and her erotic fiction has appeared in more than a dozen anthologies.

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