One, two, three: Spice up your threesome and avoid disaster

I found one neglected question from last semester lying in my inbox today. My v-box was excited by the forgotten e-box letter. So, I decided to dedicate this week’s column to the topic examined in that question — introducing the almighty threesome into a twosome.

A threesome, according to me, refers to any sexual action shared between three people. This can range from having a third watch a twosome get nasty to mutually masturbating amongst three partners to three-way penetration. It’s up to you, your partner, and, eventually, your third to define ‘threesome’ for yourselves. This is the place where fantasy meets practicality and it is established with some communication.

Setting ground rules:

The first thing that you must do is sit down with your partner (or on your partner) and define what you guys want from the experience. Discuss your hesitations, your expectations, your comfort level and what role you would ideally like the third to play. Based on this conversation, proceed to make a list of ground rules for the threesome that you can both agree on.

Get into the nitty-gritty details with this one. One of the biggest pitfalls of the threesome is making assumptions about what your partner is comfortable with. Sex is dynamic; lots of situations (among other things) pop up during the act. Talk about all of them — even if you have to do a blow-by-blowjob evaluation. Things to consider would be: what sex acts are okay to receive from the third? Who can receive them? What sex acts are okay to give to the third? Who can give them? What is the role of the third? What contact will you have with the third post-sex?

Remember, a threesome does not have to be an all you can eat buffet. You can decide what direct and/or indirect sexual contact with the third are appropriate for you and your partner. Further, remember that your list of rules does not need to be ‘fair’. What is available on the menu for one person does not need to be available for the other person. You may feel comfortable watching your partner lay the pipe, but he/she/ze may not feel comfortable watching you do the same. The point of this process is to make a rubric that is conducive to both your and your partner’s interests and comfort.

Once these rules have been established, don’t jump on an opportunity for third person contact if the action is not one of your partner’s expressed “OK’s.” Respect your partner’s requests. This is especially important the first time. Any small divergence from the agreed upon terms can hurt your partner and/or ruin your relationship or, at the very least, any chance for future threesomes or other unconventional sex.

If you’re a student in the “let’s just go with the flow and see what happens” philosophy or if you’re fortunate to stumble upon an impromptu threesome with your partner, be attentive to your partner’s comfort level. Watch for signs of discomfort as you proceed and verbally check-in with them if you are unsure.

Looking for a third:

The hardest part about getting it going may not be getting it hard but finding a third. You and your second should discuss what type of person would best cater to the intent of the threesome. For example, if you wanted to use the threesome as an opportunity for bi-curios sexploration, you shouldn’t invite Rick Santorum to the party. In fact, you shouldn’t invite that asshole to any party.

You must find a third who will be down for your interests and will make you both comfortable. Do you want to know the person you’re gonna sleep with? Get to know them? Not even know their last name? Their first name? Should they have certain sexual interests? Do they need to be mutually sexually interested in you and your partner? Just your partner? Just you? Is privacy an issue? Is jealousy? Establish what things are mandatory in the third and what things are preferred. Use this as a guide for picking a third, but be flexible.

Hashing out these details is very important. A mutual Swat friend always seems like a good choice. But, keep in mind that you will see this person again, maybe multiple times a day if you run in the same Swat currents, and they will probably still be social with you and your partner. Awkwardness, jealousy and improper flashbacks are common side effects of the friend-third. Privacy may also be a concern. The Swat grapevine is more extensive than the New York City subway system. Any on-campus happening can be known by all, even the Chopp, within the matter of hours. Choose the right friend — someone trustworthy and respectful that you both feel comfortable with.

If you decide to go off campus to find someone, you have the added pleasure of the hunt. Swingers clubs or swingers websites are always good places to find a lone third, but those places usually attract an older crowd. I don’t know what the scene in Philly is like, but, its definitely worth a try if you’re interested. Wherever you look, make sure that you use your sense of judgement. Get to know the new person a bit before inviting them for the three. This is a process that can take one night to many months. It all depends on who you find and how drunk you are.

Whether you find your third at Paces or in Philly, it is essential that you fill him/her/hir in on all your rules and find out what theirs are. If you have time before the bed-rumping starts, talk about your expectations and listen to your third’s as well. Good articulation will end in good three-way formulation.

Pitfalls of threesomes:

Threesome are notorious for being relationship Raid. This, I would argue, is the fault of the user, or should I say abuser, and not the product. Threesomes are easily abused by those who think that it will revive/ignite a failing sexual relationship or greedy partners that desire the polyamorous-play over the stability of their relationships.

Some pieces of advice: if you are in a committed relationship with your partner, do not go down the threesome route if you and your partner are not mutually happy with the relationship or if your sex life is rocky. This is a sure way to introduce mistrust, insecurity, and negative jealousy into the relationship.

A threesome should be a shared interest of both you and your partner. One partner could ignite an interest in the other, but never never never impose your interest on the other. Regret and bitterness are usually the outcomes of the pressured sex scenario.

Threesomes can only be a positive experience if both partners are partaking to satisfy their own sexual curiosity and are completely comfortable. Be honest with yourself. If you are not comfortable with or not interested in a threesome. then avoid it. It is not appropriate for your current situation. This is always something that can change, but don’t push it.

Processing feelings of jealousy:

Jealousy is a by-product of the threesome. When you are with someone you care for, it’s easy to feel a little (or a lotta) threatened by a new person. You can fall into the trap of measuring yourself up against this third. This is natural for the majority of people. Know that and allow that fact to pacify some of these negative thoughts.

The only way to effectively manage jealousy is to keep honest communication open between you and your lover. Make it a point to share your feelings, doubts, desires and insecurities with your partner. Be honest with your partner and trust that what your partner tells you is true. If you are open to one another, these feelings of jealousy will amount to minor issues.

Whoever said “two is company, three’s a crowd” obviously had a history with bad threesomes. Be open to the new experience and communicative with your sexual partners and you will find yourself disagreeing with this old miser’s words. I find that, when respect and honesty are a main component of any sexual situation, the phrase “the more, the merrier” holds true for everything except STDs.

Vianca is a junior. You can reach her at vmasucc1@swarthmore.edu.

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