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Q&A: We Want to Try a Threesome - how do we do it safely?

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, February 16, 2020



From my column in Body+Soul

Question: I’ve been with my girlfriend for 3 years and we are really happy. Our sex life is fun and experimental, but up until this point monogamous. We’ve shared fantasies about bringing a man (and woman) into bed with us during sex. That’s great, but I think the real thing could be even better. She’s keen but worried about getting jealous. What are some ground rules for a good threesome so that everyone’s happy?


Answer: The thought of a threesome can be very titillating. The prospect of turning that fantasy into a reality though, can be fraught, so you need to be prepared. It’s like any activity that is potentially both thrilling and dangerous – like sky-diving for instance – preparation is key to enjoyment.

For a start, I want to clarify that you don’t need to turn a fantasy into a reality. It can do its job turning you on quite nicely safely in the confines of your mind. Or take it one step further and spice up your sex life by sharing the idea with your partner; telling each other fantasies can be erotically charged without needing to act them out. This is especially true when the fantasy is potentially as dangerous as inviting another person into your bedroom.

It can be done though, if it’s done thoughtfully and safely. It might seem that I’m coming on a bit heavy about the safety aspect here, but I can’t tell you how many couples have come to me with damaged relationships due to mishandling this kind of thing. Inviting the neighbours over for a drink and getting smashed is not a good framework in which to explore opening the relationship! It might sound funny reading it here, but the reality is far from amusing.

This kind of play only works well if you approach it as a strong couple, clear on your expectations, understanding why you’re doing it, constantly communicating where you’re at, and being ready to support your partner or ask for support if you need it.

So, firstly, whenever you are expanding your sexual play, including inviting in someone for a threesome, you have to talk about it.

What is your fantasy - is it another man, another woman? Someone you know, someone you don’t know at all? Why do you want to be with more than just your partner? What is it about the encounter that turns you on?

What do you actually want to do? Do you want to watch your partner with someone else, be watched, or all play together? What kind of sexual activities are ok or not ok?

And very importantly, what are your fears and concerns? Undoubtedly, if you're considering having sex with other people, that’s going to include the issue of jealousy.

Jealousy isn’t inevitable, but it does come up, so don’t kid yourselves that it won’t. Make sure the topic is on the table so that you can express your feelings honestly if they come up. If either of you does start to feel jealous, talking about it and having your partner listen will make you feel much better. And from that you can decide as a couple what, if anything, to do about it. That could be limiting the number of times you play with one person, limiting the type of sexual activities you engage in with a third person, being more careful on who you choose to play with, through to agreeing not to have any more threesomes.

Once you’ve found the person who’s going to join you, make sure you have a good talk with them too, so you can be sure that you’re all on the same page. By being clear on the boundaries you make it safe for all of you to really play and have fun.

During the encounter you also need to be there for each other, checking that the other is ok, and signalling that you are too. You need to have ways of showing your partner if you’re not ok. And most importantly, if your partner needs to slow down or stop, that’s perfectly fine, even if you’re really enjoying yourself. Your bond as a couple overrides any immediate pleasure you’re having. You (plural) come first.

Then, after the threesome, have a good debrief - not only does this allow the erotic enjoyment to linger as you talk through all the good bits, you also share any challenging moments, and generally strengthen your bond.

So, get talking, be prepared, and you’ll be all set to make your fantasies come true!

 




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