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The Etiquette of Threesomes (and Moresomes)

Dr Chris Fox talks about the Etiquette of Threesomes

Last column I wrote about talking to your partner about engaging in a threesome (or foursome or even moresome). This blog we will explore some etiquette of having a threesome, and some other general little tips to a successful threesome. I am talking about threesomes where both partners have fun, as does the the third person. The primary relationship needs to be the focus. And the threesome needs to be about the relationship (or both aprtners) – not just one partner. If it is not for the relationship then I would suggest re-consider the threesome. A good question at this stage is how will this threesome (or moresome) benefit the relationship? It may simply be about having some fun together and that is cool. It could be about exploring a particular fantasy in the relationship. There are many valid reasons.

Location, Location, Location
Oh I do love a British lifestyle show! Oops sorry, location, location, location is about where are going to meet – maybe for the initial meeting (if you chose that – see below); and for the act. Here, I will focus on where you might consider the threesome occurring. There are pros and cons to using different venues. Using your own home for the threesome maybe an option – you will possibly feel secure, yet this is the place of THE relationship. Some people might not want a stranger in the house. The third partner might not wish to attend a private residence. This can be scary for a third person.

You might also consider a hotel room for the threesome. This can be considered neutral territory. A hotel provides a level of security. It is private (the neighbours cannot see into your bedroom anyway – unless you let them!) and it is confidential (your neighbours wouldn’t know why the stranger was attending your house if they even noticed!). Also you do not have to wash the sheets or make the bed afterwards.

Meet First
Some people might be comfortable meeting first for a social drink. This may, or may not precede, the sexual act. Be clear in your communications between all three partners. Some threesomes might meet at a café, or restaurant, or bar, to check each other out. It can be rather daunting to be introducing stranger/s to have sex with you. Think back to when you first asked your partner out. It was most probably nerve-wracking.
Being social can help all partners relax. It also helps for people to get to know each other and even discuss more about desires and boundaries.

Clear Boundaries
Ensure each partner knows the boundaries of the threesome. And how to manage boundary violation. There is no umpie or ref around to blow the whistle when a boundary has been violated (unless of course that is part of the scene!!!!). You and your partner may have set boundaries, remember the third partner might also have boundaries they wish to have respected.

Boundary setting needs to undertaken before engaging in the threesome. Some people do it in the get to know you stage. Other ménage-a-trois talk about boundaries in the initial social meet. Healthy sex has boundaries which are respected.

The Least Confident
Remember not everyone is as confident or experienced as the everyone else. There are bound to be different experience levels with threesomes and also with sex play generally. Be prepared to work at the level of the person with the least confidence. Making demands of people is likely to spoil the occasion for everyone. A good mediocre experience is likely to result in a second opportunity or a threesome than one where a partner is left (emotionally-) bruised and less confident about what they are doing. A threesome can be a positive experience for everyone.
My Rule: The greater your confidence the greater your responsibility to support others.

Stop If It Is Not Working
If the threesome is not working for one of the partners, then stop. Sometimes the reality does not match the fantasy. And that is okay. Sometimes, you might not “click” sexually with the third partner. It might just “feel” wrong. Something might not be working for you. Stop rather than keep going. The three of you might be able to work it out, or you might agree to leave it there. All scenarios which are respectful of all partners are okay. You can always try again another time (with another partner).

Different Holes – New Condom!
Safe sex practices in the threesome must be discussed in the boundary setting process with all three partners. When using condoms, whether on toys or penises, or gloves on hands, if you move between holes change condoms. You do not want o introduce flora from the bowel to vagina or mouth.
Remember, different hole, different condom.

Third Wheels
I am sure anyone who is experienced at threesomes will tell you about the time they a were the third-wheel. Not fun people. A third-wheel, is when one partner is being less engaged by the other two partners. Sometimes, couples forget there is even a third person in the encounter with them. As a friend said to me once after a failed threesome experience, “If they wanted me to watch them they should have asked me for that. I would have said no cos if I wanted to watch people have sex I could have watched porn!”

Another example of a third-wheel is when the third partner is more into one of the primary partners. This can result in feelings of exclusion and jealousy. The third scenario is when a primary partner is more into the third than their own partner.

All these scenarios can happen in the heat of the moment. It is important to be prepared for them and how you will manage them. If you notice the third partner excluding or not engaging with your partner, then ensure you are bringing your partner into the play. Be aware of the third person and do not get so into each other that you forget them. Also have a way to indicate if you require your partner to engage with you.
As we have already discussed, it is okay to stop the play if needed. Consider the threesome as a three-wheeler not as a two-wheeler plus a side wheel!

Reconnect Afterwards
It is important, to reconnect as a couple after the threesome event. Spend time talking about the experience. What worked? What didn’t work? What was fun? What you would do differently? You might recall, that I talked about how the threesome was about the relationship earlier. Do not lose this focus. How did the experience impact on the relationship?

It is important to reconnect as a couple afterwards to strengthen the relationship and re-centre on the two of you. You might even consider an act like having a shower or bath together; or celebrating with a meal or drink. The primary relationship is the most important relationship (unless you are changing the boundaries of the relationship).

Remember, threesomes are fun, and fun activities can help strengthen healthy relationships. Healthy relationship are about connections and re-connections. A healthy relationship leads to a healthy sex life. A healthy sex = a healthy life. Be healthy.

Enjoy!
Dr Christopher

Dr Christopher Fox is a Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist at Sex Life Therapy in Melbourne. He has clinics in East Melbourne and Frankston.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this document should be read as general in nature and is only to provide an overview of the subject matter covered. Please read product packaging carefully and follow all instructions.

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