THREE IS THE MAGIC NUMBER

Alice Howard writes for various queer publications. She writes plays, blog entries and Aldi shopping lists. Her interests are sexuality, gender and inclusion. @TheAliceHoward 


My first threesome was at the start of my sexual revolution. For nine years I absentmindedly followed the well-trodden path of finding a man, fall in love, home, family, future. 

And then I met a woman who made all my absences present. My sexuality was rudely awoken. 18 months later, after my home, music collection and bank account were unpicked and sexuality was untethered, I decided to sleep with a man again, Just to check. 

And check I did with an accommodating male friend. Therein followed a month of going out on a pulling spree, being wing-man/woman for each other and shagging each other if pickings were slim. 

During one late night, we identified a type of woman that worked for both of us and a plan was hatched. Neither of us had had a threesome and a growing urgency developed between our legs. 

We set about recruiting a third. Several nearlys and not quites later, we were bringing a consenting woman back to my friends large flat in south east London one murky autumn evening. My friend had unwisely left me in charge of her pristine abode along with two cats and a rare wine collection. I pompously pretended the place was mine, and the scene was set. 

There was a lot of pretending that night. And total disregard for property and possessions. The line was crossed after the first bottle of expensive wine was downed, hesitantly at first, then cockily. This led to more wine, a hidden stash of something illegal and bath water dripping into the basement flat below (yeah, when two people get into a bath, and then a third, maybe think about how much water gets displaced.) 

Amongst the melee, three people bouncing around uncomfortably, pretending to be cool, trying to connect but missing the point. The evening finally ended with me and my mate shagging while our lover-for-the-night felt worse than left out she felt indifference. 

Fast-forward to a recent threesome. All cards on the table. All three of us on the table. All bases (un)covered. And afterwards, a shared sense of connection, a pile of new images for the wank-bank. 

Of course, there are many variables that can influence things. Who has already slept with whom and any established power dynamics are biggies. Also, experience, location, safety and use of equipment. It all starts to sound like an outward-bound exercise. And in some ways it isa journey into the unknown leaving you satiated in exquisitely new ways. 

Check out the guidance below. These themes arose in a range of genders, sex and sexualities. 


Guidance 

1.       Consent 

From everyone at all times. And it can be taken away, regardless of how the other(s) feel. 

Think about how alcohol impacts your ability to make decisions. As last threesome included two teetotallers and a casual drinker. This meant lucid, benevolent sex. A and C had slept together. B and C had slept together. A and B had not slept together so they went on a date to explore a potential connection. C sent a saucy group photo just as the new pairing snogged. The spell was cast, and the magic unfolded. 

2.       Open communication 

This can be verbal or non-verbal. Tune in and read the signs, always ask if in doubt. 

B and C had been monogamous for ten years before embarking on a run of threesomes. They noticed deepening levels of communication within their relationship. Meaningful conversations about wants, needs, boundaries and fantasies. As well as refreshing their sex-life, they rewrote established dynamics and habits. 

3.       Set boundaries 

Set some before you start anything. Then add, review and develop along the way. 

This topic comes under communication but deserves its own heading. Each person must feel able to verbalise when they feel uncomfortable, and the others must accept this regardless of their own wants. 

For example, if one person leaves the room is it ok for the others to carry on? If someone uses a sex toy does this give licence for another to use it? Nobody wants to feel uncomfortable or left out. The goal is for exquisite inclusion. 

4.       Know yourself 

If you are giving your trust and vulnerability, work out how this will impact you. 

You may find it difficult valuing the fact you feel uncomfortable about something, or perhaps youre a people-pleaser. Maybe your psychology prevents you from saying something (because you dont want to appear boring.) But you have to be honest if you want good sex. 

5.       Safe sex 

As with any sexual encounter, ensure your and othersmedical and physical safety. 

Be prepared, not just lighting candles and compiling playlists (musical and/or sexual), but making sure things are washed, wrapped and packed as appropriate. 

Would I recommend a threesome? YES, I WOULD. My two loves are creativity and playfulness; threesomes are the embodiment of each. 

I enjoy lovering my way into an established couple. It is enchanting being invited into a relationship, taking a walk around, feeling its strength. Although this is tinged with sadness that past relationships werent honest enough to open themselves up, the post-coital sleep entwined a-trois has brought me deep joy. 

 

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