How To Have A Threesome: The Talk, Tips, And What Not To Do

If you've always wondered how to have a threesome, then we've got you covered in this comprehensive guide.

Lexi Sylver
Erotica author and sexpert guiding you to shamelessly explore your sexuality
by Lexi Sylver Last updated 04/21/2022

Are you looking to spice up your sex life?

Maybe it’s time to try inviting another person into the bedroom.

Threesomes aren’t just sexual fantasies that you see in porn!

In fact, according to a survey of more than 4000 people conducted by Dr. Justin Lehmiller, a threesome is the most common sexual fantasy among both men and women.

Furthermore, studies show that about 20 percent of men and 10 percent of women have had at least one ménage à trois in their lifetimes.

Study showing that threesome is one of the moost popular sexual fantasies

Once a taboo topic resigned to sexual fantasy, group sex is becoming more mainstream today.

This is helped by pop culture depictions of threesomes and group play, notably in popular television shows such as "Sense 8," "The L Word," and "Game of Thrones."

HBO Max also debuted a documentary earlier this year, "There's No I in Threesome," that specifically explored polyamory and portrayed two threesomes.

Quick FAQs

According to a study done by the Kinsey Institute, threesomes are the most common fantasy among men and women alike.

Not only is it okay but it is highly recommended! You should have well-established boundaries before engaging in a threesome. You should discuss and set boundaries for everything from positions to kissing and everything in between.

That is okay. Threesomes aren't for everyone. If your partner is not into it, then don't try to force them. That can only end badly.

Absolutely not. As long as you and your partner have discussed it at length and are both open to it, then have fun!

In this article, we're going to cover what you need to know about how to have a threesome:

  • How to introduce the idea to your partner
  • How to set rules and boundaries
  • Where to find your third playmate

Plus, we’ll debunk some of the most common myths about threesomes.

Firstly, let’s start with the basics and define exactly what a threesome is.

So, What Is a Threesome?

Throuple engaged in threesome

Simply put, a threesome is a type of group sex that involves three consenting adults.

This can be any combination of participants of any gender and any sexual orientation.

In the realm of pornography, you may have watched popular scenes involving MMF or FFM threesomes, which are short for describing threesomes with two men and one woman (MMF) or two women and one man (FFM). 

A threesome should be mutually beneficial to every person involved.

Everyone’s boundaries are respected, and there’s active communication beforehand as well as throughout the experience. 

People have threesomes for varying reasons, including these popular ones:

  • To fully explore their sexual selves or learn more about their sexual identity
  • To live out a shared sexual fantasy
  • To help add more fun and excitement to an existing relationship
    • As a means of increasing intimacy in a relationship
    • To have sexual relationships with other people in a safe, supportive environment

      Myths about Threesomes

      There are a number of misconceptions about threesomes that can prevent people from trying them out.

      The truth is, threesomes can be immensely pleasurable and fun for everyone, as long as you’re all consenting adults and respecting each other’s boundaries (more on that later). 

      Here's a look at some of the most common myths about threesomes:

      Myth 1: Threesomes are Signs of a Troubled Relationship

      While it's true that some couples may look into having a threesome as a way of spicing things up in the bedroom, threesomes can do more than just present more adventurous sex.

      The truth is they can help couples:

      • Build trust
      • Communicate better
      • Open up sexually
      • Explore sexuality

      As we mention later in this article, it’s crucial to make sure that your relationship is healthy enough before you entertain the idea of adding a third to your coupledom. 

      Myth 2: You Have to Be Bisexual to Have a Threesome

      Anyone of any gender and any sexual orientation can enjoy a three-way! 

      Threesomes can be a fantastic way to explore your sexuality and learn new things about what (and whom) you might be interested in.

      You can be:

      • Heterosexual
      • Bi-curious
      • Experimental
      • Bisexual
      • Pansexual
      • Homosexual
      • Questioning
      • Or any orientation in between

      While discussing your boundaries and comfort levels, it’s good to clarify who in the threesome you are comfortable having sex with and who you’re not. 

      Myth 3: Men are the Only Ones Who Want Threesomes

      As we said in this article's opening, a threesome is the most common sexual fantasy for both men and women.

      This is probably such a popular myth because of the pornography industry's popular portrayal of men being more into the idea and trying to “convince” their female partner to have a three-way.

      It’s often assumed that men have more sexual proclivities than women, but the reality is women have been conditioned to be less open about their sexual lives and fantasies.

      Because of the potentially negative ramifications and double standards of being labeled a slut, most women remain silent about their fantasies and desires.

      So no, men are not the only ones who are likely to be open to living out this fantasy and trying a threesome.

      And, not all men want to have threesomes, either.

      Myth 4: People Who Have Threesomes are Cheating on Their Partners

      Cheating is characterized as being unfaithful to your partner, either emotionally or sexually, without them knowing about it.

      Threesomes are not considered cheating because each adult involved in the sex act consents to it. 

      Because threesomes are consensual, as long as everyone who participates is aware of (and respects) each other’s physical and emotional boundaries, threesomes are not cheating.

      How do I Have a Threesome? How to talk to your partner about having a threesome

      There are many ways to explore having a threesome.

      The way you immerse yourself in these experiences will depend on many factors, including your relationship status (if you’re flying solo or partnered up) and your relationship orientation (if you’re monogamous, monogamish, a swinger, polyamorous, etc.)

      If you’re single, then it might actually be easier to find two casual partners to share a threesome experience with you.

      Here are a few places to search for prospective lovers:

      • Dating apps
      • Swinger clubs
      • Adult resorts

      Negotiating your boundaries and comfort levels with both individuals is a different story, but we’ll explore that in later sections of this article.

      If you’re coupled up, to have a successful threesome, you first need to ensure that your partner is completely on board and shares the desire to open up your sex life or relationship.

      If one of you is hesitant to try a three-way, or if you’re both not on the same page about your boundaries when it comes to threesomes, then exploring this kind of openness can have damaging consequences for your relationship.

      Pro Tip: if your relationship isn’t currently in a good place, then you absolutely should not open up your relationship to have a threesome.

      For this to work, you’ll need to communicate effectively (all three of you), be fully honest with one another, and trust each other to respect each other’s boundaries.

      Plus, if you’re not connecting well with each other, then whoever you choose as your third will likely feel the disconnection and negative vibes between you, and that doesn’t make for a fun experience, either.

      So, having a healthy relationship is essential before embarking on a threesome.

      Now, if the dynamic of your duo is healthy, then you’re ready to explore the next step.

      How to Talk to Your Partner About Having a Threesome

       Ideas on how to have the threesome talk with your partner

      Broaching the topic of a three-way can be awkward for you and for your partner.

      So, how do you see if a threesome is something that your partner would be open to trying?

      Firstly, if you’ve been together a while, you may know more about their sexual history.

      If they’ve had a threesome before, then maybe they would be willing to try it again, but with you this time.

      Suppose you’ve both been open about your sexual fantasies, and the idea of a three-way came up. In that case, it might be time to discover how your partner feels about turning your threesome fantasies into a reality. 

      Expect a no.

      You may feel so excited about having a threesome that you might think your partner will respond with an "OH YES!" when you propose the idea to them.

      Slow down, tiger; a threesome can be a big step in your relationship.

      Even though you might think it’s just sex or it’s just physical, you can’t discount the psychological and emotional aspects of any sexual experience.

      Expect your partner to say no, whether it’s a no for the time being or a no even in the future.

      And that’s okay. If they say no, you must respect their choice and their boundaries.

      DO NOT try to convince them or pressure them into trying it.

      It is key to establish enthusiastic consent from both of you before you explore opening up your relationship. 

      With that in mind, here are some tips for initiating that conversation.

      Bring it up casually

      For most people, the idea of directly asking “do you want to have a threesome?” to your partner is not a viable option. 

      A better route is to bring it up casually (and hypothetically) and see how they respond.

      For instance, maybe mention that you had a sexy dream the other night that you and your partner were in a threesome with a celebrity crush.

      If your dream intrigues them, then you can elaborate with a few details that center on your partner’s pleasure.

      For example, you can mention to your partner: “you were so turned on when "insert celebrity crush here," and I both had our hands on your body, which really turned me on.”

      This approach focuses on how you want your partner to experience pleasure, rather than having your partner think you were dreaming about a threesome because of all the pleasure you alone could experience. 

      An alternative to the dream-sharing idea is to mention a friend or acquaintance that you know has had a threesome before.

      You can then casually ask your partner what they think about your friend’s experience.

      Based on your partner's response, this may lead to further dialogue about the prospect of having a real-life threesome.

      And even if the threesome conversation doesn’t continue at that point, it doesn’t mean they’re not interested.

      If they show any signs of being intrigued by your dream or the idea of a three-way, then you can go to the next step. 

      Bring it up during a threesome scene in a movie, on TV, or in a podcast

      At the beginning of this article, we listed a few popular television shows that contained group sex scenes.

      Probably the best way to start talking about a threesome is to bring it up if you both happen to be watching one of these scenes together.

      Then it’s more natural for you to ask them things like: “do you find that sexy?” “have you ever/would you ever want to try something like that?”

      Be careful, though. Sometimes cinematic versions of three-ways can end badly or depict a couple in a bad relationship, which will definitely not help steer the conversation in a positive direction. 

      Podcasts are another type of media to try, whether it’s an educational podcast about sexuality or an erotic podcast that explores threesomes, swinging, and group sex.

      Read an erotic story to each other

      Take turns doing some naughty storytelling. Find an erotic story about a threesome and read it aloud to each other.

      Bonus if it’s a story you’ve written yourself that includes your partner!

      Not only is this a sexy way to seduce each other and as foreplay, but it can be quite revealing to see your partner’s facial expressions, body language, and the intonation of their voice as they’re reading/listening to stories about threesomes.

      Suppose you notice your partner is getting aroused by this lusty literature.

      In that case, after the story is over (or after your ensuing sexcapades), you can have a more natural segue into asking them whether they’d want to make this story -- or a story of your own -- into reality.

      There are many ways to take your partner’s temperature and get a feel of whether or not they’re into the idea.

      If they are, then you’re ready to open up your conversation to discuss important things like comfort zones, safety precautions, and who your third could be.

      Setting Threesome Rules and Boundaries 

      Before the fun of your first threesome can truly begin, it's important to set boundaries.

      Threesomes are supposed to be pleasurable for all of the partners involved, so it’s important that your third also be consulted and involved in the conversation about what each of your comfort zones is. 

      Everyone involved should be comfortable and feel respected at all times.

      It's also important to remember that even if you set boundaries before the threesome starts, someone might feel uncomfortable during the act, and boundaries can change. 

      If you don't talk about what you and your partner are comfortable with beforehand and the sex goes into uncharted waters, it can lead to jealousy, resentment, anger, and a lack of pleasure for one or more of you.

      Here's a look at some boundaries, best practices, and tips

      that you should establish as you and your partner add a third person into the mix.

      Clearly Communicate What You're Comfortable with

      If you’re already in a relationship, you and your partner must be open and honest with each other first, and make sure you’re both ready to open up your relationship.

      However, that does NOT mean you get to set all the terms of the threesome and simply expect that the third person will magically mold themselves to fit into your vision.

      Your third’s desires matter, too.

      Let’s briefly look at some things the three of you should discuss beforehand:

      • Who might be on your “to-do” list, and where you might find your prospective third
      • How you might want to approach the third person (and also, which of you might prefer to initiate the search for a third)
      • Who would be comfortable engaging sexually with whom (e.g., both of you might not want to engage with your third physically), as well as in which ways?
      • Is kissing acceptable, and for who?
      • Sexual boundaries involving manual stimulation, oral sex, and penetrative sex
      • Sex toys and lubricants you want to use to enhance your sexual experience (if any)
      • Protection and contraception for manual, oral, and/or penetrative sex
      • Where you might want to do it (e.g. your house may be off-limits, and you may prefer a hotel or your third’s place)
      • Whether you first want to go to dinner, have drinks, etc. to get comfortable with each other.

      When discussing these things with your potential third, this should not be given as a list of ultimatums.

      Instead, you should have an open discussion about each of your comfort levels and make sure you’re all in agreement about what could happen and how you all feel about it.

      Don’t forget that you’re preparing just for this one experience.

      Once you’ve had an enjoyable time, then you might change your comfort zones or third partner and explore something different. 

      Safety

      In your initial chat about boundaries, you can figure out the best ways for all three of you to protect yourselves.

      That includes discussing contraception and barrier methods, whether one of you is sensitive to latex, and also what your current sexual health status is. 

      It’s important to get tested before you play- even if you’ve been monogamous for a while.

      Knowing your STI and STD status is a part of your overall health and also something you can share with your potential third.

      It would be wrong to ask your third about their status if you don’t know your own.

      This knowledge sharing should be 100% reciprocal.

      Determine What Positions are Acceptable

      If you've set some ground rules and are permitting penetrative and oral sex as part of your threesome, the next step is to discuss what positions are acceptable.

      There are a variety of sexual positions that involve all three parties in the threesome that you may want to consider.

      Some of these include:

      • The daisy chain, where each person is both performing and receiving oral sex
      • Double penetration, or where two men are simultaneously pleasuring a woman partner, either via the vagina, anus, or mouth
      • Determine if anyone in the party is bisexual and open to intercourse with the other sex
      • Determine if it's OK for one member to take a break and watch the other two engage in sex acts

      Choose a Safe Word

      On a similar note, you should also go over a word that anyone can say that indicates that they're no longer comfortable.

      This is everyone's cue to stop what they're doing.

      You don’t all have to have a safe word, but it can be fun and a good ice-breaker to come up with a safe word together.

      Get Prepared, but Have No Expectations

      While you all may be very excited to have a threesome, it’s never a good idea to map out the entire sequence of how things will go in your mind. 

      Sure, we all have fantasies and ideas about how we want things to go, but in reality, those things might not happen.

      Having high or rigid expectations as you go into it can create disappointment for you and also put unnecessary pressure on your partners. 

      So, prepare (mentally and physically) for your three-way, and establish your boundaries, but know from the get-go that it’s a fluid situation, and it’s often good to just go with the flow.

      How to Find a Third for Your Threesome

      How to find a third person for your threesome

      Now that you've agreed to a threesome, you’ll need to find a willing participant to join you and your partner in the bedroom.

      Keep in mind that it can take some time for you to find your third.

      There’s no rush.

      It’s important to take your time and find a good fit rather than rush the process and end up having a less-than-satisfactory experience.

      There are a few ways you can go about finding people who are interested in group sex:

      There's an app for that: Perhaps the easiest and most convenient way to find a third sex partner for your threesome is to download a threesome dating app that exists for exactly this purpose. When you make your profile, be clear about what you're looking for. You can discuss your boundaries once you’re speaking with your potential third, so don’t put your entire list in your bio! 

      Friends with benefits: Looking for a little more familiarity with your three-way? If you and your partner are interested in one of your mutual friends or acquaintances, that could be an option. However, this author does not recommend having your first three-way with a close friend because if it doesn’t work out well (which is always a possibility), then that might compromise your relationship with them. Also, choosing an ex with whom one of you was once emotionally involved is not a good idea. It could complicate things between you and your partner, especially if there are any unresolved feelings.

      Attend a swinger's party or sex club: These types of events can be a perfect place to find other open-minded people and maybe even a potential new playmate. But, even if you don’t find your third right away, you can get more comfortable in that open and erotic atmosphere, practice your flirting skills, and get aroused watching others at play.

      So, What's Next?

      As discussed, threesomes aren't for everyone, but under the right conditions, they can be right for you and your partner.

      So, if you and your partner are on the same page, and you’re both excited about spicing up your sex life with the addition of a third person.

      Then going the group sex route can enhance your relationship and enable you to explore your fantasies and sexuality together.

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      Lexi Sylver

      Lexi Sylver

      Lexi Sylver is the Montreal-based erotica author of "Mating Season" and "All the Queen’s Men". She is also the producer and host of "Cocktails and Erotic Tales" as well as her "Swinging 101" webinar series. As an entrepreneur, advocate, educator, podcaster, public speaker and coach for ethical non-monogamy and sexual empowerment, she regularly contributes articles about sexuality and relationships to ASN Lifestyle Magazine, SDC.com and her personal blog, among other places. Her mission is to promote empowerment and education by guiding you to shamelessly explore your sexuality. Get Lexual at lexisylver.com

      Sources:

      Absorption Pharmaceuticals LLC (Promescent) has strict informational citing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic or research institutions, medical associations, and medical experts. We attempt to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references and only citing trustworthy sources. Each article is reviewed, written, and updated by Medical Professionals or authoritative Experts in a specific, related field of practice. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

      • Lexi Sylver. (n.d). Lexi Sylver's Swinging 101 Webinar Series. lexisylver.com. https://lexisylver.com/pages/lexi-sylvers-swinging-101-webinar?utm_source=promescent&utm_medium=article&utm_campaign=threesomes&utm_term=eroticstory
      • Lexi Sylver. ( n.d). Mating Season: Erotic Short Stories by Lexi Sylver. lexisylver.com. https://lexisylver.com/products/mating-season-erotic-short-stories-by-lexi-sylver?utm_source=promescent&utm_medium=article&utm_campaign=threesomes&utm_term=eroticstory
      • Robert P. Burriss Ph.D. 2017 May 22. Is Anyone Actually Having Threesomes?. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/attraction-evolved/201705/is-anyone-actually-having-threesomes
      • Dr, Justin Lehmiller. 2020 November 30. Episode 14: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Threesomes. Sex & Psychology. https://www.sexandpsychology.com/blog/podcast/episode-14-everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-threesomes/
      The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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