Everything you need to know about threesomes

Kristine Tarbert
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Threesomes are becoming more and more common. Photo: Getty

You and your friend may have joked about the one person you’d totally have a threesome with, but the act of inviting a third to your pair is actually becoming more and more popular.

Threesomes are in fact so mainstream there are even dating apps specifically targeting those interested in having one.

Of course there is a right way and a wrong way to go about organising a threesome and as sex therapist Matty Silver, the author of Sex Down Under, a few things to look out for.

Threesomes more popular than ever

A threesome is sexual activity that involves three people at the same time. Threesome can also refer to a love triangle, a three-way romantic relationship. Though threesome is most commonly applied to a casual sexual activity involving sexual activity among three participants, a threesome may also be found in a long-term domestic relationship, such as in polygamy.

“Cultural attitudes to sex, relationships and sexual identity have changed. Threesomes are now becoming more mainstream in popular culture,” Matty tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

“Several TV shows now have storylines that would have been considered pornographic years ago. Having a threesome can be a favourite sexual fantasy for some couples, they believe it could be fun and a good way to spice up their sex lives.”

A threesome scene in the movie Wild Things. Photo: Roadshow

Common mistake made with threesomes

Although a threesome can make an exhilarating fantasy, in real life, often, the thought of it is more exciting than the deed.

Matty says it’s important to keep in mind that you are under no obligation to live out every fantasy that comes along.

“Sexual adventures should be playful celebrations of eroticism, and if you are not ready to participate in that spirit, you are probably better off not going there,” she tells us.

One of the biggest mistakes couples can make when they decide on a threesome is to not communicate properly.

“It’s extremely important that they first talk about their fears and expectations, and what boundaries will be set with everyone involved,” Matty explains.

“Threesomes rarely work out well when one partner cares more about his or her sexual needs than the emotional needs of the other. It can be difficult enough when two people are dealing just with each other’s needs, but when there is a third person involved, there will be added emotions, concerns and potential problems.”

The most important part is setting clear boundaries around what will happen: what will be OK and what will not.

“Other things to be discussed might include: will the third partner be male or female? Will you meet them beforehand, and how and where will you find them? Will it be just a one-off to prevent anyone from getting too close or becoming too attached?” Matty says.

It's important a couple sets clear boundaries before trying a threesome. Photo: Getty

Threesomes can be good for relationships

Having a threesome can be a relationship rejuvenator if you have a strong bond and want to explore together, Matty reveals.

“For some couples, having a threesome is a way to have sex outside their relationship without actually cheating on one another,” she adds.

It can be a really positive experience, but – a word of warning – it should never be used as a tool to fix relationship problems. For people who are used to being monogamous, the experience can result in jealousy, anger and feelings of resentment or inadequacy.”

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