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A Sex Guide for People Whose Partners Won’t Shut Up About a Threesome

The latest installment of our series The ‘Normal’ Couples’ Guide to Sex

Not ecstatic about your current sex life? Don’t have hours every day attempting to decipher all of the sanskrit in the Kama Sutra? Unable to bankroll a shopping spree (or a single purchase for that matter) at Jimmyjane? Here’s a sex help guide for you, fellow regular human who wants to be better in bed.

The Person

Beth, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Age:
25
Goal: To have a threesome the way she wants to, with less pressure from her boyfriend.

The Sex Situation: “I’m a woman in a relationship with a man who wants to have a threesome with another woman,” says Beth. “I have to admit I’m intrigued. I’m bisexual and have hooked up with women before, although I haven’t had a threesome before.”

The Problem: “The problem is that my boyfriend brings it up often and pressures and pushes me in ways that make me feel uncomfortable,” Beth explains. “At parties and gatherings, he’ll encourage me to go up to women and invite them to have sex with us. He’ll pick out women when we’re out at bars and talk about how attractive he finds them. He knows I’m bisexual, so he thinks it’s totally fine to check out other women when I’m around, assuming I’ll do it with him. But it mostly just makes me feel insecure and weird.

“I’m also resentful that he pushes me so hard to have a threesome with another woman, but refuses to consider doing it with another man (one of my fantasies). I don’t want to push anyone to do something sexual they don’t want to do, but I feel like it’s unfair that he won’t give me what he’s asking me to give him.”

The Goal: “I want to find a way to take control of the situation — mainly by setting boundaries with him and getting to know women who’d actually want to hook up with both of us.”

The Plan

Recognize You’re Being Fetishized: “First, your boyfriend is being an asshole, plain and simple,” says Andre Shakti, a journalist, porn performer and polyamory advocate. “There are more bisexuals in the world than either lesbians or gay men, but because their sexual orientation is often treated as a fetish or as a temporary phase, they’re rarely taken seriously and therefore may opt to stay closeted.

“In the case of heterosexual relationships where the woman is the one who’s bi, many men can’t wait to pop ‘the question’: ‘Would you ever want to have a threesome?’ This is because the idea of feminine bisexuality is hypersexualized in our culture. There are entire porn genres dedicated to ‘girl on girl,’ yet we rarely see healthy, happy depictions of femme bisexual relationships depicted in mainstream media.

“Thus, men are socialized to believe that not only are bisexual women a dime a dozen, but that men have easy access to their bisexuality. In fact, they can often feel entitled to a threesome before the topic has even been broached.”

Talk About Boundaries: “I typically recommend that if you’re ready to come out to the person you’re dating — especially as bisexual, pansexual or queer — that you immediately follow up the disclosure with a ‘negotiating boundaries’ conversation,” says Shakti. “In this conversation, you highlight how you only felt safe coming out to your partner because you trust them and know that they’ll respect your boundaries around them having this knowledge.

“Then you address what you’re comfortable with: For example, ‘While I may be open to a threesome with another woman in the future, the reins need to be in my hands. If that’s something you’re into, we need to have many more conversations about it ahead of time. I need to feel like I’m not being pressured — or that it isn’t being expected of me.’

“Since it sounds like this hasn’t been a discussion you’ve initiated with your boyfriend yet, do it now. Do it yesterday!”

Consider Your Options: “In terms of finding a woman to have a threesome with — one who you’re attracted to and you feel comfortable with — look around at your friends and friendly acquaintances,” advises Shakti. “In my expansive experience, the best group sex happens when you put the feelers out within your own friend pool. Again, notice I say ‘you’ and ‘your friends’ here. If your boyfriend wants a threesome, he has to take a patient backseat and let you cast the net. Besides, many femme unicorns respond better to being initially approached by a woman. It can feel safer, friendlier and less predatory.”

Ponder Going Pro: “There’s also the option of hiring a sex worker for your first threesome. Yes, you’ll be out of a few hundred dollars, but most sex workers are professionals who know their way around bodies of any size, orientation, gender and ability; have excellent boundaries; and make safe(r) sex their top priority,” says Shakti. “Plus, you and your boyfriend can log on to an advertising platform like Eros.com and search for companions together, which can be fun and sexy!”

Take a Look at the Swingset: “Finally, in terms of you getting your fantasy — an MMF threesome — perhaps it’s time that you and your boyfriend broach the topic of hooking up with another male/female couple,” Shakti suggests. “How much do you know about the swinging scene in your area? If the answer is ‘next to nothing,’ consider making a couples’ FetLife profile and searching the events page for swingers’ happy hours, platonic outings and more NSFW parties in your area.”

The Reaction

Do You Think Your Sexuality Is Being Fetishized? “Oh my gosh, yes, constantly,” says Beth.

Have You Had a “Boundaries” Talk With Your Boyfriend? “Not yet, but I definitely need to do so.”

Can You Convince Him to Take a Backseat? “I mean, if he doesn’t, he won’t get a threesome, so… yes.”

Are There Any Friends or Acquaintances Who You’d Put on Your List of Prospective Thirds? “That’s a tough one — I’m not sure I’d particularly want to sleep with any of my female friends. The vibe is definitely more friendly and less flirty, plus most of them are either straight or gay. I also feel a little weird about my boyfriend sleeping with one of my friends.”

Would You Consider Hiring a Sex Worker Instead? “That’s another tough one. It might be a bit out of my comfort zone. A couples’ swap is a possibility, though. Either way, I like the idea of doing this outside of my normal friend group.”