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Sexpert Q/A: To threesome or not to threesome?

6 feet in bed

Reader question:

Hi Desiree,

My wife and I have been married for just over 5 years. We have been talking about bringing another person into the bedroom to spice things up a bit. I’m very keen but my wife is concerned that it will affect our ‘normal sex’ afterwards and that it will also affect our relationship. Also I want to bring a woman in but she wants to bring in a man. Have you helped other couples with this?

Cheers,
Jeff

Sexpert response:

Sexpert, Desiree Spierings BA (Psych) MHSc (Sexual Health); Sex Therapist; Relationship Counsellor; Director of Sexual Health Australia and Editorial Advisory Board Member of Virtual Medical Centre and Parenthub responds:

Hi Jeff,

Desiree Spierings

After familiarity has crept into a relationship, it is then not uncommon to start to end up with a standard formula in which you have sex (a bit in the beginning, the middle, and the end), which tends to be the same most times. The idea of a threesome might sound like the answer to bringing back the excitement in your sex life and adding some spice to it. And yes an actual threesome can be wild, exciting, vivacious, and sexy!!!

But it is very important to remember that it can end up being a total nightmare for all partners involved if you go about it in the wrong way. For example if further feelings develop for the third partner, then it can really be very damaging to the relationship.

So instead of just diving into it, I would like you to consider a few things. Having a threesome can result in feelings of jealousy, resentment, anger, rage, and feelings of inadequacy. Especially if there are unresolved issues to begin with, a threesome is not the answer and often will cause more harm than good. If you already have trust issues for example, a threesome isn’t going to solve it, but will just exacerbate it.

Also a threesome shouldn’t be used as the tool to solve your sex problems or relationship issues. The same as you shouldn’t have a baby to save your relationship.

When having a threesome, you should be certain that your relationship can handle it. You personally also have to be strong and able to let go of inhibitions, learned attitudes or beliefs around sex, plus you need to be able to handle the fact that your partner is going to get sexual pleasure from another person and express this enjoyment and maybe even orgasm right in front of you.

Additionally, if it is not your idea, before you agree to it, make sure you consider the consequences, and whether you really want to go through with this. Evaluate whether you personally, your partner, and the relationship can handle a threesome. Ask yourself why you or your partner want to do it in the first place? Remember, if it is to solve issues (either in the bedroom or general relationship ones) a threesome isn’t the answer!

If the threesome involves someone you have a crush on, be aware that there is a high risk that you end up emotionally involved and want more from that person than just sex!

If you both do decide that a threesome is the way to go. I have three tips:

  1. Set up Clear Boundaries: Do this by considering and discussing and agreeing to the 5 W’s. Why, What, When, Where, Who? For example, consider why do we want to have a threesome, will the threesome be the answer? What are you allowed to do and not to do? When or how often is this going to happen? Is this a one off or is this something that will then happen regularly? Where will this encounter take place? And who or where are you going to find this person?
  2. Have a Sacred Element:  This is a special sexual act that you do just with your partner, not ever with the third partner. In monogamous relationships an entire sexual encounter is sacred, it is only shared between you and your partner, no-one else. But when it comes to open relationships or threesomes, sex is then shared with a third partner and it is not sacred any longer. Therefore, make sure you think of some aspects of a sexual encounter which only you and your partner can share and no-one else can ever participate or do that with either one of you. For example, kissing may be something that you want to keep as a sacred element.
  3. Have a Secret Code: It is important that you keep a sense of alliance, which means that you feel your partner is always on your side and additionally a sense of safeness. This means that if either one of you feel uncomfortable or do not want to continue with the threesome, both of you will stop the interaction immediately. Therefore you need a code word, so it could be things like: ‘flower, chocolate, stop etc’, or it could be a sentence: ‘Do you want to smell the flowers in the other room’, or ‘Do you want a glass of water’. Etc. As soon as either one of you mention this you will stop the encounter and check in with your partner.

Dates

Posted On: 27 October, 2014
Modified On: 19 May, 2017

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