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Threesomes: Retro Fantasy vs. Reality

Not long ago on an afternoon walk with a friend I was hypothesizing about why the guy I was seeing wanted one of my friends around so much.  “Does he want a threesome?”, my girlfriend half joked with me in the same suggestively innocent tone that she would also use to ask, “So, should we have a G&T in the park?” Queue my own spiral of thought about threesomes and the spell that they cast, if not in reality then definitely in the corners of our own minds, played out as mysteries of esoteric seduction and wanting. 

It’s probably not a shocking revelation that threesomes are the most common sexual fantasy amongst adults, with a staggering 95% of men and 87% of women having fantasized about sex with multiple partners. About one in every five people has taken part in a threesome, yet despite this, they’re also the sexual fantasy most likely to disappoint. This could be a fact that is skewed by simple maths: with three humans comes three sets of expectations, desires and bodies. The most seductive myth surrounding threesomes seems to be that they’re a direct result of a simple multiplication of pleasure. If you take whatever measure of bliss you have with one person and add another human it’s going to mind blowing x 2 right? Not necessarily…

Threesomes are so often the subject of our fantasies, but how do they play out in reality? Is it all glossy mouths, subtle moans, scantily clad skin in lace and doing that thing where you pass strawberries between lips? 

In a word, no. 

The most surprising thing about threesomes is the mundanity. You think it’s going to be just like a scene in Eyes Wide Shut but really it can be awkward emotionally, mentally and physically. Where should that limb go? Am I meant to do something now, now, NOW? Do I assert dominance or wait my turn? Do I look fat from that angle? Does she/he enjoy that or is it just helpful encouragement? Will this be weird in the morning? Am I actually enjoying this?

Additional complexity comes from the fact that the connection that we work for with one sexual partner is splintered when you add a third. Not only do you need to try and unravel intimacy in another (new) human but you’re trying to stay “checked in” with the person you do know (assuming you do). With this train of thought it’s not a surprise that thoughts of “well, that was more trouble than it was worth” infiltrate the retrospective haze, followed by a subconscious process of matching reality with a previously dreamt fantasy. 

Like a lot of things in life, context and atmosphere plays a significant role in crafting a sophisticated outcome, and if you can grasp the importance of setting the scene then you might be rewarded by a more seamless encounter. For this reason, it seems that threesomes that come about more naturally (with a prior acknowledgement that they’re a willing participant ) are more likely to be labelled fun, insightful or pleasurable. There’s also the oops-we-just-got-drunk-at-a-party-and-slipped cases that are more often than not casually classified in the same blase way as a party pash. Clumsily enjoyable but not earth shattering either.

What I find most captivating is the shifting intuition of participants in threesomes as they try to gauge the feelings of the others, eager to connect in a way that isn’t just physical…despite engaging in an act where the primary intention is carnal pleasure. Yet in spite of the pull of the physical it’s clear that something happens along the way to whittle down the initial intoxication of a playing out a clandestine fantasy to the flaccid normalcy of satisfactorily ticking a box.  In my opinion it’s the immeasurable amounts of intimacy that we can create with just one other (at a time) partner that is what leaves threesomes lacking. 

Oh, and the fact that almost always there is a silent acknowledgement between 2 participants that they’re done, and no matter their connection (or lack of) they join forces to (with all due respect) skip to the pillow talk and sleeping part.

Posted by    |   May 3rd, 2020   |   No Comments

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