When It’s More than Two

Any time someone talks about threesome sex, or a media article about group sex appears, we can predict as sure as night follows day that the reactions will include all sorts of horror stories. “I did this, and it destroyed my relationship!” is a common theme among folks who will confess to trying their hand at non-monogamous sex. “When I saw my partner with someone else, I flipped out and felt jealous!” is another. It’s been my observation that stories of positive threesome experiences, when compared with threesome horror stories, are pretty thin on the ground.

I suppose one take-away lesson from that is “don’t read the comments.” And I’m not saying that’s a bad lesson; any time I read the comments on just about any Internet story or news article or (God help me) YouTube video, I weep for humanity.

But it’s got me to wondering, why do the bad stories outweigh the good? Is it because having a threesome really is that dangerous, that fraught with emotional turmoil?

Maybe, but I think there’s another possible explanation as well. I think that it’s easier to talk without consequence about the threesome that went wrong than the threesome that went well, because the story fo the threesome that went wrong reaffirms cultural norms. We’re steeped in a society that sees monogamous sex as the only sanctioned sort of sexual activity. Tales of threesomes that were happy, wildly successful, uplifting experiences fly in the face of that cultural trope, while stories of threesomes that led to disaster and heartache affirm it. The person who explores group sex, has a bad experience, and returns chastened to the monogamous fold is validating the cultural expectations about sex and relationships.

It is rare indeed for folks who have monogamous sex that ends in disaster to say “See? Don’t have monogamous sex! It only leads to tears!” Instead, the blame the particulars of that relationship–the people involved weren’t right for each other, it was a bad match, other things happened. When threesome sex goes wrong, though, it’s always the threesome itself, not the particular mix of people or the specific choices they made, that’s at fault.

So it seems to me that in many cases, the “threesomes are a disaster!” voices outweigh the “Threesomes can be awesome!” voices simply because it is more socially acceptable to talk about the threesome that went bad than to talk about the threesome that didn’t.

I personally have had many successful, enjoyable threesomes (and foursomes, and occasionally moresomes). I lost my virginity in a threesome; my best friend was dating a woman I had a crush on, and rather than that being a source of tension or animosity between us, we all three worked out a relationship that was mutually beneficial. To this day, I remain quite a fan of the erotic possibilities of more than two.

What do you think? I’d like to hear your stores of successful group sex, that didn’t go the way that society says these things must go. What made it successful to you? How did it benefit you? Would you do it again? What positive things did you take away from it? You can register here for an anonymous account to reply with, if you like; there’s no need to use your real name.

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5 Responses to When It’s More than Two

  1. Becca says:

    I’m really surprised to be the first commenter here. I was sure there would be plenty of people who read this site who have had good experiences with group sex and weren’t afraid to say so.

    I have had many successful threesomes–I think threesomes are fantastic and very hot. The first time was right after I started college. A female friend and I “ganged up” on a boy I had been flirting heavily with, and we took his virginity. He became a lifelong soulmate of mine and describes it as a wonderful first sexual experience. My female friend had a good experience too and went on to have threesomes with other friends. 

    I have been part of a long-term couple in which my partner sometimes brought his girlfriends home to play with the two of us, and on occasion we played with another couple as well–those foursomes were fun too.

    I have conspired to bring two of my lovers together for a threesome with me, and I have also participated in threesomes with other couples (m-f and m-m). In all cases the people involved have enjoyed their threesomes without experiencing any ill effects on their pre-existing relationships.

    In most of these cases, the participants were in relationships that were already poly or open, or they had past successful experiences with non-monogamous relationships. So I would be tempted to draw the conclusion that maybe “threesomes are a disaster” for monogamous folk. But I don’t have enough data from mono people to draw that conclusion–I’ve never heard a threesome horror story first hand. But I have heard at least one first-hand account from a mono couple who invited a dear friend into their bed one night, and came away from the experience with both their friendship with the third person strengthened as well as their relationship with each other–even though they have not had another threesome. So it’s certainly not that simple.

  2. Joreth says:

    I’m also a huge fan of threesomes. I don’t think I’ve ever had a “threesome-gone-wrong” story. I’ve had two or three threesomes that were blah or that I didn’t get what I wanted out of it (mainly because I didn’t know what I wanted, or wasn’t honest with myself about what I wanted going into it), but for the most part, all of my group sex (3+) were very positive experiences. All of my relationships that ended after having a threesome had absolutely nothing to do with that threesome – we broke up because we were ultimately incompatible.

  3. valkyrie says:

    I have threesomes pretty regularly with my husband and my boyfriend. I’ve been with them, respectively, for 19 and 8 years. So if threesomes destroy relationships I’m still waiting for that to happen. I love them both and the experience is always fun, satisfying and respectful.

  4. I have regular threesome sex with my two partners, one of whom I have been with 8 years, the other going on 4. Don’t have a threesome-gone-wrong story yet for us, just lots of yummy MFM action. 😀 My whole blog is dedicated to our story, and details quite a bit of our sex lives (VERY NSFW and BDSM-heavy.)

    Before them, I had regular encounters with couples I played with, as well as the occasional gf that my (now) ex and I had 3somes with. I’ve had a couple 4somes as well. Again, never had a horror story in any of those, even if the relationships ended.

  5. Maxine says:

    When I was working in retail, I was taught that the reason you need to pay attention to customer service is that a satisfied customer will, on average, tell three people that they are happy with how they were treated. An unhappy customer, on the other hand, will tell an average of TEN people that they were mistreated. It just seems that it’s natural for folks to talk more about their negative experiences than their positive ones.

    I’ve noticed with myself, I often don’t want to talk about when I’m really happy in my relationships, because I don’t want to brag, or make other people feel bad if they’re not as happy as I currently am, but when things are rough, I will talk to *everybody*, seek advice, seek sympathy, offer it up as a cautionary tale, if necessary.

    So I don’t think it’s as simple as ‘society encourages us not to talk about enjoying sex’. I think that may certainly be a part of it, but I also think that this tendency to talk about the negatives more than the positives has a large part to do with it.

    As for threesomes though, I’ve had many wonderful experiences myself. Some of them planned, some spontaneous. Some quiet, sweet and romantic, such as the valentines day I spent with two of my male partners, a couple of years back. Some, rather less so (but still loving, because that’s just plain how I work). I’ve also threesomed with a monogamous couple who are friends of mine, which developed into a lovely, life and friendship-affirming relationship for a while, before they drifted back into happy monogamy again, and are still very much together and happy with each other.

    Going into the details of specific threesomes though, why that’s actually quite hard to do. I don’t want to brag!

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