Let’s begin with this: Bisexuality is real. While not huge, there is credible research that points to the fact that this sexual identity is real. In fact, some research shows that over half of the members of the LGBTQ+ community identify as bisexual. So, take heart. Despite biphobia and bi-erasure, your sexual identity is valid and something you need to embrace.
For an interesting piece of research, check out Bi Us, For Us: Articulating foundational principles for research in partnership with bisexual communities - PMC (nih.gov)
Now, with bisexuality a valid identity that you share with so many others, it’s time to talk about dating as a bisexual, a person who is romantically and sexually attracted to both sexes, whether they are straight, lesbian, or gay. And the logical extension of these attractions in your dating world will be considerations of consensual threesomes within and/or outside of the bisexual community.
And let’s face it. Having a threesome can satisfy your sexual desires and needs in new and wonderful ways. If you are inclined to pursue threesomes, it is important to think through the how, why, and what is involved in such a dating scenario – respect for and from all involved, open and clear communication, and the actions and/or interventions that will be involved (agency).
Here’s a good summary of getting off on the right foot if you are new to threesomes.
This guide is specifically written to give bisexuals advice and tips to make a threesome dating scenario satisfying, respectful, and healthy (mentally and physically) for all three people. It will cover all facets of threesome dating.
Ethical behavior during sex is not a new concept. But a threesome kicks this up a notch because there is now an additional party involved. Here are the factors for an ethical threesome:
All three parties must give full consent to sexual activity with one another. And that includes more than just consent to the sex.
It includes the type of sex that will be involved, the expectations that each person has, and the boundaries that each person may have for what will occur, and how the session will end.
All three must agree on these things up front.
The discussion that occurs during the consent phase is not the end of communication. Communication must occur during and after the session too.
During the Session: If one party suggests something, consent must be given by both others. If one party is uncomfortable with anything, they need to speak up, and the other two must accept and abide by that discomfort. If the consensual sex includes any kink, then a safe word should be agreed upon and respected by all three.
After the Session: This can get a bit tricky if not discussed in advance. If two of the three parties are in a relationship, how and when does the third-party leave? If all three are single, how will they talk about what happened, what was satisfying, and will they get together again?
Really important here: If two of the parties are in a relationship, there will need to be a “debriefing” and an honest discussion about how each of them now feels. They will need to re-connect to reinforce their love and commitment to each other and talk openly about their feelings and if this was just the fulfillment of a one-time fantasy or if they both want to do this again.
This is such a loaded term, but everyone needs to understand what it means in a threesome. It is having regard for the others’ feelings, rights, and wishes. The best way to show respect is by empathy – putting yourself in the other persons’ shoes, seeing the situation from their perspective, listening to what they tell you they want or don’t want, and honoring what they tell you.
Respect is required before, during, and after any session.
Threesomes have never enjoyed widespread acceptance as “normal” sexual activity by society. But as newer ideas of exploration, flexibility, and acceptance of all romantic and sexual lifestyles continues to evolve, threesomes are not the stigma they used to be.
Still, there are some myths and stereotypes that linger on. Let’s bust some of these right now.
Oh please. Research suggests that threesomes are often built around fantasy and exploration, not promiscuity or sex addictions. Heterosexuals, in fact, are as promiscuous and sexually-addicted, if not more so, than couples who add a third person to their bedroom.
Yes, they might, at least temporarily. But this is true of any relationship between two partners. People in monogamous relationships cheat on their partners; people in monogamous relationships experience dissatisfaction and break up all the time.
If two partners agree to a threesome and do it right, the chances of jealousy and damaged commitment are greatly reduced.
The practice of safe sex during a threesome session is no different than it is for a “twosome.” And there is absolutely no data indicating that STDs are more common among people who engage in threesomes. STDs are transmitted by those who do not practice safe sex, not matter what that sexual activity may be.
If you are in a partnership that is suffering romantically and/or sexually, you may think that a threesome will somehow revive your relationship. This new sexual experience will not solve your problems. If you had intimacy issues before the threesome, they will still be there when the session is over. Fix your issues by other means first.
So, here’s a stereotype that has to go. It is based on an old cultural standard that “boys will be boys” but women are not allowed. So, women who engage in threesomes are “bad.” Fortunately, this stereotype is waning as sexual equality is on the rise.
So, you think that a threesome is something you want to experience. Before you follow through on this, you need to think things through. A threesome is nothing to enter into on a whim. Here’s a process of self-reflection.
Be honest with yourself. What is your motivation? Here are “legitimate” reasons:
And here are Illegitimate reasons:
Be certain that your motivation is a healthy one.
What you expect to get out of a threesome is important, and it ties in with your motivations.
No matter what your expectations, and all of them are legitimate, you need to communicate these to everyone who may be involved. It’s a matter of being honest with yourself and with others you may solicit to participate.
These are key to a satisfying threesome experience. First you must identify them for yourself. Second, you must make certain that the other two parties are fully aware of them and, most importantly, agree to them in advance.
Communicate your expectations and boundaries. Once you have established your boundaries, it is your responsibility to communicate them to both other parties who are to be involved. Here are some tips for doing this:
As you register and craft your preferences and profile, your language should be very clear.
The key word here is “communication.” It must be clear and concise, and look for the same from your potential.
So, you know that communication is critical. But let’s back up for a minute. How do you even identify the good candidates and then approach them with a proposal?
At the face-to-face, you will want to lay down all of the “ground rules” for the upcoming session.
While all of this seems rather clinical, remember that the more communication you have upfront, the less there will be chance for misunderstandings later on.
This is the time for each of you to nail down your expectations, what each of you want in the session, and to agree on the boundaries everyone will be comfortable with. If any of the three of you have “tighter” boundaries, those will be respected by the other two.
It’s also time to talk about safe sex and what precautions all three of you will take. It’s not all that unusual for one of you to ask they everyone be tested before the event. Respect that request.
The key term here is compromise. That’s what negotiations are all about. If there are areas that are not totally compatible, resolving them ahead of time is important, if all three are going to be comfortable and satisfied.
And here’s the positive thing about this face-to-face. It helps to build up sexual tension, which is definitely good once everyone is in bed together.
One of the things that may not be anticipated in advance is the whole power dynamic that may unfold as threesome sessions progress. One of the three begins to be more dominant, calling the shots and assuming the other two will just go along.
Or one of the three is obviously the more submissive party and then one or both of the others begin to take advantage of that submissiveness.
Exploitation is certainly not unheard of, so all parties must be mindful that there should be equality when it comes to each person’s wishes. No one should feel pressured, and no one should be pressuring.
If you are involved in a threesome and the power dynamics are getting lopsided, it’s important that you speak up, assert yourself, and feel free to cut things off until the situation can be righted. If it cannot, walk away.
There are red flags in many relationships, including threesomes, and these include selfishness, the need for power and control, disrespect for a partner’s boundaries, and jealousy. Be mindful of these, and be the one to call it off if they crop up.
If you find yourself in a threesome situation that is causing you discomfort of any kind, you must be the one to get yourself out. Here are a few scenarios that may cause this discomfort and how you should handle them:
You Feel Pressured: Even though boundaries have been set, you may feel pressured to go beyond them as the sex progresses. While you may feel a bit intimidated, you must speak up, but you can do so with grace and respect. “Guys, I’m not comfortable with what you are suggesting (or doing). Can we just stop for a minute and get back on track?”
In the heat of a sexual encounter, you may not get agreement on your request. Accept it, don’t respond in anger. Instead, simply get up, and say, “I need to leave. I appreciate the experience, but it’s just not for me.” Find your clothes, get dressed, and quietly leave.
You Experience Jealousy: It’s not unusual that, if you have a romantic partner, jealousy will rear its head. You thought a threesome would be fun, but now that you are into it, you find that sex between your partner and a third party is stirring up all sorts of negative emotions. This is not the time to “suck it up” and just let it go on.
Tell your partner right away. Calmly say, “I didn’t know that I would be feeling this way, but I do. Can we please stop this right now?” If your partner respects and honors your relationship, they will do as you ask. If not, you may need to re-think your relationship.
You should physically remove yourself from the session. If the other two do not, get dressed, and quietly leave. Take a walk, go for a coffee or a drive, and try to settle yourself. There will be time to address this issue with your partner once you are in control of your emotions.
The Session is Over – Now What?: If this threesome was a one-time thing, and everyone has agreed to that, then your exit strategy should be relatively easy. Get cleaned up and dressed, express your enjoyment with the event, and leave with everyone feeling comfortable and satisfied.
If this is an arrangement that the three of you have decided will be longer-term, then the exit strategy will be far different. It’s time for some real talk about what went well, what each of you liked or did not, etc. Which brings us to the next and last section of this guide.
All parties involved in a threesome have emotional responses to what went on in that bedroom. And they all experienced levels of comfort (or discomfort) during the event.
This is a time for reflections and communication, for providing emotional support to one another, and for honest and open talk. Here are topics for aftercare:
In short, you’ll have a debriefing session. Now, if this has been just a one-night stand with no anticipation that your third party will have any more involvement, just respectfully and politely show them out – unless they have some insights to share with you, of course. Leave tht up to them.
This guide has taken you through everything about a threesome, from start to finish. If you follow it, you are far more likely to have a successful and satisfying experience, whether you want to explore it only one time or engage in these sessions on a more regular basis. Just know that either way, you have that right.
If you want more information about threesomes, including the research, the thoughts of others who have been or are in threesomes, some support, the psychological aspects of this activity, and more, here is a list of resources.
Support and Advice