A Guide to Threesome Etiquette: What You Need To Know

A guide to eliminating jealousy, awkwardness, and feelings of exclusion that come with three in the bedroom.
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Ménage à trois, threeway, menage‑a‑triangles, group sex... threesomes. There are so many ways to describe three people playing in bed together, but there isn’t a surefire way to approach, engage, and end the sex act. This is mainly because there can be different rules for all of the different roles.

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There is the threesome suggester, the willing partner, and, of course, the “third.” People may think the easiest type of threesome is the one where each participant is single, because there aren’t any lingering love-politics. Not having specific considerations or needing to navigate the tricky etiquette of entering another couple’s bedroom/ welcoming someone into yours, is why the random route is thought of as the only way to go. However, with proper threesome etiquette, having a threesome with a couple-- or a couple having a third-- is an amazingly hot experience. Whether you are a part of the couple, or the third, these guidelines will serve as your surefire approach to managing the best ménage.

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For the threesome-seeker in a relationship, the hardest part is taking into account (and managing) you and your partner’s happiness. By being the suggester, being a good “host,”  so to speak, for your eventual threesome is important. Follow these guidelines for a carefree climax in your next threesome...

The Approach

The initial approach for a person in a monogamous relationship, who is seeking out a threesome, is to test the waters with their a partner. If you believe they wouldn’t ever be the one to bring it up first-- or that they would never even think about group sex-- a gentle approach goes a long way. Even if “planting” the idea gets an immediate “no,” that might waver over time as your partner sits on it. A gentle approach can be, “have you ever thought about having someone else in bed with us?” The vagueness allows your partner to imagine their own picture of what this threesome would look like, as opposed to, “hey honey, what do you think about inviting our neighbor over to play naked Twister?” (However, dependent on the partner, this might be a perfectly acceptable approach.)

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The soft approach should turn into a very clear dialogue.

The key to navigating the tricky territory of threesomes is communication. Communication for pleasure and comfort makes for amazing sex, no matter how many people you are getting down with. This avoids all jealousy and uncertainty during your ménage. What does your partner want the third person to do to you/them, what does your partner want to do to them? Do you and your partner agree on the same sex/type of person?

Many couples have more intimacy boundaries than penetration boundaries (i.e. no kissing, calling them home an uber after so the couple can cuddle alone. You both may not have any boundaries, but that is important to be on the same page about.) Especially if there are certain ground rules, you will be talking to your guest about it (over drinks, dinner, or mid-hookup if y’all stumbled upon the perfect “third” and were swept up in the moment.)

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For couples having this talk: At the end of this conversation, make sure you show your partner your heart is 100% with them. Spoil them a little extra so they feel loved and wanted. When your partner feels 100% secure that you’re all theirs (and vice versa) they are more willing to be extra sharing.

Picking the guest

A nice rule of thumb should be that the threesome-suggester let the other participant pick the third. This allows any possible feelings of jealousy or doubt that could be lingering from your big threesome conversation.

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You shouldn’t assume a person wants to join you because they have had a third before. Equally so, you shouldn’t ask your gay or bi friend, based on that sexual preference. It can be insulting and taken the wrong way. Your third’s box to check off shouldn’t be solely based on which (or how many types of) genitals they lick.

Picking a place to play

Whether you met over an app or at a bar, all three people should decide where they will be. You can’t assume your guest is comfortable with following you home, especially if you just met. Wherever you decide, a casual exit strategy is helpful. “I know we are all the way across town, but we will happily get you an uber later” eliminates any post-sex awkwardness.

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Managing your ménage à trois

The general etiquette of sex applies for the foundation of your fun: cleanliness (yes your body, but also switching condoms if you're switching back and forth.), communication, and care-free cumming.

However, with a threesome, some couples like to remain involved in some way or another, even when they aren’t necessarily directly physically involved. For example, if the man is penetrating the third from behind, while the third is eating out the girlfriend, the couple might lock eyes or be talking dirty to one another directly.

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Note for the guest:

If this minute comes up, try to not feel neglected, and don’t feel the need to hop in. Porn typically depicts the three participants equally involved at ALL times, but this isn’t the case in real life. Just as real life sex, there are moments of passion and intensity, and some of those moments might be between the couple.

Note for the couple:

^ some of those moments might be with the third and your partner. Keep in mind that your partner loves you and need not feel neglected, and inclusion--and overall equal attention-- is important. Over breakfast the next morning you two will be talking about how hot last night was.

Saw, conquered, and came

Three-person cuddle sessions sound nice… but in most cases, a friendly three-person-sleepover-post-threesome is fun if you are all friends or strangers. While no one should be rushed out (of any kind of sex) the couple might want to decompress together. If the guest is at the couple’s house, the couple should call a car service. 

Communication leads to care-free climaxes. Explore that threesome kink, whether you are in a committed relationship, an open relationship, or just exploring as a third.

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