How To Have A Threesome

Follow these ten tips to have a sexy, drama-free threesome experience.

How To Have A Threesome

How To Have A Threesome

How To Have A Threesome

Published
January 25, 2021
— Updated
Medically Reviewed by
8 minutes

Thinking about having a threesome? Whether you want to invite another person into the bedroom with your partner, join a couple for some sexy fun, or orchestrate a threesome yourself, there are some things to keep in mind to ensure everyone has a safe, fun, and pleasurable time. We chatted with threesome experts and sexologists Dr. Jess O’Reilly, and Carol Queen of Good Vibrations to get you all the best tips for your next mouth-watering menage-a-trois.

Here are 10 suggestions for how to have a great threesome. 

1. First, make sure it’s what you want to do

Before taking any action, Dr. Jess O’Reilly recommends people first ask themselves a couple questions: “Why do you want to have a threesome? What physical experience appeals to you? What do you expect and hope to feel? How do you think (and hope) the other parties involved will feel? What specifically are you hoping to experience?”

She recommends not only being honest with yourself but acknowledging the best and worst case scenarios and considering how you’d handle a range of reactions or experiences — from the positive to the neutral to the negative. 

If you’re in a relationship, O’Reilly says dishonest communication, latent feelings of insecurity, and partner pressure are just a few of the likely existing issues that can surface after a threesome. On the flip side, some folks feel more connected, playful, and intimate afterward.

Any number of reactions is normal, but it’s important to be honest with yourself so you can decide if this is the right thing for you in this relationship at this time.

2. Bring it up in a broader context with a partner

We get it! It can feel awkward to just bring up threesomes out of nowhere. This is why it can be helpful to approach the subject during a broader conversation about your sexual desires and fantasies in general. Try asking your partner if there are any fantasies they’ve had that they would be open to sharing.

Queen says another great way to initiate the conversation is by watching porn featuring threesomes (if you both enjoy porn), or movies. Queen suggests saying something like, ‘Hey I was listening to this really sexy podcast, want to hear about it? Even celebrity gossip can be an in.”

You can also mention that you came across an article (like this one!) and thought it sounded like it could be something to explore.

3. Don’t try to get your partner to do anything they aren’t thrilled about

Any hesitation or discomfort from your partner should be respected. It’s perfectly okay to offer them resources to open up the door for ongoing conversation and communication. It’s not okay to place pressure or guilt on your partner if they aren’t comfortable with the proposed threesome. 

If they seem hesitant but open to the idea, give them the reigns. Ask them what kind of scenario they think they would be into or how they would see it going down.

Your goal for the potential threesome should be just as much about your partner and the third’s pleasure and enjoyment as your own. 

4. Hop on non-monogamous-friendly apps like Feeld and #Open 

If your partner is down, or you’re looking for a threesome experience on your own, there are lots of ways to find a threesome online. There are a few sex-positive apps that cater to folks looking for threesomes, swinging, other nonmonogamous and polyamorous fun. Apps like Feeld and #Open, for example, let you use hashtags to communicate your interests, desires, and boundaries.

#Open also allows you to create a single profile, a partnered profile, or both. With Feeld you and a partner can create a profile together, or you can sign up as single profiles with each other listed as “connections.” 

Remember, not every person listed as “single” on these apps is looking to be a part of a couple’s threesome, so be respectful. People often use the term “unicorn” to refer to the third party in a couple’s threesome, so if you see it mentioned in someone’s profile that they are not a unicorn, don’t approach them.

5. Communicate and set boundaries before and during 

Communication is central to having a positive, fun threesome experience. Be sure everyone is clear on what they are, or are not, comfortable doing. Talk about if any kind of dirty talk is off-limits. Consider implementing a safe word. A red-yellow-green strategy works well for this situation. Green is for “all is good here,” yellow is for “I want to slow down/take a break,” red is for “Stop/I don’t like this/I’m uncomfortable with this.” Alternatively, or in addition to using a safe work, continue to check in with each other by asking how everyone is doing. Make sure everyone knows they can pause or fully stop at any point.  

6. Expect some road bumps 

Things rarely go as perfectly as the choreographed fantasies in our heads. We can do our best to communicate and be upfront and authentic about our intentions and our feelings, but sometimes conflict or disharmony can creep up on us and disrupt the experience. We cannot control other people’s actions or emotions. It’s important to remember this going in, and make sure you’re prepared mentally for potential conflict or fallout. Be ready to communicate through any issues that might arise so you can all work through the experience together. 

7. Be a good host and make your threesome partners comfortable

If you’re the host, try your best to make your place feel inviting. Invite them over for a light dinner or dessert and drinks. Throw on some nice music, hang out and get to know each other for a bit, maybe play a game, or use some type of sexy icebreaker. Be flirtatious, but not aggressive. Let the situation escalate at an organic pace. 

8. Prioritize everyone’s pleasure

There are so many things you can explore in a threesome. “One person can watch, masturbate, and voice encouragement while the other two explore each other, two people can focus on pleasing the other,” says Queen. The priority should be making sure everyone is involved in the way that they want to be involved. “It can be especially fun to explore things that you can’t normally experience during two-partner sex, such as receiving oral and penetrative sex at the same time,” Queen adds.

9. Try some fun positions

The positions you can try depend on what genitals and toys you and your partners are working with — and which ones you’re comfortable using.

One option is double riding. This is where one partner with a penis or strap-on, lays flat on their back while the second partner straddles their face. The third partner rides the penis or strap-on. The second and third partners are facing each other in this position so they can engage in kissing and other fondling. 

Another position for all involved is having one partner on their back with their butt at the end of the bed. One partner can ride their face, while another partner with a penis or strap-on penetrates the partner laying down while standing on the floor at the edge of the bed. The riding partner and penetrating partner can be facing each other and interacting as well. 

There are many more options to explore, but make sure to communicate with your threesome partners and keep the balance.

10. Have a post-threesome check-in

Checking in afterward is a good practice for any time you have sex, especially when it’s something especially vulnerable like a first-time threesome. Take the time to chat with each other afterward. Brew some tea, have a snack, cuddle in bed. You can gush over how good it was, ask how everyone is feeling, what they really liked, etc. Plus, if you want to continue to hook up with this person/couple it’s good to nurture the sexual relationship in this way. For couples, be respectful and avoid hashing out any relationship issues in front of your third.

The bottom line

Threesomes can be an exciting, thrilling sex act to cross off the bucket list. Just be sure to incorporate lots of communication, and check-ins with yourself and partners throughout. With the right preparation, your threesome experience will be a positive one to remember.

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Jamie J. LeClaire (they/them) is a sexuality educator, freelance writer, and consultant. Their work focuses on the intersections of pleasure-positive sexual health, queer & transgender/gender-nonconforming identity, body politics, and social justice. You can find more of their work at their website, and follow them on Instagram & Twitter.

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