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Threesome Operator's Manual

Always imagined that two girls would be better than one? So has she.


Anna, 23, knew she would have a threesome someday—she just didn’t know when. “I’m
pretty experimental,” she says. “I wanted to fool around with another woman but didn’t know how to go about it. I thought having a guy there would make it easier, because it’d be like putting on a show rather than some intense lesbian experience.”

When, over drinks one night, a female friend described a threesome she’d had, Anna knew she’d found her opportunity. “Late at night we ended up at a guy friend’s place with a small group of people, and she and I started getting touchy-feely on the couch, stroking each other’s hair,” Anna says. “That’s when the guy kicked his buddies out and turned around to find us undressing each other. He joined in, and the three of us were kissing and groping each other like crazy. It was even better than I’d expected.”

For guys a threesome may be the holy grail of sexual encounters, but you aren’t the only ones dying to get another body in the bedroom. Maybe it’s the increasing prevalence of girl-on-girl action in pop culture (see: cheerleaders Brittany and Santana lip-locking on Glee, or Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis’ make-out session in Black Swan). Or maybe more women, like Anna, are starting to make sexual “bucket lists” full of superhot fantasies they plan to tick off one by one. Whatever the reason, girls are more open than ever to the erotic joys of threesomes.

But moving to a three-party system is rarely complication-free. Love triangles—even ones that last only a few hours—can be hotbeds of jealousy, awkwardness, and confusion. That’s why, to pull off a threesome successfully, you have to know the most important rules of three.

The Naughtiest Number
For men the appeal of a threesome is a no-brainer: If two boobs are awesome, the thought of four at once is enough to give your erection an erection. For women the allure might not be so obvious. After all, how many girls would jump at the chance to see their guy pleasuring someone else?

More than you’d think. Surprisingly, some say the idea of helping a guy fulfill his ultimate fantasy is as titillating to them as it is to you. “Whenever we watched porn my boyfriend would comment on the threesomes,” says Jean, 27. “When I finally revealed that it was something I’d be into, I’d never seen a bigger smile on his face.” And it’s not just Jean’s boyfriend who doubles his pleasure when they bring another girl into the bedroom. “I think it’s so hot when another girl and I go down on him at the same time,” she says. “He gets this crazed look in his eye—you can tell it turns him on more than anything else.”

For other women the idea of getting attention from two people at once is its own incentive. Sara, 34, says that the fantasies she got off on the most when masturbating involved having multiple partners at once. She finally decided she had to act on the urge and so, on the advice of a threesome-experienced friend, changed her profile on the dating site OkCupid to “bisexual.”

Soon she was at a couple’s place across town, having a six-hour ménage à trois. “There are so many more things you can do in a threesome than in regular sex,” she says. “The other woman can have sex with the guy while you watch the expressions on her face—and then he can become the spectator while you go down on her, until he’s so turned on he’s ready to go again. My first one was so hot I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to go back to one-on-one sex afterward.”

There’s even a chance that women are better equipped to enjoy threesomes than men, biologically speaking, according to Deborah Anapol, Ph.D., author of Polyamory in the 21st Century: “Women are great multitaskers, excellent communicators, and have a ton of sexual endurance”—the combination of which, she says, adds up to sexual dynamite when a third partner joins the action.

Three’s a Crowd
Of course, a ménage à trois can come with its fair share of complications. Arguably the most lethal enemy of the threesome is jealousy—a natural risk whenever three people get together, especially if two of them are partners in a committed relationship. 

“The first time I heard my boyfriend tell another woman how hot she was—while having sex with her—I was pretty upset,” says Sonya, 25. “I came up behind him and started kissing his neck to physically insert myself into the action. We talked about it afterward, and now we have a special tap that I’ll do if I don’t like the way things are going. That way the third person doesn’t even notice.”

Lauren, 27, put her foot down when her husband asked if they could have sex with one of his exes. “She was still hung up on him, and it was important to me that there be no emotional attachment,” she says. Still, Lauren preferred to experiment with friends—despite how sticky that could become—since it seemed safer than picking someone up at a bar. Eventually, the plan backfired. “Even though my husband and I were clear with this one woman and said we just wanted to have fun, it was challenging because we saw her a lot,” she says. “She began pursuing a more serious relationship with us, calling all the time and even showing up outside our house at strange hours. It got so bad we had to get a restraining order.”

At least Lauren and her husband were united in the experience. Worst-case scenario, a threesome can tear a couple apart. “At my boyfriend’s suggestion, we started hooking up regularly with one of his coworkers,” says Mary, 30, “and she’d often come over to spend time with us outside of the sex. Then, just after we moved into a new place and signed a lease, he broke up with me. I didn’t realize why until our threesome buddy moved in a few weeks later. Now they’re engaged. I will not be inviting a third person into my next relationship.”

Give It a Tri
So how can you pursue a threesome while avoiding the messy side effects? First off, according to Jean, it’s essential to gauge her interest in a casual way. “When my boyfriend wanted to see if
I was up for a threesome, he mentioned that he’d done it with a past girlfriend—and then let it go,” says Jean. “He never pressured me; he just planted the seed. That made me want to do it even more.” Bringing it up constantly will only make you look obsessed—which will make her think you’re desperate to sleep with someone new. And even if that’s true, it’s not going to get you what you want.

If you haven’t had any previous experience you can mention, Anapol recommends a casual remark about a movie or TV scene, along the lines of: “I didn’t realize there was a threesome
scene on Gossip Girl. I definitely would have watched with you if I’d known that.”
Once you’ve started a dialogue, you’ll know whether she’s open to the idea. But even if she is, your work isn’t done. To avoid hurt feelings or an encounter derailed by miscommunication, it’s essential to set ground rules—who can do what with whom—before any clothes come off. “Everyone should be clear about what’s cool and what’s off-limits,” Sara says. “I hook up with this one couple regularly, and once the guy had full sex with me while the girl stepped out of the room. I assumed she’d be OK with it, but when I mentioned it later, she was shocked—and pretty upset.”

Anapol recommends that all three people sit down first and agree what they want from the experience. “What are their boundaries?” she says. “Is there anything they definitely don’t want to do, anything they’re worried about?” Sure, it might be a buzz-kill if your girlfriend says you can’t have sex with the other woman. But it’s probably less of a buzz-kill than watching her storm out of the room crying mid-ménage. The bottom line: Agreeing to play by her rules will make her feel comfortable and erase any lingering doubts she might have. And maybe the next time she’ll make all your dreams come true.