What do you think of when you hear the words, planning a threesome? It can invoke an image of an erotic experience being deprived of the emotional complications that come from being in a relationship. A threesome, at it simplest element, physical enjoyment. For others the image of threesome planning may invoke a feeling it is for anal-retentive couples who have to plan every detail of their lives and planning a threesome is waste of time because it detracts from the excitement of having a threesome. Whatever image it conjures for you, planning a threesome should not be seen as a negative event. Instead it should be seen as an activity that is shared together bringing the relationship closer together. It should also be seen as a way to help the relationship relationship survive by mitigating the risk a threesome can bring to the relationship.
Defining Planning & Overview of this opinion piece
In order to prevent confusion regarding what is mean by planning a threesome, in this article planning a threesome means examining the idea of having a threesome from various angles in order to reach an agreement, understanding what is going to happen, finding a way to work through any unresolved issues and to cover any issue that may get overlooked. Essentially, planning a threesome is the process brings together any concern, highlights any expectation and outputs a plan to ensure that each person’s interest is addressed. Also it is the map of the journey in having a threesome and how to get there. Therefore, while there is no one way to examine the issue of planning threesome, this article will provide an opinion of a way addressing it by examining a few of the core elements this author feels that needs to be included. Finally it should be noted, this article is not meant to be an exhaustive treatise on the subject and is only meant to provide a rudimentary template for couples to adapt to their situation.
The Basics & Assumptions
By now the initial discussion has happened and there is, at some level, an agreement to explore how a potential threesome might operate. At this stage in this journey, there may be a flurry of emotion ranging from panic due to not knowing what to expect to excitement of seeing your partner having sex with someone else or excitement arising from being able to have sex with someone else. Nonetheless, tempering excitement occurs because the uncertainty that a threesome brings and the beginning realization that if the threesome turns bad then the relationship may end. Such a realization produces mixed feelings and uncertainty, in which taking some time to plan could possibly resolve.
To begin with, before embarking on this activity the couple needs to make their decision based on the right reasons and this will be discussed more in a few moments, see Example #3. Planning a threesome in a very broad sense is an agreement that dictates how the threesome will operate, how the third person will be selected, and how potential issues will be addressed. It draws on each others limitations, each others expectations, each others concerns, each others desires and fuses them into a plan. Essentially, it provides a framework that the couple can use and it can provide a sense of security since it defines the limits. Second, the plan is something that is adaptable, meaning the plan is flexible so that it can change as more information becomes available. Third, the plan cannot be vague and it needs to have some detail to it. Level of detail needs to be at a level that there is no confusion about what has been agreed. Without having some detail to the plan the risk increases that a misunderstanding will occur. Fourth, it needs to cover the essential aspects of the threesome, the aspects of having a threesome that would create problems if it was not clarified. Finally any plan must have participants who freely choose to participate without coercion, pressure, or manipulation. It also means that the couple has taken time to consider the risks, included in their plan ways to address the risks, and are nonetheless willing to take them.
360 ° Overview of Planning a Threesome
1) Fantasy versus Reality and knowing the difference
Planning a threesome in many ways is like being a child in a toy store, there are so many options and decisions to make that it can be overwhelming. At the start of the threesome journey many possibilities can be envisioned with many possible routes there is pressure to do as many possible. By planning the threesome it helps to map-out the route to be taken and what will be selected from the many shelves in the store. This will help the couple manage their expectations and help them have more realistic expectations about the threesome. Below are four examples of how this topic can influence planning a threesome.
Example # 1: One example is the desire to perform DP on the female half of the couple. From a logistical standpoint DP can be very difficult to do and for males it can call into question their sexuality. For a couple just starting out not knowing their limits doing DP might not be the best choice and it may be something that requires a level of trust that needs to be built with the third person in order to allow it to happen. This is example demonstrates DP might be a better choice if the couple decides to return to the store.
Example #2: A couple may have a porn movie image of a threesome whereby it happens naturally and it is a completely erotic experience whereby guys have permanent erection that can hold off hours before they cum and women get instantly aroused when they see more than one erect “cock”. If this is the image a couple has then their question should be, how realistic is it? This example demonstrates the need to do some research on the subject. By researching the subject it can remove some of the misheld beliefs about threesomes and set realistic expectations about having one.
Example #3: Reasons for having a threesome – Is it the right reason?
While writing this piece where to place was a big struggle for me and ultimately I decided to place here. My reason for placing it here with a title is because this topic falls under the definition of fantasy versus reality. In this sense the fantasy of having a threesome is rooted in the magical thinking that having a threesome is a panacea for all problems in a relationship while ignoring the problems that it can create for a relationship. Furthermore it challenges those planning a threesome to think about the reason for wanting to have a threesome before embarking on the journey to plan the threesome and while planning their threesome each individual should ask them what the reason for wanting to have a threesome is? If the reason is to prevent cheating, add spice to the relationship, feeling pressure to have one, to fix a troubled relationship, wanting to have one because it is a quick way to get “laid, it looks fun in the movies, or being coerced into having one then this author feels the reason to have a threesome may be wrong due to the reason for wanting to have a threesome is based more in fantasy thinking than the realities of having a threesome.
Example #4: Boundaries are not needed and told my partner they can do anything they want in the threesome because I want them to be able to experience a threesome without restrictions:
In this author’s opinion this belief is reminiscent of humanistic ideas like unconditional love. Granted in most cases a parent’s love is unconditional. Nonetheless what happens if the child announces they are gay or is arrested for selling drugs because they are a part of a gang. For some parents there is a limit, even temporary, to their unconditional love. Likewise when it comes to planning a threesome there needs to be some discussion, especially if you are starting out. To say there are no boundaries says, in this author’s opinion, that having a threesome takes priority quite magical thinking for someone starting out and it demonstrates the lack of understanding of what is involved in a threesome. It ignores that everyone has a limit and this author feels it demonstrates that there is a lack of communication that exists with the couple.
2) What will a threesome mean for the relationship?
For a couple wanting to have a threesome, maintaining the relationship after the threesome happens and minimizing the negative impact of the threesome is necessary to preserve their relationship. This means asking the above question will help a couple begin to identify areas that they need to examine and it is a question that needs to be asked regularly, as they plan their threesome. By asking this question on a regular basis and asking it as it relates to each part of their plan it can to help identify those areas that may cause problems if not addressed in more detail. Plus by asking this question it will help ensure that both continue wanting to have a threesome and that both are willing to undertake the risk, thereby helping to ensure that this is a mutual decision.
Talking about boundaries for some can be depressing because it means the discussion will slow down the pace in having a threesome and it acknowledges that a threesome can adversely impact a relationship. Starting point for the discussion of boundaries lies in the recognition that having a threesome is a mutual decision in which all share an equal responsibility for it happening. This means that each person is responsible for their decisions, they are responsible for what happens to them, and they are responsible for their feelings.
Also, it is important to remember that boundaries act as a safety net by defining the limits of the threesome, address concerns in order to allow a threesome to happen, and even though there may be some implied boundaries, such as ‘no means no,’ boundaries for the most part boundaries are unique to the couple. Moreover, it is important to remember that agreeing to boundaries is only ½ of the process the other half involves stating your boundaries to the third person. In a two male threesome the invited male can share their expectations / boundaries but with the couple having a plethora choices for potential male invites, if he gets to be too pushy then the couple can easily choose someone else. Unfortunately when it comes to a two woman situation the couple needs to be open about negotiating their boundaries if they want to make it happen and if they do not then they may find that they have a long search. This does not mean that a couple should give up a “must have” boundary for a two female threesome but instead it means they need to understand the less they are willing to negotiate on boundaries then the longer it may take them.
4) Activities in a threesome
Determining what activities can occur in a threesome sounds a lot like planning a trip to a distant exotic country where there is a lot do and experience. When planning an exotic trip some of the excitement becomes tempered when confronted with issues like cost, time, and distance to travel. Like planning a trip to an exotic country, the tempering of the excitement for a threesome occurs when discussing what can occur in a threesome and realizing there are competing demands such as personal comfort limits. This means in order for threesome to work individuals needs to be in tune with their limits, be able to discuss them openly, and being willing to listen to other people’s limits thereby being able to reach a compromise that works for all.
With that said, the best advice for couples that are just beginning exploring threesomes is to keep it simple, do not trying anything too extreme their first time, and stay within their comfort limits. After having a few threesomes a couple will get beyond the thrill of having one and begin to understand where their limits currently exist. If they push their limits too much the individual may find that they are left feeling bad about the experience or may burnout too quickly. For couples who are want to progress slowly or not 100% sure that having a full threesome is for them then they may want to consider a “soft-swing” situation where the invited person participates but no intercourse happens between the couple and the invited third person. By considering soft-swinging it will allow the couple to progress slowly and discover where their limits lie.
5) Selecting a third person
This has been covered to some extent in a previous article and the same information will not be repeated here. Nonetheless, it is important that the couple begins discussing the type of person that they want to invite and understand, a bit, of the reasoning for it. Talking about the type of person to invite and agreeing to the broad characteristics that the person needs will serve as a template from which the couple will make their decision and it will serve as a boundary from which they will not exceed. Without including the discussion of what type of person to invite it leaves open the possibility that the wrong person may be selected and by talking about the type of person to invite it reduces the chance that the wrong decisions regarding selection will be made.
6) Safe word or Signals
Safe word means a word that they couple recognizes but the selected third person does not recognize. Unlike the term safe word when used in a BDSM context to mean a word that cannot be confused with the scene that brings the action to a stop without question or retribution due to a level discomfort. In this situation, a safe word is a word where the couple knows the meaning and the meaning is meant to be a signal. Likewise, instead of using a word to signal something the couple could opt to use a gesture or a behavior to serve the same purpose. The signal could be approval, disapproval, or anything else the couple feels as though they need to communicate to each other. Problem here is if too many words are being used, complex signals, or too many signs then it can create confusion. Therefore it is best to have a very limited number of words or signals.
7) To accommodate or travel?
The idea of accommodating someone or traveling to have a threesome can invoke different feelings. It can seem natural for some as an extension of being social in order to have a threesome and for others it can invoke a strong reaction of saying ‘no.’ Furthermore, for couples that live in rural areas or are struggling to find a third person to invite this maybe the only solution, other than waiting longer to find someone. Accommodating takes on different meaning for different people and each couple has their own feeling on this subject. In this article, accommodating means having the invited individual spend the night with the couple at their request at either their home or staying in the same hotel room. Whereas traveling refers to traveling a significant distance, greater than 50 miles in order to meet.
The starting point for consideration this author feels is examining the distance traveled to meet, the time expected for the threesome to end, and time demands on all participants immediately after the threesome. Consider such issues include does one of them have to work shortly after the threesome. Will there be guests or children coming to visit? What time the threesome might end or did end?
Another point to consider is what space is available and where they would stay. A logical conclusion would be that they would stay in the bed with the couple. However, the couple may want time afterward to connect, reinforce the idea that they are a couple or that they want to keep an emotional distance from the invited third person. In such a case then having them stay in the bed afterwards is not a good idea. This brings up the idea of having them stay in another bedroom, hotel room, or if sharing a hotel room then having them sleep in a separate bed. Final point would be other ancillary issues like how long would they stay, how would it be signaled that it was time for them to leave, and what items would be available for them to use.
Finally, at least from this author’s perspective accommodating should not occur especially if the invited third person lives either in the same town or within a short-distance, such as 50 miles. Regarding traveling, traveling needs to be done by the invited person unless the distance is great or they do not drive. In a situation where there is a large distance between the couple and the third person then finding somewhere about halfway that is agreeable to both should occur. Additionally this author feels that accommodating is something that should not necessarily be done by couples just starting out because it can pose some issues for them, such as developing feelings for the invited third person.
In a previous article this author addressed the topic of risk and will not restate it. Instead this section will briefly discuss how risk and boundaries relate. It goes without saying that having a threesome, regardless of how well it is planned out or how stable a couple’s relationship is, will undertake some type of risk. This risk can be pregnancy, risk to safety, risk of STD / STI, or risk to their relationship to name a few. Since each couple and each threesome is different it is impossible to develop a universal set of risks for a threesome and how to address them. Instead each couple needs to communicate what they feel are the risks, how they can be address and how they can be either eliminated or significantly reduced. From those discussions the couple can have a plan on how to deal with risks that come up and how to address risk as they happen. This type of communication will underpin and shape how the boundaries develop. Without taking time to discuss risk and understand the type of risks that will be faced leaves, this author feels, the couple vulnerable due to a large area this is missing from the discussion.
9) Writing down the plan or remember it?
Granted the idea of writing down the plan for a threesome, outstanding issues, and points that need to be followed up reads as though the last few pieces of enjoying a threesome is being sucked out. However writing it down helps to avoid confusion, ensures that outstanding points gets addressed and everyone can remember what has been discussed. At least from this author’s perspective writing down the plan and making notes about what has been discussed will help to ensure that everyone is “on the same page” regarding the threesome.
The environment of where a threesome happens is something that can easily get overlooked and where the threesome occurs can have a big impact on its enjoyment. Without having an area where you can have it without being distracted, without being interrupted, and being a place where you feel secure, it will mean that the threesome is not as enjoyable as you expected. For a couple with children it means that any threesome should not happen in the home when they are there. Beyond the potential safety issue and potential awkwardness it may create for you should your child begin to ask questions, the other issue is that children can become a distraction especially if they are desiring your attention while the third person is present for the threesome.
Along with the logistical concerns other facts such as lighting, color, comfort, and the mood that the room sets all can play a factor. This means taking time to consider issues like temperature and how the room makes you feel. Another consideration is where it will be happening. This means taking into consideration what is being planned, the size of the area, the size of the bed(s), and any other features that may need to be considered. The area has to be large enough to allow three people to change, interact, clean-up, and have a bit of personal space. Also it means the area has to be large enough so that everyone is not fumbling over the others.
12) Emotional Monogamy / Physical Monogamy
In essence this relates to the type of threesome being planned and the extent to which the couple wants to remain monogamous to each other. Emotional monogamy relates to the level of emotional involvement with the third person or simply put the extent to which a long-lasting deep emotional relationship is formed them them. This is akin to an open relationship or polyamory. Whereas is Physical Monogamy involves the level of physical involvement with the the third person in the threesome.
Debriefing is simply talking through the experience in order to work through any issues, to address any concerns, review the plan, make any changes, and decide the next step for the couple. Essentially debriefing is the final step in which the couple try to resolve any issues that may have come up, decide what worked, and decide what their next step will be. It is important, this author feels, that debriefing happens right after the threesome ends and as a part of the plan the couple needs to consider how close to the ending of the threesome this will occur.
12) Miscellaneous Topics
If you have made it this far, we are almost done with this subject but there are a few loose ends that need to be tied together. One loose end is the question, how long do you need to plan? Each couple is different with different needs, different concerns, and varying levels of familiarity with each other. Planning can be fairly quick if there is broad agreement and the only thing that is needed is clarifying a few points. However if each person has a different idea about how the threesome will look then it may take some time before a common understanding that leads to agreement will occur.
Second loose end is how often does this plan need to be reviewed? Again it depends on the couple and the level of detail. At a minimum there should be three points. One point is before discussing the plan, whereby each individual states their preference. Then work out the plan keep track of what has been agreed and before the threesome happens taking the plan out to go through it in order to see if it is workable based on what has been discussed. Third point would be after having a threesome then reviewing to see what worked and what needs to be improved.
Third loose end regards the level of detail that is needed. Detail helps to minimize any misunderstanding and cuts down on possible confusion. However it is possible to get too fixated on the details where the plan becomes unmanageable and difficult to understand. Therefore there has to be a balance between detail and simplicity.
Fourth before looking for a third person does the plan need to be completed? Answer is ‘no’ but a framework should be in place. At a minimum some boundaries and the type of person to choose should be agreed before any searching happens. Plus as things become more certain then the plan can be modified to reflect any changes.
Fifth is there anytime when the plan should not be changed? This author feels the closer you get meeting the third person for a threesome the plan should not be changed unless it relates to safety or a risk that could have a negative impact. Reason for stating this is because emotions, not logic, may begin to influence decisions and the wrong decision may be made. However if there is a safety issue or a risk was identified that could cause problems if it did happen then that should not stop the change from being made. If it does not relate to risk or safety then in most cases it should be left until debriefing to discuss.
Sixth how do you plan for safety? Having a detailed discussion is beyond the scope of this document. Safety, from a threesome perspective, covers at least three areas: personal / emotional, environment, and sexual health. The key is to examine your plan and think about the issues of regarding safety. This could be creating an online alias, insisting on safe-sex, and not giving out contact details until you are confident that a meeting will take place. Also it could be developing a safe-word to let your partner know that you are not comfortable, letting someone know you are going to be out for the evening, or not having sex on your first meet with someone new.
Conclusion & Putting Plan into Action
Planning for a threesome means examining the planned threesome from all possible angles to determine its strengths, it weaknesses, and how to address the needs of those involved. By having, a plan that can be easily adapted to any change will help make a threesome successful. In addition, it means having a plan that is easy to understand will minimize any possible confusion about the plan for the threesome. This means a workable plan will provide a framework for the threesome and help everyone understand the expectations. Nonetheless it will not eliminate all risk of having a threesome nor will it guarantee that there will not be any problems. However it will go a long way to help to protect the relationship and help minimize any problems that may happen. Without a plan that will guide the couple on their journey it will leave them in the dark about each others needs and concerns thereby increasing the chance for misunderstanding. Therefore, a plan can be said is a way for the couple to ensure their needs are met and minimize the chance that it will be misunderstood.