Can Polyamory Save A Relationship (and Other Conundrums)?


Can Polyamory Save A Relationship (and Other Conundrums)?.

via Can Polyamory Save A Relationship (and Other Conundrums)?.

An excellent article for those who are interested threesomes in a long-term polyamorous relationship or learning more about it.

We All Follow a Different Path


Fendi06

Intro

After reading this article I began thinking. At first it confirmed a lot, what I believed, about the route to a threesomes. However, the more I thought about it I began realising there is another step before starting the journey of having a threesome and it is the journey to arrive at having a threesome. As I thought about it, I realized two important points. First point, I believe, there are common drivers that brings a couple or individual to have a threesome. Second point, I believe, the rate each person progresses from having thinking about the idea to actually having one is different. Then as I began writing this article, I realised, the length of the journey each is influenced by their driving influence for the journey. In this article I will explore each of these points.

Journey’s First Steps

Intro

Each journey begins with a reason to start. For each couple or individual the reason may appear unique to them; however, I believe, there are some common reasons that I will explore in this section. Each section contains a description of the length of journey. This refers to how long the interest in having a threesome lasts once the first threesome occurs and this means it does not mean how long it takes from initial discussion to have a threesome.

Journey Reasons

Different / Curiosity (Journey length: short)

Curiosity is a good driver for a journey but it is not always a solid guide. Sometimes friends share their threesome experience, we read about a threesome experience that gets us aroused, or the idea intrigues us. Regardless of the reason, we are all intrigued by things that things that spark our interest that make us want to explore and with threesomes getting more positive media attention, it is no wonder more interest is sparked. However, having an interest does not mean you have a map and it may mean driving in the dark. This can lead to unnecessary detours, collisions, and wrong-turns along the way. For some they may get lost along away and others may lose interest, especially if they do not have clear directions or some other reason to continue on their journey. At least for me I see a couple / individual under this heading as having it on their bucket list of to do and unless there is a strong interest to continue, once the novelty wears off then it is likely the couple / individual will stop having a threesome.

Meets a need (Journey length: can be either short or long)

For this article I am not going to get into the discussion if humans are meant to be monogamous. Instead this means, everyone of us has a need and sometime having a threesome can meet that need. In this situation, I am not talking about using a threesome to prevent cheating or using a threesome to fix something in the relationship. .Need, in this context, means a sexual need that one person cannot fulfil. Such situations can include a busy individual who does not have time for a relationship due to commitments, someone who has had previous open relationships, or someone who is in relationship that is either bisexual or gay. This means having a threesome has some function in the relationship in order to maintain it and to allow it to grow.

Organic Growth / Relationship Development (Journey length: can be short or long)

This is different than curiosity in the sense that curiosity has an element of randomness, impulsivity, and uncertainty. Whereas organic growth implies a threesome that comes about due to the relationship developing and it being the next step in the relationship. Normally, I feel, this tends to be seen in couples that have been around a while and have been building up to this point through their exploration together.

Pressure / Coercion / Manipulation (Couples only – Journey length: typically short)

Generally speaking a threesome should only happen, this author believes, where there is an equal distribution of power in the relationship and the relationship is stable. Under this heading the threesome journey comes about due to balance in the relationship favouring one person over another to the point where they can exert influence to produce the result that they want. Usually these threesomes tend to be short term due to problems in the relationship.

Misunderstanding / Fallacy (Journey length: typically short)

This is a catch-all category for those who believe that by having a threesome it will solve a problem, such as lack of interest, or it is a quick way to get ‘laid.’ In this situation the individual or couple will approach the threesome based on that fallacy only to discover it is not the panacea that they were expecting.

Impulsivity (Journey length: typically short)

This is another catch-all category for decision made while drunk, high, or made on the spur of the moment. Impulsivity happens when a decision to have a threesome is made very quickly, without allot of information, and it can be a risky situation.

Infidelity (Couples only – Journey length short or long)

After an act of infidelity occurs sometimes a couple will choose to have a threesome. The reason for wanting a threesome may be the result, after some healing, a realization a need was not being met, the idea of their partner being with someone else is arousing to them, or it could a way of healing by coming to terms with what happened.

Speed

Intro

This section may be a bit misleading since it refers to the route that is taken in having a threesome rather than the time it takes from initial to discussion to actually having the threesome.

Baby Steps

Baby steps refers to talking small calculated steps in having a threesome. A route could be discussion > role playing > soft-swinging > threesome. It may be taken by couple / individual that needs to get comfortable with the idea and takes gradual step in order to reach their goal of having a threesome.

Discussion

A lot of discussions about the subject occurs before any definitive steps are taken.

‘Diving into the Deep End’

Very little discussion occurs before the threesome happens.

Study on long-term gay open relationships


English: DIGNITY & RESPECT (2001) is a U.S. Ar...

The links take you to a study, on ejhs.org  and felt some of my followers might enjoy reading it. The study examines gay males in long-term open relationships. While some may feel because it relates to gay males it has no value to heterosexual couples or lesbian couples in an open relationship. In my opinion, it can provide some insight and  regarding how an open relationship operates, maintains itself, and evolves over time. However the one minor issue with the study is alluding all forms of threesomes are a form of an open relationship. From reading the study it is difficult to know how the researchers define open relationship. It is this author’s opinion, if couple has threesome and does not have their own separate experience then the relationship is not open.

This is a small study with 86 couples. With any study relating to sex there are some limitations and biases to the study. Since this study involves interviews instead of being a controlled study or a study were couples are observed it means there are other possible reasons for the results.  Some reasons could be wanting to please the interviewer by giving answers they believe they wanted, being guarded about revealing too much information, and giving socially acceptable answer. Plus research ethical requirements can place limitations on studies of this type due to potential damage and the private nature of sex. Finally the researchers note the sample being primarily middle-age white males and the authors note the encountered reluctance to participate. This can skew the results and limit the study’s ability to be generalized.

Nonetheless, I feel this study may provide insight in how open relationships evolve and operate in a relationship, regardless if it heterosexual or homosexual. Some interesting findings I feel that are worth considering and may be applicable to other couples include, though not limited to:

  • 42% of couples surveyed were initially monogamous
  • 6% moved away from being open and towards monogamy
  • 58% made the decision to open up their relationship between 1 – 24 years into relationship with 24% being in the relationship more than 7 years before agreeing to open up their relationship. The average time being 6.6 years
  • Couples find their own road-map in to non-monogamy
  • 56% of couples chose to play together & separately
  • Couples that ‘share’ non-monogamy together (e.g. threesomes) evolved into having their own experiences
  • Communication being essential

This author may follow-up with a further analysis regarding this study and talk about it applicability to other couples. However this article this study seems to suggest that about 50% of those in long-term relationships practice involving their partner in at least some of their sexual experiences with someone else. Such a result is quite interesting since it suggests for a open relationship to survive, for many couples, involving their significant other in some experiences is necessary. It raises the question why does it occur? Is a trust issue or it is a boding / sharing issue? Also this study suggests that there is not specific stages a relationship goes through as it evolves into an open relationship. Instead it seems to suggest the each couple finds their own way in having an open relationship. Finally this study seems to reinforce the need for communication in order to maintain the relationship.

If you have read the study what are your thoughts?

Defining threesome, swinging, and open relationship


The Purple Mobius symbol for Polyamory, non-mo...

Does having a threesome mean the relationship is an open relationship?

Introduction

Threesomes, swinging, and open relationships are terms that are used interchangeably but each term has a specific meaning. Without understanding the meaning of each term it leads to confusion and misunderstanding.

Threesome

We all know threesome is a broad term meaning three people having sex together and it is used to cover a variety of situations. What many people do not realize is the term implies an encounter whereby the couple remains emotionally monogamous to each other but brings in a third person in order to enhance their sexual enjoyment of each other.  This means the term is used ind describing a couple that occasionally participates in the activity and for the most part, has a close relationship.

Swinging

Swinging is a term, this author feels, is over-used and it has almost become meaningless. The term dates back WWII and it described the practice of fighter pilots who shared their wives due to the high mortality rate but the practice itself dates back to biblical times.

Today, swinging implies a lifestyle choice. This means a couple that participates in having threesomes does so on a regular basis and the practice has become a part of their life. This means the difference between the term swinging and threesome implies the degree to which the practice is a part of the couple’s life.

Open Relationship

An open relationship can take on many forms, such as cuckolding / cuckqueaning, menage da trios, friends with benefits, or polyamory. The defining feature of an open relationship versus a threesome or swinging is the couple, in an open relationship, forms a secondary sexual relationship with someone outside of their primary relationship. This means each individual in the relationship, can choose, to have a relationship with someone else.  It also means the difference between an open relationship, swinging and a threesome is in an open relationship emotional monogamy is lost.

Defining the difference

This brings up the question, is all swinging and threesomes an open relationship? In this author’s opinion the answer is no. First in a swinging or threesome situation the activity is done together in an effort to maintain emotional monogamy. Second, an open relationship tends to involve relationship formation whereas the others focus on sexual enjoyment instead of forming a relationship. Such a difference means there is a different relationship dynamic at play.

Next, it brings up the question what about a couple that swings or has a threesome but one of the plays alone on occasion. The answer comes down to the reason for playing alone and the frequency. If it is something that is done on a rare occasion and it done for heightening sexual enjoyment then the answer would be it is not an open relationship.

Finally is it possible to have an open relationship while maintaining some form of monogamy? This author believes cuckolding / cuckqueaning is an example where the submissive member remains monogamous and receives sexual enjoyment from their partner’s sexual encounter. The other example is a friend with benefits. A friend with benefits relationship implies there is no monogamy and it is a choice.  This means the friends can, if they are not already in a relationship with someone else, choose to remain monogamous to each other.

Conclusion

The terms threesome, swinging, and open relationship describe a relationship based on the frequency of group sex and the extent to which the couple remains emotionally monogamous to each other. Even though each term describes these characteristics, it still means there is some interpretation that must occur. Hopefully by discussing these terms in more detail it will help the reader understand the differences between them.

Having an uncomplicated threesome


 

Painting by Édouard-Henri Avril: two men and a...

Introduction

Couples are repeatedly told feelings have no place in a threesome where the goal of the encounter is not a long-term relationship (e.g. cuckolding, menage da trios, or polyamory. At first the advice sounds practical, and realistic. However after reflecting more the realization sex and feelings are interlinked is apparent.  This realization makes planning a threesome difficult for those who want to minimize any emotional involvement with the invited third person. In many ways it is similar to a ‘friend with benefits’ relationship. So, how do you have a threesome or a soft-swinging experience without becoming emotionally attached to the third person?

Basics

For starters having a threesome is counterintuitive for most people that require unlearning or modifying some of the ‘rules’ regarding sex. There are some who will say this is easier for men since men can keep emotions from sex but it is not as easy for women to do. However, when it comes to a threesome both men and women are equally prone to the influence of feelings after having a threesome.  A part of this has to do with sex being and intimate experience that creates a temporary bond with the third person and women, generally speaking look for form relationships. This means men tend to look to sex as an act whereas a women look to sex as a way of forming a relationship. In any event, learning how to keep manage feelings after a threesome is crucial if the object is to minimize emotional attachments afterwards.

Bonding

In order for a bond to occur, this author feel, there must be at least a physical attraction and for an attraction to occur there must be some similarity, common interest between three people. The greater the common interests the greater the chance the bond will be strong.

Regarding the threesome, this author feels, the strength of the bond is proportional to the amount of time taken communicating before the threesome occurs and the degree to which all three share common interests.

Strategies – Structural

Strength of Relationship

The starting point of ensuring a threesome does not adversely impact a couple’s relationship is the strength of their relationship. A couple that has a strong relationship, this author feels, has a better chance of a successful threesome than a couple that has a relationship that is struggling. By having a strong relationship, this author feels, a couple can work through any issue that comes up and be more likely not to be influenced by the third person.

Communication with the third person

Having a full threesome or soft-swinging is about sex. This means getting to know the third person is not like dating, it is not about developing a friendship and it is not about knowing their whole life-story. Instead it is getting enough information from the third person to assess their risk to you and to know if there is enough of an attraction to have a threesome. This means communicating with the third person is more detached, in order to protect the couple from becoming emotionally involved with the third person.  Without such an approach, this author feels, the risk of becoming emotionally attached to the third person greatly increases.

Strategies – Boundaries

One Off

One strategy a couple can employ as a part of their boundaries for a threesome is limiting the threesome to a one-time, one-off, with the third person and once the threesome is over then having no further communication with them.

Vacation / Holiday

Another boundary a couple can employ is having their threesome while on holiday/ vacation. This provides the couple a chance to have it and a good chance they will not see the person again thereby limiting any bond with the third person. Again, couple should not maintain communication with the third person after they finish their vacation / holiday.

Distance to travel

Finding someone a significant distance from where you live is another strategy / boundary a couple can employ. Finding someone who is, for example, 50 or 100+ miles away makes it difficult to remain in contact. It also means traveling to them or them traveling to you is an expense and making any meetings less frequent than if they were nearby.

Stranger

A reason for using a stranger instead of a friend, co-worker, or an ex is due to the fact there is not an emotional bond that exists. Choosing a stranger means the ‘relationship’ is new and it can be defined on the basis of the threesome. Then once the threesome is over, the purpose of the ‘relationship’ has been met and it can come to an end. This means from a theoretical perspective choosing a stranger offers the flexibility of developing and maintaining a ‘relationship’ based on the physical enjoyment of sex rather than forming a ‘relationship’ based on feelings.

Third person selection

Instinctively we choose people that are similar to us and share similar interests. Having a threesome means departing from that instinct and focusing on choosing someone based on their fit in the threesome. In this case it means choosing someone who is somewhat dissimilar to us while at the same time choosing someone similar enough where we can have at least a physical attraction to them.  If you were to put this in the context of a dating situation, this author feels, it would be a situation where someone is physically appealing but you do not make an emotional connection due to too much dissimilarity.

Conclusion

Essentially, being able to keep feelings developing for the third person comes down to keeping an emotional distance from them and not developing a friendship with them. This is not as easy as it sounds. However by employing strategies that minimizes bonding and limit the time taken in getting to know the third person, can increase the chance that having that having a threesome without the emotional complications can occur. Likewise, choosing the third person based on physical attraction instead of shared common interests can go a long way in preventing feelings from developing. Keeping feelings out of having a threesome can go a long way in ensuring the couple’s relationship remains intact and provide a low stress environment for the threesome.

 

Threesome Terminology


Peter Fendi, 1835

Accommodating:

At minimum accommodating is arranging a location to have a threesome and typically means providing a place for your threesome guest(s) to spend the night. Normally this is the same bed or guest bedroom if the threesome occurs at a home. If the threesome occurs at a hotel then it means paying for the hotel room.

BDSM:

A consensual sexual practice that involves the use of power and control in order to elicit sexual enjoyment for both involved. The acronym covers multiple types of sexual practices that share a lot of commonality. This means each practice is not mutually exclusive and shares common characteristics with other BDSM practices.

B/D – Bondage / Discipline

This practice involves the use physical restraints, rewards, and ‘punishments’ in order to elicit the desired behavior. It can be as simple as using a pink fuzzy pair of handcuffs or as intricate as training.

Bondage:

Involves the use of restraints such as handcuffs and ties

Discipline:

Used to teach “acceptable behavior”

D/S – Domination / Submission:

Cuckolding tends to fall under this heading in cases where humiliation is a part of activity. Domination / submission can involve the use of disciple or S/M; however the structure is about one individual submitting to the will of the other. In cuckolding an example might be the male wearing penis restraint in order to prevent him from feeling pleasure and his wife having sex with other males, called bulls. In certain circumstances the female withholds sex from her primary partner, sometimes for months, in order raise his sexual enjoyment.

Domination:

It is the one in control and directing the play. In a cuckolding / cuckqueaning situation it is the one who is going out having sex.

Submission / Submissive:

The one who is following and in a cuckolding situation it is the one who is abstaining from sex.

S/M – Sado-machoism:

Use of pain, such as whips, in order to elicit pleasure.

Bi-curious / bi-curious:

Term used to describe an individual who has an interest in same sex activity; however they have limited or no experience.

Bareback:

Sex without a condom

Bi-sexual / bisexual:

An individual who is capable of forming relationship with either gender. However their interest in same-sex activity will vary overtime.

Bull:

A term used to describe the chosen male in a cuckold situation. Typically this term is associated with couples that pursue cuckolding along BDSM lines and the bull is the man, outside of the relationship, that is having sex with woman.

Boundaries:

There are two types of boundaries, relationship and threesome. Relationship boundaries are the boundaries that define how the relationship will handle the threesome (e.g. not to use it against the other / accepting it is a mutual decision). Whereas threesome boundaries define the limits and the structure of the threesome.

Cheating Wife:

Another term for cuckolding.

Couple Cuckolding:

A form of cuckolding whereby the experience is not about domination / humiliation nor involving some form of BDSM. Instead it is a mutual decision whereby, typically the female, has sex with someone else alone on a one time or limited basis. Such an experience is arousing for both and something they can both share.

Cuckolding:

Means the female is the one who is taking the “dominating” role or is the one who is having sex with someone else outside of the relationship. This author believes there are two forms of cuckolding one that involves BDSM in particular Domination / Submission with elements of humiliation and another version that follows more along the lines of an open relationship whereby the male partner remains monogamous.

Cuckqueaning :

Feminine version of cuckolding whereby it is the male who takes on the “dominating” role and this form appears to be less common the cuckolding.

Dogging:

A practice that is common in England, whereby a couple has sex in public, typically in their car or in a secluded area. If there are others in the area they will invite someone to watch them or participate. Normally the areas are not well known and tend to be areas that afford the participants some privacy.

DP:

Sexual position used in a mmf threesome whereby one male penetrates the woman’s vagina while the other penetrates her anally. A less typical form of DP involves both males penetrating the woman’s vagina at the same time.

Emotional Monogamy:

Couple remains emotionally exclusive to each other and will have threesomes together. The focus of the threesome is not forming an emotional relationship with the third person and the focus for the couple is the physical enjoyment of sex. Typically couples who want to remain emotionally monogamous to each other will participate in soft-swinging, full threesome, and cuckolding if it is done for as a one-off situation.

Friend with Benefits:

This activity shares common characteristics with threesomes and has been included in the discussion. Friends with benefits is arguably a secondary open relationship and is defined by the friends being able to enter into other relationships. The friendship and sex being about pleasure are the defining characteristics of the relationship. As long as the friends are able to maintain their friendship without developing an emotional attachment the relationship can continue. However, once feelings begin to develop the friends must decide to either develop the friendship into becoming a committed couple or end it.

Full Threesome / Threesome:

Term used to describe three people of legal age and having capable of giving consent having consensual sex.

Hetroflexible:

Term used to describe someone who is heterosexual but has the ability to have limited sexual encounters with someone of the same gender.

Host:

Person(s) making the arrangements for a threesome

Invited third person:

A person not a part of the relationship that is invited to join a couple for a threesome.

Lifestyle:

A term used to describe a couple or an single person that incorporates some type of group sex (e.g. threesome, wife swapping, orgy, etc) into their sexual repertoire. Essentially the practices becomes a part of their lives.

Ménage da Trios:

Translation means love of threes and it is sometimes incorrectly used to describe threesomes. A ménage da trios threesome involves three people being in a relationship together and it is a variation of a threesome.

Monogamy:

A closed relationship whereby sex only occurs between the couple.

Munches:

An event where people who share similar interests in group sex (e.g. threesomes, foursomes, etc) come together to socialize and make new contacts. It is not meant as a venue for sex, like a swingers club, and is meant as a way to meet people who share similar interests.

Negotiated Infidelity:

Is a term that is interchangeably used to describe threesome, foursome, and any other group sex activity. There are some, including this author, who prefer not to use this term since it implies that any form of group sex activity involves infidelity and implies infidelity is agreeable in the relationship because it is negotiated. This author believes that as long as any group sex activity occurs within the boundaries the couple has agreed then no infidelity has occurred.

Off Premise / Off Premise Club:

A gathering / event where the opportunity to meet people who share similar interests in group sex but no sex at the premise occurs. These take various forms such as munches or regular meetings at the same place.

On Premise /On Premise Club:

A venue where group sex occurs, such as a swingers club.

One-Off:

Term used to describe a threesome that only occurs once with the invited third person

Open Relationship:

There are two parts to an open relationship a primary relationship that involves the couple who agrees to open their relationship and normally takes priority over any secondary relationship. Secondary relationship is a relationship whereby emotional attachment is formed with someone outside of the primary relationship. In addition an open relationship can take two forms whereby one remains monogamous and this is typically seen in a cuckolding situation or where both members of the couple form relationships with people outside of the relationship. In order for an open relationship to work and not destroy the primary relationship, it requires a lot of communication, negotiating, and boundaries.

Physical Monogamy:

Couple who do not have sex with someone outside of their relationship. However, depending on their definition of soft-swinging, soft-swinging maybe practiced while keeping the couple physically monogamous.

Polyamory:

Can take on many forms and involve more than three people. However, when it regards threesomes it involves all three being equals in the relationship.

Primary Relationship:

A married couple or a couple in a committed relationship.

Relationship:

Developing a physical and emotional attachment with another person for the purpose of having a sex that goes beyond having a one off or limited sexual encounter.

Reconnecting:

Process by which a couple reestablish their physical and emotional bonds that they shared prior to the threesome. This does not mean their bonds will be identical prior to the threesome. It does mean the bonds will be reestablished but may be different after the threesome.

Same page:

Having the same understanding. Secondary Relationship: A term used to describe a sexual relationship that is formed outside of the primary relationship.

Slut:

Has three definitions: societal, dictionary, and lifestyle. Society’s definition is used as a derogatory term to mean a woman who is ‘easy.’ The dictionary definition implies a woman who has multiple partners and / or multiple relationships at the same time, akin to a threesome, cuckold, menage de trios, or open relationship. Whereas the lifestyle definition builds on the dictionary definition. It used as an empowering term describing a woman who is not bound by society’s limitation and chooses multiple partner’s at the same time. I have seen it used, on occasion,  to describe a woman who has a threesome but more of the time I have seen it used in the context of a woman who cuckold’s her boyfriend / husband.

Soft-swinging:

A male is invited to interact with the couple but intercourse does not occur with the invited male. This implies if a m-f couples invites a female for a fmf threesome where the male watches soft-swinging is not occurring.

Soft-swap:

Another term for soft-swinging.

Split Roast:

A position used in a two male threesome whereby one male penetrates the female’s vagina while the woman performs oral sex or masturbates the other male.

Submissive:

1) BDSM – it is someone who is willing to submit themselves to the direction of another. Failure to comply with the direction given usually results in some form of punishment. 2) Threesome – Someone who is willing to take direction or is less likely to initiate sex. 3) Cuckolding / Cuckqueaning – the individual who remains monogamous while their partner has sex with someone outside of the relationship. Typically sex is either limited or withheld from the submissive individual in order to increase arousal. Sometimes chastity devices are used in order to prevent the submissive individual from masturbating due to their increased arousal.

Swinging:

A term that is applied to various ‘group sex’ activities, including threesomes and it is a term with various definitions. On this site, swinging means a lifestyle choice in which a couple or a single person seeks out threesomes.

Unicorn:

Single female that is interested in having threesome. The term unicorn is used due to the fact they are rare, like a unicorn.

Voyeur:

Someone who watches other people have sex. Typically this is seen in soft-swinging and fmf situations where the male watches.

Wife swapping / wife sharing:

In the context of a threesome this is typically this is done between two m-f couples whereby the f male of one couple joins the other couple for a threesome and typically the other reciprocates.  The purpose, allows each couple to have a fmf threesome without having to look for the elusive unicorn. Alternatively this is done whereby one male takes on a voyeur role watching his female partner having sex with another couple.