So you’re going to have a threesome. Maybe it’s the first time, maybe it’s the thousandth. Maybe the last attempt didn’t go as smoothly as you wanted. Maybe you and your partner just want to make sure no one’s toes get stepped on this time. Whatever the scenario: We’re here for you.
Threesome might actually be more common than you think: In a 2016 survey of 274 heterosexual people ages 18 to 24, 24 percent of men and 8 percent of women reported previous threesome experience, while 82 percent of guys and 31 percent of women said that they’d be into exploring the possibility. Which is to say, there’s definitely interest out there in a good ol’ ménage à trois.
But interest alone does not a successful threesome make: Speaking with eight people who’d involved themselves in threeways, Women’s Health found that most participants walked away from their encounters feeling satisfied and happy, but some viewed the enterprise as confusing, weird, and relationship-complicating. And certainly, maneuvering with all those limbs in play can get a little awkward. So how do you keep things hot?
“One thing in threeways you want to remember is that these roles of giving and receiving can change and change and change and change,” Dossie Easton, L.M.F.T., a psychotherapist, relationship counselor, and author, tells Women’s Health. “If you are doing more giving at this time, you can be doing more receiving later, but there’s no limit to how much time you spend. We’re not in a hurry here, we’re not being efficiency experts. This is about pleasure.”
“The important thing is how do people feel, and what feels good, what feels comfortable to people, what feels inclusive, how do people feel confident giving,” she added. To that end, communication is key. Try the yes, no, maybe exercise: As a group, list out all the sex acts you can think of, then individually make lists of things you like, things you don’t, and things you’d maybe try under specific conditions. Tell your partners what makes you orgasm, and ask them what their bodies like best. Make sure everyone is included throughout the session, and give your partners feedback, Easton says. In a threeway, the lines of communication should be open before, during, and after.
And in the process of figuring out what people will consent to, it might help to familiarize yourselves with a few basic moves going into the act, with an eye toward keeping movement fluid. But once you get started, talk to one another as you move along, and positions will flow more naturally from one to the next.
PENETRATION + STIMULATION
In a male-male-female (MMF) or female-female-male (FFM) arrangement, one person can penetrate a partner, whether vaginally or anally, while the other strokes erogenous zones on their fellow participants, Annette Gates—a certified somatic sex educator and relationship coach—tells Women’s Health. “A male could be penetrating with penis and having pressure applied to perineum, testicles massaged or licked, and anal penetration,” Gates says. Women might enjoy nipple play, clitoral stimulation, even a little rimming, during penetration.
For FFM trios, the Magical O—in which the two women lie on top of one another and play with each others’ bodies while the guy enters the woman on top from behind—works well.
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For MMF triads, Easton warns, double penetration can be “kind of advanced work” because figuring out where all the knees go is trickier than it looks. That said, double penetration needn’t necessarily require two penises.
“A female [in FFM or MMF] could be receiving double penetration vaginally and anally, with finger or penis,” Gates points out. You can always use some of the many hands a threesome involves to achieve the same effect, if positioning proves too difficult.
With that in mind, MMF couples might try double penetration with one of the men lying prone: The woman can climb on top and ride him while the second man enters her anally from behind. In FFM arrangements, one woman can digitally penetrate the other’s anus, or use a dildo or strap-on.
One thing to always keep in mind, Easton says, is that a threesome has six hands and three mouths to work with. While she personally finds it easier to concentrate on one-to-one oral pleasure, the Daisy Chain presents a solid opportunity to make use of all your mouths. It’s also easy to execute.
Each participant lies on their side with their face at their neighbor’s crotch, forming a circle. Woman one performs oral sex on the man, who is performing oral sex on woman two, who is performing oral sex on woman one; or, the woman performs oral sex on man one, who is performing oral sex on man two, who is performing oral sex on the woman.
Whether you’re an FFM or MMF triad, perhaps consider performing mutual fellatio on one (or both) of your penis-having partners, recommends Easton. One person can take the shaft while another sucks on the testes, or both can lick at once, or you can switch from mouth to mouth.
Arguably the best known of all the threesome positions, the Eiffel Tower blends oral and penetrative sex: If you’re in an MMF arrangement, the woman assumes doggy position while one man penetrates her from behind and she gives the third partner a blow job.
If you’re in an FFM triad, have the man lie on his back while one partner rides him and the other sits on his face. The women can also lean forward to stimulate another from this vantage point, keeping everyone entirely in the mix.
Plus, as Easton points out, keeping one person up by the prone party’s head allows for easier communication. “Periodically stop and check in, get up to the person’s head and check in with them, just to make sure they’re still where you think they are,” she advises. “So to have somebody pleasuring the person’s genitals and have somebody else up near their head, either playing with their mouth or their neck or their nipples or whatever, gives a kind of extra connection.”
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