By Lisabet Sarai
What does it feel like to participate in a ménage? Threesomes are hugely popular in erotic romance, but are the books realistic? Is it as easy as it sounds, to get three people together in a sexual situation without someone feeling like the odd man (or woman) out? Does everyone really end up satisfied?
I've personally been involved in a number of threesomes, both M/F/M and F/M/F (but never—or at least not yet!—M/M/F). Obviously I can't claim that my experience is universal, but I think I'm qualified to make a couple of observations:
1. There's usually some imbalance of intimacy in a threesome. Rarely do three individuals come together from three different directions. It's much more common for an existing couple to add a third person to the mix. It might be two close (straight) male friends who are both attracted to the same woman, but more often there's a couple have been lovers before the three-way scene occurs.
2. A threesome takes more emotional effort than a normal pairwise encounter. (Sometimes more physical effort, too!) This is a consequence of (1). I at least was always aware of the need to make both of my partners feel that they had my attention. I didn't want either of them to feel left out. Only occasionally could I simply let go and bask in the sensations. I suspect that this generalization would be less true in a polyamorous relationship, with a threesome who had a long history together. It might be also apply to a lesser extent to the “third” person, the one who just joined the triad. I've never been in that situation, so I can't tell.
3. A (successful) ménage requires a certain level of sexual self-confidence from each of the participants. Performance anxiety gets magnified in a three-way sexual situation. It can be difficult for the two members of the same gender to avoid some feelings of competition.
4. It helps to have a sense of humor. This is true of sex in general—sometimes sex can get pretty absurd! In a ménage, there are even more ways for things to become awkward, more situations where body parts just plain don't fit—more opportunities to laugh together while working out the details. In the threesome I enjoyed most, we all approached it a bit light-heartedly, as a fun adventure rather than a deadly serious encounter with earth-shaking implications. This doesn't mean that we all didn't care deeply about one another. (Another reason I enjoyed this encounter was the closeness I felt to both my partners.)
5. You don't have to climax to enjoy yourself. Actually this is true of more traditional sex as well (though you'd never know it from reading erotica or erotic romance!) No matter how hard you and your partners try, perfect equality is pretty difficult to achieve in a threesome. The thrill comes at least partially from the process—from the added sensory stimulation as well as the excitement of breaking taboos. At very least, it's unlikely that all participants are going to come simultaneously (as they so often do in literature). That's hard enough to accomplish with one partner!
When I write a threesome, I'm trying to fulfill my readers' fantasies, but I also try for at least a bit of verisimilitude. And speaking of threesomes, I just signed a contract with TEB for my holiday tale, Almost Home, a M/M/F ménage story featuring hot loving in the middle of a major snowstorm! Here's the blurb.
Suzanne and Gino have history going back to high school, but for years Suzanne has been three thousand miles away, preoccupied with her challenging career. A mistletoe kiss at a holiday party reminds her of their old bond and proves that some things get better with age. When Gino rescues her from a New England blizzard, though, she discovers that she's not the only love in his life. Gino shares his bed and his colonial-era farm house with taciturn painter Harris Steele. Snowed in, without electricity or running water, the three explore the many shapes a triangle can assume. Although she's far away from her everyday existence, Suzanne realizes that she's almost home.
You can read an excerpt on my website.
Have any of you who read this post have been involved in a threesome? If so, do your conclusions agree with mine? I'd love to know—and I'll bet others would, too!