It is 10.30pm on Easter Sunday, and we’re sitting on the balcony of a double-storey terrace: swigging awful cider and trading stories, planning to party. She is dark-haired, dry-witted and chain-smoking. He occasionally bums drags from both of us, in between divulging details of extreme debauchery. We’re winding each other up, doling out playful dressing-downs, weighing the situation in our minds. The idea of venturing into the city is abandoned. We’re all going to fuck.
There are a lot of myths flying haphazardly around concerning threesomes. And wrapped up in the fabric of these folktales is the idea of a unicorn, or (a generally female) ‘hot bi babe’ who is not only insatiable in the bedroom, but also immediately attracted to both people in a heterosexual couple. But – in a sentence I love being able to write as an adult – I am here to tell you: unicorns exist. Maybe you are one of them.
Like the majority of our sexual education, most people’s first exposure to threesomes comes from teen movies. In these fraught fictions, a trio of tangled limbs is often a portent of doom for the existing relationship. Feelings get messy and they get hurt. I reckon this comes back to boundaries. Generally, couples are portrayed as using the third as a means to an end – a facilitator of experience, instead of a fully-fledged individual. Which is bad news. For the unicorn this means you must be prepared to be more assertive than is necessarily comfortable for your first few rodeos featuring the beast with three backs. Remember that no one ever has to fuck anyone else. Do it because you want to (and remember that wanting to doesn’t make you a nasty sex fanatic – unless that’s your jam – but, more accurately, someone who enjoys things that are fun). For monogamous couples, a certain amount of soul-searching is definitely required beforehand. It’s not enough to be able to tolerate your partner fucking someone else before your eyes. You wanna get off on it and get involved.
I am also wary of anyone who wants to strike emotion out of the situation. It seeks to preclude the possibility of a shared intimacy, which is so fun, but also: afterglow is a thing. When all is said and done and you’re lying there breathless-but-elated, there’s a certain amount of vulnerability at play. Cuddling is recommended for all involved. On a lighter note, ideally there is also shared laughter. Sex is inherently ridiculous, and sex with three or more people is going to have some awkward moments that’re best giggled off.
Like that lustful Easter Sunday, in my experience, threesomes work best when somewhat spontaneous. When everyone is happy, the relationships are well-defined, and the dynamic is organically sexy. If you’re new to more than two, though, it’s worth treading more carefully. The stuff that cannot go unsaid: people with the best safer sex practices are obviously the most babest. If you’re uncertain what everyone’s approach is, discuss expectations first. There’s nothing wrong with hitting pause mid-way to make sure everything is above board – but it’s better to sort that shit out sooner. Have more condoms than you think you’ll need to avoid overlap (or running out!). Preferably, everyone is a responsible adult who gets an easy-breezy-beautiful sexual health check once every three or so months. They’re free at your GP.
Emotional aftercare is also a thing. This sort of situation is always a little bit loaded, and no one wins extra points by pretending that’s not the case. So take some time afterwards to enjoy each other’s company in the light of the following day. Grab a coffee and talk about what sexy champions you all are. If you’re feeling a bit insecure about how things went down, it’s best to voice this – even if it feels like the opposite of what a Cool, Threesome Person would do – so you can get immediate support instead of dealing with that shit on your own. If anyone involved isn’t interested in hearin’ how you’re feelin’, that is unfortunate and you probably shouldn’t fuck them again until it’s resolved.
Keeping all that in mind, the whole thing isn’t as scary and serious as the puritans would have us believe. As with all other sexytimes, it’s important to take care of yourself, but beyond that, unicorns just wanna (and do) have fun.