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5 Smart Rules to Set Before Having a Threesome

Hannah is the lifestyle editor at STYLECASTER, covering sex and relationships, politics, women's health, career, home décor, food, travel, and more. Her favorite things include spinach artichoke dip, cashmere sweaters, and impromptu danc...

A sex educator lays out five guidelines for doing a threesome right

It’s a total sex cliché—the bow-chicka-wow-wow porn scene, the drunken one-off some people have in college, or the fantasy straight men obsess about starting at puberty about being with two women at once: Threesomes are one of our culture’s most sensationalized sex scenarios, probably because it’s just transgressive enough to seem wild, but it’s not crazy enough to be seen as an out-there kink.

One of the more common circumstances in which threesomes happen (or at least are talked about) is when a couple decides to add a third party to spice things up in the bedroom. You can see why it would seem hot or easy—just invite a friend or stranger to join you both in bed, add a relatively unknown factor to a familiar dynamic, and watch the fireworks happen. But it’s a little more complicated than that, according to loveologist and sex educator Wendy Strgar, author of Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy.

“Sexually, the things that seem like they should be easy are usually not, and the things that might seem hard actually aren’t always,” says Strgar. Threesomes belong to the former category, meaning there are a variety of things that could go wrong that many people don’t anticipate, and that plenty of couples don’t head into a threesome situation for the right reasons or with appropriate expectations. Below, Strgar lays out five guidelines for doing a threesome right.

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Don’t Expect Sexual Miracles.

A threesome is not the solution for a lackluster sex life, so make sure you’re not using it to save or boost yours. “What precludes adding a third to your encounter is already having a lot of sexual pleasure at the baseline,” says Strgar. “Women often have no idea how to ask for what they want sexually, which is why there’s still a big pleasure gap of women focusing on what works for their partners instead of themselves.” So if you’re rarely getting off with your partner right now, don’t think that will suddenly change once some sexy new person joins you two in the bedroom. Work on intimacy between you both—whether it’s by trying new sex positionsslowing it down, or experimenting with tantra—before adding someone new. If you’re already orgasming plenty, feel confident about your sexual needs, and are equally interested in a threesome as your S.O., proceed to rule number two…

Fantasize First.

People often fantasize about threesomes in their own minds, but rarely do they invite their partner into that fantasy before acting on it. “How you add rocket fuel to pretty good sex is by allowing yourself to witness your own fantasies,” says Strgar. “You can talk about them or do role play, but most people won’t even go there because fantasies usually aren’t politically correct, but if you’re willing to let fantasies play in head, you won’t believe how that eroticizes sex. Playing out a threesome in your head can be almost as good, or even better than the real thing.” So, before you actually bring in a third partner IRL, bring one in mentally. Try mutually masturbating and making out while you talk about what it would be like to have someone else there—this might very well satisfy your threesome urge, and if it doesn’t, you’ll be even more excited for the real thing.

A sex educator lays out five guidelines for doing a threesome right
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Keep it Loose in the Moment.

While you should have certain conversations, guidelines, and plenty of communication before and after a threesome, make sure that you don’t get too rigid about things in the moment. “Set up basic ethical rules, but not specific rules of conduct,” says Strgar. “Once you start to make too many rules, you’re stuck in this ‘leftover sex’ space, and no one really knows what to do. You don’t want to put too much off-limits beforehand, because that can actually mess with the sexual chemistry. If your relationship already has tenets of fairness and your partner is definitely interested in your pleasure and not just his or her own, everyone should get a turn at what’s pleasurable for them in the moment—no one should feel left out.” Of course, if there’s one specific thing that would really bug you or turn you off, and you know it, feel free to speak up in advance, just don’t get too controlling about it. If you feel the need to set too many rules, you’re probably not ready for this.

Have a Safe Word.

How to feel comfortable even without a specific set of rules heading into an unknown sexual encounter? Decide on a phrase that will hit the brakes on anything that’s not working for you in the moment. “There should be a code or safe word that the couple has that indicates this has gone too far for one person or the other,” says Strgar. Knowing you have this one word that can put a halt to anything that’s becoming too much for you will allow you to let down your guard, become less inhibited, and enjoy the moment safely.

Plan to Debrief After.

Since no one knows exactly what’s going to go down once all three of you are in bed together—that’s part of the fun of it!—make sure you and your partner spend time talking about the experience alone after the fact. “Discuss how you’re going to process what happened afterward,” says Strgar. “It might not go how you want or expect it to, but no one has the right to walk away until everyone has been heard. Understand that things are never the same after adding a powerful deepening of intimacy.” Whether it goes amazingly well or is kind of a flop, setting aside time to open up about how it was for both of you will bring you closer together either way.

More: A Comprehensive Guide to Orgasm Types

Originally posted on StyleCaster.com

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