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Can Relationships Survive A Threesome?


Here’s a 110 percent true fact: the guy you’re dating has definitely imagined having a threesome with you and the waitress from last night, his hot co-worker, or your best friend.

That’s what John DeVore over at The Frisky says… just before anticipating the feminine response,

Yuck, amiriiiiight?… while you’re squirming over how grossoholic men are, telling yourself “My boyfriend would NEVER want to have a threesome between me and my best friend Megs.”

Over time men have become increasingly enamored of this fantasy, with somewhere between one-third and two-thirds of men now having lusty visions of three-ways. Probably because it’s now a porn staple.

But can a relationship survive a threesome? Some do, but it seems they usually don’t.

A couple of John’s friends gave it a try and neither relationship survived.

A marriage therapist told the Huffington Post that all of her clients who’ve tried it broke up, except one.

A few of my friends have tried it, too. One was disappointed that it didn’t work, meaning not everyone was into it. Another friend doesn’t even want to talk about it. But, another has done threesomes and is still married.

Maybe the failure rate isn’t so surprising given the lopsided interest of men. While up to two-thirds of men want threesomes — almost always with two women, only 10% of women do — and they may well want two men. So women may be more likely to agree to a three-way out of pressure or wanting to please their partners without really being into it.

And whether or not pressure is involved, if a woman is having a three-way with another woman she is likely to be more distracted by worries about the other woman than having an erotic experience. How pretty is this other woman compared to me? How much attention is “she” getting compared to me? What does it mean about how he feels about the relationship? Is he really into me?!!!

Besides that, guys are more easily aroused by body parts, whereas women more often need a deep connection to get into sex. Between the distraction of another person, the worries, and the fact that this is just sex and not connection, it often won’t be so fun for the girl.

But guys don’t always get all that, like this comment on another post:

I’d like to comment on the willingness of female to female sex. Females are traditionally more caring, nurturing and empathetic. Naturally this would carry over in the bedroom, making sure each is highly aroused and satisfied.

Really?!

I guess that’s how it seems in porn.

Mr. DeVore opines:

Dudes just love the idea of a threesome, but we know, on a gut level, it’s probably not a good idea. Like raising a pet shark, or inventing bacon-flavored toothpaste.

Men love threesomes, partly, for the same reason we love all-you-can-eat buffets. We’re gluttons, and want more beer, more bacon, and more boobs. Two vaginas are better than one! The problem with buffets is they aren’t the place to get quality anything.

If you want a threesome like those you see in porn you’ll probably have to do what they do in porn: pay a couple of women to act like they’re loving it.

If you’re thinking about a 3-way, you might want to read a post by someone who’s been there/done that, and who has suggestions for what works and doesn’t: Threesomes Can Be Fun. Or Not.

Popular Posts on BroadBlogs
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Sex: From Casual Pleasures to Deep Connection. Readers Discuss

Below are comments on how women and men experience themselves, and how they think sex is best, based on earlier posts: “Are Women Naturally Monogamous?” and “Are Women Culturally Monogamous?” They’re edited for brevity and clarity. I’ve organized comments and added my own in italics. The comments typically revolve around the advantages of casual pleasures versus deep connection.

Polygamous women

  • Divorced at age 33, I experienced a natural heightening of sexual interest and there were a number of men with whom I had sex during the next 7-8 years. I enjoyed it all tremendously and learned a lot about men and about myself. During that time, I met only one man I would have considered as a life partner. Now I realize that the relationship was great because the sex was great.
  • If women were paid equally and had equal opportunity in the job market, I think that monogamy would be weakened.  When I earned more than my husband, and could survive financially on my own, my sexual behavior changed as well.
  • I seem to be different than the study (enjoying a variety of partners), but then so are most males I know (more monogamous).

Polygamous men

  • Sex is so pleasurable. Why limit yourself from pleasure so long as everyone knows the ground rules – that this is about pleasure and not about commitment or love.
  • Sex is magical. I would like to have sex with as many women as possible. But I always thought women experienced sex the same as I do.  It hadn’t occurred to me that they might not.

Research suggests that women, on average, don’t enjoy sex as much as men do. U.S. women enjoy sex less than women in some cultures, but more than women in others. I’ll explore why later. The difference in enjoyment is not based on biology, but culture.

Jealousy and not loving equally

Women who are interested in polygamous sex can discover difficulties:

  • As a lesbian I have a perspective that is completely woman oriented.  I personally have had more than one lover at a time and found it difficult since I was always trying to explain why I was leaving to visit someone else.  One always seems to love one more than the other.

Having sex because you’re expected to

  • Here is my confession – two or three times I allowed myself to be picked up at a party or a bar. I am still so ashamed of those incidents. Remembering them makes me feel so dirty! I thought it was expected.  You know – times were changing.  Everybody did it. I now believe I let myself be used by men who were only after a little fun and had no serious intentions.
  • I let myself be used by men who were only looking for fun… then I felt ashamed! Many women were brainwashed into believing they would enjoy it as much as men only to realize they were no more than a toilet bowl or conquest.  I am sorry to disappoint but sex ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Many may hide the shame and humiliation they feel by saying they liked it.

Women are punished for sex
Some women may feel pressured to have sex, but women are also punished when they have it, labeled “sluts”:

  • The stigma attached to women likely keeps the number (of lovers they report) low
  • (At least men) seem to have each others’ backs. Women don’t. They’re often quick to stab each other in the back.

Meeting social expectations: Men

  • Men might be lying too since the cultural expectation for them seems to be quantity rather than quality.
  • Men also have cultural expectations to live up to: amass notches on their belts.
  • I wanted to have threesomes for the longest time. Then I realized it was largely about feeling left out of something I thought everyone else was doing.

Agreed. There are plenty of pressures on men, too. Women claim 5 lovers and men claim 12. Women must be underestimating and men exaggerating. The real number for both is likely in between: 8 or 9. Men also watch porn, think it’s an accurate portrayal of womens sexuality, and end up thinking they are missing out on a lot of action (that no one else is getting, either).

Meeting social expectations: Women and men

  • I think you hit the nail on the head when you stated “Western women are much more monogamous than our Tahitian or American Indian sisters were before European contact.” I don’t think any of us are pre-wired to remain with one person all 80 plus years that we walk this earth. Man or woman. As humans we make that CHOICE to do so. What it comes down to is one having their own mind. Neither man nor woman should continue to be concerned with what current society dictates.

Women desiring depth, connection

  • Women prefer depth, romance, quality in a relationship. They know that the closer one is in spirituality, emotions, the better the sex. Women need that depth to be fulfilled.
  • A purely physical relationship requires little work. You don’t have to concern yourself with messy thoughts or feelings beyond the immediate moment. It’s shallow and one dimensional. Real relationship takes depth: looking at someone’s worth beyond pretty eyes, nice butt, and teeth.
  • I have heard some women say they enjoy casual sex – but in 62 years I have heard far more say they haven’t enjoyed any sex let alone casual – meaningless sex. It’s intimacy we want!  But I am still waiting for the rush of women who can honestly tell us about all the hot meaningless sex we have been missing! I’m all ears?

Men desiring depth, connection

     A woman’s perspective

  • I met both kinds of guys when I was dating. I met guys who seemed downright anxious to connect on a deeper level and guys who would lie in a NY minute if they thought it would get them into my pants faster.

     A man’s perspective

  • Our sexuality and the expression of it before and during (and after) marriage is, I am convinced, one of the more complicated aspects of what it means to be human. One could argue that God created men and women different sexually (in all the ways!) because to come together in meaningful intimacy (erotic or sexual) requires the development and expression of our deepest and highest virtues—sacrifice, humility, and kindness (even long-suffering at times!), and especially love. It is among the most meaningful and challenging dances we do.

And, don’t forget the men in men’s studies.  Both Michael Kimmel and John Stoltenberg recommend men do sex from a place of love and commitment, and they say that is where they come from, themselves.

SOURCES: Comments from:
Blogs: BroadBlogs, BroadBlogs, and FreeMeNow
My Facebook site
Various lists responded either to the list, or to me via email
Student discussions

A version of this post was originally published August 23, 2010 as “Readers Discuss: Are Women Polygamous?”

Readers Discuss: Are Women Polygamous?

Below are comments on the question: Are women naturally, or culturally, monogamous? They’re edited for brevity and clarity. I’ve organized them and added my comments in italics.

Polygamous women

  • I seem to be different than the study, but then so are most males I know.
  • Divorced at age 33, I experienced a natural heightening of sexual interest and there were a number of men with whom I had sex during the next 7-8 years. I enjoyed it all tremendously and learned at lot about men and about myself. During that time, I met only one man I would have considered as a life partner. Now I realize that the relationship was great because the sex was great.
  • If women were paid equally and had equal opportunity in the job market, I think that monogamy would be weakened.  When I earned more my husband, and could survive financially on my own, my sexual behavior changed as well.

Polygamous men

  • Sex is so pleasurable. Why limit yourself from pleasure so long as everyone knows the ground rules – that this is about pleasure and not about commitment or love.
  • Sex is magical. I would like to have sex with as many women as possible. But I always thought women experienced sex the same as I do.  It hadn’t occurred to me that they might not.

Research suggests that women, on average, don’t enjoy sex as much as men do. U.S. women enjoy sex less than women in some cultures, but more than women in others. I’ll explore why later.

Jealousy and not loving equally

Women who are interested in polygamous sex can discover difficulties:

  • As a lesbian I have a perspective that is completely woman oriented.  I personally have had more than one lover at a time and found it difficult since I was always trying to explain why I was leaving to visit someone else.  One always seems to love one more than the other.

Meeting social expectations: Women

  • Here is my confession – two or three times I allowed myself to be picked up at a party or a bar. I am still so ashamed of those incidents. Remembering them makes me feel so dirty! I thought it was expected.  You know – times were changing.  Everybody did it. I now believe I let myself be used by men who were only after a little fun and had no serious intentions.
  • I let myself be used by men who were only looking for fun… then I felt ashamed! Many women were brainwashed into believing they would enjoy it as much as men only to realize they were no more than a toilet bowl or conquest.  I am sorry to disappoint but sex ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Many may hide the shame and humiliation they feel by saying they liked it.

Women are punished for sex
Some women feel pressured to have sex, but they are also punished when they have it, labeled “sluts”:

  • The stigma attached to women likely keeps the number (of lovers they report) low
  • (At least men) seem to have each others’ backs. Women don’t. They’re often quick to stab each other in the back.

Meeting social expectations: Men

  • Men might be lying too since the cultural expectation for them seems to be quantity rather than quality.
  • Men also have cultural expectations to live up to: amass notches on their belts.

Agreed. Women claim 5 lovers and men claim 12. Women must be underestimating and men exaggerating. The real number for both is likely in between: 8 or 9.

A man’s view:

  • I wanted to have threesomes for the longest time. Then I realized it was largely about feeling left out of something I thought everyone else was doing.

There’s also plenty of research on how men feel pressured to notch up “conquests” in order to be valued by other men.

Shallow, one-dimensional vs deep, connected relationship

  • Women prefer depth, romance, quality in a relationship. They know that the closer one is in spirituality, emotions, the better the sex. Women need that depth to be fulfilled.
  • A purely physical relationship requires little work. You don’t have to concern yourself with messy thoughts or feelings beyond the immediate moment. It’s shallow and one dimensional. Real relationship takes depth: looking at someone’s worth beyond pretty eyes, nice butt, and teeth.
  • I have heard some women say they enjoy casual sex – but in 62 years I have heard far more say they haven’t enjoyed any sex let alone casual – meaningless sex. It’s intimacy we want!  But I am still waiting for the rush of women who can honestly tell us about all the hot meaningless sex we have been missing! I’m all ears?

Men desiring depth, connection too:

A woman’s perspective

  • I met both kinds of guys when I was dating. I met guys who seemed downright anxious to connect on a deeper level and guys who would lie in a NY minute if they thought it would get them into my pants faster.

A man’s perspective

  • Our sexuality and the expression of it before and during (and after) marriage is, I am convinced, one of the more complicated aspects of what it means to be human. One could argue that God created men and women different sexually (in all the ways!) because to come together in meaningful intimacy (erotic or sexual) requires the development and expression of our deepest and highest virtues—sacrifice, humility, and kindness (even long-suffering at times!), and especially love. It is among the most meaningful and challenging dances we do.

And, don’t forget the men in men’s studies.  Both Michael Kimmel and John Stoltenberg recommend men do sex from a place of love and commitment, and they say that is where the come from, themselves.

SOURCES: Comments from:
Blogs: BroadBlogs and FreeMeNow
Facebook
Various lists responded either to the list, or to me via email
Student discussions

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