Ménage à trois?

Originally Published: September 5, 1995 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: December 31, 2010
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Alice,

Boy, am I confused. I am married and love my wife dearly. We have had a great sex life and do everything together. Recently, I have had thoughts about another woman joining us during sex. I didn't tell my wife this, however. Just a short time ago, my wife said that she thought that I would like to make love to her and another woman. I thought she was joking. She wasn't. I have responded that I felt that she probably wouldn't like that. She responded that she didn't know about that.

I'm not sure what to do. Do I see if she wants to try this, or just let it ride? I fear that if we did do this, that she would want to also bring in another man. While I want her to be happy, I am not interested in another man. (She hasn't suggested this even when I jokingly suggest that she would like this.) Even if she did want to do this, where do you find persons willing to try this type of sexual encounter?

—Totally Unsure

Dear Totally Unsure,

As the song goes, "Come and knock on our door... We've been waiting for you...Where the kisses are hers and hers and his…Three's company too." For many in the bedroom, three (or more) may be a welcomed crowd. For others, two is the better number. Sometimes, just sharing a threesome fantasy with your sexual partner (without actually playing it out) can be fulfilling. You asked whether you should ask your wife if she wants to try a threesome or just let the whole subject ride. Ultimately, that's up to you. There is another option, though: it may be beneficial to continue the conversation you've already started. You don't have to decide at this moment whether you are on board with bringing another person into the mix. When it comes to having a healthy and pleasurable relationship, regardless of the number of people involved, honest communication is key!

If you do decide to discuss the topic more, it's okay for you to share your thoughts and concerns about not wanting to invite another man into the mix should you decide a threesome is okay with both of you. You can't be certain whether your wife is interested in adding another man to the mix until you talk about it. It's possible that her fantasy only involves women.

It would be helpful for both you and your wife to express your desires and/or limitations with regards to inviting another person into your lovemaking. Here are some questions that may be helpful to explore (both on your own and with your wife): What, specifically, are your fantasies when it comes to adding another person? What part of the fantasy turns each of you on? Can the other partner be accepting of that fantasy?  If you do decide to bring in a third, what about safer sex issues? Are certain sexual acts off-limits? What happens if two of the three people involved pair off and exclude the third? Is it desirable and/or pleasurable for one person to be the voyeur and not participate? When you do start to find women who might want to be involved in a threesome, do you both have to be turned on to her? What if one of you isn't? Do you have friends that you can ask to join you? Or, does it have to be someone neither of you knows beforehand?

Answering these questions may help you to decide if and how you should involve another person. You may even discover more about your partner or yourself through this experience, bringing each of you to a new level of understanding and pleasure with regards to each others' sexual needs and desires!

As far as where to find a third person, there are a number of online resources available for people seeking different types of sexual encounters. And, don't forget to think about people you know as possibilities. Whether you decide to remain a party of two or open the door for more, talking with each other and setting some ground rules may enhance your already great sex life!
Alice

April 30, 2008

21445

To the reader:

I think the advice dispensed was informed, but incomplete. It is important to realize the risk of engaging in this type of encounter. There is a possibility that bringing...

To the reader:

I think the advice dispensed was informed, but incomplete. It is important to realize the risk of engaging in this type of encounter. There is a possibility that bringing another woman into the equation, even once, could cause irreparable damage to the relationship, possibly ending it permanently. If once you've evaluated the risk and the reward you decide to go through with it, refer back to Alice's advice.

September 28, 2007

21346
We sent the original email listed at the top and I was surprised to still see it there. We have now been married going on eighteen years and couldn't be happier. We have threesomes with another male...
We sent the original email listed at the top and I was surprised to still see it there. We have now been married going on eighteen years and couldn't be happier. We have threesomes with another male on average once per month. We continue to have a fantastic sex life with each other and have sex on average 4-5 times per week.

Communications are the absolute key and we have found that our relationship continues to get stronger on all levels. Many of our friends (couples) that were "happily married" when we originally wrote this four years ago are divorced and in most cases because of affairs behind the others back. We are totally open and honest with each other and have fun together in and out of the bedroom on a regular basis.

December 14, 2006

21127
Alice,

My fiancé and I have discussed having a relationship with a third person. We have discussed this and feel that we should be together for a while longer (read: married) before we act...

Alice,

My fiancé and I have discussed having a relationship with a third person. We have discussed this and feel that we should be together for a while longer (read: married) before we act on any decision involving a threesome (or foursome, etc.).

Please advise your readers to set a proper foundation in their own lives before seeking the affections of others outside the relationship. Insecurity arises from doubt, and if you have any doubts about your or your partner's fidelity, then it's best to abstain from this kind of situation until your relationship matures.

— S.

November 20, 2006

21156

Dear Alice,

A friend of mine got married two years ago, and she and her husband occasionally engage in threesomes with another woman. For them, it's usually a friend, but it's not as if...

Dear Alice,

A friend of mine got married two years ago, and she and her husband occasionally engage in threesomes with another woman. For them, it's usually a friend, but it's not as if their sex life always involves a third party. They're a happily married couple, and most of their time is spent alone with each other. When they have a friend join them, it's usually somebody who just wants a little fun and hops onto their happiness train for a short ride before breaking apart again. Trying a menage a trois doesn't mean it has to be a permanent situation — that's what experimentation's all about, right?

March 14, 2006

21044

Alice,

RE: Menage a Trois?

I could not disagree more. The only correct response is "Honey, I would never want to share you sexually with another person. I love you, and you...

Alice,

RE: Menage a Trois?

I could not disagree more. The only correct response is "Honey, I would never want to share you sexually with another person. I love you, and you alone."

December 5, 2005

20994
Dear Alice,

As a dyke, I'm highly sick of straight couples trolling for a woman for their threesome fantasies! And coming to dyke bars, women-for-women listings, etc., to do so, when they have a...

Dear Alice,

As a dyke, I'm highly sick of straight couples trolling for a woman for their threesome fantasies! And coming to dyke bars, women-for-women listings, etc., to do so, when they have a whole world of bars, personal ads, and other venues to meet other straight people — who are the ones I believe they should be asking to join them in what amounts to more people having straight sex. I was in a threesome once with 1 man and 1 woman and had no fun at all.

Remember, PLEASE, that women who are interested in women very often have no interest in participating in threesomes that involve boyfriends/husbands. (Just check out Craig's List NYC w4w to see how many ads specifically exclude men and heterosexual couples looking for a woman to join them — and then check out how many ads in the various sex sections are from straight couples looking for a woman to join them!). And it makes me feel used to think my sexuality boils down to being an "available" person for a threesome. Not to mention how annoying it is when straight male fantasies about 2 women who just HAPPEN to need a man to jump in and take care of them get applied to me! Sure, you might find a woman who's interested, but be considerate as to where/how you search, and don't expect lesbians to want to join you, please.

September 29, 2005

20954
Dear Alice,

I applaud your open-mindedness to this area of sexuality. My husband and I have been married 10+ years and have often invited other couples to join us. The reader who responded to...

Dear Alice,

I applaud your open-mindedness to this area of sexuality. My husband and I have been married 10+ years and have often invited other couples to join us. The reader who responded to this Q&A was right: this kind of sexual adventure can positively launch your sex life off the planet! ...if it's done right. The reason you hear so many horror stories about menages a trois, or swinging (couples), is that people mistakenly go into it without having thoroughly (and I mean THOROUGHLY) discussed it with their partner, or thinking it will save their marriage, or doing it because they were coerced into it, etc, etc. There are so many bad reasons for doing it, and so many ways to hurt your partner and yourself, it's no wonder it's gotten such a bad rap. My advice is: TALK TALK TALK to your partner and sort out as much as you can beforehand. Don't go into it wondering why he/she really wants to involve other people in the bedroom. Do a little research; find out about 'swinging' or the 'Lifestyle' so that neither of you are heading into it with any misconceptions. Be completely honest with your partner about your wants and likes and desires, but more importantly, focus on theirs. Don't do this to fix your relationship; the odds of that happening are about 1 in a million. Expect to get hurt; maybe you won't, but it's a full-contact sport and people are often clumsy at first with it. Just say you're sorry, and accept the apology and keep on trying. As you and your partner hone your communication skills and start realizing just how little it takes to hurt someone, things become more streamlined. And finally, when it comes to meeting people, be patient. Go for quality over quantity, and don't ever 'take one for the team.' It makes it un-fun for everybody when someone is obviously not having a good time. In the mean-time, just have a lot of fun with the fantasy! The anticipation makes it that much better. It should also go without saying that safe sex is a must. Hope this has been of help to you. If you're looking for links to local people who are into swinging, do a search on the Internet for swinging plus the name of the nearest city you'd want to meet people in. Internet 'dating' isn't as creepy as you might think. It's a place to start...

February 4, 2005

20858
Alice,

I faced this issue from the opposite side of the fence — I was a little bisexual before marrying my husband, and had a few threesomes, both with men and women, and for the most part I...

Alice,

I faced this issue from the opposite side of the fence — I was a little bisexual before marrying my husband, and had a few threesomes, both with men and women, and for the most part I had a pretty good time.

Then I got married, and my husband was very interested in trying it (he'd never had one) and I closed up like an iron gate for some reason. I felt like it was okay to do it with friends, but with my husband!??

Then one night after a few drinks, we went to bed and talked it out like a fantasy, and I realized I was not only holding out on him (in an insecure controlling way), but I was also denying MYSELF! The fact is, I really love a woman's body. So we decided to give it a shot, made some VERY strict boundaries, i.e., he wasn't allowed to go inside of the third without my permission/urging, and then we invited a friend into our bed.

And you know what? It was really wonderful. Really wonderful. There's nothing better than giving extreme pleasure to someone you love. We've since done it a few more times, and it really did spice up our entire sex life, and brought us closer.

I say go for it. You're only around in this world once, and you need to try everything at least twice.

July 5, 2002

20437
Dear Alice, Responding to Menage a trois?: My wife and I have been happily married for 13 years and have a mutually satisfying sex life. Four months ago, we discussed the...
Dear Alice, Responding to Menage a trois?: My wife and I have been happily married for 13 years and have a mutually satisfying sex life. Four months ago, we discussed the possibility of involving another male (my idea). Before we actually did it, we established parameters on what we would and would not do (basic ground rules). I had a long time High School buddy that my wife found appealing. With our busy lives, we only saw this person about every three - four months. I contacted him with the idea, with the thought that if anyone was uncomfortable that we would stop. I set everything up all the way to the types of toothpaste, cologne, deodorant, music, and color of underwear that each of us find attractive. We started off slowly with nice flirtatious conversation, and each of us knowing that it was open to lead to more slowly move it in that direction. It happened and it was one of the most exciting sexual experiences that all of us has ever had. We are still very close friends, and although we have only done this once, we are thinking of scheduling another encounter. Whether it makes sense or not, my wife and I now continue to have the most intense sex that we have ever had. It has heightened our excitement to an unbelievable level. It was a very enjoyable experience. I have read a lot of negative comments about threesomes, and I believe that it is vital to lay groundwork and expectations that everyone is comfortable with.