Smash Talks: Ménage à Trouble?

Ashera is a Marriage and Family Therapist with an extensive background in sexual health education. You can ask her stuff anonymously and she won’t get weirded out. Seriously, try her. Send your queries through our anonymous contact form here.

Dear Smashera,

So, I have been mulling over the idea of “treating” my husband to a threesome for our 10-year anniversary. He has told me a few times that his fantasy has always been to have a threesome and that he would love to try it with me and another girl of MY choosing. I am bisexual and have been with women before, so that part of me is open to the idea for obvious reasons.

The thing I struggle with is sharing the man I love and have an extremely intimate and sexual relationship with along with another woman. I don’t know if it is insecurities that I thought I dealt with creeping in or if what I feel is justified? I have to admit that I am nervous that if he “gets a taste” of another that he will begin to compare me or our following sexual encounters to that experience. I want to do this for him because I love him more than anything and I know it is something he desires, but is it a healthy or good idea to pursue it if A) I’m having reservations and B) it would be a one-off or a rare occurrence. I have a couple of girls in mind that I feel I can trust and I am certain would be open to it.

Am I just overthinking this? I’ve heard that three is company but I’ve also heard that three is a crowd. I would like to add that I have not been with a woman since entering a relationship with him. He does know my past and he knows that I still find women attractive and such. He just wants to be involved if I ever decided to have a sexual encounter with a woman again. I wouldn’t mind it so much if we were not in a committed relationship. We have been together going on 10 years and married for 8 of those years, so I don’t want to do anything that may jeopardize our marriage, but at the same time I feel that the experience may not affect our relationship and, if anything, may make it better. My sexual side is saying, “go for it!” But my emotions are saying, “this may be a bad idea.”

– Three’s Company or Three’s a Crowd?

Dear Three,

So, you’re considering Riding the Tricycle but have some reservations. Your desires and your emotional responses are both completely valid—opening up your relationship in any way can be super scary! You’re not wrong to be thoughtful about this. You have a lot of history with your husband and clearly love him. It’s natural you would want to fulfill this desire, but also be wary of any potential changes to your dynamic.

I can’t tell you if having a threesome is a good or bad idea for your situation. You are the expert on your relationship, so that decision needs to come firmly from you. What I can tell you is that there are healthy and super-bad-unhealthy ways to approach a threesome.

Not all threesomes are created equal: some end up with a lot of orgasms and happiness, while others end up in tears and resentment. As with everything, communication is really key, so have a talk with your husband about your ideal situation and your fears. Remember, as with ANY sexual act, just because you decide to do it once, does not mean that you have to schedule one quarterly. Have you done other things to add a little pizzazz to your sex life? Toys? Roll play? BDSM? Chances are that you have, and then went back to the classics afterwards. A threesome is just another way to shake things up, but it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to have sex as just a twosome or that sex without a third will be any less spicy.

One of my favorite columnists, Karley Sciortino, has outlined pretty succinctly how to have a threesome. I have a few things to emphasize and a couple of tidbits-o-wisdom of my own. Prior to inviting another person in, it’s important to process your feelings with your husband and talk about what you’re going to do if someone starts to feel uncomfortable, like safe words and whatnot. Have that conversation again with whoever you decide to invite in.

You can talk about how you want to structure your three-way experience. If you would rather fool around with a lady-friend and have your husband only touching you, that’s okay. Maybe you would prefer they don’t kiss. Everyone’s allowed to have their limits, and not everything has to be on the table.

A lot of well-intentioned threesomes end with a person feeling left out. While you don’t need to have a Geneva Convention outlining who’s gonna do what when, if you find yourself in that situation where there’s one person just sulking in the corner, you’re headed straight for Awkward Conversationville. That being said, voyeurism and exhibitionism definitely play their own part in group lovin’ and there will be times when it’s a little “lopsided” with who’s receiving attention. Generally, it should even out in the end.

Also, check in with people before, during, and after. Make sure everyone (including yourself) is having fun. You don’t need to stop mid-action and sit down and chat around tea, but a simple “Do you like this?” can allow someone to say, nah, I would rather do * this * instead.

Remember, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. I’m glad to hear that your husband isn’t pressuring you into this, but is instead expressing his fantasies. If you decide to go this route, maybe it will open the door for you to try out some things that have been rolling around in the back of your spank bank as well! Overall, be safe, sane, and consensual and have a fun and sexy time. <3<3<3