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Her Partner Wants A Threesome, She Doesn’t: Is It A Dealbreaker?


by Rhona Mcauliffe
31st Jan 2018

Threesome: there’s a fine line between fantasy and desire and crossing it isn’t for everybody. If you’ve hit a sexual plateau in your relationship, communication will be key to navigating your way out of a minefield.  Rhona McCauliffe leads the way.

Dear Rhona,

After 2 years together, my partner is pushing to have a threesome with another woman.   It’s come up a lot in our pillow talk but I’ve never even considered taking it into the real world.  For me, there are far too many possible repercussions – jealousy, distrust, never feeling satisfied as a twosome again – and I also thought we were at the point of getting a place together and thinking about babies, not ramping up our sex life.  We’re very close and generally agree on big life stuff but the threesome thing is freaking me out.  I haven’t taken him seriously up until now when he’s talking about how easy it would be to organise it and I don’t know what to do.  He also watches a lot of porn which isn’t helping.  I’ve told him I’m not into it IRL but I think he thinks if he surprised me or it ‘just happened’ that I’d roll with it.  I’ve always thought I was pretty open sexually but the thought of another woman sharing our bed makes me feel sick with worry.  For the first time since we started seeing each other I feel like we’re moving in totally different directions.  I don’t want to lose our relationship but don’t know where to go from here.  Two Players Only, Louth.  

I’m sorry that you’re feeling sick with worry about the three-way your greedy boyfriend is about to spring on you, he seems to be going at it like it’s the surprise birthday party you told him not to organise.  The difference – as if I need to spell it out – is that surprise parties draw you into the cosy bosom of your family and friends; they don’t thrust you and your boyfriend into the coned bosom of a stranger.  Usually.

And that’s not to say that your boyfriend is a sexual deviant either.  A threesome with two women seems to be every straight man’s fantasy, or at least rank somewhere on their top five Sex Goals.  There isn’t enough robust global data to validate this but PornHub – the behemoth online video-sharing and porn site– confirmed that ‘lesbian porn’ was the most searched topic in 2017, by male and female viewers, for the third year in a row, with annual review stats drawn from over 28.5 billion site visits.  

There is a common perception – among some men and perpetuated by the porn industry – that lesbians always have a quiet eye on The D; that they are less than satisfied without a man in the mix. This has been universally rubbished by lesbians and sexually fluid women, and reiterated by the recently published US Sexual Behaviour study of 52,000 adults. Lesbian participants reported orgasming during sexual activity 86% of the time, while just 65% of straight women said the same.  The stats would indicate that The D is not the all-powerful pleasure patron many men like to imagine.

And now we’re back in your boyfriend’s head.  It seems that he has progressed from fantasy – the realm where anything is possible: winged nymphs, steel abs, alternate worlds, EuroMillion jackpots, Spidey senses, pink fluffy unicorns – to desire.  Desire is a strong feeling of wanting something to happen, a pleasurable experience that is technically possible subject to various opt-in clauses.  While you were comfortable role-playing a threesome scene out there in Never Never Land, your boyfriend has crossed-over into The Now.  

Again, this is not a problem in itself but how you’re communicating with each other is.  He doesn’t seem to understand that you really don’t want to have a threesome with an, as yet, unspecified woman.  He may hear you but think that he knows better.  He doesn’t.  Or, he may not care that you’re not into it and forge ahead with planning a three-way anyway, boldly chasing his own gratification.  This is a giant red flag indicating a lack of respect for you and your wants.

It’s time to openly discuss your sexual boundaries, to cut the prospect of a threesome dead and contemplate your carnal future.  Is this a deal-breaker for him? Will he be stemming his own desires to stay with you? If this is the case and he backs up the beast to be with you, the lure of a threesome may well rear its head(s) down the line.  This is the time to plumb his sexual depths and get to the root of what turns him on.  You’re two years into your relationship and possibly hitting a sexual plateau.  While you’re ready to move to the next life stage, he’s ready to stir things up.  There are pretty solid signs here that you are not compatible lifers and you need to intvestigate that now.  

Depending on where your all-cards-on-the-table chat goes, you could also go a bit rogue and release him into the wild to experience a threesome, without you.  The #pornspired dream – a starring role in his own finely tuned screenplay– is unlikely to live up to expectations.  The reality of two living, breathing humans with personalities and smells, complex emotions and body parts that haven’t been surgically altered or shaved bald can be quite the leveller. It may be something that he enjoys or experiences once but is happy to take back to the fantasy zone.  Alternatively, he may hit prodigious levels of sexual ecstasy and never look back.

Granting him a one-night-only pass is a risky strategy when he’s showing every sign of following through with his plan but many don’t.  Dating and threesome apps – for example Feeld, formerly 3nder in Ireland –is rife with ‘fakes’ and ‘flakes.’  A lot of users set up fake profiles to gauge interest and dip a toe in the multi market or they struggle to make the leap from text banter to flesh encounter, ultimately content with virtual relations.   Is he a flake?  Are you willing to torment yourself to find out?

Have the chat but be prepared to walk if things don’t go your way.

Rhona McAuliffe might not be a trained therapist but she does have very big ears, quite a long nose and a gaping heart.  If you have a problem that won’t just go away, she’d love to hear it.  Write to Rhona at [email protected]

Photo credit Becca Tapert, Unsplash