Skip Nav

How to Have a Threesome

Everything You Need to Know About Having a Safe and Spicy Threesome

During our long-distance relationship, my now-husband and I discovered our love of vacation threesomes. We'd seek out other singles wherever we were visiting, grabbed dinner or a cocktail, and let the night lead where it may. It kept our relationship spicy while we spent so much time apart. Once we were married, my husband and I decided to keep our marriage open, allowing us to continue participating in threesomes when we're looking to play together in a different way.

Ready to dip your toe into the group-sex pool, mix it up in bed, or take your current threesome experiences to the next level? Read on to learn everything you need to know before you embark on your first, fifth, or 20th threesome. Just be sure to remember respect and communication if you want to have a safe and fun time!

1. How to Meet a Third Partner

So you've decided you and your partner are ready for a spicy adventure, but where do you begin? Actually finding your third partner can be a challenge in itself. "If you're looking to go old school, you can find a third in person," Gigi Engle, ACS, sex and relationship expert and educator, says. "While bars can sometimes lead to chance encounters, the best in-person, neutral option is a sex party."

Although sex clubs and packed bars are more commonly found in big cities, if you're in a small town or if in-person pickups seem daunting, apps specifically geared toward connecting couples with a third are the way to go. My husband and I use 3Fun to connect with our thirds.

In this app, we each create an individual account and link the two. Filter settings allow us to specify what we're seeking (single man, woman, couple, etc.) and set our individual sexual preferences. We're able to share matches with one another, and potential partners can see who we both are before proceeding with a connection. We love doing our own swiping by day, then sharing our connections with one another over a glass of wine by night.

The privacy features of threesome-specific apps are very important, too. "For people looking to explore threesomes, being discreet can be a huge factor," Engle says. With 3Fun, privacy settings prevent our profiles from showing up in certain people's and locations' feeds. Profiles can't be screenshot and are also photo verified, so we're safe from catfishing.

2. Be Clear From the Start

While a picture speaks a thousand words, bios are of utmost importance when seeking an outside partner. "When it comes to drawing up a profile, be open and honest about what you're looking for," Engle explains. "If you're in a couple, write it together, being clear about what you're looking to get out of the experience. No one has time for games when they're trying to have a sexy experience."

3. Establish a Connection

Meeting up with potential partners before a night of fun establishes the foundation of a successful threesome. "[Meeting in person] will allow you to assess whether you have chemistry and start preliminary negotiations before any sex is had," Engle advises. A casual coffee or happy-hour date gives everyone a chance to get to know one another in a neutral setting, sharing expectations and boundaries as well as fostering a connection — which can ultimately lead to better sex.

While a cocktail or glass of wine can certainly help open you up for what is to come, I personally refrain from overindulging to ensure clearer communication during the act itself. It's hard to relax and truly enjoy the experience when someone is sloppy. I also highly recommend minimizing any drug use (or not using them at all) in your encounters to keep the scene as safe as possible.

4. Set Boundaries

There are two important conversations to have before the fun begins: one with your partner, and another with your guest. "Take some time to create a list of things you want to experience or how you want things to go," Engle says. "It's really helpful to fill out a 'sex menu' or 'red, amber, green' worksheet on what you really want, what you are curious about, and what is a hard no. The clearer you are about what it is you want and like, the easier it is to plan ahead and communicate with your partners."

Once you find a third partner, invite them into these conversations –– their desires matter just as much as yours. Together, share and establish hard boundaries (what you are not comfortable with), soft boundaries (things you may be open to trying given the right conditions), and fantasies.

5. Get Tested Regularly

For a successful and enjoyable threesome, sexual health and contraception conversations must be had before the act itself. Be fully transparent about STI test results and contraception methods. Regular STI testing, especially before and after new partners, is paramount.

Some clinics and Planned Parenthood offer no- to low-cost testing. If you prefer even more privacy, sites like LetsGetChecked provide at-home test kits with relatively quick result turnaround times. During the act itself, have multiple condoms on hand to switch out between partners and acts. While this may not be the sexiest of conversations to have, the alternative isn't worth the risk.

6. Prepare and Set the Mood

A little grooming goes a long way — trim your nails, shower, the works. Make sure you're implementing care to every area of your body to improve your sexual health. In addition to your primping, make sure you prepare your space: make the bed with clean sheets, and place supplies like towels or wipes, lube, any toys, and water bottles within reach.

Afterwards, set the mood to start the fire. Proper lighting is ideal, as navigating legs, knees, and elbows in the dark can get a little treacherous. For those who may shy away from bright spotlights, soft lighting can help guide the way. Press play on some sexy tunes to avoid awkward silences. Make your own playlist, or find one of many already curated on other music platforms.

7. Communication Is Key

Communication doesn't stop when the act starts. Once you hit the sheets, a little sexy talk goes a long way. Tell your partners what feels good, offer suggestions of how you want to be touched and where, and ask them in return. Ask permission before breaking out the toys or trying something on someone's soft-boundary list, checking in on comfort levels all around.

Remember, no always means no. "If something doesn't feel right, you're not into it, or you feel uncomfortable, you should be able to speak up freely and say so. Being able to acknowledge these feelings and take a break will only enhance the experience because it will make you feel safe and cared for," Engle emphasizes.

8. Try Not to Overthink

Threesomes aren't going to be 100 percent comfortable every time, and that's OK! "Manage your expectations accordingly," Engle advises. "If this group-sex thing is new to you, there may be performance anxiety, strong emotions that pop up, or general awkwardness. Go in understanding that this is a new experience — one you want to have, but one that may not be as mind-blowing as you've imagined in your fantasies."

Threesomes take practice, and it may take several rendezvous to learn how to navigate one another's wants and needs. A little bit of laughter can make the experience more playful and fun. The end goal isn't just an orgasm; take your time on the way there. Try new sex positions, use your hands or mouth or toys, and be open and exploratory.

While pushing ourselves outside of the comfort zone sexually can be daunting, doing so in a safe and trusting environment is the way to go. Who knows? You may just reveal a new side of you and your pleasure you've never experienced. But remember, while nerves are normal, feeling unsafe is NEVER OK. If something feels uncomfortable, speak up, stop, and step away.

9. Make an Aftercare Plan

Before you're ready to bask in the afterglow, predetermine an aftercare plan for your partner and the special guest. "Aftercare is the way in which we take care of our partners after intense sexual experiences," Engles explains. "This can range from cuddling and massages to being totally left alone."

Discussing what everyone in the group needs afterward to cap off the experience — while also protecting emotional wellness — is absolutely key. "In this same vein, be sure you know what the plan is after the experience is over," Engle says. "Is the guest star sleeping over? Are they staying for dinner? Are you calling them an Uber right away? Everyone should be on the same page so you can avoid feelings of rejection."

10. Have Fun!

This is pretty self-explanatory, but as someone who frequently puts far too much pressure on herself, try to remember that a threesome is supposed to be enjoyable for all parties involved. It can bring you and your partner(s) closer, foster new relationships, and even teach you more about yourself.

Check jealousy at the door, and come embrace the experience with clear communication and trust. My husband and I found that sight of the other partner giving and receiving pleasure from another can be arousing, and it opens up a new side of our relationship as we learn more about one another and ourselves. Our connection, communication, and sexual likes and dislikes translate to life both in and out of the bedroom, making our relationship even stronger — and more exciting.

Latest Love