9 Tests To See Whether You & Your Partner Are Ready For A Threesome

I'm not going to pretend like threesomes are a new thing. Group sex has been around for thousands of years — even that famous Sex and The City episode about triads aired (wait for it) 19 years ago. At this point, threesomes are so commonplace they've even been depicted on HBO's The Young Pope: a show about a pope, guys. And that's not a bad thing at all. The truth is, threesomes can be amazing. They can jumpstart your arousal and help you learn about your sexuality. They're a fabulous way to explore sex with other women, if you haven't before. They can bring you closer to your partner, since watching your partner have sex with another person can be a huge turn-on and remind you how desirable your guy or girl really is. And as a couple, pleasuring someone else together can make you feel like total sex goddesses (and gods). The eroticism of having a threesome can linger for long after the actual sex act goes down, providing a libido injection into your relationship for weeks to come.

However, threesomes are not for everyone. They might not be to your liking sexually, and they can have unexpected consequences that could harm or even ruin your relationship. Your partner (or you) could develop feelings for the third. The experience could make you or your partner jealous, and not in a hot way. Or the sex could just straight-up freak you out and give you a panic attack mid-threesome, which is the opposite of a good time. So it's important to be as confident as possible that bringing someone else into your bed is a good idea. And knowing that requires reflection, communication, and some fun and sexy ways to dip your toe into group play. Ahead, you'll find nine ways to help you decide if you can handle it.

FYI: As anyone on Tinder can attest, most straight couples are after a threesome with one man and two women, so while much of the advice ahead will reference the common MFF matchup, threesomes with one woman and two dudes, or three women, or really any combination of gender identities, are totally hot, too.

While we're arguably more in control of and confident about our sexuality than ever, there's still so much we don't know about female arousal. So this month, we're exploring everything you want and need to know about how women get turned on now. Check out more here.
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Take a moment to meditate alone.

Naturally, having a threesome should be a decision made together (and we'll get to that) but first: Take some time on your own to consider how you feel about it. Developing an understanding about how you feel about the idea in general will make broaching the subject with your partner much easier. Do this step right. When you have some time alone, light some candles, turn off any glaring overhead lights in your bedroom, grab a pillow, and sit and meditate on the subject. "The benefit of meditation is that you are focusing on your own feelings, not merely on pleasing your partner," says Dr. Barbara Greenberg PhD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in family and relationship issues.

During your meditation, focus on your breathing and visualize having a threesome with your partner. Play out the scene in your mind, and as Dr. Greenberg suggests, consider your feelings both emotionally and physically. Are you turned on? Inspired? Angry? Chances are, it might be a combination of the above, which is okay. Sex and relationships are confusing AF with just two people involved, let alone a third. After you've grounded yourself and gained some clarity, move on to our next step.
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Ask your partner about how they feel.

Simple communication, so boring, I know! But real talk, communication is the magic that keeps relationships alive, and it's crucial to discuss big steps in advance, from what happens in bed to whether you want kids. Chances are, your partner will be open to the idea if you are, but you never know. One of my best friends dates the straightest, beer-loving, football-watching guy you've ever met, and when she asked him about a threesome, he shared that it made him too uncomfortable. You'll never know until you ask!
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Turn that talk dirty.

Now that you've gotten the grown-up regular talk out of the way, it's time to have some fun. Dirty talk is an incredibly effective tool to bring something new into your sex life without having to you know, do it. "When people are aroused, they are much more suggestive, and they are much more open to things," said Michael Aaron, PhD, an NYC-based sex therapist and author of Modern Sexuality, has told Refinery29. How to work it in? Perhaps you're having sex with your male partner (or female partner wearing a strap-on) and you're on top. Lean down and whisper: "How cool would this be if another girl was sitting on your face right now while I ride you?" If the threesome dirty talk makes the sex hotter between just the two of you, it could be a sign that you're ready to explore bringing in a third.
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Talk to your sexually experienced friends.

A survey from last year found by looking at 274 heterosexual people aged 18 to 24 that 24 percent of men and eight percent of women have had a threesome. Considering that study excludes LGBTQ and older couples, I suspect the actual figure is much higher. Point being: You know someone who has had a threesome. Take a sexually experienced friend you trust out for drinks and ask them to spill the dirt. Did they like it? Do they think you'd like it? What advice do they have? Talking about sex with friends over drinks is always fun, so you honestly can't go wrong with this tactic. Either have drinks with your partner present (better yet, with a couple who has had one!) or go home and spill the deets and see how it makes you two feel to learn about how someone you know felt about the experience. If you truly don't know anyone who has had one, make an account on the kinky social network FetLife (it can be anonymous) and chat with some new internet friends about what to expect.
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Get a lap dance together.

Regardless of the occasion, visiting a strip club with your partner is a fabulous out of the box date idea (perhaps for Valentine's Day?). Taking the daring night out a step further and opting for a couple's lap dance is also an adventurous way to tell if you and your partner are ready for a threesome (and support your local dancers in the process). Often it's difficult to understand how you'll feel about another woman (assuming you're going for an MFF threesome) touching your partner in a sensual manner until you see it in real life. By getting a lap dance together, you can experience it irl without the pressure of expected sex. Perhaps watching another woman tease and tantalize your partner, and their arousal in reaction, will make you wet. Perhaps you'll experience an unexpected surge of jealousy and realize you're not ready to invite another woman onto your partner's lap, let alone into your bedroom.

Of course, not everyone (regardless of gender) feels comfortable in a strip club environment, so if this doesn't feel right for you, move right along.
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Go to a sex party.

Watching porn is a great way to explore a new sexual activity, but real life sex is very different than on-set sex. Attending a sex party with your partner is a wonderful way to see group sex in real life (and threesomes of all sorts tend to go down at sex parties). Perhaps you'll watch a threesome and find the tangle of limbs so hot you're ready to sign off on the idea, or perhaps like Amber Rose, you'll find a threesome awkward and unappealing.

If you attend a sex party with a date, as a reminder, you don't have to have sex with other people. You can — in fact, you could have your first threesome at one — but if you're still in contemplation mode, try going to a sex party and only having sex with one another, or simply watching a threesome. As Effy Blue, relationship coach and educator told us previously, “[Couples] can have sex with each other and experience exhibitionism. They can also watch together — watching is participating." Before attending your first sex party, Blue recommends reading her Play Party Etiquette book, available here.
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Start with a three-way kiss.

Am I the only person (well, aside from the other two involved) whose senior prom night ended with a three-way kiss? Probably not. As an adult, such a group makeout is easy to come by naturally at a party amongst friends. If you're a woman in a straight relationship, and like the most straight couples seem to be, interested in a threesome with another woman, be the one to initiate it. Carefully read a situation and be mindful of consent (aka, don't go kissing girls who don't want to kiss you back), but if you find yourself flirting with a female friend and she seems into it, lean in for a kiss. If your partner is nearby, pull him in too. Three-way kisses are sort of innocent in a high school way, but also fun to recreate as adults, like a game of spin the bottle. Not only will a three-way makeout help you see how you feel about going further, but it could also help you find someone who's attracted to you both (and vice versa) should the time come to inquire about a full-blown threesome.
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Join a dating app.

Creating a couple's profile on a dating app can be a fun way to explore potential matches together and see what's out there. If you create an account on Tinder, make sure to use photos of the two of you and be clear that it's a profile of a couple looking for a third (as non-creepy as possible please, but be honest). Better yet, check out Feeld (formerly 3nder) which is a couple-friendly app that I prefer for this purpose because it's honest and to the point. Simply browsing matches together can be an act of foreplay. As my friend Kevin* recently said when I told him about the app, "My wife and I had a TON of fun going through our matches." If you feel like Kevin and his wife did using the app, perhaps a threesome is right for you.
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Go on a date!

If solo meditation, watching a real-life threesome at a sex party, and getting a lap dance has confirmed that you and your partner are ready for a threesome, before you decide to pull the trigger, ask someone out! It could be your friend you jointly made out with or a Feeld match — just make sure you're confident they're into the idea, and approach asking them out with the same respect you'd use for a regular date.

It's not a bad idea to hold off on sex on the first date. Actually going on a date with someone and seeing how the three of you vibe will give you a great measure of whether you're ready to bring them home.
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