2 min

Three can be fun

A guide to etiquette for multiples

Credit: Xtra West files

I’ve always been of the opinion that anything worth doing is worth overdoing. Sex doesn’t have to stop at two friendly people; an extra person can make the experience not only fun, but with a bit of forethought, everybody can be well-fucked, pampered, and feel good about the experience.

If lighting, setting and timing permit, negotiate. Threesomes can be anything from a one-hour stand to a poly relationship in the making. Find out what you’re getting into, or what you’re welcome into-or at least start without a lot of blind expectations. In public play situations, wait to be invited in; don’t try to add a helping hand or blithely invite yourself in.

“Hey! can I put (gesture) this, in

(gesture) there?”

As a couple inviting another person into your bed, decide for yourselves in advance what you need to do and not do. Unless that’s what you agreed, don’t go after the guest like a dog scenting new meat. Inviting a third into your bed isn’t simply an excuse to boff that hottie while ignoring your cherished life partner, no? And if you, as a couple, have limitations on what your guest can do with each of you, say so up front. I know only one or two people who like to be treated as big, mindless sex toys; the rest might like to know before they agree to sacktime with your dynamic duo that, say, sucking is okay but you couldn’t stand it if your boyfriend fucked him. The moment of truth is perhaps not the best time for you to suddenly start frantic facial-expression-and-gesture processing with your partner.

As the guest in a bed, make sure you actually want sex with both partners, and aren’t just enduring Lisa to get Mary in the sack. Lisa will know. She’ll always know. Similarly, avoid gazing into just one woman’s eyes all night and asking dreamily if they’re having any relationship difficulties.

“No? Oh … well.”

If you are more multiply experienced than your bedmates, it may be incumbent upon you to act as a kind of sexual super-hostess (assume that you are the only adult at the picnic). Watch for someone feeling left out or weird about what’s happening, and let everyone know it’s okay to stop or change a scene. Spread the fun around, suggest new things, and initiate. Sex is s’posed to be hot and fun; don’t let protocol stifle your joy. Your attention to nuance should pay off in the long run, as your girlfriend is pleased, you’re happy, your relationship survives to boff again, and your chosen third goes home grinning, with wobbly knees.

Elaine Miller is offering kink workshops, demos and seminars with Silva Tenenbein. Details at or 604.253.2850.