Have the Threesome

Savage Love Letter of the Day

Comments

1

Our first threesome led to a currently 4 year mostly polyfi triad relationship, but I certainly didn't share LW's attitudes about monogamy or threesomes or group sex or swinging. So HMMV (his mileage...). Still LW, why wouldn't you have a threesome, I mean really, never in your wildest dreams did that sound like fun? Most guys would kill for a gal that was up for one!

Dan's right, if she's asking, you really can't go wrong, if she likes it and wants more then (I guess) she's not for you and you saved yourself some time AND had a threesome! AND in the unlikely event that she DOESN'T like it and decides lifelong monogamy is for her, then you win again, you get the mono girl you want AND you had that one threesome that so many monogamous people wank about their whole lives.

As someone who, as a result of his relationship with two lovely ladies, has had more threesomes than I ever thought possible, I'll also say after a while threesomes do lose some of their allure and good old one on one sex regains some of its charms. Trying to keep all three people involved, and satisfied is a pretty big challenge for the person who is out numbered by the opposite gender (not to be too binary about it). Maybe threesomes are really balanced and easy if there's a trans person involved, but I doubt it. Three is just a hard number to balance out equally.

I know...why not have a foursome? Lol ok maybe not.

2

Hmm, I would not say a threesome is "reasonable" for an overwhelming majority of people. It's a super normal fantasy but the reality is not. Maybe threesomes aren't accessible only to elite sex gawds, but that doesn't mean we should expect mere mortals to be accepting of them in practice.

Should he have the threesome? I mean, probably don't look a horny bisexual 25 year in the mouth. err. You know what I mean. You're probably going to break up eventually anyhow, and when you're 42 and jerking it, how much better would it be if you've for that in your spank bank?

3

@1 I don't get why trans people would be different in this, like they can fuck frontwards and backwards simultaneously?

@2 yeah I think Dan is a bit outside the mundane mainstream if he says "threesomes come standard" like oral sex. YMMV.

4

Part of how you react to this may also depend on why you’re so firmly in favor of monogamy. Since you’re in your late 30’s, I’m going to guess that you’ve put at least some thought into this; but is it rooted in a philosophy, or is it something more personal? If you’ve been cheated on, didn’t like it, and now feel like it’s a deal-breaker for you, I think you might have a harder time with this than you will if you just really appreciate the abstract concept of monogamy.

If you’re dealing with some bad memories like that, maybe this isn’t the best idea, and your girlfriend pushing for it could be a red flag (it depends on what you’ve told her). But this could also be an opportunity to let some baggage go; presumably, this isn’t the same person who cheated on you (if that’s what happened), she’s being upfront and honest instead of going behind your back, and maybe this experience will help you let go of some of that old hurt.

On the flip side, if this is more a philosophical issue, you need to decide if it’s a philosophy that’s core to your being, one you can’t let go, or if your relationship with this particular woman is more important. Only you can answer that, and there’s no right or wrong answer, just one that is true for you.

If your girlfriend turns out to be somewhere in the monogam-ish middle, rather than at either extreme, is that still a deal-breaker? Or are you willing to meet her part of the way once in a blue moon? Because if so, then start here; try to go into the experience with an open mind (who knows? You may have a good time), not with feelings of resentment. But if not, then it’s probably time to start planning your exit strategy. Only you know what you can handle, and what’s too much.

5

"Have the Threesome"

Yup. It's been 8 years since NCN's letter so I guess I'll skip to the conclusion: A long time ago in a galaxy far far away I passed up a 3some. Because I wanted to avoid something. Something that ended up happening BECAUSE I passed up the 3some (well, maybe that would have happened either way, and maybe it needed to; as with everything always, it was complicated). I wish Dan had a column I could have written to back then. I wish I was someone back then who didn't need to ask for that advice. It would be cool if NCN checked in.

6

The words "intensely uneasy" caught my eye. NCN is definitely not pro-threesome, but not entirely con either; just "intensely uneasy."
Postulate #1: NCN has never had a previous threesome, and gets frazzled just thinking about the mechanics and sexual etiquette of the whole scenario.
Postulate #2: NCN had one or more threesomes with previous lovers, or had lovers who were CPOS, and now equates all non-monogamous behavior with cheating and eventually ditching one's partner.
Postulate #3: NCN worries that GF is getting bored with one-on-one sex, and specifically one-on-one sex with NCN.
Postulate #4: NCN is monogamous by nature, and dreads getting dragged into a three-way sexcapade. And/Or, subpostulate #4A, NCN has a self-image, ethos, or religious scruple that does not align with the "swinger" lifestyle that GF is proposing.

This was a rerun of an old letter. Regardless of which of my postulates came closest to the truth, I hope NCN had a heart-to-heart talk with GF about these uneasy feelings, BEFORE they invited a third into their bed. It's not an uncommon dynamic for the older or more dominant partner in a relationship to consciously or unconsciously direct the way the relationship proceeds, and NCN stresses that monogamy was established as a make-or-break principle right from the beginning. But it's also not uncommon for a younger or less dominant partner to "top from the bottom," and NCN's letter implies to me that this threesome (if it occurred) was somewhat coerced based on the threat of the younger partner potentially leaving the relationship if NCN did not agree. That's not anyone's definition of fun or consensual sex.

7

There's a stereotype that says all men must want threesomes because getting 2 women in bed with you at the same time is, I dunno, a shiny gold sticker of approval on your manliness or something. In reality, they can be awkward and clumsy, emotionally fraught, and that's if you even get one. Back in my club days "couple looking for unicorn" was a favorite bingo on our people-watching list, and man, have I seen some guys look like they want the earth to swallow them whole after yet another potential girl looked him up and down and made a face that clearly said "ew, christ, fucking unicorn-hunters."

So, yeah, be willing to consider it, but also feel very comfortable saying "nah, no thanks."

8

Ms. NCN is 25 years-old, which is young to be settling down forever, but a typical age for exploring a wider range of sexual activities. Key fact: this relationship is only a few months old, and Ms. NCN is within an appropriate time period speaking up about her sexual interests. So people in NCN’s shoes need to understand that they run the real risk of their partners hitting the eject button on the relationship if they cannot explore their fantasies within the context of the relationship. The surest way to kill a relationship is to convey to your partner that you are not open to things to keep sex exciting. That’s not to say that you need to satisfy you partner’s every fantasy, but this relationship is new and threesomes sound like it might be the price of admission. If NCN cannot handle that, then they should breakup.

9

You're within the 90-day money-back-guarantee period of this relationship, and you've discovered you're not compatible in one major way. Break up now. She WILL want this more and more and will grow to resent you for it. And you should trust your instincts: because you're not into the idea, if you do it, it probably WILL go wrong and cause a big drama. For three people including one innocent bystander. Most men would prefer a girl like her. For her sake, for their sake, and for the sake of all the unicorns out there, put her back into the dating pool and find one of the majority of women who will happily be monogamous with you.

10

OK, so I may have overreacted. Per the letter, "she asked me if I'd be interested in a threesome the other day." That's it. She didn't ask to have one, she didn't say this was important to her, she merely inquired about a very common fantasy. My advice changes to: tell her the truth, this isn't something that interests you. Then see where the conversation goes. (If these two had been together for a few years, I'd agree with Dan on "try to be GGG and indulge her," but they haven't -- they won't be throwing much away if they discover this is a dealbreaker and move on.)

11

Coolie @1: NCN definitely can go wrong! What if HE doesn't like it? What if HIS fears come true, and he finds himself jealous in the moment? You're speaking as someone who's naturally non-monogamous, so of course you can't picture this guy NOT being turned on in the moment, but trust me, it is a risk. He might freak out. This has happened to me before. Then there is the collateral damage to the third. Just because lots of monogamous people wank about this fantasy doesn't mean it is universal, or that reality always lives up to the fantasy. If someone isn't turned on by the idea of [insert sexual act here], it's probably not a good idea to do it. And I reiterate, most sexual acts involve only a person and one's partner, so it's no huge deal if they go wrong, the two people who love each other just talk it over. When there is a third person whom nobody loves, and whose feelings haven't even been considered (ahem), the risk of damage is higher.

(A close straight male friend of mine recently asked, "Why are there so few unicorns? Because couples kill them." He was dead on.)

12

Dan's response makes this too much about the threesome.

@6 cap and @7 traffic have compassionate, insightful responses but still talk about particular sexual activities. The underlying issue here is that the LW doesn't think his partner is good (or as good as he is) at articulating what she wants out of life. Why not ask her? 'What do you want out of life?' We know what his answer is: a long-term, monogamous relationship (perhaps with kids). It stands to reason that her answer won't be so clear-cut, but this isn't (as NCN seems to think) because she's less articulate, thoughtful or mature than him. It’s because she's sensitive to lots of the features of their relationship--that he's older; that he's more conservative (to a point of pedantry, perhaps); that the sex is good; that in some ways they're a match. Between the two of them, they've made it difficult for her to say e.g. 'you're a potential life-partner, but I want to sleep round a bit first'. Or 'I'd settle for you in ten years' time, but right now I'd prefer to keep things fun and casual, not necessarily monogamous, while maybe I look for someone better'. Either of those things. And NCN would not be pleased to hear them either.

But to have thought them, or to entertain them to some degree, on his gf's part would be entirely legitimate.

As for wanting the threesome, it could be NCN's way of 'playing up', of signaling to him that she won't be held back by his greater age, experience or gravitas, and that she wants different things to him.

13

It's likely that she would be 'good enough', round-up-able, for him as a long-term partner. And likely that he isn't (wasn't) good enough for her.

If his instincts speak against a threesome, he should say 'no' to it without arriere-pensee. Then he should think carefully which he prefers, a tightly negotiated monogamish relationship or a breakup. Those become the two options. The two fair options to her, and viable options for their continuing relationship.

14

"Most guys would kill for this" (from Mr Coolie @1) is the phrase used to excuse the Ms LeTourneaux of this world.

It's a pity if she didn't differentiate between an FMF and an MFF (or between either and an equilateral triangle). It might or might not make much difference to him, but it would give a hint into her way of thinking.

My crystal ball shows a seemingly plausible vision that, if he has a two-woman three-way and it doesn't prove to be a one-off, eventually she'll want a two-man three-way, after he'll decline she'll write to Mr Savage (perhaps conveniently omitting that she initiated the three-ways?), and he'll be called an assortment of nasty names.

15

@3...you are totally right, I was really just kidding about a trans person. There's nothing that really fixes the natural imbalance of 3 people when most sex positions make it challenging to include a third person equally. We have solved the problem by re-configuring often, including toys, enjoying the show, and of course, making use of any position that does accommodate 3 people easily (daisy chain, eiffel tower, there's one I really like we call 70 ie 69 + 1, etc)

@11 You are also right on. I did think of that after I posted. There's also the possibilities that he likes it and she doesn't or some other combination like that. I'm very lucky in the sense that our first threesome was with someone we both liked, we were both hot for, worked out so very well (4 years so far in a triad ain't nothin'). My sample is very skewed.

16

Lots of good thoughtful advice here. Only thing I could add is that the LW sounds like a major over-thinker. He's not just considering what she wants and what he wants but how they've communicated those things and then how he feels about it and then how he feels about how he feels about it and that compared with how he thinks he's supposed to feel about it. So I'd say it's a little tricky because no matter how it turns out, he sounds very unlikely to be able to just chalk it up to "hey what an experience!" and move on.

Also a good response would have been to ask her what she thought about it. Dan often points out that when you are breaking a kink to someone, you could ask them what htey think about a thing before revealing that it is your kink. This works the other way around as well. She might already have something (and someone?) in mind, but she was testing the waters first. He's spent all this time measuring his own feelings about hypotheticals- wonder what he would've discovered if he instead asked her to elaborate a bit?

@Coolie and Traffic, agreed, good advice, also interesting to hear those experiences.

@Venn Not saying you are wrong if all those ducks did arrange themselves into that particular row, but I do think you are imagining a scenario leading to a scenario that leads to a new letter that leads to a response just so you can be annoyed by it.

17

Mizz Liz - My "crystal ball" or "cosmic vibrations" are just following plausible threads of how things might happen. We've seen enough examples of late of the attitude that accepting a two-woman threesome requires one to accept a two-man threesome or have a scarlet AH applied to one. Not wanting to be called an AH for declining a threesome he definitely doesn't want seems a perfectly valid reason to decline the threesome that he could take or leave.

18

Emma @16: Agree completely with your analysis of Venn's speculation. Zing! (Venn, which examples are you citing? I can't recall a single one, please provide some links if you want the rest of us to believe this phenomenon is common.)

19

Also, I've never known a straight man to decline a FFM/FMF threesome on the grounds that certain unreasonable strangers on the internet might, at some future time, call him nasty names for not doing something he hasn't been asked to do. Really...

20

I think (think! not sure!) Venn is referring to the exhausting discussions about how to fairly open a marriage for a bi person married to a straight person (one penis policies and the like). I think these are two totally different scenarios, though if I'm following the logic of the comparison, it would go like this: the LW agrees to a FFM/FMF and enjoys it, then a little while later the girlfriend wants a MFM and the LW says no. Girlfriend then cries that it's unfair- the dude got two women why shouldn't she get two men, etc. As in earlier discussions, I take the stance that it's silly to discuss a theoretical objective "fair" when individual relationships are what matter so I don't see the point in creating a scenario just to argue about various grievances. Or at least not in these situations as I'm sure I do the same in others.

He should decline any threesome for no reason other than "I don't wanna" and that's perfectly valid. This particular LW is such an overthinker that I doubt he will proceed without making himself perfectly clear. It's the girlfriend I wonder about- seems he hasn't even asked about what it is she really wants.

21

This man is "intensely uneasy" about a threesome, but doesn't want his hot younger girlfriend to think he's a boring old fuddy-duddy. So my crystal ball says: He says, less than honestly, that in theory he would be into a threesome, but only with a woman. She thinks great! She starts looking for a unicorn, or perhaps she already has someone in mind. She learns it's more difficult than she anticipated finding someone who's into them both, hence why they're called unicorns. So he gets to avoid for a while having to do this thing that he said he'd do but doesn't really want to. He helps this along by having impossible standards for the potential guest stars, or unworkable "rules" like no kissing or staying the night, which would put any otherwise interested parties off. When she does find a unicorn who's willing, he vetoes her, or writes her long detailed e-mails full of his caveats that again make her feel it's not worth the hassle. Soon the girlfriend grows resentful and figures out that he doesn't -actually- want a threesome, and gets mad that he didn't just say so in the first place, instead of letting her get her hopes up and do all this legwork for nothing.

Oops, that's not a crystal ball, it's a rear view mirror.

NCN, you know your own mind. You don't want a threesome. Just say so and let the chips fall where they may.

22

Dan's thinking that the odd threesome is a reasonable sexual request is a distinctly gay male perspective on the phenomenon. Where straight, OS people are concerned, asking for a threesome means asking someone to have sexual contact with someone they're not attracted to because they're the wrong gender, and that is a very big ask. Where one of the three people is bi, there can be awkwardness (see the recent "ball licking" letter), and where two are bi, jealousy due to fears the bi partner may decide they prefer the other gender after all and end the relationship, just to give a few examples. So, Dan, yes, I'm verbally shooting you for applying gay standards to an OS couple. There are complications that don't exist in your world and it's perfectly reasonable for a stated monogamist like NCN to decline.

23

The other very obvious question that hasn't come up yet is: Does she want a threesome specifically or just want sex with another person? Or to signal she wants sex with another person to him? He has made it very clear (a 'make-or-break' issue) that the relationship is monogamous.

Bi @22 is right on the OS/straight angle.

24

Mizz Liz - That, plus the frequent threads in which it has been established that a sizable chunk of the assembled company thinks that anyone who agrees to a partner's going outside the relationship but wants a gender restriction of X-but-not-Y or Y-but-not-X causes an appropriate application of DTMFA.

I agree that, "I don't want to," quite suffices, but backup reasons can't hurt.

25

Ms Fan @22 - Absolutely right. For those so inclined, the fewer psychological dangers of having more than two participants is one of the best features of Homoprivilege.

26

Harriet @23: "Does she want a threesome specifically or just want sex with another person?"
She asked him if he was interested in a threesome, so I'd say she wants a threesome.
My question is does she want any threesome to tick it off an "I have never" list or does she want a threesome with a particular gender, due to her own sexual orientation? If she's straight and adventurous, a one-and-done with either gender might satisfy her (if she's straight and adventurous, Venn's prediction that she would want to tick a box for each threesome type may be better founded). If she's bi, the threesome may be either the first of many or a first step towards seeking an open-to-women relationship. Too many if's to know what she really wants.

Venn @24: Isn't your "plus" just a rephrase? So, no actual example of someone asking for a threesome with the gender their partner likes, getting it, then asking for a threesome with the gender the partner doesn't like, not getting it, and crying a-hole.

27

Ms Fan - Variation on a theme? Have not you yourself said that someone agreeing to a partner's request to boink (other) women separately ought also to agree at the same time to the partner's boinking (other) men - and stated it so because a bi requester will eventually almost certainly want men on the side as well as women? It's lower-grade than a threesome, which will require a good deal more by way of direct participation, but on the same spectrum. And we've had multiple letters and threads in which many of the assembled company have established the view that the partner of anyone who prefers the dreaded OPP should DTMFA. Now, some might rank the right to personal autonomy highly enough to accept someone's refusal ever to participate in X, but I'm fairly certain I could write GF's future letter to Mr Savage in ten minutes and you, along with your faction, would entirely give her your sympathy.

You're giving me a number of ideas that would be pure gold for an edgy comedian.

28

Threesomes and outside encounters are two completely separate things. I don't see how they are on the same spectrum other than the fact that both require an individual couple to communicate what they are individually comfortable with which likewise makes it impossible to generalize about what is fair. The part of me that does not want pussy in my face/hands is totally separate from the part of me that has feelings about my partner having pussy in his face/hands. There is no crossover whatsoever between the reasons behind both. One is an issue of my sexuality. The other is an issue of my preferences and comfort zones in a relationship. And yet again, I fail to see the point in creating elaborate hypotheticals just to get mad about imagined responses to them. Likewise, I fail to see the point in trying to come up with a rule about what is fair in generalized relationships when what matters is individual preferences.

Also Venn, I don't understand your comment in the other thread, and if you were seriously asking me a question there, you're going to have to clarify, without the assumption that we have the same (pop) cultural reference points.

29

Venn @27: Almost anyone could craft a fictional letter in such a way to garner sympathy, so nul points to you for that one. Read EmmaLiz @28's response: these are two separate scenarios, and I don't know why you're expressing a Sublime-like level of outrage about a situation that not only has never happened to you, but will never happen to you.

Besides, the one-penis-policy issue is NOT that every bi woman will eventually want to fuck men too, but that few bi women would see it as "fair" that her male partner got to fuck the opposite sex and that she didn't. A woman whose male partner agreed to same-sex-only on the side, whether he participated or not, would NOT inevitably ask to fuck men, if she was getting all the dick she needed from her partner.

I was DONE with this topic, DONE, but since you've brought it back and clearly see me as one of the people who'd call any OPP advocate an asshole (verbal gloves off, honey, you'll have to read some profanity), you're wrong. If both people are happy with it, then I'm not telling them they're wrong. Generally, though, both people aren't happy with it -- it's a compromise which is basically blackmail: "you have to forfeit half your sexuality unless you agree to this unfair arrangement," which many bi women grudgingly accept. (That is, you're correct, until they meet a man they're attracted to, and the hypocrisy of the arrangement must be faced.) Many people -- including the straight male friend I referenced @11 -- hold a far less tolerant view of OPP than I do. It's clear that there's a spectrum of opinions about the practice, and I don't know why that's making you so angry that it's bleeding over into a discussion about the unrelated issue of whether someone should be expected to share sex with a person they're not attracted to. You can SPECULATE that OPP opponents would think such a person would be obligated to do so, but you'd be wrong.

30

@26. Bi. My supposition was the lw's gf was at least bicurious, for there to be a possibility (MFM or MFF) for him to consider. He was averse to another man for reasons he couldn't justify, despite being a thoughtful person; and his instinct, in fact, was against a threesome tout court. As far as I'm concerned, he could be against another man because (he fears) the spectacle of another man fucking his partner would render him unhappily jealous, in a way that a woman wouldn’t; the distinction might be irrational, but could still count as a boundary he'd be justified in enforcing.

Sorry if you are tired of the topic. I can't actually understand Venn's substantive point, as he would have it.

31

Harriet @30: I'm not tired of THIS topic, I'm tired of the OPP topic which Venn was citing as analogous to agreeing to a threesome with one gender but not the other. I disagree that they are analogous. As far as why NCN wouldn't want a threesome with another man, "because I'm straight and monogamous" covers it for me.

32

From 30 "He was averse to another man for reasons he couldn't justify, despite being a thoughtful person; and his instinct, in fact, was against a threesome tout court. As far as I'm concerned, he could be against another man because (he fears) the spectacle of another man fucking his partner would render him unhappily jealous, in a way that a woman wouldn’t; the distinction might be irrational, but could still count as a boundary he'd be justified in enforcing."

@Harriet, (Dan), etc- regarding the topic of this letter- Is it really so hard for people who are not straight to think about straight sexuality as being "born that way" in the same way as with others? Some straight people are fine with FMF or MFM- usually in the solicitations for these things you'll see something like "looking for another man FOR HER ONLY" or some such thing. Indicating that clearly there will be no contact between the two straight men (or women) depending. Some straight people are more fluid/curious- and because society doesn't judge women as much for having same sex experiences as they do men- it's more common that a straight woman will mess around with another woman because the her partner finds finds it hot or for a lark because she's curious.

But there are plenty of us straight people that really don't want another naked person of the same sex in the bedroom with them, and you don't need logical reasons for this. I don't want boobs and pussy in my bedroom around me in any sort of intimate way. If you need a thought experiment, imagine something you find really unattractive. If you said that an old fat man that looks just like Henry Kissinger wanted to get naked and have a threesome with me and my hubby and that I should have an open mind and consider it because I don't actually have to have direct contact with Henry, no I don't. I can tell you from a gut reaction that there is nothing about that experience that I would find pleasant. It would be a little gross and certainly awkward. I don't need to reason around it.

Similarly, if Dan's husband suddenly came home with the desire to bring a woman into a threesome with them, would he be expected to be open minded about it? Or someone like Venn who is pretty clear that his sexuality is as rigid as mine? Or a lesbian with a bi female partner, expected to have a man in her bed ever so often? It's the same for us straights.

It's not about being open-minded or GGG- it's about being expected to be more fluid on your sexuality than you are. Some of us are not curious, some of us know exactly what we are attracted to and what we aren't.

In my own case, I've been fine in larger groups, swinger party type situations, with there being naked women around being sexual- it's not that the presence of other women turns me off. That's all fine, and while watching doesn't really turn me on either, it's perfectly fine and I'm good with group type situations, even sometimes enjoy the social companionship of other women. But a threesome is more intimate and requires us to be working on the same man at the same time in very close proximity which just seems really awkward and unappealing and something I am not interested in AT ALL.

This has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with how I feel about my husband sleeping with other women (or other men if he wanted to) which has been through plenty of variations over the course of our marriage, depends on relationship circumstances, etc. Even in the case of a FMF threesome, Id' rather if we just took turns separately- it's not about the same concerns. Likewise, would I be down for a MFM? Of course I would. But the husband has the same concerns on the flip side, and again this has nothing to do with how he feels about me with another man (or woman) on my own.

33

Ah here this is shorter. An analogous situation would be a couple that had a TPP not a OPP- a husband who let his bi wife have threesomes with two other women but not with two other men. Or a wife that did the flip for her bi husband.
It's not a double standard if you are asking the partner to be involved- it's a matter of sexual orientation.

34

Exactly, Emma @32. NCN is against a threesome with another man for the same reason he'd be against a twosome with another man: because he's not into men. -I- get it! Seems simple enough to me! (Sure, some straight men would be into the voyeur aspect of an MFM, but not a self-described monogamous one.) Venn is wrong if he thinks a majority of people would call such a person an asshole. In reality, it's someone who would shame a person for not having sex with someone they're not attracted to who's the asshole.

35

@31. Bi. Yes, sure, I would accept your reason too. Possibly I am using the same word, 'threesome', for MFM (no sexual contact between men, in this case), and MMF, in a triangle, idk, which would explain why I'm coming up with less straightforward reasons for countenancing straight men being in principle open to MFF and not to MFM spit-roasts.

@32. EmmaLiz. We are on the same side of the argument. I agree with you that it is legitimate just not to want to be naked and sexual with someone the same sex as you. Against this, and I'm saying this in a very weak way, as a queer person a lot of the straight culture I see strikes me as markedly homosocial--straights, esp. straight men, bonding over covert forms of homoeroticism, paired with proscriptions of homosexuality. In impulse (though not actually in what I'd see as legitimate in this context), I would by inclination think more liberal straights would be tolerant of some of this suppressed homoeroticism becoming overt.

36

Harriet @35: As we saw in the recent ball-licking letter, it is difficult to avoid all contact between any two people in a threesome. Spit roast is ONE possible position, but other activities may happen during the course of an MFM/MMF pairing. Should happen -- otherwise it would be boring and over very quickly. I got my head bitten off previously for suggesting that I didn't see much point in straight threesomes, but I stand by it. The potential activities just seem too limited if everyone involved isn't into/open to physical contact with each other. FTWL, as Venn would say.

37

@BDF and Harriet

Here's what I think regarding straight people. I think generally speaking there are two categories in regards to threesomes.

First is that I think a lot of people find there is a little bit of fluidity in their sexual orientation within the right context. A lot of things that we find gross when we are not feeling horny or passionate can be very hot in the moment. I don't walk around in life with an interest in licking arm pits or hairy balls but in the moment with the right partner, I'll lap them both up happily, especially if it's really doing it for my partner. So a straight person who is ordinarily not at all interested in the same sex, can either compartmentalize their presence (like in a situation of no contact between ss in a threesome) and focus their senses instead on the os person who is receiving the attention from the two ss people. Or the straight person might even, in the moment, have sexual contact with the other ss person- either in the heat of genuine passion or as a bit of performance to help someone get a fantasy.

Category two is for people who are a bit stricter in their sexual orientation. I think this has a lot to do with temperament- I'm not good at performance and role play unless it's something that I'm already somewhat into. I can pretty easily do something I find neutral just to please a partner, but I'm not good at even pretending to be into something I find really silly or actually unpleasant. For example, I get that it's hot for loads of people who are not at all really into incest to call their lover "daddy" but for me- that shuts my libido right the fuck down. I don't want to think of my father when I fuck and I can't make the word daddy mean something else. Likewise with women. All the sounds, smells, bodily fluids that become hot during sex when you are passionate would just seem really gross if I was not into it. I mean, what do you do with another woman's vaginal fluid during a FMF, even if there was no contact between the two women? Does the guy get up and wash his dick between pussies? Or am I supposed to accept that another woman's lube is in my hands/face/vagina? That makes me want to gag. I don't like watching boobs, I don't want another woman's ass in my face, I don't want to hear her sounds. What am I supposed to do while she's fucking? Sit there and pretend it's hot? If my pleasure is entirely supposed to come from HIS experience of two women, then I'm much more down to either tag team (with a shower in between) or let him hire two women. In either case, I'd rather just have a cup of tea while they are all in the next room than be in it myself.

I find it ludicrous that this has anything to do with one's political opinions or social tolerance. My guess is that rigid masculinity leads some straight men to crave intimate friendships with other men, and they might therefore express that in some form of homoeroticism, and other straight men might be dealing with suppressed bisexuality- but that's sort of a cart before the horse situation. These people will still have a sexual orientation that manifests in one of the two categories I mentioned above regardless of their tolerance and/or socialization. Just like how there are plenty of bigots who are nonetheless gay- out and closeted. Let's not skew things. It does seem lately that there's been a bit of an expectation that you can open-mind your way out of being straight somehow.

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@36. Bi. Oh, I would still see the turn-taking, the alternation between the voyeurism and the sexual contact, as hot. Personally I'm not crazy about threesomes as they arouse my anxiety.

@37. EmmaLiz. There's something very fundamental where I agree with you--which is that a person's sexual orientation has nothing to do with, isn't formed by, their political values or degree of social tolerance. Otherwise I'd see orientation differently to you, in some ways. The standard view would be that orientation attaches to categories of people, to people in genders. I'd think it attaches to body parts and sex acts, such that it confuses self-assignation to a group of people with, supposedly, one sort of desire and one object-choice. Straight men who like watching PIV porn like cocks. It may be that the cocks they like are their own, or that they can imagine these members are like, or in the position of, their own dick. But I think their sexual attraction is to a scene of having sex that is OS, heterosexual; and the polymorphous and gender-scrambled nature of this sex entails feelings that are autoerotic and homoerotic.

Sexuality as 'a pattern of attachment to genders', rather than 'desire and interest in certain bodily parts and acts', is a cultural program for me--a repressive program of socialization.

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@38 Harriet_by_the_bulrushes
"Straight men who like watching PIV porn like cocks."

(First, from the subsequent sentence I think you might have meant to type POV [and of course 96% of BG porn is PIV, only POV porn is a porn category] if so...)

I think that at least for some you might have that upside down. They might simply want to take all the non-cock part of the male out of the scene.

"It may be that the cocks they like are their own, or that they can imagine these members are like, or in the position of, their own dick."

That last phrase "or in the position of, their own dick" is also correct.

Of course I could have a skewed view, since POV seems weirdly artificial to me.

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@39. curious. I did mean 'PIV'. (I'm not an expert on straight porn. The straight porn I watch 'for women' seems to be 'for men', so much that I dread to think what the porn 'for men' is like...).

When one starts to say, 'that's ideological, and not simply natural', one says it about everything. Obviously e.g. it is ideological (=cultural and political) that men like football and war, and women like make-up. But I do think it's worth pointing out that the idea of orientations attaching to genders, not to acts or bodies, is an ideological fiction.

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@40 Harriet_by_the_bulrushes
Oops sorry never mind!

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I'm not sure what you mean by this:
But I do think it's worth pointing out that the idea of orientations attaching to genders, not to acts or bodies, is an ideological fiction.

But for what it's worth, I sometimes find straight dudes very attractive when they wear clothing that is traditionally female oriented (I did grow up when goth/punk gender bending was common, hot and masc with no reason to assume anything about the person's sexuality or gender based on these fashions). I don't feel at all attracted to women, and if I knew the woman had a penis, I would still not be attracted to her. We could hang out as friends, but not as dates or people in a potential relationship. However the flip side of this is also true. With transmen, I could orient myself around them as one might with a date- flirting and physical attraction. But when it comes to sex, I could suck a trans woman's cock a million times before I would feel comfortable putting my face/hands near the trans man's pussy. Once clothing comes off, it very much is the body parts and actions I'm interested in, but when we are interacting with clothing on, it's the gender. So sexual orientation to me seems to be a bit of both- gender and body parts.

Regarding POV porn, yes of course all men are obsessed with their dicks- from their first awareness of its existence in toddlerhood until the grave. But I don't think (being a woman, not sure) that straight men are interested in other men's dicks. In porn, it's a projection- a fantasy- and I'm pretty sure that in most straight porn, the man is taking the point of view of the penis fucking the woman- the woman is usually centered in the visuals and the porn also usually centers her response to the man. As for "for her" porn, yes it really doesn't seem that way to me either. I like amateur porn if I bother with straight porn at all because I can imagine what it feels like better, but if I'm going to watch the pro stuff, I tend to like Dominant woman porn. And this isn't because I like what they do so much but rather because I like to see the man respond. Unfortunately, loads of straight Dom woman porn includes multiple women, or maybe I'm just looking at the wrong thing. My own preference is for gay porn both because I'm not really interested in seeing naked women and because it's easier to suspend disbelief since I have no idea really what it feels like. I like to see male response. My guess is this is how straight dudes feel too- it's the woman''s response to the cock that interests them, not the particular cock itself. I think this is why straight porn got away with having beautiful women with sometimes very ugly men for so long- the men watching don't care about the male body. This is different now, many of the men are better looking, and I think this is because of gay porn.

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Personally I think that I'm not great at visualization is a factor in me preferring a penis to a dildo in my BG porn.

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@42. Emma. Well, we all know people who are inconveniently attracted to body parts of the gender they're not attracted to--gay men attracted to breasts, lesbians attracted to dicks. And we know activities that people find sexy irrespective of the genders involved in it--like pissplay or grouping for bisexuals, or maybe anyone. On the level of 'oh, that's hot', of primary desire, I'd think sexuality like that, and not about the socio-sexual identity of being 'straight', 'gay' etc.

Orientations in that sense are public identities, affiliations to groups, and have to do with the political commitments people are prepared to make in public.

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If what you mean is that sexual identity as a labeled thing can't address all individual preferences, sure. Our preferences are a combo of innate desires (there is some real core persistent preference however that may be hard wired) and socialization (I think that in a culture where bisexuality or some form of SS contact is acceptable in whatever way, it becomes a norm - though there will always be people who go against norms). How we interpret the range of behavior and how we label it changes with time/culture. If that's what you mean, sure, but I still don't see what being liberal or tolerant has to do with this any more than being bigoted does. Plenty of bigots are gay, plenty of strict straights are liberal- plenty of us don't fit under those labels in the first place. And tolerance has less to do with that even as tolerance is more about mutual respect and live/let live than it is about individual understanding/experience. My tolerance for the Amish for example doesn't make me any more likely to be Amish- in fact my personal opinion is that their way of life is batshit crazy. Doesn't change the fact that I'd defend their rights, treat them with respect, recognize their autonomy, etc. Anyway off topic...

I don't know any lesbians who are attracted to dick nor any gay men who are attracted to breasts nor any non-bi people who are into any particular fetish regardless of the gender of the person playing with them. I know that these people exist- the human spectrum of experience is extremely diverse- and I know that my friends/acquaintances don't share everything with me. Nonetheless, I really do think that people who are in certain scenes seem to overestimate the range of sexual experiences of most people, and I think also that bi people tend to misunderstand the extent to which plenty of people are narrowly gay or narrowly straight. I might be at risk of straying into Venn's territory here a bit.

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@45. Emma. There's nothing in your characterisation of people I find off. In my own personal interactions, I can find someone a man, or woman, and be not attracted to them on that basis i.e. they are recognisably male or female, with a certain style or body type, I don't go for. Equally, but more rarely, it can be irrelevant what gender assignation they are; they're queer or GQ in my mind, and hot in their ethos or person.

Empirically, the idea that I 'find men attractive' is a misstatement. There are very few men I find attractive, and fewer of the main subtypes or subcultures of homosexuals. Twinks, for instance, do nothing for me, and bears little as such. It would be more accurate, though still a generalisation, to say I like youthful Daddy/older brother types. A culture that holds me to a more binary, 'straight/gay' statement about orientation may be conservative or residually homophobic.