Ménage à what?

Experimenting with multi-partner sex

Experimenting with multi-partner sex can be an exciting experience, but make sure to take the necessary precautions before you dive into bed with two partners.

Q: I have always fantasized about having a threesome…how can I talk to my partner about trying?

Explain why

It’s important to first communicate with your partner why you want to try a threesome.

Is it because you want to voyeuristically appreciate someone else ravishing your partner? Do you want to feel like the center of attention? Do you want your partner to enjoy something that you can’t give them? Do you want to explore a different power dynamic in your relationship? Do you just want a crazy story for the glory years?

Choose a third party

Like any sexual partner, you should be thoughtful about who you invite as a “third party”. Best friends may seem like a good idea because you know each other well, but consider the potential impact on your relationships before inviting a close friend or someone you see regularly. There are lots of websites and apps to meet people explicitly seeking to join a couple.

Don’t assume your partner will be attracted to the same third as you — they may be more interested in an MMF (two males, one female) threesome while you’ve only considered FFM (two females, one male), for example.

Remember, regardless of you or your partner’s gender or sexual identity, it doesn’t mean that third person will necessarily be the right fit for both of you in the heat of the moment.


When it comes to multi-partner sex, communication is key to a positive experience. Try to embody a GGG attitude — “Good, Giving and Game”, a term coined by columnist Dan Savage. This is where you strive to be Good in bed, Give equal time and pleasure to your partner(s), and be Game “for anything — within reason”.

Before anything happens between the three of you, you need to set clear boundaries outside the bedroom. No one should ever do anything that makes them uncomfortable or feel pressured to continue once something has started.

Communicate about your expectations and limits:

Are there specific acts you’re (un)comfortable with? What words do you (dis)like to hear? What are your physical cues when you’re (not) enjoying yourself? How will you express if the mood is off? You also need to discuss whether or not you’re comfortable with other people knowing, or if you expect your threesome to remain a secret.

Talk about how you will use safer sex options — condoms, dental dams, gloves and other barrier methods to prevent skin-to-skin transmission of STIs. Use new condoms for each partner if sharing sex toys. Getting tested for STIs with your partners beforehand can be an intimate shared activity; everyone involved is fully informed of the risks.


You may be surprised by your reaction during, or after, multi-partner sex. You may not expect sudden emotions — feeling jealous of an intimate look, feeling inadequate measuring up against someone else’s performance, feeling left out of their bond, or wondering if you alone will be enough for your partner after.

You might feel disappointed that your experience didn’t live up to your expectations or totally surpassed your wildest fantasies. You need to give yourself permission to fully feel and express these emotions in a safe space. Aftercare is as necessary as ever to make your partners feel appreciated and cared for. Remember that your third is a person that you cared for enough to invite — their own needs and emotions are equally important as yours.

A threesome can be an exciting experience to share with your partner, but inviting another person won’t cure a troubled relationship. Communicate, stay safe, respect boundaries and have fun!

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.