THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND WHY THRESOMES ARE SO ALLURING
Article by Lizette Borelli, Medical Daily (reposted on Alternet)
Comments by Charles Sulka
A YouTube video on ‘things men should know about women’ explains that women are continually testing their mates. Women know that all men are liars, so they have worked out a subtle process of testing their mates in an effort to discern their true feelings. This grown-up version of ‘fifty questions’ is a never-ending process. Regrettably, many men are often unaware of the importance of this interactive re-evaluation process, or they may not be paying attention. Wrong answers can have serious consequences.
Some of the questions posed by women in this process are more obvious than others. Even the dullest man knows instinctively how to respond to the question, “Honey, do these pants make my butt look big?” But other questions are more subtle; the answers can be fraught with peril. Honesty is not always the best policy. Remember, women *expect* men to lie to them.
Correctly answering one question, in particular, is of paramount importance. Usually the right answer is not the truthful answer. This seemingly innocent question is, “Have you ever thought about a threesome? You know, another woman in bed with us?”
As pointed out in the video, there is only one right answer to this question. The correct answer is, “No, honey. Why would I want to have sex with another woman when I have YOU.” This is the only thing the woman wants to hear, even if she knows her man is lying. Knowing how and when to lie is regarded by women as a sign of maturity. Most men are lousy liars, not because they are stupid, but because they don’t recognize the importance of the question, and don’t make much of an effort to lie convincingly. Women despise laziness in men; not making the effort to lie well is seen by women as being dismissive and disrespectful. If a man goes to the trouble to lie convincingly about this, the woman knows that he values their relationship enough to put some effort into coming up with the right answer (even if it is a lie) to what is in reality a trick question.
Let’s face it: women know exactly what is going on in a man’s head. And they don’t like it one bit.
While this article is an excellent overview of the topic, it only hints at the real-world consequences of such activities. To put it in the simplest of terms, threesomes (and moresomes) will destroy a relationship. There are basic biological, sociological, and psychological realities that pretty much restrict sexual relationships to twosomes. This article explains some of these factors, showing some fundamental differences between men and women in their sexual mores.
Even in polygamous lifestyles, the liaisons are almost always ‘serial monogamous’ arrangements. Muslims and Mormons still do it in private, with one partner at a time, behind closed doors.
What happens in these more complex experimental arrangements? The writer points out some of the emotional issues, but the reality is more complicated. In reality, the woman will find the sex with the other woman to be more exciting than sex with her man. Let’s face it, women make better lovers than men. Women know what turns other women on, while men, being self-absorbed, give little thought to pleasing their partners. Men would be shocked to learn the truth — that their mate’s fantasies aren’t about *them* any more. (!) An equally unfortunate development is the jealousy, emotional confusion, and trauma from the woman’s witnessing the man’s intimacy with the other woman. Either of these scenarios can spell the end of the relationship and result in emotional turmoil and suffering for everyone (and especially any children who might be in the picture.) Even if things seem to be going well, and the wife doesn’t decide to leave her husband for another woman (it does happen!) there can still be undercurrents of jealousy and insecurity that destroy the relationship. Fantasies of forbidden fruit can become disruptive, an ongoing distraction that undermines the relationship. Things can quickly get out of hand. It is, as they say, a slippery slope.
Such activities are far more common among young people experimenting with casual sex, before they are committed to a long-term monogamous relationship. The threesome is not a natural family unit. Polyamorous relationships are almost never fulfilling or stable. Such arrangements are simply too complicated to form the basis of permanent familial relationships.
SO, guys, when your wife or girlfriend asks you if you ever think about a threesome with another woman, pay attention! Keep your wits about you. This is a trick question. This is not your lucky day. She is not hinting that this is something she wants to try. She is testing you. She does not want to hear the truth — that this is a fantasy of yours and that you think about it all the time.
Wrong answer (duh!) The woman will be thinking, “You had to tell me, didn’t you? You didn’t even have the decency to lie about it.”
The only right answer is, “Of course not, honey ….” Best not to look her in the eye when you say you never think about other women. A woman knows.
When dealing with women, men should assume that all questions are trick questions, and that honesty is not always the best policy. It’s called Life … and it is complicated.
(chs 01-14-2017 14:46 -0500)
The Psychology Behind Why Threesomes Are So Alluring
“Some people basically find a threesome a bucket list fantasy they may or may not enact, but they keep it in their ‘fantasy bank’, because they like the way it makes them feel.”
By Lizette Borreli / Medical Daily
January 13, 2017
Most men have fantasized about it, and most women have been propositioned for it: a threesome. A ménage à trois has appeal for several reasons, including the allure of being the center of sexual pleasure, while pleasing others at the same time. The forbidden turns into a night of double the pleasure, double the fun. But should the fantasy of a threesome become a reality?
There’s a lot of mystery surrounding the seductive triad because they’re sexy and alluring, yet dangerous and forbidden. We can imagine what they’ll be like, but we won’t truly know until we go there.
April Masini, relationship expert and author, believes society feels “regular intercourse” is tradition, and a threesome is a “lesser tradition that is not part of a healthy, long-term relationship” she told Medical Daily. These core beliefs will inform a person’s decision to either pursue the fantasy, or leave well enough alone.
Not all fantasies should be shared; if we’re in a relationship, and haven’t talked about the idea with a partner, it could be uncomfortable, awkward, and upsetting to add a “plus one” to our sexual rendezvous. There are risks and benefits for singles, as well.
Sex And The Media: Threesomes
The media has become an outlet of information for sex, dating, and sexual health, especially during our teen years, and it influences our sexual behavior and attitudes of what we’re expected to do and like. The media can display casual sex and sexuality with no consequences, which may change the way we think about them, including threesomes.
In a 2003 study published in the Journal of Undergraduate Research, researchers examined the relationship between TV viewing and sexual attitudes and perceptions. Students from a public Midwestern university completed three primary measures: television viewing habits, sexual attitudes, and responses to sexual scenarios. Half of the participants completed the measures after waiting in a room while viewing sexually explicit music videos, and half waited with no TV present. Those exposed to sexually explicit videos before responding to the sexual scenarios rated these scenarios as less sexual than those not exposed to the videos. In other words, being exposed to sexually explicit content had a priming effect.
Daytime and nighttime television can also act in a similar way. Soap operas tend to have more sexual content than prime time programs, but they portray the types of intimacies differently. They tend to show more intimate moments, whereas prime time programs generally imply the sexual content, like threesomes.
For example, in the episode “Third Wheel” on How I Met Your Mother, Ted Mosby calls on his womanizing friend Barney Stinson to explain that he is about to “go for the (threesome) belt” after two women insinuate their plans for a threesome, or as Ted says, “tricycle”. The women attempt to escalate things when Ted comes down with a case of nerves, and tries to end things abruptly. He enters his bedroom where Barney is, and gets sympathy from him. Barney explains Ted’s problem is not uncommon, and it’s what ended his “tricycle” efforts last year.
The episode ends as Ted gets a second chance after Barney “coaches” him how to start. By the time he leaves the bedroom, the girls appear to be gone, until he hears giggling coming from the other room. Ted peers in and enters with a smile on his face. It’s left ambiguous whether or not he had a threesome.
On the show, the prospect of a threesome was portrayed as the Holy Grail every man should strive to conquer. “The belt” was seen as a reward for a man achieving a ménage à trois with two women.
“A man desiring a threesome is almost expected,” Noni Ayana, a sexuality educator at Exploring Relationships, Intimacy, and Sexuality (E.R.I.S.) told Medical Daily.
She believes society encourages men to explore their sexuality; of course within socially accepted boundaries.
“The Golden Rule”: Two Men, One Woman
One of three straight men’s sexual fantasies is having multiple partners, specifically the male, female, female (MFF) grouping. A hetereosexual man feels less sexually fluid to have a trio with another man and another women, because it’s commonly perceived as homosexual.
In 2011, Saturday Night Live (SNL) did a singing skit that delved into the experience of a threesome among two guys and one girl with celebrities Justin Timberlake, Andy Samburg, and Lady Gaga. The song “3-Way (The Golden Rule)” emphasized if two men are in a threesome, “it’s not gay.”
According to Urban Dictionary, “When engaging in a threesome that involves two guys and one girl, the golden rule states that it’s not gay.”
Typically, when men fantasize about threesomes, they think about the MFF dynamic because it’s viewed as sexual behavior that aligns with traditional masculinity.
Moreover, Ayana expressed that heteronormative men are less likely to participate in a threesome that involves two men and one women since the idea may be perceived as homosexual ideation, or sexual behavior.
Straight men would need to overcome their discomfort with other naked men and strains of disgust in our culture that remain over homosexuality.
So, why are we so intrigued by threesomes when at least two of the same gender must participate?
The Object Of Simultaneous Desire
The idea of being simultaneously loved and adored by two males, two females, or a male and a female grouping may be exciting for some. Threesomes present a way for women and men to be wanted by more than one person, and be “center stage.”
Psychologically, men and women see threesomes as validating their sexual status, or level of attraction. The idea that someone or a couple would consider the third party worthy enough for a salacious encounter can be an ego boost.
Masini adds: “People who are insecure often feel that being part of a threesome will give them confidence, sexually, and make them a more desirable partner because they’ve had this experience.”
Some women see it as a confidence builder, as they enjoy being seduced and desired. For men, it means they’re desirable enough to get two women in bed at the same time.
The psychological allure of threesomes, especially for men, could be driven by a biological urge.
Biological Urge For Threesomes
A ménage à trois with two women is a popular fantasy among men. The idea of being with two women at the same time is intriguing because it represents twice the number of body parts to enjoy sexually. It’s also not surprising; this comes from a man’s biological urge to procreate with as many women as possible to spread his genes.
When it comes to mating, women look beyond just an alpha male. The criteria for a woman to sexually desire a man includes strength, health, and fighting ability. In other words, when women are looking to mate, they want a man who possesses the best possible genes for her offspring, and the offspring’s best chance of survival to pass on those genes.
Women may be less likely to engage in a threesome because subconsciously, they do not see any benefit. A male-female-female scenario reduces her chances of procreating with a male. A woman plans, examines her choices, and makes conscious decisions about her sex life — for the most part.
Attitudes About Threesomes: Women Vs. Men
Men and women both dig the concept of a threesome, but whether they engage in it or not is different, according to a 2016 study in the Journal of Sexual Archives. Researchers noted 82 percent of men and 31 percent of women were interested in a threesome. However, compared to women, men reported significantly more positive attitudes and greater interest in mixed-gender threesomes. Meanwhile, 24 percent of men and eight percent of women said they’ve already had a menage a trois. Men prefer to know the person who would join them, and their partner, whereas women only cared whether they knew the other two people if they were the third party to join a couple.
People appear to be open-minded about threesomes, but there’s a big difference between how many people want to have them, and how many actually do it.
“The fact that attitudes and interests were more strongly correlated with each other than with behavior is in keeping with research that has documented a discrepancy between sexual attitudes and beliefs and sexual behavior,” wrote the study authors.
A similar study in the Journal of Bisexuality found regardless of the proposed relationship type, very few women showed interest in having a threesome with two men if given the opportunity. For a woman, a threesome with two men is much more of a social taboo, as some women don’t want to have casual sex with one guy, let alone two.
Unsurprisingly, men leapt at the opportunity to have a threesome with two women, although this desire was lower for both dating and committed relationship partners. In this scenario, women were also less enthused, because it does not have the same appeal to a straight woman as it does to a straight man, beyond the excitement that comes with group sex.
The researchers did find the results were similar when participants were asked how arousing they found the fantasy of a threesome with two opposite-sex partners.
“Some people basically find a threesome a bucket list fantasy they may or may not enact, but they keep it in their ‘fantasy bank’, because they like the way it makes them feel,” said Masini.
The Trouble With Threesomes
Sex between two people can provide a host of infections and diseases; sex among three people triples those odds. A threesome is riskier than sex in a mutually monogamous, long-term relationship where both people have been tested. For example, if you touch one person, and you get fluids on you, and you touch the other person, fluids have been exchanged.
There’s a risk of exposing the third partner to bodily fluids when two fluid-bonded partners engage in unprotected sexual acts. In the book The Ethical Slut, author Dossle Easton uses the term “fluid bonding” to describe when partners involved do not use condoms or other barriers during sex.
Barriers for all sexual activities can go overlooked in threesomes; all partners should use a new barrier every time they switch sexual acts. If one person goes from intercourse to fellatio, or vice versa, you change condoms. You also need to change condoms if you move from penetrating one partner to penetrating another. You need to pick up a new dental dam when performing oral sex on someone new.
As expected, men are more likely to initiate asking women for a ménage à trois . Women are more likely to be aware and concerned about the potential emotional pitfalls and hurts that can be detrimental to all relationships. This is why couples should discuss their physical and emotional limits before the third person becomes involved.
“I have seen some serious fall-out from threesomes gone badly. It can be hard to predict the intensity of jealousy and hurt when it comes to sexual experience and bringing another person in,” Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, told Medical Daily .
Finally, remember that the “special guest” is a person, too. They need to be treated with respect. It’s important to ask them about, and listen to, their limits as well. As with any other sexual experience, everyone needs to feel safe and comfortable enough to say no as well as yes.
Should Threesomes Fantasies Just Stay Fantasies?
The threesome fantasy is a common one, whether we like to admit it or not, but should we act it out?
“… Not everybody wants to act out their fantasies,” Masini said, and some people have very good reasons for abstaining.
Many people keep their fantasies in their imaginations because they know if they acted on them, they’d lose their primary relationship. If we fantasize about sex with a neighbor or a colleague, acting out the fantasy could lead to rejection from the object of our fantasies, and a break-up with our significant other.
This is not to say threesomes can’t go well. Those who really know themselves and their partners can have successful trios.
Saltz advises: “It needs to be thoroughly talked through with openness to [discuss] concerns, fears; [couples should be willing] to listen to each other, and retreat if one needs to.”
Once we see our partner enjoying sex with someone else, we can’t unsee it. The potential vulnerability it introduces, and the potential desire for the third person could be detrimental to a relationship.
Before we start calling up friends, or putting “Special guest wanted” in classified ads, we should ask ourselves why we want one in the first place. To fulfill a fantasy? To feel more desired or wanted? Are we trying to fix our intimate relationship with our partner?
Threesomes can be a fun, adventurous sexual experiment, but can they replace true intimacy between two people?
The idea of a threesome is hot, but it doesn’t mean you should actually do it.
We’re in control of our bodies, and our sexual escapades, so whether that means a intimate twosome or a frisky threesome, it’s up to us.