Mindful Sex: The Threesome

by Jessica Graham

My first threesome involved a lot of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum and a mattress on the floor. It was fun, sloppy, and we all had a good time. After that my triad sexual experiences were all heavily supported by the use of alcohol. Sometimes they were the result of wanting to get physical with someone other than my partner, but not wanting to cheat. I always woke up the next morning feeling a little confused, a little guilty, and a lot hung-over. I never really had to deal with the politics of a threesome, and certainly not the complex feelings that can arise, because I was not actually present. I also missed out on how fun and sexy it can be to have an extra set of hands in the mix, or to watch your partner exploring another body.

Today I like to show up for everything, including my sex life. And let me tell you, fully experiencing a threesome is way better than drunkenly fumbling though one. Mindfulness can expand in all directions of life, including new sexual adventures. The more you bring your practice into every aspect of your day, the more you have the potential to lead an awakened life. I always talk about how the very challenging times are incredibly ripe for spiritual growth, but so are the fun, very sexy times. A new sexual experience, such as a  ménage à trois, offers a smorgasbord of sensory and mental activity. If you get mindful about it, a threesome can be a spiritual path of it’s own.  Just to be clear, your sex life being a spiritual path does not necessarily have equal some sort of new age explosion of “spirituality.” It can still be dirty, wild, and fun. Everything is a spiritual path and in my experience that path keeps getting more simple and ordinary every day. And sexier too.

There are, however, unique challenges and negotiations involved with bringing a third person into the bedroom. If you are considering inviting someone to join you and your partner, a mindful approach will make all the difference in taking it from fun to really fun. Here are a few tips for making your threesome fantasy a reality that doesn’t require a bottle of rum:

Don’t “buy a puppy”

Wanting to spice things up is one thing, trying to fix your relationship by throwing another body at it is another. Whatever needs to be addressed between the two of you will not magically disappear when you see your girlfriend going down on another woman. It might be momentarily forgotten, but it’s not a cure.

There is also the chance that your problems will surface during the threesome. That could get a bit awkward to say the least. So just like buying a puppy isn’t a good idea when a relationship is going though a rocky period, either is group sex. Talk about what you hope to get out of including someone else in your sex life. Notice and discuss if either of you has hopes of it fixing the problems you are experiencing. Most importantly be honest with yourself. The best way I know to be totally honest with myself is to sit down and get still. Meditation has a way of pushing what is true to the top of consciousness.

Talk dirty (in a very clear way)

Before you embark on a three-way, sit down with your partner and talk about what your expectations are. Decide what is off-limits and what is free game. Come up with a plan of action if one of you starts to get uncomfortable. When exploring an alternative lifestyle in your relationship, Moushumi Ghose, MFT, a sex-positive therapist and co-host of The Sex Talk, says, “Setting ground rules is key. Things will come up while you are out there ‘mixing it up’ so having as many key words, and advance communication to help ease the situation will make it all the better.”

Power dynamics can be especially important to discuss. While being dominate with your partner might be the norm, it may not be appropriate when someone else is there. Getting spanked in front of someone else could be incredibly hot; it could also be really embarrassing. If you are inclined to be kinky, decide what stays in the chest under the bed and what comes out, before your friend arrives. If having this kind of discussion scares you, you may not be ready to take this step. Practice just talking about it, while mindfully noticing what emotions and thoughts arise, before taking the plunge.

 Tame the green-eyed monster

Jealousy has been one of my greatest teachers. That said, if I could never experience it again I would be happy to skip that class. Jealousy can be really painful and all-consuming, but with the many insights of a meditation practice you realize how pointless it is to spend time tangled up in it.

Jealousy can certainly come up in a threesome, and that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with being turned on and jealous at the same time. For some people jealousy can actually morph into a turn on. If you notice that feelings of jealousy are arising, don’t try to ignore or suppress them. What you resist persists. Instead, allow yourself to have the feelings in your body and notice the thoughts in your head without getting eaten up by them. Focus on your partners, feel your breath, and relax.

If the feelings don’t pass, take a time out and talk about what’s going on for you. Don’t use this as an opportunity to shut down. If having shut down sex with one person is bad, it’s even worse with two!

There is a great chapter on jealousy in The Ethical Slut, by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt that is helpful for everyone, threesome or not. If you are working through a lot of jealousy, rooted in abandonment issues, you may want to hold off on seeing your partner have sex with someone else. Take the time to address those issues, and know that there will be more fun opportunities in the future. For me, meditations on jealousy have given me access to some very profound insights. Once you stop trying to make the discomfort of jealousy go away, there is so much to learn.

Safety first

Discuss sexual history and practice safe sex with anyone you invite to join you. Period. This may feel awkward and that’s okay. A meditation practice can give you all the tools you need to greet that awkward feeling with equanimity. As you allow yourself to have the experience you are having, without resisting, you will feel more comfortable to  communicate with others freely.

Take it all in Baby

 You are having sex with three people! Be there for it. Open your eyes and take it in. Stay with the sensations, tastes, smells, and sounds. Treat this as a meditation. The more open, free, and present you are, the more you will inspire your partners to be. Let the experience unfold in its natural way and don’t worry about “getting it right.” Take your time to get to know this new body that is mingling with you and your partner.

If the excitement and newness of the situation speeds you up too much, pause. Settle into your body and breathe. As you breathe feel how the pleasure moves through your body. Connect with the other people who are also breathing and feeling good.

You may discover new things about yourself and your partner when you expand your sex life in this way. Stay open to all the gifts that your sexuality has to offer. Be brave and have fun.

It may be that just talking about a threesome is enough for you. Just sharing the fantasy of opening your relationship in that way can be really hot. Experiment and greet your experiences with mindful awareness.

One of my teachers, Shinzen Young, talks about making your romantic relationship a monastery. Do this in all ways, including trying new things in the bedroom. Remember to really show up for all of it, each moan, tingle, and quiver. Who said being mindful couldn’t involve multiple people having multiple orgasms?

Read the full Mindful Sex series

If you are not in a relationship but interested in exploring threesomes check out this installment of The Sex Talk here. For more info on Moushumi Ghose visit her here.

Photo courtesy of Jazzwall Arts

 
 

Comments

  1. This is really great but one thing you haven’t mentioned is the potential issues if there is a power imbalance. My husband and I had a threesome a couple of times with one of my best friends and the issues you cover aside looking back I don’t think I considered that consent and enjoyment are not enough, there is also the potential for hormonally influenced emotions to develop that no one planned for, and that in the case of a couple inviting a single woman there is the possibility of that being unintentionally exploitative. I’m not saying these considerations preclude the threesome, and I don’t regret any threesome I’ve had (OMG they are the best) I just think it’s worth reflecting on the fact that people can end up getting emotionally hurt by sex even if they didn’t expect that to happen.

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