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  • Writer's pictureSkye

How to Talk to Your Partner About Having a Threesome

As you know, Sunny and I have an ethically open relationship, and because of that we frequently get asked to help others navigate group play in their relationships. Having a threesome is a common fantasy, and there are very few resources out there on how to ethically navigate one let alone support you in the hard conversation of bringing it up to your partner.  


Playing ethically and playing ethically with others is incredibly important to us and we want to do everything we can to help others have the best experiences they can while creating a strong foundation of love and curiosity in themselves and their relationships.  


Having a threesome is not something to take lightly, and it can feel very scary when the time comes to bring it up with your partner. It’s not just about the sex. Threesomes can be emotional and vulnerable, and without strong boundaries and communication, they can put a strain on your relationship. The keys to having a successful threesome are communication, curiosity, and love. 


We have put together this guide to support you in your conversations with your partner around threesomes. Below you'll find things to think about before bringing the subject up and tips for having the actual conversation.


What you need to know before asking your partner for a threesome

Having a threesome is exciting to think about, but we don't want you to rush into one without making a few things clear. 


Before expressing your desires to your partner, you need to understand your own motivations behind having a threesome. 


Take a second to really think about why you want to have a threesome. If your primary motivation is to have sex with another person or to experience group sex to accomplish a fantasy and simply check a box, then you may want to rethink having a threesome. These motivations are based on your own pleasure. They don’t take into account your partner or your relationship. 


Now, if your partner is open and excited to help you fulfill this fantasy, then that’s great. 


If your motivation is driven by a desire for mutual pleasure, exploration, or growth as a couple, then you are ready to discuss incorporating threesomes into your relationship in a healthy way. Think of what questions your partner may ask you and have answers ready. A little bit of planning and forethought can go a long way to help the conversation go more smoothly.


Here are a few more factors to think about before talking to your partner about having a threesome: 


  • Assess your sexual dynamic: Look at the current state of your sexual relationship with your partner. Are both of you open to trying new things and exploring different aspects of your sexuality? If not, it may be worth trying out other perhaps less intense kinks first, such as using sex toys or role-playing. Having a threesome is a big step, and it probably shouldn’t be your first one. Work to build a strong foundation with curiosity and communication at its core. If you are too scared to talk to your partner about a threesome I recommend working on your own confidence and security because asking the question is the easiest part, and I am not saying it is an easy question to ask.  

  • Observe how you communicate about sex: Do you and your partner engage in open conversations about your desires, fantasies, and boundaries? Or Is this something you rarely talk about or find very awkward to talk about? When you talk about tough topics do you each get heated and hurt or can you stay level-headed when emotions get involved? If it's the latter, bringing up a threesome may not be a good idea at this point. It could make your partner feel forced to talk about a topic they aren’t ready to explore, and that’s never a good thing. We recommend having more conversations about sex in general. Start with the basics—ask them what feels good when you have sex, and what they’d like you to do again. Then, you can ask if there’s anything they’d like to try. Over time, when you are more comfortable having these conversations, you can come back to the threesome topic. Carnal Calibration can be an incredible resource for breaking the ice around sex exploration and will touch base on group play if you are too scared to bring it up yourself. 

  • Put yourself in your partner's shoes: It can feel really scary to have your partner approach you about bringing others into your relationship. Your partner may feel a lot of insecurities, worry, and fear about the future of your relationship. A lot of people think threesomes happen because “they are not fulfilling their partner's needs.” Be patient with your partner, provide calm answers, give them space and time to process this, and check in with them often. Open relationships are still very taboo in Western culture so give your partner what they need as they process this new fantasy. 

How to ask your partner for a threesome

Now that you’ve taken the time to think about your motivations and your relationship, you should know whether it’s the right time to bring up the threesome conversation. 


When you’re ready, follow these steps to bring up the topic of having a threesome in a productive way.


  • Prepare Your Partner: Before popping the question, make sure your partner is mentally prepared. Let them know beforehand you'd like to discuss something related to sex and that it relates to one of your fantasies. You might even tell them that your request is a bit out there, so to speak. Try to let them know of your intention to chat at least a few hours beforehand—feel free to text or email them about it. This way, your partner will come to the table ready to have a deep sex talk. 

  • Choose a Safe Space: You should talk somewhere you both feel comfortable and relaxed. At a Starbucks or in the car on the way to your in-law’s place are not ideal. The bedroom is perfect. Also, opt for a time when you have plenty of privacy and no distractions, allowing for an uninterrupted and meaningful conversation. Avoid talking directly after work or when your partner is likely to be stressed or anxious.

  • Ask Directly: When introducing the topic, be straightforward and confident in your approach. Don’t beat around the bush or use unclear language. For example, don’t say something like, “Do you think my buddy is hot? Would you like to see him naked?” Instead, say, “I have a fantasy about having a threesome with you.” Clearly express your interest in exploring a threesome, keep the focus on your relationship, and avoid talking about people you’d like to bring into your bedroom. 

  • Give Your Partner Time to Respond: After sharing your desires, give your partner the space to process their thoughts and emotions. Allow them to express their feelings openly without criticism. Respect their response, whether it's positive, negative, or uncertain, and avoid pressuring them for an immediate answer. If they say no, accept their answer and thank them for hearing you out. They may just need more time to think about it. 

  • Reassure your partner: Make sure your partner knows that having a threesome is about deepening your connection and sharing a new experience. When suggesting a threesome, it’s natural for your partner to jump to the conclusion that they are not enough for you. Reassure them that this is not the case and that having a threesome is about exploring your pleasure as a couple. 

What to discuss with your partner before having a threesome

If you and your partner are ready to start planning a threesome, that's amazing! However, there's still a lot you need to discuss to ensure your threesome is a safe and fulfilling experience for everyone involved. Remember, there are three people involved in a threesome, and each person may have a very different idea of what a threesome entails. 


For example, imagine you’re planning a male-male-female threesome as a male-female couple. If you are a male and plan on engaging in anal or oral sex with the other male in the threesome, that’s something you should discuss with your female partner beforehand.  


Going into a threesome without discussing boundaries and limits can increase the risk of conflict and heartache. 


Here’s what you need to discuss with your partner while planning a threesome: 


  • Boundaries, Needs, and Preferences: Start by talking about your boundaries and needs. What are you most excited about and really want to do during a threesome? What is off the table for you? Discuss what activities are off-limits, what you're comfortable with, and any specific preferences or fantasies you'd like to explore. Make sure your partner gives you the green light for all of your needs and understands your boundaries. Explaining why something may be a boundary for you is important. It helps your partner to understand the connection and significance of that act for you. There are things such as hard limits—acts that are absolute no’s and not to be approached, teased, or brought up again. These hard limits differ for everyone, and it is incredibly important to respect these hard limits with the highest regard as they may be triggers for your partner. Then there are softer limits, things you may discuss initially that you are unsure about. These soft limits are things that you may approach while checking in with your partner. These things should be discussed after the fact to see how your partner is feeling about them. An ethical relationship will never put shame, guilt, or pressure around these limits and preferences. 

  • Navigating Insecurities and Jealousy: We are taught as a society that jealousy is a shameful emotion, and one that your partner should never make you feel. Those in the lifestyle know that this is a myth and we learn to navigate this emotion in a healthy way. It's natural for feelings of jealousy to arise, this is new territory and if you are like me, your brain likes to make up all kinds of stories. Instead of ignoring these feelings, shutting down, or getting upset at them, it's important to lean into them and confront these feelings directly, together. If jealousy happens, talk with your partner to identify the possible causes. Is it feeling like your sexual needs are being neglected? Is there a fear of losing your partner's affection or attention? Is it a more personal feeling of self-worth and insecurities? Figuring out the cause will allow you to find the right solution. This is where aftercare is important. This is a time to talk about all of your feelings, what you need currently, and what you would need moving forward to feel more resourced or supported, along with what you may be excited about in the future. You must be able to have all kinds of conversations with your partner when it comes to group play, even the ones that feel hard and scary. After all, you are in this together. This might also be a time that you do more self-reflection. You may notice that you aren’t in a place where you feel secure enough to open your relationship and can work towards the journey of your own self-love and security. 

  • Defining the Nature of the Relationship: Determine whether the threesome will be purely physical or if there's potential for emotional attachment with the third party. Whatever you both have agreed on, make sure you stand by, but be open to altering the agreement as time goes on. Attachments come and go when sex is involved, so be ready to talk about it. It's also important to discuss this with your third when you are getting to know each other. Lay out what you are looking for in a group dynamic prior so that everyone can be on the same page. There is always the chance for catching feelings, whether you mean to or not. It is important to know that before going into this and work through those feelings in a mature and respectful way. 


Tip: I highly recommend checking out the book The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy. It was one of the best resources for us when we got serious about group play. It answers all of the who’s, what’s, and how’s to navigate the lifestyle in an ethical way. 


How to treat your third

Remember, you and your partner are opening up your relationship to a third person. It is important to know what this person is looking for and how they would like to be treated. These unicorns are not just looking to be used and tossed aside, so getting to know them and treating them with love and respect is part of treating them with respect and compassion. It is important to ask them what boundaries and limits they may have, what fantasies they want to explore, and what they need for aftercare. It is also important to talk about what sleeping arrangements look like if they stay over. They are in your relationship, so treat them as such. 

What Happens if the Answer is No


Getting a "no" from your partner can be disappointing, but don’t lose hope. Here's how to move forward:


  • Accept Their Answer: Respect your partner's decision without pushing further or trying to change their mind. It's never okay to pressure someone into doing something they’re not comfortable with. By showing restraint, you can avoid turning a productive conversation into an argument. 

  • Express Gratitude: Let your partner know that you genuinely appreciate them for taking the time to listen to your desires. Tell them how much you value them as a partner, and if appropriate, tell them that you decided to bring up this fantasy because of how much you enjoy your intimacy as a couple. 

  • Explore Other Kinks: If they're open to it, at another sensible time, discuss other sexual fantasies or kinks that you both may be interested in exploring. Threesomes are not the only kink to explore, and most couples don’t have them. At the same time, you also have a say in your sex life. It shouldn't feel like you are tip-toeing around your partner. Let them know your desires, but don’t hound them for a threesome. Ask them what they may be interested in exploring and do what you can to keep the conversation around kink and sex open. The more you assure your partner that their voice is important, their opinions matter, and that you are also curious about their fantasies will allow space to explore more and more in the future. 

  • Remain Open to Future Discussions: As your partner becomes more and more comfortable discussing sexual fantasies, you may find a time to bring up the topic again—and your partner may be more receptive. It’s also possible that your partner will bring it up themselves. Kink is all about enthusiastic consent and if it is not a f*ck yes then it is a no, and a no that does not need to be explained, pressured, or to feel shame around. If your communication around sex and vulnerabilities is strong, asking your partner “why,” they are not comfortable with this fantasy is okay, but they may not be ready to talk about it. Don’t ever pressure or guilt your partner as that can cause trauma around these types of conversations. Give them the space they need to process this new information. 

And as hard as it might be to hear, you may also need to accept that a threesome might not be in the cards for your relationship. You will need to find a way to be okay with that reality without guilting, shaming, or cheating on your partner. 


If it’s a deal-breaker for you, then you need to think about the future of your relationship. Sexual compatibility is important, but shaming or pressuring your partner is never the answer. You may decide to pursue a polyamorous or open relationship with someone else. Bringing up your fantasies and desires as early on in your relationship as possible can help make exploration easier for both you and your partner. It can be incredibly shocking for your partner of 10 years to hear that you have a threesome fantasy when you don’t even have a current dialogue around sex. Talking about sex in the “getting to know you,” stage of a relationship may feel scary and vulnerable but it certainly is a good way to find out if you are sexually compatible. Talking about sex early on also creates a safe space for both of you to bring up curiosities as you discover them and explore them without shame or fear. 


When it comes to threesomes, good communication makes for great sex 

Having a threesome seems complicated because it is complicated. To have any type of ethical group dynamic it takes a lot of education, communication, and foundation building. Mainstream porn has done us a huge disservice by showing a couple just picking up a girl at a bar to take back to their room. But these scenarios leave out all of the work it takes as a couple to walk into that bar, to play together in a way that feels loving and inclusive to all, and what happens after you are all done playing.  These are all things that are really important to discuss with everyone involved. 


Remember that both you and your partner have an equal say in shaping your sexual experiences. Mutual respect and understanding are key. If there's only one thing you take away from this article, it's to approach communication with honesty, empathy, and respect for each other’s kinks and boundaries.


To learn more about threesomes and see what healthy threesomes look like irl, check out our videos on OnlyFans. We’re so excited for your journey and will always be here to support you or answer any questions you may have.

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