Sept. 22, 2017
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Shelby Criswell

Have Drama-Free Group Sex

Fulfill fantasies without leaving someone crying in the corner

February 8, 2017, 12:00 am

We all know the trope: Two people are in a relationship, and they want to have a threesome. They feel excited. Giddy, even. And when that magical person (or people) comes into their lives, they get down to business. But then someone stumbles over a boundary they didn’t know about or someone finds a field of insecurities hiding in this unexplored land and boom—group sex stops, and someone is upset.

This is a hypothetical representation, but situations like these do happen. I’ve seen it happen, I’ve been the one crying in the corner and I’ve been there when it happens to someone else.

While it’s hard to get exact numbers, I can say with confidence based on my experience as a sex educator at Self Serve (3904 Central Ave. SE, Albuquerque, 265-5815) that having a threesome is one of the more common sexual fantasies. But it’s also one of the experiences that, if not carefully planned, can go horribly awry. Sex can be complicated enough between two people and becomes infinitely more complicated the more people you add.

As a non-monogamous person who enjoys group sex, this is one of my favorite things to nerd out on and “research.” There are so many different combinations of people and bodies that it’s kind of like an endless sexy puzzle. But, before I dive in, I have to find the boundaries and set the scene.

Depending on your situation when you decide to explore group sex, keep these elements in mind:

Is everyone there because they want to be there? Sometimes people have a threesome just because their partner wants to, and that can end very badly, so make sure everyone involved is a “Hell yes!” and not an “I guess so.” It’s ok to be a little nervous, and it’s ok to try it out and not like it. Just know you will increase your likelihood of an A+ super-fun sexy time if everyone wants to be there.

Safer sex is also very important, and can get complex. It’s important that everyone get on the same page about safer sex boundaries before anyone gets naked. Do you use barriers for oral sex? What about using gloves if you’re using your hands? When was everyone last tested, what were you tested for and what were the results? The safer sex elevator pitch is a good place to get a lot of these details settled between everyone involved. Ideally, this would happen well before the sex happens. I recommend having an initial meeting where sex isn’t even on the table just to see if everyone is a good match. Once you’ve discussed boundaries, consent and safer sex, pick a separate time to meet up and get down.

Consider everyone’s boundaries. It’s ok to start small and work up to something else. If you want to go to a sex party and just watch, that’s totally OK! If you want to go to an orgy, and you decide that you both can participate in oral sex with others, but maybe save penetration for the partner you came with, there’s no shame in that. In swing culture there’s a thing called same-room sex vs. full swap. Same room is where you and your partner have sex in the same room as another couple, full swap is where you swap partners completely. What you define as “sex” is up to the people present. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you want to start slow, but it’s important to make sure that everyone is on the same page about the pace before it begins.

It’s also extremely important to make sure everyone feels cared-for and respected. It’s been known for a couple to invite a third person into their bedroom, but they don’t treat that person like a human being, so they end up feeling like a sex toy. If you are part of a couple and have specific boundaries around what you want your partner to do or not do with other people, make those boundaries explicitly clear before anyone is naked. If your boundaries don’t feel good to the person you’re inviting, they can decline the offer and find something that better fits their needs.

Finally, one of the biggest hurdles for people experimenting with group sex is actually doing the thing. People feel nervous and no one initiates. It happens a lot, and can take practice to get comfortable initiating. I often recommend starting off trading massages or taking a sexy shower. This helps initiate touch and intimacy, and it gets people more grounded in their bodies. It’s also not uncommon for people with penises to lose or not get erections. That’s ok too! Use your fingers, mouth or sex toys to start off, and let your dick take a break.

While group sex can take some time to negotiate, the benefits, for those who are into it, are many! It’s nice to have a team of people ready to lend a helping hand (or two) and it’s fun to experiment with body mechanics. For some people, it can be incredibly rewarding to see someone they love experience pleasure with other people, or see someone enjoy their partner’s sexual abilities. There’s lots to be said for adding people to your bedroom, just make sure you take time and care to set yourself up for success.


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