For the past, oh, two decades or so, men have been trying to talk me into three-or-more-somes. I’ve been accused of turning down the requests without knowing what I like, which is completely not true. I like men. Specifically, I like one man at a time. It’s tough to believe, I know – with the easy access to free porn on the internet (Pornhub, Youporn, XHamster, etc.), it’s pretty much shoved in your face as a consumer of sex that if you are a woman, you should want to fuck both men and women, and it should be enough for the women in porn that the men and/or viewers get off on what they are doing, not the woman who is actually going through the experience. I also blame the phenomenon that seemed to start right around age 23-ish for me, which was that women began making out with each other on the dance floor and in bars if they knew that they could gain attention from men. I’ve heard the theory that women are a lot more fluid in their sexual preferences than men are, so maybe they enjoy making out with their female friends, but I know that getting attention is a huge payoff. The problem with that is that men are now conditioned to look for that in every woman they meet, so if a woman balks at that demand, then the man moves on to the next tasty morsel.
My first live-in boyfriend was nerd before nerd was cool. He was also hooked on porn and had had some bisexual girlfriends before dating me, and he hoped to convert me into inviting others into our sex life. We even went to a swingers’ club one night when we were still living in Albuquerque. It was a bust though – not many people were there, and the three men who hit on me were in their 50’s and slightly inebriated. The bigger problem, though, is that I wasn’t ready to bring someone else in, but I was trying to please him.
A man I fooled around with was, well, very good at what he did, so he probably could have talked me into anything. He told me that he had a buddy from the gym who would be willing to do a threesome. I was tempted because it wasn’t the usual request of going at it with another woman, but I had some hard limits that I wasn’t sure would be honored because I didn’t know jack about the other guy. I don’t ever like to feel outnumbered, whether it’s with trying to wrangle toddlers or penises or anything else that has the ability to turn an experience immediately to shit.
A Greek guy I dated in Ohio talked me and another couple into a post-hot tub rendezvous, but that quickly soured for me because all my boyfriend would talk about was how hot the other woman was, and if he was taking care of her, she would have orgasmed immediately. He got his chance and he was proven wrong. (Pro tip: If you’re going to tell your girlfriend over and over how other women are prettier than her, don’t expect hero worship.)
Through a social group that I belonged to in Phoenix, among the many people I met, I became friends with a husband and wife with a young child. The husband was a nurse at the hospital where I volunteered, and we met while I was in my first year back at school to earn my RN degree. The wife provided writing and grammar services on the side, so I had some things in common with both of them. About six months into the friendship the couple explained that they had an open marriage and they were both interested in me. After I told them that I was the straightest girl they knew, they seemed to accept it and we continued our friendship. One night after the husband and I were hanging out with a group of 10 or so at a bar, he propositioned me and told me that his wife understood, and that he had her permission to have sex with me. I thought to myself, “Okay, I haven’t tried this before where everything is out in the open, so I’ll give it a whirl.” The husband asked if he could have some privacy in my living room to call his wife so they could talk about it again before anything happened, so I was not privy to the conversation. When he joined me in my bedroom, he told me that he told her what was happening and made sure she was okay with it. Can you guess what happened? She wasn’t okay with it. She called me, and then she called him, and after questioning me and him thoroughly, she determined he lied to both of us. Oh, yeah, and he was also screwing another married woman on the side. And the married woman he was screwing had another guy on the side. Are you keeping up with the math? There were at least six of us that had to go in for STD testing. And even though she figured out that the husband was lying through his teeth and I hadn’t maliciously tried to insert myself into their (oh, surprise – not-so-open) marriage, she told everyone in our social group that I was a homewrecker. I ended up dropping out of the group only a week after all of this was discovered. I had made a lot of friends and was attending weekly events and suddenly I was out.
A little older and wiser, I’ve seen many polyamorous relationships thanks to FetLife. I haven’t seen one group of three or more people who have successfully navigated love and sex without someone having to leave, usually in tears. Whether or not a relationship works strongly depends on everyone’s level of comfort with various dynamics. For example, are you okay with your man being a “pony” for a mistress as long as he doesn’t have sex with her? Are you open to being one of three wives to one man? What if your man kisses every woman he meets on the lips while you stand there and it’s obvious to even the casual bystander that it takes a little piece out of your heart every time? And probably the worst scenario is being singled out while everyone else bands together in a group that is supposed to be all-inclusive – it can be very lonely and traumatizing to be ganged up on.
What works for me is to make a relationship work between me and one other person, because damn, even that isn’t easy. I want less strife and heartbreak in my life.