"It's not's gay/ When it's in a 3-way"
A while back, after PopEater magazine declared that 2009 had been the year of the threesome, I posted about how three-way sex was becoming a fancy trend at least for allusions in music, edgy ads, and haut-pop culture. Much as I've adored multi-lovemaking with very close intimates (it changed my life when I was young), I wasn't thrilled with the tone of the pop-culture stuff by comparison.
The trend continues. There was the Rolling Stone cover. Then on May 21st for the Saturday Night Live season finale, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, and Andy Samberg displayed their new music video "3-Way (Golden Rule)." And it set the pop world buzzing.
As noted at Huffington Post/ Comedy, the Golden Rule is "the one you learned in elementary school about how it's ok for two straight men to go to bed together as long as it's a three-way with a hot chick?"
Watch it above (SFW, more or less). Bits from the lyrics:
It’s not gay, when it’s in a three-way
With a honey in the middle, there’s some lee-way
The area’s grey, in a one two three-way
Normally I don’t get down with dudes,
But tonight is a special exception.
See, you’re my best friend--
Through thick and thin--
Now it’s time to make a triple connection.
Here in the dark
It’s so hard to tell
Where her body ends (La la)
And my homie’s begins (Ew wee)
It's funny and certainly pushes the envelope, but call me a prude, this is so not me and mine.
BTW, Saturday Night Live is on NBC our parents' plain old broadcast NBC, under the eyes of the FCC.
Lady Gaga has a rep as being smart, principled, and on the lookout to do good stuff regarding freedom and acceptance. Her new album Born This Way (which does not include "3-Way") went on sale a week ago, crashing Amazon. She had 10,549,679 Twitter followers as of last night. The album's audio and video pages had 129 million views, on a planet with only 6.9 billion people.
Threesomes are one of those things lots of people fantasize about but flub up in real life. IME, everyone needs to truly understand what they're doing and why, and everyone need an unstressed, highly communicative connection with one another going in. As in working out the safer-sex protocols for all contingencies long beforehand. As in fearlessly communicating things moment to moment. And inventing good etiquette on the fly, quite the brain exercise. There are so many energy flows amplifying, shifting, and complexifying (think runaway nonlinear feedback) that at least one person may have trouble keeping up and loses the flow, and then that nonlinear feedback flips the energy mix all crazy.
In most of society, good group-sex practices just aren't taught.
A few suggestions that I sometimes pass on: Keep in physical contact with at least two people, even if it's just a friendly hand on the shoulder; this helps alert everyone quicker if someone needs special attention and comfort. Keep talking, and speak each others' names. Triads who routinely have sex together often settle into a pattern of two focusing attention on one, in turn all around. This avoids the who's-left-out syndrome and helps keep it a group enterprise, if that's what everyone wants at the time. Everyone also needs to feel free to step away and take a break without giving offense.
A friend of mine, an experienced poly since about the beginning of time, comments:
I personally take a dim view of doing a threesome for the sake of doing a threesome. I think threesomes are great if they are with people you know, are at least friends with, and have an ongoing relationship so that the three can experiment, talk and negotiate, and try again.
And one thing I really want to emphasize is that if a couple approaches a single person for sex outside a swing club, they really need to be clear about whether they are just ticking an experience off their bucket list or are open for some sort of relationship. Honesty and good intentions for the third party are a must.
On a discussion list we both frequent, in a thread recently about threesomes and moresomes, he had this advice for people looking to explore (reprinted with permission):
When I have ventured into new territory, and there are not many sexual territories I have not ventured into, it has always been good to have a trusted guide along and do the new activity in a safe space. Here are some ideas, in no particular order of recommendation.
1. If you are friends with a couple who are doing this, even if you don't want to do it with them, perhaps they would talk about what one might expect, and how to negotiate limits and say "no" to things gracefully. (I have often thought that doing a dry run with trusted friends, i.e. simulating sex with clothes on, might help someone figure out what their comfort levels are without actually going past some kind of point of no return.)
2. Take one of the Human Awareness Institute (HAI) workshops (http://hai.org). Ming and I took a number of these in the 1980's and they were well run, ethical, and very useful in helping me learn how comfortable I might be in different situations, including group sex and same sex interactions. I understand they have only improved over the years.
3. Go to a swing club and talk to people. Be honest about being newbies. You can even tell them that you are trying to find your comfort levels, are not going to do anything with anyone that night, whatever makes you feel safe. Baby steps, with plenty of discussion the next day, are a good way to go.
4. Find a couples counselor who is swing friendly. IMHO, the best way to use a counselor for couple-or-more issues is to have a session with the counselor, then each have individual sessions, and then have a session together. That way all parties can say the "unspeakable" to the counselor who can then help everyone get their needs met without blowing up the relationship.
5. And there are books and movies for swingers, but it is not always clear where they are coming from, or how well they represent the scenes you might find locally. Still they can be food for thought. There is always the venerable "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice", 1969 www.imdb.com/title/tt0064100. By 1969, Ming's and my marriage had been open for two years. We went to BCTA [to see the movie] with another couple, who were struggling with their marriage. We went to the local dessert place after, and sat down at a table for four, opposite each other. I quipped that all over the country sets of two couples were going to this movie, going out for dessert after, sitting across from each other, and then there would be complete silence. And there was complete silence.
P. S.: I see there are a bunch of guidebooks; put "threesome" and "threeway" into the Amazon books search and look for guidebooks among the pornfic. I don't know which are any good. Tristan Taormino has recommended Vicki Vantoch's The Threesome Handbook, but someone else said they found it superficial.
P. P. S.: Time's running short to plan and announce your Poly House Party Weekend get-together June 3, 4, or 5. No event you put on is too big or too small, people just gotta have fun. The fundraiser part is optional.