Just the Tip Three-Way

Just the Tip offers smart and compassionate sex and relationship advice from queer non-monogamous kinkster Jera Brown. If you have a sex or love question you’d like Jera to answer, email  jera@jerabrown.com or DM Jera on Twitter @thejerabrown. Just the Tip is sponsored by Early To Bed, one of Chicago’s finest feminist adult toy stores.

My husband and I are interested in having a three-way with another woman. I had a few experiences with a woman in college, and I fantasize about having more, and I think my husband is curious about what it would be like to have another person involved in our sex life. I’m a little bit the jealous type, but fairly confident that I’d be OK with the right boundaries and agreed-upon activities. But I don’t think I’d be cool with someone we knew really well. We’re also not sure how else to go about finding someone. Neither of us drink, so we don’t hang out in bars, and we both have fairly high-profile jobs, so we’re not on dating sites. We’ve even thought about hiring a professional, but we don’t know if that’s what we want or how you go about it. Any advice about how to best find the right person?

First off, as a pansexual person, I want to explain where I’m personally coming from. On the right day, in the right mindset, with the right chemistry, I love MFF three-ways, and I’ve been the third for couples I was dating, couples I never saw again, as well as two other friends. With multiple bodies to explore, increased sights and sounds of pleasure, there’s a magnified sexual energy. In my experience, communication increases, and with it the ability for people to ask for what they want. And then there are tag-team efforts to please each other. So yeah, I’ve had some good times.

But I can’t always do it. I can’t always be the “other.” Going home alone after that kind of connection can be either liberating or exceptionally lonely. In order to walk away from the experience feeling good and healthy, I have to be in a confident headspace and usually need other consistent means of affection in my life.

I offer this up to give you an idea of what another person might be feeling/thinking, because it’s important that you attempt to see it from their perspective.

The couples that look for a third in an objectifying way, who basically use another person for the experience and don’t respect her needs and emotions—these are the people who give three-ways a bad stereotype. But the experience can be nourishing and exciting and effing sexy as long as you go about it ethically.

For this reason, I applaud your willingness to hire a pro. For legal reasons, I’m not sure I can give you advice on how to find someone, but I can say I’m very morally for this idea. You’re in less danger of hurting anyone’s feelings when you work with a pro. And you’re more likely to find someone who knows what they’re doing and how to take control of the situation. My only advice is to find someone that specifically says they enjoy working with couples.

Regarding connection, it doesn’t seem like you know what you want yet. Are you looking for a one-time event, or are you open to seeing the same person more than once? Are you looking for any sort of emotional connection or just a physical one? It’s OK to not know exactly what you’re looking for as long as you’re very upfront about what you do and don’t know. And– foreign concept–what if you included a potential third into this conversation? What is she looking for, and are you amenable to it?

Let’s talk about jealousy for a minute. I applaud you for recognizing you’re the jealous type and wanting to work with it. I will warn you that you can never control a situation so completely that you will prevent jealousy from happening. It’s a natural emotion, and you’re probably going to feel it, and that’s OK. Instead of trying to avoid it, consider questioning it and playing with it. You might find you trust your own sexiness or your partner’s devotion to you more than you could have imagined! Or you figure out you’re afraid and vulnerable, admit it, and it makes your relationship stronger.

If you work with your jealousy, more avenues open up for who you can include in the bedroom … like asking a friend that you’re both attracted to and trust. Because, I’ll be honest, without being “out” on dating sites and ruling out people you know well enough to ask, it’s going to be harder to find the right person.

On his podcast, Dan Savage gave another couple the advice of writing the Craigslist ad you wish to find! In other words, if you’re looking for someone articulate, recently tested, willing to have coffee first, etc., then say all that and you might just get that kind of quality response! Unfortunately, what he didn’t mention is that Craigslist can be filled with robots and fake ads, and you might end up sifting through 100 fake responses for one genuine email. Hmmm.

Otherwise, while it’s totally fine to be one of the headless couples profiles on Adult Friend Finder, and you might get lucky and find someone amazing, you’re more likely to waste a bunch of time overwhelming the few single women who are on the site.

Want a better connection? Consider going to LGBT social events and being honest about being bisexual or bi-curious (or whatever term works for you). Just don’t talk to someone ONLY to see if you want to sleep with them — back to the whole objectifying thing. If you’re looking to explore your bisexuality further, you might just see what other pieces of your identity it might impact. My hope for you is that this experience of looking for a third will lead you to discovering more things about yourself than just who you want to sleep with.

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Jera writes about sexuality, spirituality, and social justice. They are the author of Just the Tip, a queer-friendly, sex-positive, relationship advice column and the editor of Sacred and Subversive,...