Ask SHIC: Threesomes and increasing your sexual potential

Dear SHIC,

My partner and I are really interested in trying a threesome. We’ve got a couple of people in mind for the third partner, but we’re wondering how to practice safe sex when there are three people involved. Do you switch condoms between partners or what?

Thanks, Three’s a Crowd!

Hey Three!

Yes, yes, yes! To practice safe sex in a threesome, you definitely need to switch condoms between partners. This can obviously get a little complicated depending on the configuration of partners. The best way to ensure that things stay safe and consensual is to talk it out beforehand. Pick your third partner, and discuss what you’d like to do (and what’s off limits) before anyone gets naked. The conversation should occur between all three participants and not just between you and your partner. Make sure to make explicit who is comfortable having sexual contact with whom and that no one feels forced to participate in the threesome or to have sexual contact with someone they do not want to.

The bottom line is that barriers should be used between all partners, and changed in between partners. For example, switch condoms between partners to avoid sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy or breakage due to multiple uses. In a heterosexual context, it would also be a good idea to use spermicide to avoid pregnancy in case there was any accidental transfer of fluids. For the sex to be truly safe, using a dental dam (or non-microwavable plastic wrap) when performing vaginal or anal oral sex and using a condom when performing oral sex on men is essential as well. It’s important to consider that in a threesome situation, hands are likely to go all over the place, and hands with bodily fluids on them can be risky, too. To be extra safe, use latex gloves, finger cots (tiny condoms for your fingers!) or wash your hands with soap between partners.

STI testing is also a great idea in this scenario, but unless the three of you have been celibate or monogamous for six months prior to testing, the barriers are necessary as well. If the third person is a person you do not know well who claims they have been tested and are STI free, still use another form of protection because you do not know whether the person is being honest about their status. Although it sounds complicated, having these conversations beforehand will make things much easier, safer and consensual. Dialogue is also important because poorly-planned sexual encounters with a third partner may cause latent feelings of jealousy and betrayal. Have things planned, have all of the necessary conversations, have all your safer sex supplies on hand and then have some fun x 3!

Love,

SHIC

Dear SHIC,

I’m really trying to live up to my sexual potential. I’ve perfected all of the key moves to have good sex, but I’m stuck as to how I can take my sexual skills to the next level. I want my partners and me to experience even more pleasure. What are your tips?

Sincerely, Aspiring Physical Chemist

Dear Aspiring Physical Chemist,

You are right that it takes a lot of dedication and hard work to become the best in bed. You sound like you are already pretty experienced and comfortable with sex. It is not a lack of talent that you are suffering from, but rather a lack of effort. It’s time to start goal setting.

Set four goals: one for oral sex (the foundation of all sex), one for positions, one for kinkiness and one for foreplay. Start by having a conversation with your partner. Ask them to tell you one thing that you are doing well in each of these four areas and one thing you can improve on. You can’t know what your partner is thinking and feeling unless you verbally ask!

This goal-setting business is the most fun if you and your partner set goals together. For example, think about a position that hasn’t been going so well lately. Talk with your partner about why you each feel that it is failing, and brainstorm possible solutions. We all know it’s easy to be lazy and do the same three positions every time, but make a pact to try that position more often and perfect it together.

Your current or future partners may not be as comfortable with trying new things as you are. However, do not get discouraged by this. Your comfort in bed will help them feel more comfortable too. You can guide them through new things. We all learn from teaching others.

My last word of advice: If you aren’t using lube, you must invest! You will never want to have sex again without it. We just got some five-dollar bottles in at SHIC. Stop by soon!

Keep it casual,

SHIC