Some Couples Are Out Here Having Threesomes To Forgive Cheating, New Study Finds

Slippery slope! Proceed with caution!
PHOTO: Getty Images

Whether you’ve always had threesomes on your bucket list or you never really considered it until your partner brought it up, one thing is for sure: Please don’t do it because you feel like you “owe” your partner one after you cheat on them, or something. 

Sounds cray, I know, but according to a new book called Understanding Threesomes: Gender, Sex, and Consensual Non-Monogamy by UK sociologist Ryan Scoats, PhD, of Birmingham City University, it’s actually NOT that wild of a reason to have a threesome. 

The book is based on research Scoats conducted himself, including a survey of 200 people and interviews with more than 50 respondents on their experiences and attitudes about mixed sex threesomes.

(FYI: The last big book that looked at threesomes from a sociological perspective was published in 1988—so...more than 30 years ago.)

Women engage in mixed sex threesomes more often than men as a “safe” way of exploring their sexuality (as opposed to simply approaching a women solo).

Some of the most interesting findings from this fresh data? Women engage in mixed sex threesomes more often than men as a “safe” way of exploring their sexuality (as opposed to simply approaching a women solo).

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And while some couples invite a third into the bedroom just to spice things up, some hetero couples use (or offer their partner the chance to have) threesomes in order to undo past transgressions, like cheating, or other “psychological debts.” In one example, Scoats mentions a straight, married woman who cheated on her partner by having a threesome outside of the relationship. In order to “settle the ‘debt’” with her husband, she repeated the threesome with her husband involved. Oh yeah, not messy at all...

Scoats also found that if a hetero couple had an FFM (female, female, male) threesome, the male partner often offers to “return the favor” by also engaging in a FMM threesome.

This “sexual altruism” (aka doing something like having a threesome to indulge your partner, even though it does absolutely zero for you), as Scoats calls it, isn’t a new concept, but it is kind of jarring to see it deployed so transactionally among couples. I’m all for compromise, but when it comes to making bodily concessions and bringing other people into the fray, I think it’s hard to barter with sexual experiences. 

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So, if you or your partner have cheated and you think experimenting with a threesome will fix things, you really better make damn sure you’re both into it of your own volition (and not just biting your tongue in the hopes it fixes things). “Everyone involved must be consenting to a threesome, or problems are likely to occur,” explains Kryss Shane, a leading LGBTQ+ expert and relationship therapist.

If you’re not feeling the idea, let your partner know (or even consider having the convo mediated by a pro) so you don’t have to go further down a road you’re not comfortable with. Otherwise...

IF YOU DO DECIDE TO GO DOWN THE THREESOME APOLOGY TOUR ROAD, KEEP THE FOLLOWING TIPS IN MIND.

  1. Talk it out beforehand.
    Sure, spur of the moment is fun, but it’s best to discuss new sexual experimentation with your partner outside of the bedroom, says Shane. Everyone feels v. vulnerable when they’re naked and having sex, so it might not be the best time to spring a heavy discussion on your partner. “Hey, I know what we can do: Let’s have a threesome!”
  2. Make sure you discuss safe sex practices.
    Will you be using condoms or other forms of birth control in your threesome? Will all three of you be getting tested and sharing your results? These things may not be sexy but can save you a lot of trouble down the line.
  3. Have a frank discussion about boundaries.
    You can have a threesome and still define exactly what’s cool and not cool with you during the experience. For example, if you don’t want your third person to kiss you or your partner on the mouth, bring that up before clothes start coming off.
  4. Set up a contingency plan.
    Are you going to have a post-mortem discussion the next morning? Or go out for coffee like everything is chill and nothing happened last night? Is your third even allowed to sleep over? And what’s gonna be your safe word? Plan for the worst, so that everything can be the best.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

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