Face it, it’s impossible to have a threesome. They’re too funny

No, you didn’t have one on your gap year


The night is winding down. It’s you and two other people and there’s probably no more booze and things are weird. It’s basically how everyone explains “that one mad night when we had a threesome and it was mental”.

This is the thing which everyone knows and won’t admit. It’s a human impossibility to have a successful threesome. It’s too funny. You’re there, your friend’s there, everyone is kind of semi-horny but what’s stronger than any taboo sexual attraction is The Fear. The absolute fear of what’s going to happen next. Things will never be the same again.

I put this theory, that it’s too hard to have a threesome without laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation, to people who have supposedly had them. They told me their stories.

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Bertie* said: “Last summer, I was at a close friend’s ‘small gathering’. There were twenty of us, all part of the same little clique at school. My friend, who we’ll call Kevin was going out with a girl we’ll call Martha. Now we had all drank quite a lot of red, snorted a fair bit of coke, and Martha subsequently began getting with her best friend ‘Stacy’. They had a bath together and invited my friend and I up. So eventually we were all having a nice long bath, and it was pretty good fun. Everyone was kissing everyone, hands were sliding amongst the soap and skin.

“Now, it was a pretty slippery occasion, and as this near-foursome was about to kick off, I accidentally rubbed my mate’s very hard cock. We then looked at each other as I did this, and our eyes were wide. It felt odd. We had this strange stare-off for about ten seconds, as if to say ‘this foursome could still work’. Anyway, it got too weird, he was no longer aroused (as his chubby, pasty-white best friend was rubbing his cock as though Aladdin’s lamp.

“We did a bit of a runner, he left his girlfriend soaking with her friend, they made out and we went outside for a cig and have subsequently never spoke of this again.”

Oscar’s story is similarly disappointing. He said: “I’d pulled a girl on an ordinary Friday night. We were in my bedroom stripping off and I was fingering her. While she was giving me a blowjob, I felt myself really needing the bathroom. I apologised and stumbled towards the toilets, barely noticing my equally drunk housemate in the corridor. I had one of those pisses-with-an-erection that can last up to five minutes, finished up and headed back to my room. When I came back she was sucking off the housemate I’d just passed in the corridor. He was stark bollock naked on my bed. From a distance I suppose we look fairly similar so it was an easy mistake to make on her part.

“She looked up at me and indicated I should get behind her. I tried to pick up where I left off, fingering her from behind as she sucked my mate off. I was just regaining enough of a hard-on to start shagging her when I looked up at just the wrong time. I caught my mate’s eye. He caught mine. I saw him grinning. I stifled a smirk. Both of us knew one of us was about to crease up – it was just a case of who and when. My torso started convulsing with the strain of suppressing the laughter – until I couldn’t hold it in anymore. When I started, he couldn’t help but join in. We’re talking full on belly laughs – I think I actually started crying at how absurd the situation was. She got all embarrassed, and mumbled something about ‘feeling like a slut’, so my mate left the room, apologising and laughing at the same time.

“Then the two of us had sex on our own. It didn’t occur to me until the morning after that she’d been kissing me after she’d given my friend head.”

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And it’s not that girls are immune to weird threesome attempts. Ella* said: “My kind of threesome happened when a friend who I had just got within the club jumped into the cab and his friend and I got in. I thought we were going back to halls but we pulled up outside a third year house. We got in and opened some wine, and I distinctly remember calling me best friend and laughing, saying ‘I think they actually think we’re going to have a threesome’.
“The speakers downstairs were broken (sure) so we went upstairs. One of them, who I had got with in the club, told me and the other guy to kiss and I guess it just started from there. It was actually a lot more steamy than I thought it would be, interspersed with laughter. Half way through about eight guys ran in and pulled off the covers and one of them took my shoe. I entered the house with two guys and two shoes, and left with one guy and one shoe.

“They put the shoe on the mantlepiece ‘to keep it fresh’, and then kept it in their freezer. I still have the shoes — and the memories. They kindly defrosted it and gave it back.”

Millie* told me about a near brush that broke up a friendship: “Somehow it had ended up just three of us on the night out – me, one of my best mates (at the time) and really fit bartender she worked with who she was practically in love with. I was newly single and had decided I fancied him too, so much so that we’d pull each other every time she went to the loo or to the bar. At this point I had a feeling the night was going to end up – back at hers in a bed, all together.

“We went back, drank some more and I was confronted with two options – carry on, have a threesome and pretend I was OK with getting with a friend I’d known for years, or go to bed. In the end I decided to call it a night, but as we were all going to sleep he clearly didn’t want to, and things started to get serious and I really thought my mate was asleep. She wasn’t and soon her wandering hands started to join in with his. I tried to tell myself I was really into it but I just couldn’t. I freaked out and went to the loo, and then to the sofa for the rest of the night.

“We never spoke of it again, and we’re not really friends anymore. And they didn’t even have sex when I left.”

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These stories are obviously of awful, weird experiences. And they pretty much defines all threesomes, honestly. Something that starts off quite fun and then goes horribly wrong. If you had to sum them up, it would be equivalent to that feeling you get at a funeral or when you’re being shouted at, that bubbling inappropriate impulse of wanting to laugh when really you should be saying “I’m sorry for your loss” or “It won’t happen again”.

It’s basically that, but you’re naked, and there’s more than one other person there.

For others, putting “threesome” on the ticked boxes of your bucket list with “tried ayahuasca” and “bought Yeezys” is a result of fiddling with the stats and counting anything as a group sex experience. If really, it’s too embarrassing and nervewracking and hilarious to have sex with two people at once, you probably can’t count it if you clock in and out with a friend as though you’re just off for your lunch break.

Nick* told me the “kind of, almost” story you’ve undoubtedly heard from a friend-of-a-friend before: “I was invited by a friend to come along to a house party he was going to. He was the only other person there I’d know but thought fuck it, why not? Party ended up being quite a small group and they started playing drinking games. At some point, one of the girls was dared to get naked and she only stripped to her underwear. Outraged by this, I stood up and said ‘That’s not naked, I’ll show you naked!’ and pulled my trousers and underwear down, lifting my t-shirt over my head. By now, my friend is horrendously embarrassed by me, I’m sat there drunk and naked on the sofa thinking it’s hilarious. As the game wears on the girl next to me keeps touching me until she’s basically giving me a hand job in front of everyone.

“The game breaks up for a cigarette break and at one point it’s just me, her and her (female) friend. She suggests a threesome and tries to steer things that way but it doesn’t end up happening: her friend doesn’t want to. Later on though she finds a male friend who is happy to have a threesome. It’s a downgrade from what I was expecting but still a threesome. We go to one of the bedrooms and after things have appropriately escalated I’m having sex with her from behind while she’s giving him a blowjob.

“At least, that’s what I think is happening. I’m having the time of my life but after a while she asks if we can stop and change positions a bit. Brought back into the moment, I notice the other guy sat there, as flaccid as anything. For the last ten minutes or so she’s desperately been trying everything to get him hard and none of it’s worked. I look in his eyes and see a little bit of panic and a lot of fear. I still have a nagging feeling that he had a massive crush on the girl and had all his romantic ideas crumble apart by the site of me taking her from behind. After that point, the threesome kinda fell apart. I’m not even sure if I can call it a threesome.”

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Basically, having sex with a mate (or anyone) makes for kind of terrifying new social rules, and having sex with two at once doubles that. If you fuck something up, you’re doubling the chance of someone else talking about it, or worse, bonding over it and how ridiculous it was. It’s just not worth putting yourself through.

Although, surprisingly, despite a good or bad experience everyone who shared their threesome story said: “I would do it again in a heartbeat”, so really we only have ourselves to blame.