Last year, I was a guest on a Ricki Lake episode called "Strangers in Our Bed" that tackled, well, talked about, the topic of three-ways. Most of the other guests were guys trying to convince their female partners that Jack Tripper was the luckiest man alive. No big shocker there, since one of the most popular heterosexual male fantasies is to have sex with two women. (Double standard alert: Ask those same men if they'd go for a three-way with their girl and another dude, and they are horrified). There were the typical "No other woman's gonna get her hands on my man!" declarations, along with some ironic moralizing about the sanctity of monogamy. Amid the hoopla, I tried to dispel the myth that all threesomes are disrespectful, disgusting, or dysfunctional. Our culture is so invested in coupling that two is now the only desirable number, associated with stability, intimacy, and faithfulness. But the truth is, some people add a third person to the mix every once in a while to spice things up. Bisexual or bi-curious couples can explore their desires by adding a third party. Polyamorous folks live, love, and lust in committed triads. Amid the titillating tales, I wanted to dispense some honest advice, recommend a few techniques, and caution potential triple dippers on the dos and don'ts of the modern ménage à trois.
To start, check your motives: Don't have a three-way to please your partner or to try to fix or save a relationship. Pick an appropriate third person, someone who's trustworthy and respectful of your relationship. Decide who's off-limits, for example close friends, relatives, and co-workers. Talk about ityou need to be honest about your expectations, fears, and fantasies. Set the ground rules: Ask yourself and each other, what's OK and what's not. It might be blonds, blowjobs, or sleeping over. Make a commitment, reassuring one another that your relationship is primary and important and won't be sacrificed for one wild night with some hot stripper. And, of course, practice safe sex, even if your chosen partner is someone you know.
If Ricki Lake had been on HBO, I would have doled out a second set of tips for those of you who've negotiated all the boundaries: how to make a threesome work now that you're naked and wondering what (or who) to do first. These are the nitty-gritty detailsyou know, like how to manage a ménage on a double bed, find what positions work best, and coordinate who-does-what-to-whom. In search of helpful techniques, I went to a reliable source: porn. Let's face it, blue movies always make a triple-decker fuck fest look effortless: There's never a hungry orifice left unattended, and it seems like everyone has his or her mouth full and hands busy at all times. I went to see for myself just how they make it look so good.
First, a day on the set of Nina Hartley's Kinky Playhouse, the veteran star's newest line of films for Adam & Eve. The scene I watched featured Steve Hatcher livin' the dream with Nina and petite brunet Dominika, both in crotchless pantyhose-garters and locking stiletto ballet shoes (which they could only crawl around in). It started out very loose, with lots of sucking, licking, and diddling, with all hands on all decks seemingly at once. Steve took turns fucking Dominika in the pussy, then Nina the same way. Nina was definitely coordinating the scene, making it flow smoothly from one act to the next and demonstrating what I'd call an alpha approach, where the most dominant of the three takes charge. The ladies moved from the large platform bed to a narrow but comfy spanking bench, where they bent over facing each other's ass. Steve took them there one at a time, fucking Dominika in one position, then Nina in another, then Dominika in the ass, then Nina in the ass. Very methodical and predictable, which is not to say that he wasn't having a good time. Once the action got going, Steve grunted the multi-syllabic, one-word "Fffffff-uuuuuuuhhhhhhh-kkkk" again and again in this low, gravelly voice so primal and menacing that I swear if you recorded it and played it backward, you'd hear a message from the devil.
Wanting to explore the subject from more than one angle, I headed to the set of performer Gina Lynn's latest film. Blond and boobalicious, Gina has become well-known for getting into some compromising positions with Eminem in his "Superman" video and scoring a role on the upcoming season of The Sopranos. Although I didn't actually read the script (yes, there was one), the story was a loose interpretation of Little Red Riding Hood, with Gina as Red, a delusional girl in a mental hospital. After three hours of dialogue, setups, and no sex (I amused myself by watching the hunky-bordering-on-humongous Lee Stone, who plays Dr. Wolf, attempt to sit comfortably with a fluffy gray tail pinned to the back of him that kept popping up between his legs), I began to get low blood sugar (bad for a three-way, worse for watching one). I left and drove to Subway, where I scarfed down a six-inch tuna on wheat and some Sun Chips.
When I got back, I listened outside, not wanting to traipse in and ruin some stellar footage. I heard the crew talking, so I opened the door. I literally ran right into Gina, who was totally naked, sweating, and panting; she darted past me to the bathroom. Someone said something about her needing her inhaler. When Gina returned refreshed and breathing normally, everyone picked up where they left off. Apparently while I was stuffing my face, two sadistic interns in hospital scrubs and colorful facial prosthetics (one looked like Pinocchio, the other, a satanic clown) had ambushed poor Red. Director Andre Madness yelled "Action!" and Lynn's real-life boyfriend Travis Knight resumed fucking her while she got a mouthful from Trevor Zen. Just for the record, getting fucked by one guy and sucking another guy's dick at the same time is much harder than it looks. It just seems inevitable that the rhythm you establish with one never works at the other end. The boys were having trouble keeping it up during their downtime, so I left before the money shot.
What wisdom did I glean from the porn prophets on threesome sex? Be flexible, both physically (I recommend some practice rounds of Twister) and sexually (don't get married to one activity; be ready to switch to another). Don't stress if you're the odd man outjust work your way back into the action. Wear comfortable shoes. And if you're asthmatic, keep the inhaler nearby.
Visit my website at puckerup.com.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.