This is the first in a recurring column about modern romance, dating, and more.
I started talking to my first couple on a summer afternoon. I found them through the sex-positive app, Feeld, a friend had recommended to me. It’s a dating site for couples and kinks, and just general sex positive people. Much like my OkCupid experience, I browsed, we chatted, and then we met. I was drinking wine on a nice summer afternoon with no real plans for the evening, and I was having a chat with a husband of 8 years, and discussing our lives, exchanging photos and talking about our sexual interests. For the sake of anonymity we’ll call them Jack and Diane because they are the epitome of American wholesomeness, not in every way, obviously but in most. She is a tiny blonde gymnast and he is a large former Army man. I went to their three-story home, Diane was upstairs putting their 3-year-old to bed, but she came down to say hi to me in a black nighty with freshly washed, damp blonde hair. She said hi then scurried away. Jack poured me a glass of wine and we went to their porch to continue talking and waiting for Diane. He is a large, fit man in his 40’s who works for the State Department, in fact, they both do. They had recently moved back here from Dubai or Afghanistan or somewhere overseas, I can’t recall. I asked about their experiences and when they started opening their marriage or having threesomes. He explained that it had been a few years ago when they just needed something to spice things up and they wanted a hobby that they could do together. A hobby, as he described it. I had recently become obsessed with the fact that having a hobby is difficult. It’s a question that everyone asks and I had very few interesting hobbies besides writing and reading. I had gone so far as to Google “ideas for hobbies”. Maybe I, too, could start listing “threesomes” as a hobby.
Their first partner had been overseas and Diane explained that it was fun but became kind of unfortunate because the woman was actually much more into Diane than Jack. The woman tried to have a relationship with Diane outside of their threesome trysts. Neither of them showed any problems or remorse about this in theory, but they also allow themselves this openness because they spend so much time apart. They only require that they both are honest with each other about their other partners and traditionally end up playing together. They don’t have a contract per se, as they are both allowed to see other people outside of their marriage, but they expect honesty and reciprocal understanding. They both explained that for them, the most important facet is making their relationship work so they can have a happy marriage for their son, by whatever means necessary.
We went to their basement full of toys and a Costco size bottle of lube. I thought it would feel strange getting started. I thought it would feel strange when one touched me and the other did not. I thought it would be strange with Diane watching her husband touch and/or have sex with another woman. It was not. None of this was strange, everything was comfortable. Everyone felt good. Everyone came. Everyone enjoyed themselves a lot.
With a baby upstairs asleep, we enjoyed ourselves multiple times. When we were finished, we went back upstairs. Jack fell asleep and Diane drank more wine and talked to me about how she was having difficulty finding a church around here. We discussed going to new churches together and our varied history with Christianity. I eventually went home. They had an early morning the next day with the child and a birthday party of some sort. I slept until noon and ordered pizza, all of my energy spent.
Like I mentioned, they work out of town frequently so our menages have been less frequent than we would like, but I feel like I have made friends that I could call, should I need something like a helpful hand (or four). The ordinariness of this experience compared to the mixed bag of “ordinary” men I’ve been blessed to meet while trying to find a singular partner, was refreshing.
Usually in my life, things will turn out weird or strange and I won’t see it coming. I’m often surprised by how strange things truly are. I date very regularly, I would say, meaning often and the “normal”-ish type of dating. I go on OkCupid, I browse profiles, I chat with men I find something in common with, and then we meet for a date. I expect little from these except for a fun time and hopefully a connection, and not too strange.
I recently went out on two dates with a gentleman who is a middle-school band teacher. Very normal looking, very normal conversation. Everything was going well. I invited him back to my apartment and we continued talking and drinking, having a lovely time. And then he went to the bathroom. He was gone a very long time. I was trying not to be judgmental—I’m from the South and these are just some of the things that we ignore and do not discuss. I was willing to ignore it. And then the shower was turned on. It had been about 30 minutes at this point of me politely ignoring the oddness of this situation. He showered and then instead of putting on his clothes, he slipped into my robe. This was a second date, I mentioned that, right? This was supposed to be normal and it was so far from normal I had a hard time recuperating. We did not have a third date.
It is very rare that something I fully expect to be weird or strange turns out to be completely normal. Having a threesome, though, was one of these unique experiences. I expected to feel…something change or something dirty or something particularly kinky about myself, but in the end all of my experiences have been remarkably normal.
To be honest, it feels exactly like making friends and then everyone orgasming together. The reason that most relationships work (or don’t work) is related to communication. Talking to Jack and Diane about why and how this works for them is interesting because they both are so open with each other’s needs and thoughts. They informed me that I am what they call a unicorn. I had never heard this phrase but they explained that it was a compliment because there are very few single women who are attractive and interested in play time. Unicorns are elusive, somewhat mythical creatures that a former roommate through were factual until her early twenties. I suppose I understand this as I’ve often found myself elusive, and mythical or my experiences invisible. I often do not disclose my threesome experiences to men I’m dating or talking about dating with because there is a stigma or fetish attached to it. Once someone knows that you’ve done it, they expect that you will fulfill their fantasies and do it with them, no questions asked. It goes back to “normalcy” and our definitions of weird or strange. Some average, normal men, looking for a vanilla relationship, fetishize threesomes as a tawdry, overtly kinky act. And if they find a girl who has had threesomes, it’s a toss up if they can imagine the vanilla lifestyle relationship with this girl, as well as the girl that likes threesomes. It’s hard to imagine that my experiences with couples are more normal than many of my traditional dating experiences, like the robe-borrower. There isn’t a “right” way to relationship, and in my experience, sometimes you can find normalcy in strange places.
I like being the joiner. I like meeting couples in a stable relationship and having a great date with two people but knowing distinctly my role in this relationship. There is no confusion, no worry about someone calling the next day. For me, it is a confidence boost. There is a way that being the center of attention from two people sexually, that I’m not sure another experience can replicate. Maybe it’s because I’m more of a focused lover in one on one relationships, maybe it’s because the men I meet are more interested in showering and trying on my robe than focusing on me.
I’ll continue dating regularly, too, because the long-term viability of a relationship like this is not likely. But I’m also interested in dating irregularly, as well. I’ll keep exploring kink and openness. I don’t know if I would be interested in having someone join me in my relationship because that’s where it gets tricky in my mind. There has to be comfort and assurance with the relationship that I’m not sure I’ve had thus far. Personally I would worry about seeing my partner pleasing and being pleased by another person, you know, the typical fear of jealousy. But so far each couple has been stable, communicative and not worried about any interaction. I guess if it’s just a hobby, there’s the reassurance that you have each other to come home to. Guaranteed. I’ll keep looking and in the meantime happily see these ordinary couples that have hobbies that align with mine.
Becky is your friend, girlfriend, wife, and mistress. She plays and writes in Chicago. You may have seen her in The Establishment, Vol 1: Brooklyn, The Washington Post and others. She gets around.