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Three's Fantasy - Male / Female Sexual Desires and the 'Threesome'

By April 1, 2010

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I was waiting to get my hair cut yesterday, browsing through magazines, when a familiar name caught my eye -- Pamela Druckerman.  You don't know her, but I do.

A couple of years ago Druckerman wrote Lust in Translation, a fascinating book about infidelity around the world.

I reviewed it here, and really liked her casual tone as a chronicler of human foibles. As an unmarried American journalist traveling around the world interviewing adulterers, she was (inevitably) propositioned by some of the men she met. Yet she ultimately concludes, "That's interesting, but not for me."

Not anymore. Now married and living in Paris with a British husband about to turn 40, she decides not to cheat exactly, but to give her husband something that many men fantasize about. She writes in Marie Claire magazine that for her husband's birthday she planned a threesome -- a menage a trois.

When I read that, my jaw dropped.

Anyone who's read Lust in Translation knows that Druckerman is pretty ordinary, straight-laced, middle-of-the-road. But when she asks her husband if he'd like a vintage watch for his birthday, instead he tells her flat out that he wants a threesome with her and another woman.

Druckerman explains:

[T]he idea of a threesome is so exotic that for a few weeks, it just sits there. I occasionally mention the name of a female friend.

"Would she be acceptable?"

"Absolutely," he says. It turns out that all of my girlfriends and practically all the spouses of his friends would potentially make the cut, including the pregnant ones.

Although Druckerman quickly realizes the folly of 'doing it' with anyone they know, her husband's obvious consideration of all their mutual female acquaintances got me thinking. Does my husband -- or anyone else's -- see the world through an "I'd do her/ I wouldn't do her" lens?

My husband is approaching his 50th birthday. Would I ever consider that sort of gift for him?

Would you? Have you ever been vaguely curious about the idea? Or is a threesome with another woman more a male fantasy than a female one?

Druckerman, with her usual forthrightness and candor, tells how she went in search of the 'other woman,' how she found her, and whether or not she went through with it. It makes for a thought-provoking story.

Her conclusion is consistent with who I've imagined her to be, and it brings us back to the question: is a one-man two-woman threesome primarily a male fantasy? Would a woman truly want to be with a man and another woman at the same time? What about two men and one woman -- does that change the dynamic and alter interest? Would that be more appealing to women and less to men?

Are women more interested in the one-to-one relationship and the intimacy and trust it engenders, and men more drawn to competition, multiple partners, the so-called "faceless ****" ? Do men and women differ in their sexual desires?

I'll give away just enough of the ending of Druckerman's story to make a point. She concludes:

I'm left feeling unsettled. I can't wait to shower....I was shaken up. I wasn't bored; I was bothered....

My own birthday's coming up, and I think I'd like a nice watch.

Maybe anatomy is destiny. Maybe monogamy and fidelity are the default position for women after all. Maybe that late 70s/early 80s sitcom Three's Company wouldn't have been so popular if it had been one girl and two guys.

Maybe men will always 'cheat' (even if it's only in their fantasies) because as male animals they are subconsciously driven to impregnate as many partners as possible to perpetuate their genetic code. And for women to expect otherwise is impractical and unrealistic.

Maybe if we all engaged in threesomes, men would be faithful and women would be satisfied. (I don't personally believe in or endorse this, but it's something to think about.) Will this 'birthday gift' solidify and strengthen Druckerman's marriage, or has she opened a Pandora's box that will lead to trouble and regret later on?

What do you think? Would you consider -- or have you been part of -- a threesome? Is it a good or a bad idea?

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Comments

April 1, 2010 at 1:07 pm
(1) whiteknyght says:

“Do men and women differ in their sexual desires?”

Linda, this is a trick question, right?

April 1, 2010 at 11:26 pm
(2) Julie says:

I’ve done this several times with my husband, and it’s wonderful. Good fun and a great kick in the pants for our waning sex life, we’re planning one this summer as well.

I used to be very uptight about it, but it’s really been a wonderful addition to our sex life.

Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

April 3, 2010 at 3:07 pm
(3) Denise Taylor says:

My husband and I have talked about it. If either of us were ever tempted to cheat or if we feel like our sex life is getting stale we agreed that we’ll head to the Bunny Ranch in Reno and have a party! I think it’s great as long as both parties are willing and you’re not hooking up with friends.

April 7, 2010 at 6:58 am
(4) juanita says:

Bad idea. Bad, bad, bad. It is antithetical to intimacy and commitment. Some people might be able to relax by walking a tightrope across a canyon, but that does not make it a good idea for us all to try it. In our patriarchal society there are enough assaults to women’s self esteem. Implying that threesomes should be seen as desirable for women benefits only men. If a woman wants or thinks she might enjoy another women, go for it – without the burden of accommodating a man’s fantasies.

April 7, 2010 at 1:08 pm
(5) MN says:

Not a good idea, it mostly serves the mans ego and perpetuate the myth that they cant be satisfied by one woman. When men are agreeable to a threesome with two men one woman,which they selfishly deny women,then women can consider this kinds of requests.
Men and women have similar desires,to desire be desired,fidelity n monogamy.

January 22, 2011 at 10:20 pm
(6) A says:

My husband and I had a threesome, and it was fantastic. I had a serious girlfriend of many years before he and I started dated. It was a great opportunity for me to fool around with a girl while fulfilling the fantasy of every man. It lit a fire for our sex life for months before and after!

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