Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Friday, April 1, 2011

Why All Men Want a Three-Way.....aka Ménage a Trois

Having lunch at a trendy bistro in Hollywood this past week, I overheard a conversation that simply begged my ears to listen: A few male friends who appeared to be in their mid-20s talked about how they’ve always wanted to have a three-way. “Have you ever done it?” one especially eager guy asked another. I listened as they described in detail how they hope to someday meet a girl who would say “yes” to inviting another girl into bed. Hearing the guys talk, I must have momentarily forgotten about my lunch companions who lapped up their cheddar tortilla soup, but the subject was far too juicy for me to tune out.

Typically, I’m not an eavesdropper. But, as someone who specializes in relationship issues, I hear the word “three-way” and the neurons in my brain start firing like it’s the Fourth of July. The topic of three-ways is undoubtedly loaded because it involves sex (a natural human behavior) and a taboo (something Mom and Dad probably taught you that you shouldn’t ever be doing).

The question is simple: Why do men fantasize about having sex with two others? And why isn’t one enough?

If you’ve ever read Portnoy’s Complaint, the landmark novel by Philip Roth, you’d immediately understand. In essence, it all starts very early with boys. In adolescence, boys crave sex like a food addict craves chili cheese fries. What’s more, the sex that boys think about isn’t very complicated: it’s an IMAX-style mental whirlwind of body parts and genitalia, and what boys’ fantasize about doing sexually wouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes with the sex object of their choice. It’s Pavolvian, like a beagle salivating to the aroma of a rib roast.

In adulthood, men’s sexuality changes. When men are in their 20s - or even 30s, provided they haven’t yet married - men’s sex drive is often about proving their masculinity and attractiveness through the acquisition of multiple sex partners. It’s during this period that most men get caught up in lusting for a three-way, as exemplified by the men I heard talking in the restaurant. During this stage, men feel the looming anxiety that sexual liberation will soon end with marriage, so they want to check off as many sexual fantasies and lofty conquests on their list – and soon.

So, how about the older men? In general, most men in their 40s and older aren’t looking for three-ways or group sex situations. However, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t looking for multiple sex partners. In fact, if a man is single and has some attribute that makes others want him sexually, he very well may choose to play the playboy role as long as he can get sex on a regular basis. If not, he will likely settle down.

Sexuality is fascinating, in part, because it is changes over the life span. But one thing remains certain: Ask your average 20-something guy if he’d like to have a three-way, and he will tell you that there are few things that would put a bigger smile on his face.

PLUS: In Dr. Seth's new book, Dr. Seth's Love Prescription: Find the Love You Deserve (available at Amazon.com or in stores at Borders and Barnes and Noble), he shows you how to stop repeating bad patterns in your romantic relationships. If you or someone you know keeps going for the wrong types of people and seems stuck on this awful hamster wheel, pick up a copy of Dr. Seth's Love Prescription today.

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