When it comes to sexy fantasies, it’ll come as little surprise that having a threesome comes out on top. It’s the most commonly desired experience according to the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, which found that 95 per cent of men and 87 per cent of women had fantasised about sex with multiple partners.

“Group play of any kind is absolutely one of the most common fantasies, and it’s becoming more common for people to explore open relationships, monogamous-ish relationships, and ethically non-monogamous relationships,” says somatic sexologist and sex counsellor Alice Child.

“I think people are beginning to realise that it is a healthy relationship choice that two consenting adults can make, and it doesn’t mean that you’re not committed to each other or you’re not in love. It’s very healthy and exciting to be able to explore something like a threesome together,” she tells Broadsheet.

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While there’s a host of reasons why group sex is hot – multiple people wanting you, the taboo, the excitement, the novelty – threesomes are also the fantasy least likely to turn out well, according to the study. The reason things don’t always turn out well is often because everyone involved has different expectations.

“I think it’s important to recognise that just because you’re having lots of threesome fantasies, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will enjoy it in reality. You can control the scene perfectly in your brain, but you can’t do that in real life with a group of people.”

So, how do you get it right? Child gives us six pointers to consider when inviting a third into the bedroom.

Don’t put pressure on your partner

“Often people get defensive and upset over the idea of bringing in someone else,” says Child. “They go straight to feelings that they’re not enough or there’s something wrong with their sex life.”

She recommends raising the idea in a gentle way and giving your significant other time to ask questions, explaining why it’s such an exciting fantasy for you.

“Talk about what’s hot for you about it, without trying to convince them to do it. When people are able to go slow and reflect on it, that’s often when they start to become more curious, rather than feeling like it’s something that they have to do.”

Keep up the communication

While you can never really plan for exactly how a threesome will go, the more you chat about it beforehand, the more fun everyone will have.

“The most important thing when it comes to sex is communication and consent,” Child explains. “So if you and your partner struggle to talk about sex openly generally, then you really do need to get better at that before inviting a third person into the experience.”

Once you’ve got that down pat, the sexologist recommends deeply discussing the details.

“What would you need in order for that fantasy to feel safe? Who might the third be? Could it be a stranger? Does that feel exciting? Or would it need to be with someone that you trust and know really well? Where would it happen? What space would feel fun? Is it in your home? Is it somewhere completely foreign to you?

“The more you delve into the details, the more likely you’re going to have a really great time. So chat, chat, chat.”

Check in with your motivation

“Make sure your motivation is coming from a really loving, stable place of, “Wow, our sex life is already great, so opening and exploring it could be really exciting”, as opposed to trying to invite others in to fix something that’s not working in your relationship,” says Child.

“It’s much, much better if it’s coming from a really solid foundation. So ask yourselves what’s driving you towards this and is it the right time for your relationship, or is there some other work you need to do first?”

Find your community

Whether you’re in a couple searching for a third, or single and ready to mingle with multiples, there are plenty of ways to find a date.

“There’s a lot of great apps that exist,” Child says. “There’s one called Feeld, which is designed for more sexually explorative and open-minded people, both couples and singles, and there’s another one called Redhotpie which is the same. Those are great places to go to meet and match with like-minded people.”

If you’re looking for an IRL connection, Child recommends looking into swingers clubs, sex parties and events which differ in age demographics, kinks and sexual orientations.

Consider your third’s feelings

“I think a lot of focus can be put on the couple’s desires and boundaries, and they can forget that this amazing third person is a real human with their own desires and boundaries as well,” Child explains.

“See what they’re wanting, what they’re exploring and where they’re at in their sexual liberation journey, and be really mindful of respecting not just your partner but whoever this third person is.”

Make sure to debrief

In Child’s words, when it comes to sex, you’ve got to “expect the unexpected”.

“Sometimes something will come up that you didn’t plan for, so it’s important to have that debrief afterwards,” the sexologist says. “Talk about what your favourite bits were, what didn’t work so well, what was surprising, what are you still learning, whether you want to do it again, and what you might do differently next time.

“Being able to do all of that and take the pressure off the conversation is often where you learn the most, and it’s really a fun part of the experience as well.”