I'm relaxing on a local patio with a couple of friends, celebrating our decision to forgo a night of cinema in favour of cold beer and cool conversation. In between taking turns playfully tormenting the charismatic hottie who's bringing us our drinks, we discuss pop music, the orientation of our server (we think he's straight) and threesomes. Global warming and the economy we'll save for another day.
Like many gay men, from time to time I flirt with the idea of being part of a three-way with two other guys. And porn's frequent and welcome glorification of it only adds fuel to the fantasy fire.
But aside from the obvious appeal of possibly doubling my pleasure, I'm intrigued by the power dynamics and sexual politics of the equation.
Roles, control, balance and satisfying reciprocation can be challenging enough with one partner, let alone two. Is it better to discuss and negotiate beforehand, or to give in to the spontaneity of the moment?
My first ride down the three-way freeway takes place years ago. I'm attending a house party with a couple of friends. Wine and conversation are flowing, and I'm sensing an interested vibe from the cute gent I've been chatting with in the kitchen for the past 20 minutes.
We eventually move to the apartment stairwell for a cigarette. We're alone, yet it doesn't look as if this guy is going to make the first move. I hate when that happens. I try an approach that's worked for me in the past and quietly, seductively share with him my sudden need to be kissed.
"I can't," he responds, which my bruised ego immediately interprets as "I won't" or "I don't want to." Ouch.
"Really?" I reply incredulously. Is this guy straight?
"I can't. I have a boyfriend." Damn. We finish our smokes and politely return to our respective corners back inside. No hard feelings.
Being rejected has left me thirsty for some validation and another glass of wine. Taking care of the easier of the two needs, I take a seat on the couch, where I'm not alone for long. My new friend is cute and smells of weed. We talk, I drink, and he smokes up before excusing himself to go to the bedroom/coatroom. "I just need to lie down for a bit," he says with a stoned gleam in his eyes.
Admitting uncharacteristic defeat in my attempts at a little party action, I enter the dimly lit bedroom on coat-retrieval duty. Sure enough, Weedboy is fast asleep among the coats, looking ever so sweet, with a man and woman lying beside him. The woman takes notice of me.
"Did you want to lie down?" she inquires. "I'm getting up, so there's room."
"Okay," I respond, thinking that I'll crawl onto the bed just long enough to give Weedboy a good-night kiss sort of like "stealing" validation.
My baked buddy awakens because of the movement of one body leaving the bed and mine arriving. He recognizes me, whispers something and smiles. We kiss. Despite his semi-slumbering state, dude has more than a semi going on south of his waistband; me, too, for that matter. As we continue to kiss, I unzip his pants and gently stroke his stiffy.
Moments later I feel a hungry kiss on the back of my neck and am instantly reminded that we aren't the bed's only occupants. I turn to and begin making out with the stranger I've had my back to until then. Weedboy returns to his state of dopey slumber as this new guy goes down on and then hand-pumps me to a volcanic climax, much of which hits the shirt I'm wearing.
Hearing queries of "Where's Scott?" from the other side of the door, I grab my jacket (strategically holding it in front of my shirt) and exit the party in haste a very Cinderella moment, you might say.
A few years later, opportunity comes knocking again. I'm at the going-away party for my soon-to-be ex, who is relocating to Bermuda the next day for business reasons. At the bar, I meet a gay couple who eventually express their interest in hooking up with me that night. Considering how unbelievably attractive they are, I'm breathlessly flattered but have to decline. It's my boyfriend's last night in town, I explain, so I should probably be going home with him. "How about next week?" I suggest. They smile and nod.
Several days later, the couple send an e-mail at 2 am. Disappointment. Apparently, after a lengthy discussion, they've decided that neither (or perhaps it's just one?) is ready for third-party action. "It's nothing personal; we hope you understand, etc."
I ponder my role in their decision. Maybe it wasn't such a hot idea for me to suggest that we go out for dinner beforehand. Maybe my interest in getting better acquainted was a potential threesome rule-breaker. Or maybe they were simply afraid that I'd want to split the bill three ways.