Maybe you caught that one “House Hunters” episode that had HGTV-lovers around the globe up in arms
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
Or maybe you were rooting for (read: turned on by) Alice, Nat, and Gigi in Showtime’s “The L Word: Generation Q.”
Whatever the reason, you stumbled across this article because you’re curious about what exactly a throuple is and how it works.
Taylor offers this definition: “A throuple is a relationship between three people who have all unanimously agreed to be in a romantic, loving, relationship together with the consent of all people involved.”
Typically, an open relationship is a relationship that occurs between two people who have mutually agreed to open their relationship up to sex – but not romance or love – with other people.
If two folks in an open (or closed) relationship have sex together with a third person, this is a threesome, not a throuple!
A threesome is explicitly sexual in nature. While throuples can (and often do!) have a sexual component, throuples are ongoing relationships that are https://besthookupwebsites.org/minichat-review/ full of feels and romance. Threesomes (usually) aren’t.
If it’s open, it means that the people in the throuple can only have romance within the throuple, but can have sex with folks outside of the relationship.
If it’s closed, it means that the people in the throuple can only have romance and sex with the other people within the throuple.
This means that the individuals within the throuple can have sex and romance or love with folks outside of their three-person relationship.
“As with a two-person relationship, what the throuple looks like is dependent on what the people in the relationship’s boundaries, needs, and wants are,” explains Taylor.
Luckily for you, Liz Powell, PsyD, licensed psychologist, LGBTQ-friendly sex educator, and author of “Building Open Relationships: Your Hands-On Guide to Swinging, Polyamory & Beyond,” and Lateef Taylor, pleasure-based, queer-inclusive sex educator and sex-positivity advocate, are here to explain
“Being in a throuple gives you access to more or different types of emotional affection, intimacy, care, and joy,” says Taylor.
- a preexisting couple decides to add a third person to their relationship and actively seeks out a third
- a preexisting couple organically adds a third to the relationship
- three people organically come together around the same(ish) time and choose to enter a relationship together
According to Powell, “A lot of times a throuple is formed when a heterosexual couple seeks out a hot bisexual babe.” (P.S. This is called unicorn hunting).
- you have an incredibly healthy preexisting relationship complete with A+ communication skills
- you’re equally enthusiastic about being in a throuple
- you both experience compersion (more on this term below) and have developed healthy coping skills for jealousy
- you have a shared view on what a throuple might look like for you, but are both willing to adapt that view based on the third’s needs
- you’re both willing to unpack your couple privilege (learn more about couple privilege here)
- you’re attracted physically, emotionally, spiritually, and – if the relationship is going to be sexual – sexually to both parties
“Many of the benefits of a throuple are similar to the benefits of a two-person relationship,” says Taylor. These include:
If, for instance, you’re someone who experiences compersion – joy from witnessing another person’s joy, which is essentially vicarious joy – you get that in spades from a throuple. You get to watch two people who you love, love and be loved by another person.
If you live together, for instance, there are more people to contribute to household upkeep and finances. If there are kids, there are more people to help with child-rearing responsibilities.
But there are unrealistic expectations about what a throuple will actually look or feel like. Or, how much work it actually takes.
“Couples who want to add a third person need to be prepared for their original relationship to undergo a complete shift,” says Powell.
“A throuple isn’t just a slightly different take on a relationship between two people,” says Powell. “It’s four different relationships: the three individual relationships and one group relationship.”
No doubt, this can work. But it requires a lot of work and communicating from all people involved – like, a lot.
We aren’t going to sugarcoat it: If all parties aren’t prepared to put in the work, the throuple will not last.
It may not need to be said, but “transitioning your two-person relationship to a three-person relationship isn’t going to fix any underlying issues in a relationship,” says Taylor. “It’s going to exacerbate them.”
Taylor adds, “Before you bring it up with your partner, you need to know if you’re willing to continue your current relationship if your partner says no.” Or if it’s throuple or bust.
Powell explains: “[Often] they come up with tons of rules around what the throuple is going to look like and what the boundaries will be in order to preserve the relationship
Once you know the answers to these Qs, you’re ready to bring it up. Start with an “I” statement, then pose a question. For example: