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A Threesome Is Hot
aka: A Threesome Is Manly
"I have a Jules and Jim fantasy, definitely - you know, two men and a woman in love. And I remember reading in a magazine that the high you get from falling in love only lasts about four years. So with two men, you might be able to make it last eight"
—- Dana Delany

Threesomes are one of the most common sexual fantasies in Real Life, thus one that regularly shows up in fiction when writers/directors want to spice things up a bit.

However, like most sex-related tropes, Double Standard applies.

When one means a threesome, it's almost always 2 girls and 1 guy. Given that Most Writers Are Male and that threesomes are closely connected to porn, the hot threesome will always be a lucky guy who will have two hot babes waiting for him in his bed. And since this is pure Fanservice, expect the girls to be bisexual and more than willing to make out in front of their male partner. In fact, it's a very rare case where the girls are NOT bisexuals. To ramp things up a bit, writers may even make the girls lesbians just to prove the attractiveness of the male lead. And when a girl isn't initially attracted to women, she will almost always give into temptation and explore this side of her sexuality, often to find out that she's actually bisexual, much to her boyfriend's pleasure.

However, the reverse scenario of 2 guys and 1 girl is often problematic. This variation is in fact even more connected to porn than the other one, so much indeed that depictions of it are vanishingly rare in fictionland. At best, it will be alluded to but the connotations of a woman willing to have two hot guys in her bed are so unsavoury that most people prefer not to venture on this slippery slope. Moreover, Most Writers Are Male and, unlike the reverse scenario, this version is clearly a female sexual fantasy that doesn't pander to straight men, so...yeah. In the rare cases where this variation may appear on-screen/pannel, in sharp contrast the girls, the guys will never be bisexuals, even though Guy on Guy Is Hot for many women. Unless it's a minority show, of course.

The whole trope, when taken Up to Eleven, gives off the Broken Aesop that women should be bisexuals but men mustn't explore this side of sexuality, mostly because male bisexuality is a much less comfortable subject for male viewers than female bisexuality. Plus the belief that a woman doesn't lose her femininity by sleeping with another woman, but a man may lose his masculinity by sleeping with another man.

However, both these scenarios are kind of reversed in fanfiction. With the 2 guys and 1 girl being the threesome of most fanfic sites, if the fujoshi are to be believed. Since most fanfiction authors are women, this makes sense.

Unisex threesomes (i.e. 3 women or 3 men) only ever show up in LGBT shows and porn.

Sister Trope to Threeway Sex. Related to Girl on Girl Is Hot and Guy on Guy Is Hot.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 

    Fan Fic 
  • Degrassi The Next Generation fanfic writers seem to have a thing for Jay/Alex/Paige and all sorts of Sean threesome fantasies.
  • In JLA Watchtower, Hal Jordan accidentally walked in on Arisia and Zinda Blake "fooling around." they told Hal to quit staring and join in. Hal, being Hal...
  • Averted, rather horrifically, in the Lost Girl fic Scars. Bo, who's been corrupted by the darkness inside her, makes a comment about having a threesome with Dyson and Kenzi, to a Red Ridding Hood theme. Far from being erotic, it comes off as unsettling, Kenzi is rattled by it and Dyson is confused by her suggestion.
    • Taken a step further when Lauren and Kenzi try to stop her by seducing her in a doctor and nurse getup. Kenzi finds the idea gross, but recognizes it as their best chance. The fact that Bo previously raped Lauren makes the seduction all the more uncomfortable, and Lauren barely makes it through the ordeal. Though they stop her before they have sex, Kenzi and Lauren are deeply shaken by it, and feel "dirty" afterward.
  • Kataang Island Adventure has one with Aang, Katara, and Aratak. They break it off in the sequel, though.
  • The Stalking Zuko Series in the Hotter and Sexier version of The Boy in the Iceberg Zuko is portrayed as constantly having threesomes with many random Earth Kingdom women and eventually Ty Lee and Mai.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 1994 movie Threesome was the sole depiction of the 2 guys/1 girl variant of this trope in a full-length film...
  • ...until 2001's Y Tu Mamá También.
  • Kim Cattrall, Dana Delany and Joshua Beckett in Live Nude Girls
  • Featured prominently in Wild Things between Kelly, Suzie and Sam Lombardo.
  • In American Pie 2 Steve Stifler has a threesome with two hot women whom he mistakenly believed were lesbians.
  • The title character in the 2009 film adaptation of Chéri is strongly implied to have had a threesome the previous night, at the beginning of the movie; two naked women are clearly visible in the bed he's getting out of.
  • A deleted scene in xXx shows the big bad, the morning after the big party, on a bed with three sleeping women, taking the trope Up to Eleven. (Well, Up To Four. But still.)
  • Subverted in The Sex Monster. Marty thinks the idea of having a threesome with another woman would be hot, and eventually gets his wife to agree. At first, he is thrilled. She then wants to have another threesome, with another woman (his assistant, in fact), except only a twosome. Then she pretty starts having sex with most of the women in Los Angeles; he is not happy about this.
  • Desert Heat has your standard 2 girls, 1 guy threesome. The two girls are, in fact, there solely to be rescued by JCVD, have sex with him, and then literally be Put on a Bus.
  • Machete manages to get into one with the antagonist's wife and daughter. He is Machete, after all.
  • Parodied in Black Dynamite. To demonstrate Black Dynamite's sexual prowess he is introduced having sex with three different women — one black, one white and one Asian — all at once. When they're done he tells them not to wake a bunch of other women whom he had already satisfied.
  • In The Scorpion King, a disturbance in camp gets Balthazar out of bed with a woman, only to reveal another had been out of view behind him. As Balthazar is played by Michael Clarke Duncan, there was plenty of him to hide the other girl behind.
  • In Enter the Dragon, the hostess of the island brings an assortment of girls around for each of the fighters to choose a companion for the night. Williams chooses four, and then apologizes to the rest for snubbing them because he's a little tired.
  • Played for laughs in Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle — the guys are initially hesitant have sex with Freakshow's wife because it's a 2M/1F situation. While they debate whether or not to accept, Freakshow offers to make it a Four Way, which causes them to flee in terror.

    Literature 
  • Subverted in the Newsflesh novella "How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea," in which a married trio is portrayed in a quite shockingly matter-of-fact manner.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Brady Bunch: Averted in "Getting Greg's Goat." However, Bobby and Peter humorously jump to this very conclusion — that their brother, Greg, was quite the ladies' man by having two girls as his overnight bed guests when, by going to the linen closet and listening through a vent, they hear two sets of footsteps and conclude two girls are in his room. Before their fertile imaginations begin any more speculation, Bobby and Peter begin getting clues that the footsteps belong not to two girls, but to ... a goat!
  • How I Met Your Mother featured an episode where Ted met up with an old one-night-stand (which he was too drunk to remember the details of) and her old sorority friend and was close to "Riding The Tricycle" as Barney called it. The episode revealed Barney had come close to riding the tricycle but chickened out at the last minute.
    • The same episode featured Barney refering to the other type of threesome negatively by calling it "The Devil's Threeway"
  • An episode of Coupling focuses on two lead male characters trying to get into one of these threesomes ("It would be like a breast octopus!"), only to find out a woman is trying to get into the other kind with the two of them.
    • The Seinfeldian Conversation of the week on threesomes pronounces that they never really happen, but a good girlfriend won't crush a man's hope that it might happen to him some day.
  • Nip/Tuck features several, including one for Matt with his cheerleader ex-girlfriend and her girlfriend, Christian with a mother-daughter combination, and Sean and Christian with a hooker where they mostly take turns with her.
  • Entourage has E and Sloane having one with one her friends. E wakes up the next day spooning the wrong girl. Hilarity Ensues.
  • One Leverage episode has Parker stumbling in on The Mark's daughter making out in a food pantry - and being invited to join in.
  • Bo, who is openly bi, has one with a married Fae couple in Lost Girl. The wife later reveals they have threesomes fairly often, as it keeps their century old marriage interesting.
  • In Friends episode "The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break", Chandler and Joey once thought they might end up having sex with the same woman. When Joey asked who would go where, Chandler suggested flipping a coin:
    Joey: Yeah, I guess, but what's like heads and what's tails?
    Chandler: Well, if you don't know that I'm not sure I want to do this with you!
    • Subverted in the episode "The One That Could Have Been". Ross makes several suggestions to his wife Carol to spice up their ailing sex life and she immediately jumps on the idea of a threesome. Unfortunately for Ross, Carol is a lesbian note , and Ross ends up getting sidelined pretty quickly. He confesses to Joey that he got bored and made himself a sandwich when it became clear they'd forgotten about him.
    "Did you ever go to a party and wonder - 'Would anyone really miss me if I wasn't here?'"
  • On one episode of Scrubs, The Todd admits to having had one of these, and it's strongly implied it was the male-male-female version.note 
  • In Spartacus: Blood and Sand, there's all kind of sex to be seen from all kinds of characters, including three(and more)-somes of any kind. However, while the male protagonists (okay, only Gannicus) may engage in the 2 girl-version, on the female side only sex slaves and prostitutes are shown having intercourse with multiple men.
  • In the Parks and Recreation episode "Born & Raised", Ben and Tom take the local talk show host Joan Callamezzo out to lunch in order to persuade her to feature Leslie's book in her book club. While there, she gets drunk and eventually tells them what she'd like to do to both of them at the same time. Most of it is bleeped out, but what we do hear involves bending over.
  • Averted in Vikings. Ragnar and Lagertha invite Athelstan into their bed. Being a monk, he declines.
    • Floki, Helga and Torstein have a threesome in 1x05. It's also mentioned that Jarl Borg used to share women with his brother.
  • Supernatural. Bobby takes the brothers to see a hot-looking psychic, who clearly likes the look of Dean. He's smirking over his sure score when she chimes in that Sam is 'invited' too.
    Dean: You are not invited!
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World: In "Amazons", Malone catches the attention of two lovely Amazons. After he, Roxton, and Challenger are captured by the society, they have their way with him. Veronica interrupted before it gets too far.
  • In one episode of Greg the Bunny, Greg and Jimmy compete for the same woman who's been reporting on the show. Eventually, Greg finds out that the reporter is a lesbian who's attracted to Allison and, as payback for something Jimmy did to Greg the last time the two were attracted to the same woman, tells Jimmy that she likes him. When Jimmy walks in on the reporter kissing Allison, he's amazed and thinks they're going to have a threesome.
  • In the "Crush" episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harmony told Spike when Drusilla comes back to him:
    Harmony: I told you I don't do threesomes. Unless they'e boy-boy-girl. Or Charlize Theron.

    Music 
  • The Lonely Island song, "Golden Rule" is about a 2 guy (Andy Samberg & Justin Timberlake), 1 girl (Lady Gaga) version of this. The song implies the boys enjoy each others company as much or more so than Miss Gaga's,as they don't notice when she leaves the room. The Eponymous Golden rule is "It's not gay when it's in a three way".

    Video Games 
  • Alistair excuses his acceptance of a threesome with the player character he's romancing (female only) and Isabela in Dragon Age: Origins with "What can I say? I'm a weak, weak man." If, however, Zevran offers to join in too, Alistair immediately backs out.
    • Whereas Leliana will insist on coming along with the player character (male or female) and Isabela in order to "keep an eye on things..." Hearing her decision will make Oghren faint.
    • It is possible to have a foursome in DA:O, but certain conditions must be met: your persuasion skill has to be reasonably high, you have to have a good (platonic) relationship with Zevran, and you must be in a romance with a Hardened Leliana.
    • Similarly, in Dragon Age II, Hawke can imply this during conversation with Anders (if pursuing a relationship with him): the third party in this instance is Justice. It's even lampshaded later, by Isabela.
      • Hawke can also have a threesome with Isabela and Zevran, if she—or he—is involved with the former and the latter survived the Origins playthrough.
  • In Mass Effect 1, this is one way of resolving the Love Triangle with Shepard. Ashley/Kaidan doesn't go for it.
  • In Mass Effect 3, the Citadel DLC plays this straight, with the double standard and Unfortunate Implications. One of the party scenarios can have Female Shepard overhear a totally hammered Tali tittering about the possibility of a threesome with Fem Shep and Garrus, if you're romancing him. To the surprise of exactly no one, Tali suggests nothing of the sort when playing a Male Shepard who is romancing her, and never even mentions Garrus.
    • If one wants to be charitable, a possible explanation for this is that she suggests the threesome because she's not interested in Female Shepard, but rather wants to get into bed with Garrus (and this is the closest she can get since Fem Shep is with him). When she's in a relationship with Male Shepard though, she's not really interested in Garrus because she already has a boyfriend and a very strong relationship with him for 2 games now.
  • In Jade Empire it's possible for a male character to have a threesome with Dawn Star and Silk Fox.
  • The Fate route of Fate/stay night includes a threesome between Shirou, Rin, and Saber for somewhat contrived reasons. Complete with Rin realizing she likes girls.

    Web Comics 
  • Threesomes occur occasionally in Ménage à 3 (funnily enough); they sometimes go badly, but many are treated as successful and hot, and may be regarded as Fanservice. The double standard is largely avoided; most possible permutations can and do happen. (The men involved in the M-M-F groupings are sometimes twitchy about doing anything sexual with another man involved, but may get over it.) Some fairly unambiguously "hot" occasions are listed here; see the notes on the comic's own page and under Three-Way Sex for a more complete list of occurrences.
    • A flashback shows Zii's foursome with (male) triplets, which was certainly enthusiastic on her part.
    • Zii gets a threesome with Sonya and Jake. The night ends badly, but no one is objecting at the start — and Jake subsequently develops an excessive taste for (mostly off-screen) group sex.
    • Matt manages to bag two cast members (one male, one female) from Dillon's play, simultaneously.
    • Zii is pleased to get Erik and Adrien into bed simultaneously, the first night that they all meet.
    • The trope is played with when Amber offers Gary a threesome, and he fantasises about her and Chanelle. Unfortunately, she means with her and Dillon, which isn't to Gary's tastes.


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alternative title(s): A Threesome Is Manly
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