Exploring Variations in North American Adults’ Attitudes, Interest, Experience, and Outcomes Related to Mixed-Gender Threesomes: A Replication and Extension

Ashley E. Thompson, Allison E. Cipriano, Kimberley M. Kirkeby, Delaney Wilder, Justin J. Lehmiller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mixed-gender threesomes (MGTs) are a type of consensually nonmonogamous sexual encounter involving three people of more than one gender. Little research has been conducted on MGTs, and what little work does exist is limited to college students, who may actually be less experienced with MGTs than older adults. The present study investigated attitudes toward, interest in, experiences with, and outcomes of MGTs in two samples (college N = 231; online N = 1342), comprised of 907 heterosexual and 666 sexual minority participants in total. Results indicated that participants reported neutral-to-positive attitudes toward and moderate-to-high levels of interest in MGTs (81% indicated some degree of interest). MGTs involving familiar others were preferred to those involving strangers. Men, sexual minority individuals, and participants from the online sample reported more favorable attitudes toward and greater interest in MGTs as compared to women, heterosexual individuals, and participants from the student sample. In addition, 30% of participants indicated having experience with a MGT. Sexual minority individuals reported more experience with MGTs and more positive outcomes than did heterosexual individuals. In addition, on average, participants reported that their MGT experiences “met expectations.” Overall, these results indicate that MGTs are a common sexual behavior that often results in positive outcomes, especially among sexual minority individuals. Additional research on this understudied topic is needed, particularly as it relates to outcomes and the role of MGTs in consensually nonmonogamous relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalArchives of sexual behavior
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Consensual nonmonogamy
  • Mixed-gender threesomes
  • Multi-person sex
  • Threesomes

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