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The Soul of the Threesome
Lover, Mate and Parent: The holy trinity of security

Dedicated to Sigmund, Taylor and Lexus


It’s just way too common a fantasy not to disentangle for fun.  The vision of being cradled in the octopus limbs of two lovers of one’s preferred gender.  (This is a straight take on it; gays must have their own equally compelling version.)

I’m convinced it’s not even about eroticism, about the increase in permutations of friction-worthy parts.  If that were all of it, then someone would have invented an Orgasbot™ with as many penetrating and penetrable bits as one could possibly handle.  Irrelevant, ain’t it?  It seems so obviously more important than that.  And if it is eroticism, then it’s a chorus line of closeted needs from birth through adulthood, dancing through the room among the limbs.

We’re born (the straight among us) with our opposite sex parent as the archetypal love object, the primal hottie, the princess or white knight, the Monica Bellucci or Colin Farrell.  In order to grow up, we have to forsake them and incur whatever wrath their insecurity percolates to the surface.   (They who expected us to be loyal to them forever, even after inviting us to be born into a familial threesome in which we’d already lost to their incumbent mate—the one whose passion we owe our existence to!  C’est trop compliqué…)

So we gird our bits and get on with finding a real-life mate to live with in the present, to conceive with, to be a loving and sexual person with.  We dump mommy or daddy, leaving them convinced in their heart of hearts that we’ve Settled For whomever we’re mated to.  (Alternatively, our first-love-parent could be miffed by the inarguably abundant virtues of our mates; then they can fiercely intensify their efforts to find the fatal flaw.  And so we get the trashy repertoire of psycho-mother-in-law jokes…it almost seems that nature hasn’t provided the scorned parent/suitor with any relief.  Grandbabies used to be it, but that’s long gone.)

Almost makes you wish that Freud were required reading for anyone who’s fertile.  Everyone of conception age should have to take an annual exam like a driver’s license renewal and prove that they understand the minefield they’re shimmying through in a well-lubricated way…

So nope, it don’t matter none what their gifts and devotions may be, our mates are never good enough for us in the eyes of our first love, the mommy or daddy we dumped.  Don’t know why this is, but I’ve been weirdly lucky in having a father who’s always been my champion in love.  The most unconventional choices always earned his quiet support.  It was he who believed that the “passing fling with the college boy” would result in a family with two beautiful children.  Amazing.  Perhaps the fact that my father committed to my mother during their first dance had something to do with it.  The fraternity of passionate trusters.

So on to the juicily compelling threeway.  Could anything possibly remedy our lost unconditional parental love more dramatically than to have two players on the set, one ministering to the adult, and the other ministering to the child, simply by being present without judgement?  The second party is the astonishingly approving parent.  And that’s all they have to be.  As long as they don’t find fault with our sexual selves, they’re perfect.  That’s all we ever needed.  And it works in every direction!  One can also feel that one’s mate is the parent, and the mate will witness the sexual adult existing without shame.  Yeehaw, as the soul would say.

This is about as good as it gets for the standard, factory-set psyche.  Think about it:  Here we are, being fluently sexual with someone, while a bookend of him/her—supposedly a guaranteed rival—looks on approvingly—wait, more than approvingly, joyfully.  It’s a perfect resolution.  We can grow up without feeling the disapproval of the other, the original.  In a way, it’s a testament to how much we continue to crave their approval.

In any adult love relationship, there’s an element of parent in our lover.  Their claim and vows, their possession and pride, even the thorns of their fear and jealousy, are ambivalently comforting and restricting at the same time.

Within the safety of their affection, we still have that little niggling curiosity, “would they still love me if…”—if what?  If we managed to convince them that not even pleasure itself was powerful enough to break our bond with them?  (Assuming, as always , that all parties have the skill of pleasure and know what they’re doing.  There’s never an excuse for trainwrecks.)

If we have a second lover present, then we agree to be both the approver and the approvee..   Each of us also has the opportunity to allow our lovers to feel some pride in the witnessing:  “So that’s what s/he looks like when they’re doing [secret stellar technique here] that I love so much!”  The additional perspective is like walking all the way around a statue in a gallery that had previous been in a niche for one-sided viewing only.  One is simultaneously the viewer and the statue.  And the visual perspective is complemented by the emotional perspective.

I’m beginning to think that the threesome is a necessary step in the completion of one’s sexual identity.  To not only be with one’s lover, but to be seen to be with one’s lover.  Finishing up all that old business in the soul.

"I think that just my being here is a big mistake."
I
t’s not even something that has to be acted out in reality.  Couples can add this dimension in their minds, by placing an imaginary witness in a chair in the boudoir, outside the window, or anywhere else that creates a sudden consciousness of one’s own behaviour; the elegance, the fluidity, the art and style of love, the unique writing that’s our signature on the body and soul of another.

Perhaps for love to be an art, the gallery must have an unlocked door.  I’m not positive about any of this, but it’s making a lot of sense, based on the gauges in my belly.  It may happen early in life and be a completed equation.  [“Dear Penthouse, you won’t believe what happened to me in my college dorm…”]  Or it may take decades of adulthood before the equation is complete.  [“Dear Penthouse, you won’t believe what happened to me at the retirement home …”]  Or perhaps never.  [“Dear Penthouse, please cancel my subscription…”]

Men may have a much deeper need for the threesome, out of their fundamental supplicant position in relation to women.  Men are forever at the window, in the delicious French idiom “lecher les vitrines” – licking the windows.  Longing from a distance.  Searching for the door to the cathedral of delight.


Men have to be supplicants to win one woman, so they really can’t be at peace until they’re convinced that more than one of these creatures has blessed their unworthy selves with divine attention.  Maybe the current one was just a fluke?  Maybe they settled too soon?--Inquiring chromosomes want to know!  (Why they have to feel unworthy to begin with is another thang.  Another subject.  What is so shameful about men’s quest to find a safe warm place for their DNA? Stay tuned….)

Ask the marketers of porn, the porn that passes for an erotic experience in this screwed up, bereft, nuance-free culture.  What’s the big favourite scene?  Two women, one man.  Or just two women, period.  Always the implication that each is available as both partner and witness to the man’s desire.  Yet I believe that in archetypal role, the two women are never equal, one is active and one is bearing honourable witness, if you can stand that gooey phrase.

So what?  Blah, blah, big deal.  As the Empress of Drivelopolis, why am I spending a royal fortnight musing upon porn-culture’s favourite scene?  Because in order for something to sell this well, it has to satisfy the fundamental hunger of many millions.  If it’s an engine that drives millions, let's raise the hood and see what’s under there.  (ya ya, some PhD raised the hood once and filled in all the little spaces with multisyllabic piles of verbiage.  We jist wanna know why it works, doc.)

The threesome hunger might arise from the spiritual and emotional stinginess of the nuclear family, in which the adults at the helm, the parents, have so sublimated their eroticism, so twisted and diverted so much of it toward their kids, that they leave their offspring with this terrible ambivalence:  If someone--a lover--ever loves me, then someone else--a parent--will hate me [for abandoning them].


 

So I end up writing about this trite subject as though it were of some import, because it is.

When it’s not understood and articulated, this “I gotta be hated to be loved” conflict breaks up love relationships.  It sends the partners out obsessively searching for the validating witness, the second partner, unconsciously prompting the wrath of the incumbent, who’s now the surrogate parent and whom the escapee can safely flip off without fear of destruction.  Because they can’t handle acting this out in real time, as the dramatic ritual or fantasy it should be, they try to act it out with all kinds of dodging and feinting in the public world.  It seems like a real pity; all that pain and struggle, just for lack of a little understanding.

The three-seekers spin their efforts and convince themselves that the presence of a second partner—any second partner, frankly, which explains silk purse dumped for sow’s ear (Nicole Kidman dumped for any reason whatsoever)—means they have to dump the first partner.  See the repetition? They already dumped mom or dad—or did they? Perhaps not—so they re-dump to see if they’ll finally feel grown up this time.  (PhDs call this “The Redumpification Paradigm”)

What they’re scared to think about (the threesome-needing dumpers, not the PhDs) is that they figgered out too late (again! Damn!) that they were only really happy when they were between the two, attached to one and yearned for by the other.  (This little equation should also be required reading for anyone who’s fertile.  Bring on those yearly exams, dammit!  I wanna see a Ministry of Mating and Education regulating all members of the loin-using public.)

And so do they, um, find resolution?  Hell, no.  They have to rinse and repeat.  Cuz it ain’t gonna work with the alluring newcomer turned into the boring incumbent, and the ex-incumbent in the next time zone, back at the online dating ads, or meeting with a lawyer.  Or—worst of all—sleeping peacefully.

That—as we all know by now—ain’t no threeway.  How many hearts have been sacrificed to this blundered-up primal scene?  Is an honest threesome actually worse than this?

This doesn’t need to be acted out serially and devastatingly, with one mate and side-trip after the other.  It’s possible that two-at-once, two-people-really-like-me, should simply become an intimate rite of passage; the surrender of a second virginity that every adult is entitled to pass through as a consciously sexual person, in order to meet the need that was planted in them by both mama nature and a stingy, dessicated culture.  Yeah, that’s it.  In the meantime, there’s Vivid Video.

--end--

[All cartoons from www.cartoonbank.com]


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MUSINGS. . .


If you have
a big mouth,
use it to shed light.

YONI

Drivel archives:

Cars and Blenders:
Appliances as lifestyle statements

What's up, dad?
Buddy, can you spare a decade?

Tears and Money Shots:
The Obscene View of Grief

The Frankenfamily:
Dedicated to
children of divorce

Drama and GPS

Murkin Theology:
The all-you-can-eat-buffet as an altar of worship

SUVs and Pet Rocks: Differently Abled products

Dear Single Men

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(Apparently, this notion is coming out of the closet somewhat formally:)