“There’s no I in Threesome” – Interpol
I was asked a couple of times, both quite out of the blue, but I declined politely, much to the shouts of protests of you’ll regret those missed opportunities, from future friends as I retell the stories.
“I’m too tired/drunk/stoned/need a bath/still on my period/I can’t, I’ve got a boyfriend, what if it makes our friendship awkward?” or some other hasty, but perfectly acceptable excuse. I forget now.
The first time was late in the pub, when I was with two of my female friends who were in a relationship. We were happy and lightly merry and affectionate. Sally was sat on Rebecca’s knee. Sally was playing with my hair. We had an easy bond. We called it ‘slack’. They used to wear each other’s clothes, right down to the knickers. I could take the cigarette from one of them, have a puff, hold it to the other one’s mouth for her to take a drag and give it back to its original owner. Our boundaries were loose.
I was getting ready to catch the last bus, patting myself down, checking I had everything, saying my goodbyes. Rebecca’s goodbye kiss was soft and a little too lingering. She said, “you can stay at ours tonight” and I knew right then that it didn’t mean the usual, “come back to ours for a smoke” and I looked at Sally and they both reached for each other’s hands.
Every lesbian I’ve ever been friends with has said to me words to the effect of “you’ve got a little bit of gay in you”, which I had to agree with. I had no direct sexual references to say any different. I often got hit on in gay clubs by Boos asking me if I was femme or butch, rather than my visually preferred Alex Vause/Jolie as Croft types. With hindsight, although I loved and trusted these two women, I think I probably declined as a result of panic that my inexperience would show me up as clumsy, or that I’d fall head over heels with one of them, rather than of me being completely uninterested.
The second time was when I was babysitting for a couple where I knew her from work. When they came home, she went to bed before him and he quickly made a move. He put his arm round me and did that over-tight squeeze hug that some men do, who don’t know their own strength, and then moved his hands too slowly over my shoulders down to cup my breasts, thumbs lightly grazing my nipples, trying to make them go hard. A second later he was gently pushing my hair behind my ear, kissing my neck, whispering, whether I would like a massage to ‘relax me’ and I froze. I think he realised I was scared, so he stopped, with a “Well I’m off to bed. I know Sarah would love it if you joined us.” Truth was, that I didn’t fancy either of them. Sarah had told me plenty about interesting their sex life was before they had the baby, and how bored she was with it now. I would be just a body to them. A body in her early 20s to their late 30s, but still. Being the subject of such juicy office rumours would have been unbearable. Thinking back, whose to say that I wasn’t being gossiped about already by being friends with two known swingers.
I wouldn’t want to be the reason any relationship wobbles or fails. And anyway, isn’t the third person supposed to be a stranger?
The other combination would be me and two men. This could be a decadent, indulgent fantasy where slow, delicious attention would be lavished on me and all of my desires would be fulfilled. I’d have many memories in the bank. In reality, I would most likely become a voyeur to their pleasure or the sausage in a bun/spit roast.
Sometimes sex in your head is better than it ever is in bed.