“Hi,” read the text, sent from an unknown number, which bubbled up on my screen on a Tuesday afternoon. “I hear you had fun with my boyfriend last night.”
It wasn’t a revelation of infidelity, or a stomach-flipping accusation. Instead, the message was followed by a simple invitation: “Would you like to meet soon?”
A month prior, after slumping, half-drunk, onto my sofa on a late weekend afternoon, I had precisely enough liquid courage to confront a long toyed-with desire. That is, I opened up the App Store and downloaded 3nder.
3nder – pronounced “Thrinder” – is often described as “Tinder for threesomes.” Though I’ve been a long-term subscriber of the largely fruitless Guardian Soulmates, I’d never so much as practiced my right-swipe, believing that Tinder’s online-shopping mentality of finding a mate supplied a sort of slow-drip of soul slaughter. But after a series of meandering three-month relationships – most of them marred by the kind of sex that could only be described as uneventful – I felt the tiger inside of me beginning to pace. In the tube, my gaze stuck on men’s hips, imagining their insistent weight pressing into my inner thighs. Everywhere, visions of bare skin and skilled hands and mouths being put to good use. Desire became a siren.
I was drawn to the intrigue of making sex the centre of the conversation, and of stripping away all the complicated waltzes of friends-with-benefits-or-more, don’t-text-too-much, is-he-into-me-or-using-me. I was also drawn to the idea of exploring a woman’s body – that wasn’t mine – for the first time.
It’s funny, then, how long it took to find my threesome. Shortly after firing up the app for the first time, the truth became clear: 3nder was teeming with single men.
The way it works, briefly: singles, as well as couples, are welcome to register. Pairs can seek a spare third to complete the ménage, or three willing solo flyers can broker their own arrangements. Or, as quickly became the most common scenario, singles can message each other to arrange a sexy, err, twosome. As the first guy I met commented, “The way I see it, 3nder is basically Tinder for pervs.”
Before my first meeting, with Jack*, I was thrumming with nerves. I’d made it my personal policy to get drinks with any potential partners first – no instant invites up to my flat. I also limited conversations to people who seemed interested in me, and not just happy to fuck anyone half-willing. I needn’t have worried. Jack boasted an impressive beard, a career as a music producer, a motorcycle he promised I could try out, and a preference for curvy women. Next time we met, he praised my ample hips, before he led me to my bedroom and fucked me until I was sure the bedframe would gouge the walls. I looked forward fervently to next time. Until he found a girlfriend and bowed out.
After Jack, there was the wide-eyed Venetian who kissed soulfully – and flaked on our second rendezvous at the last moment. There was the eager guy who abruptly axed our conversation after I said we wouldn’t be fucking during the first meeting. There was the Italian who cooked me linguine alla vongole before kneeling at my feet and begging to go down on me. I obliged – for the next hour. There were the guys who gave me their numbers but never answered my texts. For every promising start, a premature finish. For every flake, a new possibility.
But then, at last, I started chatting with John. He was one half of a relaxed, polyamorous couple. We grabbed beers and flirted and made out against the pub wall. The day after, his girlfriend, Kim, texted me to arrange a meeting. She was short, curvy, sarcastic and smart, and I could see myself happily undressing her. It was settled: next weekend would be the weekend.
There are few stranger feelings than travelling across London on a Sunday afternoon, on your way to your first threesome. At first, the three of us were stricken with nerves. We downed pitchers of sherry spritzes, joked and sat at opposite sides of the room. After several hours, Kim turned to me and said, “I think we should kiss.” My heart flared as I leaned in. We moved to her bedroom, dim and illuminated by the fairy lights strung around the ceiling. She unhooked her bra and her breasts poured out. John stood behind me and kissed my neck as he undid mine. For the next two hours, we languorously fucked and stroked and touched. I kissed her and tasted her. John played with us both. Kim and I came simultaneously at the end, and he held his magic hands to the ceiling, crowing in triumph.
Punctuated at times by discomfort and uncertainty, it was also revelatory. I realised I would happily jump into bed with a woman again. I loved the richness of Kim’s curves and her soft skin, and felt like I was experiencing sex from a new perspective. It also gave me the confidence to appreciate my own body, and I resolved not to be ashamed of it or fear its abundance.
Now, three months into using the app, I still check 3nder every few days. No second threesomes have materialized, yet, but I’m open to whatever comes along. Just as long as it isn’t 30 seconds of missionary.
Words by Lilou Le Bun
Photos courtesy of Mighty Aphrodite and Pinterest