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Canadian Students Want To Have Threesomes But Are Afraid Of The Stigmas Attached To It

Straight men fear being stigmatized for same-sex activity.

10/11/2017 10:42 EDT | Updated 10/11/2017 10:46 EDT
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It's a bit of a cliché that when young people enter post-secondary schools, they're likely to experiment sexually.

Whether it's trying new positions, dating more than one person at a time, discovering the joy of sex toys, watching feminist porn or having sex for the first time, college is a great time to learn what you like in the sack.

And according to a new study, more young Canadians are thinking about trying threesomes.

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As reported by Indy100, researchers from the University of New Brunswick found that Canadian students are more open to having threesomes but are hesitant to try it because of the stigmas attached to the sex act.

For the study, researchers surveyed 300 heterosexual Canuck students and asked them whether they have had a threesome, are interested in having one, and which combination of sexes they would like to have a threesome with.

Men were twice as likely to be interested in having threesomes with two women as opposed to one man and one woman.

Men were twice as likely to be interested in having threesomes with two women as opposed to one man and one woman.

Researchers found that men fear being stigmatized for same-sex activity, while women fear being stigmatized for sexual experimentation.

Researcher Dr. Ashley Thompson, who is now based out of the University of Minnesota, noted the results of the study are "telling of the way our society views same sex behaviour."

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"There are scripts or messages in media and society as a whole that it's cool or hot for two women to hook up, but it's not for two men. It's almost frowned upon," she added.

There are scripts or messages in media and society as a whole that it's cool or hot for two women to hook up, but it's not for two men. It's almost frowned upon.

"Women in particular may experience more negative repercussions than men," she continued. "The impact may be related to stigma and turn into feelings of guilt and shame."

Both the men and women who participated in the study said they'd prefer to have a threesome with people they knew, although women expressed more interest in this than men. Thompson notes this is unsurprising given that women are generally more likely to experience sexual assault or coercion.

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Researchers also discovered that men were more interested in having a threesome with their partner than women, which gave them insight into what the potential motives might be for having a threesome.

"Is it because I'm not satisfied, and a threesome could be an avenue to promote a better sex life? Or is it just [ that I am or am with] someone who likes to experiment," Thompson pondered, noting that other motivations for having a threesome (or not) include a degree of insecurity, how high or low your sex drive is, and how open-minded you are.

Motivations for having a threesome (or not) include a degree of insecurity, how high or low your sex drive is, and how open-minded you are.

There has been little research done on threesomes, so it's difficult to tell how this study's results compare to previous generations, but even among the group surveyed for this study, only 13 per cent of the students said they had had a threesome.

"We are seeing a rise of other behaviours, like rates of anal sex, oral sex, and people claim it's likely a result of how we're being socialized," said Thompson.

The research that's out there, though, indicates that more people have had or are having threesomes. In 2013, the Data Report found that 20 per cent of the 5,000 men and women surveyed had been involved in threesomes. And a survey published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour found that about four in five men and a third of women have interest in pursuing one.

We are seeing a rise of other behaviours, like rates of anal sex, oral sex, and people claim it's likely a result of how we're being socialized.

If you are thinking about having a threesome with your partner, there are several ways to go about it.

"An easy way to bring up the topic is to tell your partner you read an article online about threesomes. Say something like, "We've never talked about that. What do you think it would be like to have one?' If you bring up the topic more generally at first, your partner will feel more at ease," sex therapist Vanessa Marin told HuffPost.

When it comes to having a thoughtful conversation about whether or not to have a threesome with your partner, it's important that couples discuss their boundaries.

When it comes to having a thoughtful conversation about whether or not to have a threesome with your partner, it's important that couples discuss their boundaries.

"You should talk through the entire experience, and all the different possibilities, to make sure you're on the same page about the specific activities that are and aren't on the table," Marin noted, adding that individuals should get specific about what they are and aren't OK with, such as whether the third partner should be a stranger or a friend, and how you feel about kissing.

Other topics to discuss include protection like condoms and birth control; how to tell your partner if you're uncomfortable during the act; and how to involve the third party in your conversations.

Learn more about how to have a successful threesome here.

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