Threesomes (Troilism)

Threesomes and moresome
Source: Teenage Group Sex site

Troilism (sometimes spelled triolism) refers to the erotic interest in watching one’s romantic partner engage in sexual behavior with a third party, sometimes while hidden.[1] A common example is a husband watching his wife have intercourse with another man. This scenario is part of the swinger lifestyle, and varies depending on the participants.

Two of the parties are related, such as a married couple. The third party comes from outside the relationship, and can even be a stranger to the couple. Although the couple is usually separated, it is possible for the third party to be the observer.

Threesomes

A threesome is a form of group sex involving three people of any gender combination. The level of sexual activity among the three members may vary greatly. Some threesomes may involve one who has a voyeur role, sometimes the invited member is there for enhancing the experience which does not involve having intercourse with the couple role (this is sometimes referred to as soft-swinging), other threesomes may involve some same sex contact, and other threesomes actively involve all three members.

Sometimes the term threesome is confused with the term ménage à trois. Granted, both activities involve sex amongst three people. A threesome generally involves a couple that seeks out a third person for sex without the emotional entanglements that are normally seen in an open relationship. On the other hand, the term ménage à trois implies a special form of a threesome which involves an emotional bond among all three people and in many ways resembles more of an open relationship than a threesome.

Origins

Troilism was first coined in the 1941 edition of Dorland’s Medical Dictionary where it was classified as a paraphilia. It was not clear why this scientific name was chosen.

One examination of the word may indicate a root in the French word trois (three). A similar French term, triolisme, exists in french - the shift between the third and fourth letter is perhaps a mistake. On the other hand, ménage à trois (household of three) was coined in the late 19th century. Although all those terms involve three people, ménage à trois implies a romantic link between all three, which is quite different from troilistic scenarios. In French, a "plan à trois", vulgar form and synonym of "triolisme", corresponds more closely to a troilistic scenario; a "threesome".

Another possible origin was noted in Take Our Word For It, [2] a webzine published by the non-profit Institute for Etymological Research and Education. Here, it is theorized that troilism comes from Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida. In it, Ulysses forces Troilus to watch his lover, Cressida, with another man. Troilus promptly dismisses his former love as a whore. (Prostitution or “acting like a whore” is a common aspect of many acts of troilism.)

Pop Culture References

  • * American television program How I Met Your Mother. In episode 2x07 ("Crazy Eyes" AKA "Swarley"), Barney recounts a story of dating a girl with "crazy eyes." On their date, she suggests they have a "threesome" with her teddybear, Mr. Weasels. When asked if he went through with it, he adamantly denied it, explaining that they had a "twosome with the third one watching from a chair."
  • * Garth Marenghi's Darkplace features the character Dean Learner, played by Richard Ayoade, telling his interviewer that he has sat and watched Marenghi making love to a woman many times.

 

References

1. ^ Hirschfeld, M. (1938). Sexual anomalies and perversions: Physical and psychological development, diagnosis and treatment (new and revised ed.). London: Encyclopaedic Press.
2. ^ "Issue 93". TIERE (17 July 2000).
 

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