'My partner was just all over her': jealousy, communication and rules in mixed-sex threesomes

Ryan Scoats, Eric Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
279 Downloads (Pure)


Drawing on findings from interviews with 28 men and women, this study explores experiences related to communication and jealousy in mixed-sex threesomes. Findings suggest that those in relationships often experience feelings of exclusion when engaging in threesomes, although open communication is a method by which the negative effects may be mitigated. Some couples agree on particular rules during their threesomes, symbolically demonstrating the specialness of the relationship as well as protecting it from further progression into non-monogamy. Although communication appeared less important for those having threesomes when not in a relationship, it still played a role in determining participants' use of contraception whether the threesome occurred while in a relationship or not. Study findings are contextualised using the concept of monogamism, with it being suggested that threesomes involving romantic couples can serve to help maintain institutional monogamy, rather than trouble it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-146
Number of pages13
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Issue number2
Early online date10 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in
Culture, Health and Sexuality on 10/04/18, available
online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13691058.2018.1453088

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


  • Communication
  • consensual non-monogamy
  • jealousy
  • monogamy
  • threesome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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