For those who don’t already know, I’m answering Carrie’s questions from every episode of Sex and the City (or at least most of them) to see how things have changed for a single thirty-something writer in New York City, ten years after the show ended. Ta-da!
Hmm. I think the answer to this question is pretty simple. No, they’re not. At least not any more. When this episode aired, I was seventeen and thanks to the internet and a teenage girl’s unwavering ability to remember everything that ever happened to her ever, I had just lost my virginity. So yeah, I imagine at the time, I would have been scandalised by the idea of a threesomes. Just as I have been (and continue to be, thanks to Channel Four and HBO) scandalised by the terrible film of the same name.
Now, as a thirty-two year old woman, I don’t think it’s such a big deal. For the record and so that I don’t have to begin another column by apologising to my mother, I have never had a threesome. I think I’m too selfish, too insecure and too polite. I’d probably end up popping out to make a cup of tea and sobbing quietly while my boyfriend boinked someone else in the bedroom while calling out to ask whether or not she took sugar. I have been asked (don’t look so shocked) but was forced to reply ‘I’m a youngest child with daddy issues, I don’t share my toys.’ He laughed, shut up and asked again two months later. He’s been quiet about it for a few months but I’m sure now the sun is shining, it’ll come up again. Sadly for both of us, he’s not James Bond, a thousand ‘no’s won’t magically turn into a yes.
Anyway, in general, threesomes = not a big deal. Once upon a time, a boy’s birthday was often known as steak and a blowjob day. Now, he’s just as likely to ask you to get another girl involved, people just aren’t scared of them anymore. And while I haven’t had one, I do know lots of people that have, from the ‘girl most likely to’ to the ‘boy least likely to even touch it in case God is watching’ and for the most part, people report good experiences. Whether that’s sexual bravado or not, I don’t know. What I do know is that any horror story I ever heard came from someone in a relationship. Not because she didn’t want to do it but because after it was done, she felt betrayed, like her BF had cheated on her while she was still in the room. Maybe that wasn’t fair but I totally understand it, like I said, I hate sharing my toys.
A gay friend of mine once explained the reason he felt he had to diet and work out all the time as ‘imagine you were going to get naked with someone who had all the same parts as you and was constantly comparing. I can’t distract with boobs! He’s just checking to see if I’m fat and whether or not mine is bigger than his!’ It made me think. Women can be nasty pieces of work and I can’t imagine how hard it would be to get into it if I was too busy worrying that I was getting a cellulite check at the same time as a shag.
But if threesomes aren’t the new sexual frontier, what is? Ladies (and gents) I think we all know. And I’m trying to think of a fun word to rhyme it to but I can’t. ‘Canal’ and ‘banal’ are both pronounced totally differently. Apparently anal* is the orange of the sex world – orange-schmorange, anal-schmanal. Seriously, there’s nothing more certain to make a table full of experienced, sophisticated ladies squee** faster or more loudly than anal banter. No one wants to talk about it, few people will admit to it and everyone’s still convinced there’s that one girl going around telling everyone she loved it and making it harder for the rest of us. Don’t tell me you don’t know that girl, we both know you do. One of the girls tells you she had a threeway and it’s all wide eyes and ‘ooh, she’s so adventurous and cool’ but if one of your besties tells you she and her BF have begun to practice the love that dare not speak it’s name and it’s eyes down, pretend she didn’t say it or, at best, someone will eventually ask ‘didn’t't it hurt?’ I don’t know, I’m not pretending I have acted any more differently when it has come up in conversation but ladies, when you think about it, you know those gay guys you love so much? The ones with the cute hair and a quick quips and fantastic taste in Sunday night TV programmes? They’re totally doing it up the ass, all the time. And we don’t hate on them for it.
Guys I’ve talked to about (not only my partners, my friends and friends of friends who decided they didn’t want to be my friend after this convo) have had varied thoughts on the matter. One was dead against it because he thought it was disrespectful, one wouldn’t even try because he thought his peen was ‘too big’ (bless), several who maintained every girl he’d done it with loved it and so, so many who thought ‘maybe if I just try this she won’t notice…’ As with any sexual activity that is consensual, I think it’s a case of each to his own but I can’t for the life of me work out why the stigma is still so intense. It can’t only be because Charlotte York once said ‘no one wanted to marry Mrs Up The Butt’. Is that the true legacy of Sex and the City? That girls are saving their anal virginity for marriage?
Since Fifty Shades brought BDSM out of the dungeon and into the daylight, maybe anal is all that’s left. Someone needs to call EL James and tell her society needs a sexy backdoor Hunger Games reimagining. There are so many sexual acts that are still divisive issues between women, whether it’s something perpetrated by the media, by society, religion or simply by the idea ‘good girls don’t’ and that’s really, really depressing. Now that most people engage in sex before marriage, is it just that we need to find another stick with which to beat each other? And of course, like all weapons we women use on each other, as soon as we’re done with it, we pass it over to the boys so they can knock us around with it as well. Oh, feminism, come back, we need you.
* I actually looked at the Babeland website for their advice on what to call it and they most often used the term ‘butt play’. I giggled. For about ten minutes. I am part of the problem.
** If you’ve got five minutes, I recommend a google image search for ‘women looking shocked’. It’s a hoot.