I learned something new recently: A threesome is not the same as a ménage à trois.
I always thought it was, you see, because both a threesome and a ménage deal with three people sexually involved with one another. But there are differences in terms of how long this goes on, how often, and what areas other than the sexual either include.
A threesome is far less complicated than a ménage à trois.
That is because a ménage à trois is not a mere one-time arrangement like a threesome can be. Instead, It is a “domestic arrangement in which 3 people having sexual relations occupy the same household.”
Thus, at the risk of belaboring a point, threesomes can take just one night—hells bells, it can take just an hour or two!! Ménages last much longer; sometimes they go on for years and years. Threesomes can take place as often or as seldom as each of the three parties want. Since ménages are not measured in encounters, usually a party of three that live together are in a ménage. Period. Even should two of the three (or three of the three) think it’s over and one goes home to Mama, should she or he come back, it would still be the same ménage despite the interruption of a seeming break for a month or a year or two.
But there is yet another relationship involving three people, and that is a relationship where triangulation is involved.
Triangulations are different from the two relationships discussed above because of two “not necessarilies”.
Triangulations are not necessarily sexual, though they can be.
Triangulations are not necessarily something done consciously. In contrast, there is no way threesomes or ménages occur unnoticed. The clue: six arms, six legs and three sets of genitals.
Triangulation occurs when a relationship between two people—let’s say spouses—bring in another person to make, in this example, the marriage more stable.
But why triangulation and not, for example, ‘rectangulation’? While these also occur, triangulation happens much more often.
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By Dr. Margarita Holmes