Three gay men speak of their three-way relationship

Three gay men speak of their three-way relationship

Written by David Hudson and originally published on

Triad; Threesome; Polyamorous relationship: Whatever you wish to call it, real-life examples of three men living and sleeping with one another in committed relationships remain pretty rare.

Although many people may have dabbled with sex with more than one person at the same time, actually committing one’s self to two others is considered far from the norm.

However, it’s that concept of ‘the norm’ that soon gets turned on its head when you meet Louis, David and Sam. The three men (who have asked GSN not use their surnames) have been in a committed three-way relationship for the past year.

I ring the buzzer of their apartment in North London with some apprehension. I’ve interviewed many gay couples in the past but this is my first ‘thruple’ (as Sam refers to them). I wanted to ask some pretty personal questions: Would they be shy? Would they get offended?

I needn’t have worried. Sat side-by-side on a sofa – relaxed, jovial and talkative – they immediately put me at ease. They also laugh. A lot. Transcribing my interview afterwards was a challenge in picking out the words through the guffaws and gentle ribbing of each other.triad1

“When people think of threesomes,” said Sam, playing with Brusky, their Chocolate Labrador, “they immediately think raunchiness and sex. Then they meet us and spend time with us and quickly say, ‘This all seems really normal.’”

It’s true. I very quickly regard them as one unit, in the same way I might view a couple as their own, distinct entity: Individuals, yet bonded.

David, 54, and Louis, 47, have been together for seven years. Louis heralds from Hong Kong but had been living in the UK. He’d been due to return to Asia, but those plans changed when he met David – originally from Israel. They quickly moved in with one another and threw themselves into building a life together in London. Around a year ago, they mutually decided that they would look around for a third person.

“We came to a bit of a hold in our relationship,” says David.

They were still committed to one another and were planning on marrying, but they decided to entertain the idea of allowing someone else to join them. Whether this was a semi-regular ‘friend with benefits’ or something more was undecided.

“We’d been monogamous. And then we started looking for other encounters,” says Louis.

They experimented with threesomes, but, says David, “something was missing. It wasn’t really working for me.”

Then they met Sam, aged 28. It was at London bears night, Brut. They gave Sam a ride home that night and arranged to meet up again a week later. It was Sam’s first experience of a threesome – and they all immediately hit it off. They very quickly fell into hanging out with one another.

“It was very much like dating,” says Sam, reflecting on those early days. “I wasn’t looking for a couple. It was the last thing I wanted. I wanted a monogamous relationship. That’s all I ever wanted, really.”

David and Louis say that finding Sam was a surprise. Not only was he younger than they were planning (“We thought we’d find a guy in his 40s – but you don’t choose who you get along with,” says David), he was also not shy of staking his own space in an established relationship.

“I made it clear very soon, it was all or nothing,” says Sam, signaling he wasn’t willing to take a ‘junior’ role and was not looking to be just ‘fuck buddies’. “I gave them that choice and they chose.”

Fortunately, they all wanted the same thing; to be together; Sam duly moved in within four weeks.triad2

Despite a shared aim, the early months were far from plain sailing.

“It was very messy,” emphasizes Louis. “There’s a lot of jealousy and a lot of having to adjust. Everyone’s looking out to see if they’re missing out on attention or affection. There were a lot of arguments in the early days. It was” – he chuckles – “a bit of a mind-fuck!”

This is where it sounds a little different from a more conventional relationship – which can begin with a honeymoon period and evolve into rows and bickering. The three of them say that the first few weeks were marked by uncertainties and insecurities, often leading to outbursts of emotion.

“We had to quickly adapt a whole new, very different dynamic,” says Louis of his relationship with David.

“And then we both had to work out our relationships with Sam,” adds David. “Testing each other’s boundaries, working out someone’s limits, it’s all part of being in a new relationship with someone, but it’s more intense and complicated when there are three of you.”

The men decided to initially pledge themselves to staying together for three months; not bail out, whatever arguments arose. This gave them the space to be open and honest with one another, reasonably safe in the knowledge that nothing anyone said would lead to someone else throwing in the towel.

After the first three months, they committed to six months. After six months, they say things became much easier. It may have helped that they also moved into a new apartment, which they redesigned around their new relationship: One very big bed for them all to sleep in, three large wardrobes and a big shower unit with enough space for them all.

Louis works in IT, Sam is a video producer and David works in education and is training to be a counselor.

They say their relationship is helped by the fact they have shared interests. They all love photography and filmmaking, and have turned one room into a studio and creative workspace. They’re also, as you might guess, regular gym buddies.

“And we do have a lot of sex,” laughs Sam – but only with each other. They all agreed early on that they would be ‘monogamous’ to the relationship. At first, they decided to only have sex as a threesome. Now, they tend to have sex together, but also sometimes pair off.

They’re not ashamed or embarrassed about their chosen relationship. In fact, they’re refreshingly matter-of-fact. They even have a joint Instagram profile. Work colleagues and friends are aware, although breaking the news to wider family has not been easy.

“Some family members know. My daughter, who is 30, was unsure at first when she found out,” says David. “She was thinking ahead as to how she might explain it to her children.”

“But she’s come around now,” says Sam. “She invited us all to her wedding in January, and we all went and it was all fine – it was really nice.”

Sam is from the UK, but of Middle Eastern descent. Being openly gay is not easy, but he’s long since decided that the closet was not an option for him. Telling his mother about his two new boyfriends was – as you may imagine – more difficult.

“She didn’t take it well,” he admits. “I think at first she was horrified at me taking up with these two older guys. She thought they were just going to use and abuse me and take advantage. However, she came around. She met them and realized they are nice guys. We spent Christmas with her and it was all fine. I can actually leave these two with her and go out and not have to worry – she likes them.”

“Your mother completely surprised us,” says Louis. “She’s been OK and has made a really great effort and she is lovely.”

Louis says that his brother and sister know about the arrangement and are OK about it, but that it’s not something he feels inclined to raise with other family members in Hong Kong, who would be unlikely to react with the same acceptance.

What of the future? Threesomes, when they exist, don’t have a good reputation for lasting. Is that a concern?

“Any relationship faces challenges and couples often split up. Who knows what will happen,” shrugs David. “Yes, Sam is younger, and I was very, very worried that our relationship might stop him from enjoying life or he would feel restricted. So we promised him, any time he wants to go, any time he feels he’s missing out, he can go. In ten years time, I’ll be 64, and he’ll only be 38…” He trails off.

“I hear this all the time!” laughs Sam, rolling his eyes, and indicating it’s a discussion that has come up previously. “I don’t feel that I need anything more. Even though I’m quite young, I’m definitely relationship-oriented. This is good. I don’t need a thousand different experiences of sleeping with other people. This works.”

At the end of the day, isn’t that what matters? For now, for these three men, it works, so who is anyone else to judge?

“Before, we were a couple. Now it feels like this is my family,” says David, looking over with affection and pride at Sam and Louis.

And would they have any advice for anyone else thinking of opening up their relationship or exploring the same sort of three-way arrangement?

“Talk about everything,” says David. “If something is on your mind, bring it up.”

“You need to set rules,” adds Louis. “We made rules and then re-made them. Keep talking about things. There are certain rules of behavior and conduct that should be agreed between all three parties. And they should be maintained. Also, if someone else is going to join the relationship, they really have to be worth it and they must be pretty easy-going.”

“It’s definitely not for everyone,” adds David.

“But it’s never boring!” laughs Sam.

Next Deola’s Corner: Another Week Of TV (Edition 12)

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  1. Mandy
    March 22, 05:24 Reply

    Most of us here in naija are still looking for one, just one, just to make a couple, and some other lucky bastards are already finding happiness in being a throuple? How is this fair

  2. CriXXus
    March 22, 06:19 Reply

    All I see in all this talk is that(my) bearded salt nd peppered hair daddy! He is just everything I need?! Guess my daddy issues just went a notch higher from a million degrees #TeamDaddyAllDayEveryday!

    As for Three-way relationship eh, I see it as wickedness and greediness of men! Really! Life is definitely not fair?! Ppl r looking for just one oh! Otu! And some ppl r having 2 to themselves! I would gladly be that hoe are that is gonna break up this relationship and take what is rightly mine ??!

  3. Lorde
    March 22, 06:38 Reply

    Gym buddies? Lol puleaze…Do they all go there with a bag of chips?

  4. Max 2.1
    March 22, 07:41 Reply

    Bunch of greedy folks who wanna be having threesome and still keep the third party. All I see is problem. Unbalanced affection, multiple uncertainties, too stressful, self- limitation, jealousy etc.

    • Pink Panther
      March 22, 09:10 Reply

      Max has looked into his crystal ball, ladies and gentlemen, and this is his prophesy

  5. Kenny
    March 22, 07:42 Reply

    Whatever rocks their boat. Someone will be the third wheel no matter what they say. Sam is still kinda shiny and new to them. Wait till they feel something else is missing and want to add someone else to the mix.

    March 22, 08:28 Reply

    This can’t be happening. Somehow, sometime, one of them will be lacking affection. You just can’t love two people at the same time. Sam just wanna be the scape goat, he should go find himself his man abeg.

  7. Delle
    March 22, 09:07 Reply

    They are three…they are bears…they are men…hmm. All I see is hot, smoky, raunchy, porn-like SEX!
    Not a fan biko…*walks on*

      • Delle
        March 22, 09:57 Reply

        Unfortunately, that’s all PP, that’s all.

        • Pink Panther
          March 22, 09:59 Reply

          Then forgive the heterosexual who sees you and another dude and sex is all he thinks y’all are about. 🙂

  8. Handle
    March 22, 10:34 Reply

    Why do we all belittle things we don’t understand to the the nearest thing we are more comfortable with? When would we understand that the human capacity to love isn’t restricted to just one person at a time?

    As John Stuart Mill said in the Utilitarianism “It is indisputable that the being whose capacities of enjoyment are low, has the greatest chance of having them fully satisfied; and a highly endowed being will always feel that any happiness which he can look for, as the world is constituted, is imperfect. But he can learn to bear its imperfections, if they are at all bearable; and they will not make him envy the being who is indeed unconscious of the imperfections, but only because he feels not at all the good which those imperfections qualify.

    It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, is of a different opinion, it is only because they only know their own side of the question.”

    Some of us transcends our own emotional capacity to achieve something akin to wisdom.

    Let me leave this here. The note below was one of the very first comment I posted on this blog to address this same issue over a year ago; Once upon a time, boy meets boy. That’s the beginning of any number of love stories. Due to the limitations we put on ourselves as humans we have spent so much time forgetting about the intellectual and emotional capacities we bring individually to our relationships nd the abilities to meet each other’s needs. For most of us the individual capacities of our heart and minds challenges our understanding of what relationships are and that some have so much bandwidth, they can afford to direct some of their attention elsewhere in ways that, to the rest of us, begins to feel like betrayal. Being in love with two different persons doesn’t take anything away from all how madly in love the guy is with them…personally for me, I believe he found someone but along the way, he became awhole lot of other things nd he couldnt help it.

    I know It’s an impossible concept for some to grasp, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less different. We treat Love has a zero-sum game, that there’s only so much to go around, and if someone isn’t giving it all to us, we believe eventually we’re going to lose out, because neither of them isn’t one and only, we feel that they will ultimately be shoved out; to us, even me love is a very limited resource, and if it’s not being given to us and us alone, then we think we’re at risk of our partner running out of love entirely and leaving us with less in the long-run. We see love as either “you’re mine or you’re not mine,” I know for some that’s what they have the capacity to both give and receive in a relationship and we get so caught up in how everything relates to us that we never stop to think about how the guy feels about it.

    We can’t accept that this doesn’t mean that he loves them any less; if anything, but he needs to know that which he want to be his primary relationship but this question itself is small when weighed against the greater mysteries of the human heart.

      • Pink Panther
        March 22, 12:01 Reply

        He is right, Max. At the end of the day, you are society’s deviant, and that irks you. And that should create room for tolerance of whatever you do not understand. How you guys can’t see that is beyond me.

        • Max 2.1
          March 22, 12:15 Reply

          Pinky, I’m not judging them oh, in case you think that’s what I’m doing. Their intentions however is what I’m questioning. By all means they could be in a quadratic relationship, I don’t care.

        • chuck
          March 22, 14:46 Reply

          Not all kinds of deviance are legitimate.

          • bruno
            March 22, 22:30 Reply

            but yours is of course yea?

            • chuck
              March 22, 23:46 Reply

              If you’re referring to my homosexuality, yes. You’re aware that Rape, paedophilia, robbery, theft, etc. Are deviances too?

              • Pink Panther
                March 23, 03:17 Reply

                Are you per chance lumping a polyamorous relationship in with those?

                • chuck
                  March 23, 04:29 Reply

                  I’m not. I disagreed with your argument that we cannot judge or disapprove of any deviance.

  9. You-Know-Who
    March 22, 10:45 Reply

    How do Big people like other Big people.. I just can’t comprehend it. Skinny and Skinny (though still disgusting) is still quite manageable.

    • Max 2.1
      March 22, 11:22 Reply

      You mean fat people? Look at their potties..

      • Chandler B.
        March 22, 12:08 Reply

        You both should take a seat somewhere beyond where common sense is expected biko. While some of you dream of abs and pecs, some dream of bones and skinny frames, some dream hairy fleshy folds. And may damnation fall on a fat person to also desire someone fat. Yeyeness at its peak.

        • Pink Panther
          March 22, 12:09 Reply

          This unnecessary ridiculing of people or things simply based on the fact that you don’t understand or approve is simply unbelievable, coming from a community of people who should know better than to judge. *smh*

          • Max 2.1
            March 22, 12:21 Reply

            ??? Pink Panther relax.. My only contribution above was correcting the misuse of the word “Big”. I do not agree with other parts of the comment.

    • chuck
      March 22, 12:20 Reply

      All sorts on this blog, even this nameless one. How are pairings between people of the same body type disgusting? Retard.

    • Delle
      March 22, 12:33 Reply

      This comment reeks of stupidity, so much so I can’t even breathe! Which one is Big people and big people, Skinny and skinny? Since when is this a criterion to be together? In as much as I don’t like the union (and that’s just because I don’t know how three men can be together and dissipate love amongst themselves equally) but this you wrote here, Mr You-know-who, is a statement only 5 year olds should make. Skinny and skinny disgusts you…mtcheew!!!

  10. Chandler B.
    March 22, 12:12 Reply

    I’m all about the bass. #TeamBear.
    A polyamorous relationship is something I’m open to. But one battle at a time. Let’s find monogamy first biko.

  11. Chizzie
    March 22, 13:14 Reply

    Why do I have a feeling the dog joins in the action from time to time?

  12. Khaleesi
    March 22, 14:06 Reply

    ***clutches pearls*** oh chi m!!! **gathers long shawl around self and sashays away***

  13. Geeluv
    March 22, 15:01 Reply

    I’m so loving this…. I think we can try something like this… Max, PP and Geeluv. It will be fun really…. ?

    • Max 2.1
      March 22, 15:35 Reply

      @PP, it’s like he didn’t get the memo.. Pls send him a copy.

    • Chandler B.
      March 22, 17:52 Reply

      If I’m to pick two other pple from this blog, judging from how much easier i think it would be for us to get along and not because I know what they look like, it would be Dimkpa and Absalom. A combination of wisdom and wit.

  14. Reed
    March 22, 18:55 Reply

    *deep in thought* hmmmmm. Never a dull moment with you guys.

  15. KingBey
    March 23, 10:10 Reply

    Two=couple. Three=crowd. I don’t do crowds. #okbye

  16. Tj
    July 18, 08:07 Reply

    I can’t believe how judgemental some of these bitches are on here. The “bag of potato chips” comment and the people who thought it was amusing…no, you’re just disgusting people. And if they’re happy, GOOD FOR THEM! Everyone just wants to be happy and if it works for them, it’s none of your business to look down on them.

    • Macmike
      April 15, 13:00 Reply

      Well said! Happiness is all that matter. All you glorified Judges abeg make una park go one side. You like what you like and no one blame you for it. So is what someone else like. Judgmental freaks…!!

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