Sex, Love, and Brooklyn: Some Thoughts on Threesomes

05/03/2013 10:00 AM |

This movie is HIGHLY underrated.
  • This movie is HIGHLY underrated.

My best friend Claire moved to London three years ago. She was lonely and lost in a new city that was entirely unwelcoming. That all changed when she met Adam. They spent two tumultuous years together—years in which her identity and self-esteem took a real hit. After the break-up, I flew to London to look after her, and she begged me to go out to dinner with both her and him. She was so sad and such a mess that I felt I had be more of a supportive figure than an authoritative one, and I acquiesced. But I was totally ready to hate him. You can probably see where this story is going.

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Claire and I met Adam at a very posh, private members club in the center of town. It had been known to host the Bloomsbury Group. This club had the ability to be authentically bohemian without being cheesy or cliché. There were pillows on the floor, and secret nooks you could climb into and disappear with your lover. Adam was already there when we arrived, seated with a bottle of wine open and ready for us. Claire and I sat down with Adam in between us. He poured me a glass of red wine, then flashed me a borderline sociopathic smile. That’s all it took. I was smitten.

So there I was, sitting next to my best friend—the woman who finishes my sentences—and watching her glow under the spell of this man, the man who destroyed her for the last 2 years. But what was crazy was that, while I was watching both of them, I started falling for him and falling for her. I wanted to be in the middle of this pairing.

Of course, the next move was Adam’s. He suggested that we go back to his flat for another bottle. And, of course, we went, giggling and tripping over our heels into the night. He hailed us a black cab and, in a matter of minutes, we’re taking tequila shots. I was licking salt off her collar bones and Adam was licking lime juice off the inside of my wrists, and we were all laughing—my god, were we laughing. I was so drunk that I couldn’t see straight. All I could do was feel things. Things like Claire’s long hair and Adam’s naked shoulders. I wanted to keep going, and my brain was doing that thing where’s it says, “Don’t worry about taking your contact lenses out. Don’t worry about taking your makeup off. Certainly don’t worry about your best friend’s feelings. Take care of everything in the morning.” So, I didn’t worry. I just kept it going. For a while, anyway. I found myself making so many rationalizations. “Just two more minutes, nothing’s really happened yet. We’re still only making out. That’s basically the same as shaking hands.” Finally, it was Claire, not me, who decided to end it. She did so by slipping out of his king-size bed and going to sleep on the couch. That’s when it hit me all at once—I’d really fucked up. And maybe I’d lost her forever.

After she left the room, Adam turned to me and asked, “What do you want?”

“I want you to go and get Claire,” I said, “and then I want you to leave us alone.”

He left and Claire tip-toed back. I told her that I was sorry and she said it wasn’t my fault. We lay together in Adam’s bed and I spooned her while she cried and we both fall asleep. I woke up first the next morning and watched her sleep, stroking her hair.

But all I could think was, why did I do this? How did I get suckered into such a sordid scene? Why is 3 such a tempting number?

Years later, and I still don’t have the answer to these questions. Recently, another friend came to visit me in New York. She was a wreck—in love and sleeping with two best friends. This situation is easily relatable for me. I remember being in college and making out with two friends as well. They never found out about each other because boys don’t talk the way girls do. When I was with them, I loved it when we were a gang—hanging out, just the 3 of us. What I loved even more, though, was making out with one of them alone. It was sort of like how t-shirts on display in a window look so appealing laid out together, so many different and beautiful colors that I just want them all. But you know that you can’t have them all, you have to choose one. It’s just that once you buy that one and bring it home, something doesn’t quite work out when it’s on its own. Also, I loved the way the boys loved each other and interacted with each other, the same way all those different shirts complement each other when they’re on display. I wanted to be part of their friendship too. I wanted to be their best friend and the only way I knew how to do that was by getting sexy with them. However, that never quite works either.

Back in London, it was the same sort of thing with Claire’s ex. She had told me that Adam didn’t have any friends, and certainly didn’t have a best friend the way she did. Just like I had done with those guys in college, Adam saw how much we loved each other, and wanted to be part of it. I fell for it—hook, line, and sociopathic smile.

I guess that’s the thing with intimacy. Sometimes we don’t just want to be with the person we’re sleeping with, sometimes we actually want to be that person. We want their careers, we want their friendships, we even want their functional, loving families. It’s easy to think the way to achieve these successes is by sleeping next to them in bed. Or, even, sleeping next to them and their friends in bed. But, as I’ve found out one more than one occasion, it doesn’t usually work out that way. Not at all.

Follow Lacy Warner on twitter @laceoface