Threesomes Within a Christian Marriage


When a man and woman have joined together in a loving and holy marriage union, they may sometimes find that their love for one another and for God spills over outside of their relationship. Or they may find that other people are drawn to the joy, bliss, and passion that they radiate. In such situations, the desire or opportunity may arise to involve a third individual in their relationship – to form a threesome. Is this a temptation into sin, or a calling to a higher spiritual love? The answer is not clear in all situations, so we must turn to the Scriptures for guidance.
Is a Christian Threesome Possible?

The possibility of a threesome, or ménage a trois, brings up two main issues of concern to Christians, those of homosexuality and adultery. Much has been said about Biblical prohibitions against both of these behaviors, but we must look at this situation carefully in context to see how and whether these rules apply. Let’s first consider the problem of homosexuality as it relates to a threesome. It’s common knowledge that in several passages in both the Old and New Testament the Bible prohibits homosexual acts between men. Although two men having simultaneous sexual relations with one woman may not have any overt homosexual contact between them, the act of sharing a woman and being together in a sexual situation is nevertheless homoerotic and suggests implied homosexuality, as well as presenting a temptation to experiment where one may ordinarily not. For this reason, we feel it is best for a couple to avoid bringing another man into the picture.

Most people assume the Biblical prohibition against male homosexuality also includes sex between women – lesbianism or female bisexuality. However, this is a questionable conclusion, since the Bible makes little or no mention of women with regard to this subject, and because the Bible, for better or worse, often holds men and women to different standards regarding sex and sexual roles. Therefore, we believe that lesbianism cannot be seen in the same light as male homosexuality through the Scriptures.

The one passage that is frequently cited as condemning female homosexuality is found in Romans 1:26-27: "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions: for their women exchanged the natural use for that which is against nature. And in the same way also the men abandoned the natural use of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts…” The idea of women going “against nature” is typically interpreted to mean women lusting after women. However, we believe that what Paul is referring to when he speaks of women “going against nature” is not female homosexuality per se, but rather the reversal of sexual roles that goes against the natural order established by God.

Of course, this does have relevance to the issue of female homosexuality, as many lesbians do assume masculine roles and attitudes, adopt male clothing and mannerisms, and play the part of a male in their relationships with women. Women who fall into this category (“butch” lesbians, or “bulldykes”) are indeed going against nature with regards to their sexuality. At the same time, however, there are many women who engage in lesbian or bisexual activity who nevertheless maintain a traditional feminine role and demeanor (i.e., “lipstick” lesbians). Since there is no specific prohibition against lesbian sex, as long as these women remain within the boundaries of the female role prescribed by Scripture, and submit to the authority of the men in their lives, we assume it is permissible. Of course, if their husband or father objected, that would be another story.
Isn’t a Threesome Adultery?

This leads directly to the subject of adultery, and whether female bisexual relations would be considered adultery in this context. This is another Biblical gray area, because within the Scripture and within the codes of Biblical law, adultery is always represented as intercourse between a man and a woman, specifically between a man and another man’s wife. Numbers 5 describes in detail the procedure for trying and punishing a woman for adultery, a process that can be initiated by the woman’s husband if his “wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him, and a man has intercourse with her.” or “(I)f a spirit of jealousy comes over (the husband) and he is jealous of his wife when she has defiled herself, or if a spirit of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife when she has not defiled herself.” (Numbers 5:12-14) Since a husband’s jealousy can be aroused whether or not his wife has actually had sex with another man, what is pertinent here is not the act of extramarital intercourse, but the husband’s feeling of being wronged. So a wife’s lesbian activities, even though not in the parameters of what the Bible defines as adulterous behavior, could nevertheless be considered adultery if it makes the wife’s husband jealous.

Of course, many heterosexual men, rather than feeling threatened by lesbian sex, are fascinated by it, and in this case, the exploration of the wife’s sexuality with another woman could actually serve to draw the husband and wife closer together. However, in this situation we must ask what degree of participation is appropriate for the male, and how should he conduct himself so as not to commit adultery against his wife. This is a slippery slope, but if we look to the Scriptures, we can establish some guidelines for what is permissible.

The Old Testament is full of references to Biblical men, such as Solomon, David, and others, who had not only multiple wives, but also harems of concubines at their disposal. Today the practice of polygyny (one man having multiple wives) is illegal in most places. Although we can acknowledge polygyny in principal, we must recognize and honor the primacy and priority of the marriage bond between one husband and one wife. Whenever a third party is introduced into this equation, it must only be to support and strengthen the existing marriage bond between those two individuals. So, if bringing in another woman would in any way undermine the relationship between husband and wife, it should not be pursued.
Playing by God’s Rules

If, on the other hand, a married couple feels their relationship would benefit from them establishing a loving involvement another woman, out of respect for the couple’s marriage, and out of respect for any marital attachments of the other woman, they must abide by certain limits and conditions:

(1) To avoid the impropriety of male homosexuality, a heterosexual couple should not under any circumstances form a threesome with another man.
(2) Both women involved in the threesome must be willing to keep within traditional female roles (i.e., not taking on masculine appearance or behavior in or out of the bedroom) and recognize the male as the leader in the relationship.
(3) If the wife’s lesbian sex partner is unmarried, it may be permissible for the husband to have relations with her only with his wife’s consent.
(4) If the wife’s lesbian sex partner is unmarried, but the wife does not wish her to have relations with the other woman, the husband should respect this.
(5) If the wife’s lesbian sex partner is married, her husband must not have objections to the relationship.
(6) If the wife’s lesbian sex partner is married, the husband should refrain from having any sexual relations with her, and should make every effort to control his fantasies about her. He should concentrate his attention on his own wife.

The latter case is the most difficult for the husband, since he must not only refrain from having relations with the other married woman, in order to avoid making them both adulterers, but he must also refrain from having lustful thoughts about her, because of what Matthew 5:28 tells us: “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” In this situation it is recommended that in order to avoid temptation, both the husband and his wife’s female partner focus their attentions and affection on the wife. If the husband finds it difficult to control his thoughts and fantasies about the other woman, it may be helpful to realize the meaning of this passage, which is that if you commit an act in your thoughts, it’s the same as committing it in real life. If a man imagines having intercourse with a married woman, then indeed, he has committed adultery in his heart. Instead, we would counsel this man to imagine that same married woman having sex with his wife; by taking himself out of the picture, he renders himself blameless. When in doubt, a married man would do well to apply this same principle in any situation involving a threesome with his wife and another woman.

To summarize, we feel a Christian threesome is morally acceptable if it meets these conditions: It must be composed of one man and two women, all of whom recognize and maintain proper sex roles for men and women in and out of the bedroom. All married members of the threesome must consent to the arrangement and have consent from their spouses. And finally, the purpose of the relationship must be that it ultimately strengthens the existing bond between husband and wife and allows all three parties to share and celebrate their love of God together.

Views: 88

Comment by MsShorTee on December 19, 2008 at 12:47pm
Dayam...if I'd know Christians could have threesomes I might still be one!! LOL.
Comment by Kirstin on December 19, 2008 at 12:59pm
lol I say fawk all of this stuff. be atheist solves all this dumb stuff. Interesting read at least.

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