Study: 19% of Americans Have Had a Threesome

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of DatingAdvice.com's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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This is an exclusive study conducted by DatingAdvice.com, which surveyed respondents over the course of three weeks to reflect an accurate representation of the U.S. population.

Is the saying “Two’s company, three’s a crowd” really true? Actually, it looks like some Americans think three’s company, too.

According to a study conducted by DatingAdvice.com, 19% of Americans say they’ve had a threesome.

The results show men were more than twice as likely as women to have engaged in a menage a trois, 26% compared to 11%.

Gay males had the highest response at 63%, nearly three times the rate of straight males and almost six times the rate of all female respondents.

African-American males were 36% more likely than white males and 30% more likely than Hispanic males to have had a threesome.

“Gay males had the highest response at 63 percent,

nearly three times the rate of straight males.”

Dr. Wendy Walsh, clinical psychologist and DatingAdvice.com expert, said changes in the way Americans view sexual behavior may help explain the results of the study.

“As sexual mores have lessened, this may indicate more Americans are experimenting in a wider range of sexual behaviors, or this could simply indicate people are more comfortable talking about behaviors they have been doing all along,” she said.

The study found females aged 65 and older to be among the least likely groups to experiment with a third sexual partner, with only 3% answering in the affirmative. Women aged 18 to 24 and 35 to 44 were more than four times as likely to have been in a threesome than those 65 and older.

Dr. Walsh said that while bisexual behavior has become culturally acceptable for women in younger heterosexual populations, discrimination still exists toward gay and bisexual men, which may prevent some men from openly discussing their sexual behaviors.

“The data on sexual orientation clearly demonstrates this bias toward heterosexual behavior and a reluctance to report bisexual behavior. Twenty-two percent of ‘straight’ males report having had a threesome, yet only 11% of straight women report the same,” she said.

“Straight males, by definition, have sex exclusively with women. Mathematically, there should be more women than men reporting threesomes,” she said. “Instead, men who self-identify as heterosexual are clearly participating in gay and bisexual behavior.”

The study surveyed 1,080 respondents over the course of three weeks, balancing responses by age, gender, income, race, sexuality and other factors in order to accurately represent the U.S. population. The study has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.

The Breakdown: Americans Who’ve Had a Threesome

By gender:

  • Male: 26%

  • Female: 11%

By sexuality:

  • Straight: 16%

  • Gay: 51%

By marital status:

  • Single, Never Married: 22%

  • Married: 16%

  • Divorced: 22%

By age:

  • 18 to 24: 15%

  • 25 to 34: 24%

  • 35 to 44: 23%

  • 45 to 54: 22%

  • 54 to 64: 15%

  • 65 and older: 9%

By race:

  • White: 18%

  • African-American: 23%

  • Hispanic: 21%

  • Asian: 8%

By income:

  • Under $25,000: 19%

  • $25,000 to $49,999: 16%

  • $50,000 to $74,999: 24%

  • $75,000 to $99,999: 20%

  • $100,000 to $124,999: 22%

  • $125,000 or higher: 14%

By region:

  • Northeast: 19%

  • Midwest: 16%

  • South: 16%

  • West: 24%

Dr. Wendy Walsh is the author of “The 30-Day Love Detox.” (April 2013)