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Friday 29 August 2014

Teens get tips on threesomes from HSE-funded site

Sex with two other people can 'spice up' love life

Niamh Horan

Published 24/03/2013 | 05:00

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A HSE-funded website directed at young teenagers is offering tips on how to enjoy "threesomes".

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Spunout.ie, the organisation which runs the website, receives €124,000 per year from the HSE.

The founder of the website, Ruairi McKiernan, was appointed by President Michael D Higgins to the Council of State last year.

This weekend a spokesperson for the organisation confirmed that HSE staff regularly reviewed the content on the website.

Under a picture of the intertwined feet of three people in a bed, it advises: "Threesomes can involve any combination of guys and gals. They often consist of a couple experimenting with another person outside of their relationship."

Describing how the sexual encounter "can be really exciting and fun", teenagers are then told the upsides of participating in a three-in-a-bed romp. The website says: "It's fun. Threesomes are pretty exciting things. People usually really enjoy them. It's a sexual adventure. Threesomes are usually a once in a lifetime or an occasional experience.

"It spices things up. Some couples say that even one threesome experience injects serious passion into their bedroom shenanigans."

But the website also warns of "the jealousy monster" and says that "your partner might feel jealous afterwards no matter how much you tried to divide your time equally between the two people".

It goes on: "You or your partner may feel that the other person has a better body than you or worry that your partner fancies them more. In the worst-case scenario you could ultimately end up breaking up."

Teens as young as 16 are also advised that they should "establish sexual ground rules".

"Maybe you can get it on with the guy or gal but your partner can only watch or have sex with you. Or maybe it's a free-for-all and there are no real rules. You and your partner should decide on all of this beforehand."

It also advises "don't just concentrate on yourself and your own pleasure". Instead it says "to give equal time to the other people in the threesome; don't just concentrate on one person while the other person is left there all alone".

Teenagers are also told not to pick anyone they have feelings for – and to opt for a no-strings attached sexual partner instead: "If you are in a relationship, but secretly have a thing for someone else, bringing them into a threesome could lead to serious hurt, so it's best to save threesomes for a bit of fun."

And the website advises the youngsters "when your threesome is over make sure to let your partner know that they are still top dog for you. They may be feeling a bit insecure, even if they are the one who suggested it in the first place".

Fine Gael TD Michelle Mulherin said she would be raising the issue in the Dail with Health Minister James Reilly.

"The idea that people are dispensable and that you can objectify them for your own sexual gratification is incredibly regressive. And that this has been given the State seal of approval is very worrying," she said.

"There is nothing right about this. I will be raising the issue with Minister for Health James Reilly as to why he is putting taxpayers' money towards this. It is totally inappropriate. It goes against the common good which is what the Government should be trying to achieve in society.

"Every relationship has an emotional consequence, there is no such thing as a meaningless relationship. Teenagers are very impressionable and this is normalising this type of behaviour."

Ian Power, a spokesperson for the organisation, said that the information had been available since 2005 and is regularly reviewed by the HSE, which provided a quarter of its funding.

"We have a committee of people who constantly review the content on the website and it is also reviewed by health professionals in the HSE. It would have gone through many review processes before it gets published.

"They wouldn't necessarily agree with some of the points but they would always agree that the information is factual and that we are providing proper health information on issues such as STDs.

"The fact is that sex is enjoyable for young people and for some people threesomes are just one aspect of being sexually intimate. They are not for everyone but I do know some people who enjoy threesomes as part of a loving, committed relationship. We are not promoting it, we are just saying that these are the reasons why you might and here are the reasons why you mightn't."

He added: "Threesomes are glamorised in porn so how can they make a legitimate decision if the only information they are getting is from pornography? If they have found this page on our website, then the chances are they have already been googling it and the only responsible thing we can do is to provide a legitimate source of information."

The youth organisation receives €62,000 from the health promotion unit for harm reduction and a further €62,000 from the National Office of Suicide Prevention – in addition to the finance it gets from other organisations including Atlantic Philanthropies.

The HSE was unavailable for comment at the time of going to print.

Irish Independent

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