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Good news, adventurous sex-havers — searching for a third person to get down with just got a whole lot easier. Meet 3nder (pronounced “thrinder”), a new, venture-backed app that helps users to “date kinky, curious and openminded singles and couples around you,” according to their recently-launched site.
Where more conventional, couple-centric apps are generally focused on forming one-on-one connections, 3nder’s got options. You can create group chats, send photos, identify as one of a whole host of sexualities, and partake as part of a couple or on your own.
Entry is Facebook-verified, but you’re able to pick your name AND hide from your Facebook friends who are also using the app. Plus, it’s totally free. Sounds like apps are catching up to a a younger, more open mindset, right?
Jennifer Ashton, MD, OB-GYN, thinks so. The ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent sees the app as a positive reflection of a more openminded stance on sexuality, but she does caution that there are some extra factors to take into account if you try the app.
Say you’re already a fan of the ménage à trois. Could using an app to hook up with multiple people at once be any unhealthier than your tech-free threesome? Not particularly, says Ashton. “Apps don’t cause STDs — unsafe sex practices cause STDs. Just because someone’s using an app doesn’t increase their risk; unsafe behaviors do that,” Ashton explains. If you normally hit the bar to find extra partners, using an app shouldn’t add any additional risks. Instead, pay attention to all the precautions you should be taking anyway — discuss any STDs, use a condom, and make sure not to push anyone beyond their comfort zone.
And what if you’re already a dating-app pro but haven’t branched out much yet — does getting it on with multiple partners pose any new risks to your health? “I don’t think having a threesome is any higher risk than having multiple partners,” Ashton explains. Think of having one casual hookup on a Thursday, and another the following weekend. “The time doesn’t matter, it’s still another partner,” Ashton says. “A lot of people automatically think that a threesome increases your risk — it doesn’t necessarily have to.” That said, you do have to be careful when it comes to protection and use a new condom for each partner.
While the physical risks aren’t much different than in a one-on-one situation, there could be the possibility “of a person succumbing to more peer pressure in the moment,” Ashton warns. “They might get caught up in the whole ‘taking risks, adventuresome’ mindset, and be more prone to engage in something like anal intercourse. Participants should be mentally prepared as well as physically prepared.”
As with any sexual decision, it comes down to your comfort level. If this opens up new doors for you, great. Walk through them. If not, you have plenty more apps to choose from.