In the spirit of such classic female erotic adventurers as Anais Nin, Erica Jong and Toni Bentley, Barbara Foster shares sexy details of her worldly romantic encounters from Istanbul, Buenos Aries, Israel and back to New York. . . . sure to keep you rapidly turning pages.
Butch, Sundance and Etta
New York magazine:
Gossip Girl’s recent three-way raised the ire of the Parents Television Council, who called the scene “reckless and irresponsible.” The three-way (as distinct from the ménage à trois, technically only a living situation), has historically been the domain of artists and rebels, and is frequently portrayed by Hollywood.
“A Short History of Three-Ways” NY Magazine: November, 2009
As related by Barbara Foster, Michael Foster, and Letha Hadady (who have themselves lived as a threesome since 1981) in their book, Three in Love.
1742: Casanova loses his virginity, at the age of 17, to two sisters.
1882: Friedrich Nietzsche, Paul Ree, and Lou Andreas-Salome live together in Rome.
1926: “Ernvest [Hemingway] was sleeping with [wife] Hadley and making love to Pauline in [Antibes’] secluded coves; the three would eat breakfast in bed together.”
1930: Bonnie and Clyde recruit 17-year-old William Jones to assist in robberies and, allegedly, to service both of them sexually.
1940s: According to a biographer, sculptor Alberto Giacometti “sometimes liked a third person present at moments of physical intimacy.”
1952: Neal Cassady tries to persuade his wife Carolyn and Jack Kerouac to try “a three- way ball.” Kerouac is unable to perform.
Sometime between 1960 and 1963: “A brief, most unusual threesome took place during the painting of [Salvador Dalí’s] Venus Awaiting a Phone Call, whose model was Ultra Violet, an actress from Andy Warhol’s Factory. The third was a lobster.”
So How Common Are Three-Ways in Real Life?
Number of NYC Craigslist “Casual Encounters” threesome ads by gender breakdown during a recent seven-day period.
by Michael Foster for Nerve magazine, 1997
Letha and I were naked in the mineral water Jacuzzi when Charlie knocked at the glass door. He couldn’t see in but he was carrying a cordless phone. This is a small hotel in the hills above Palm Springs. Not much English spoken, which is why we were hiding out here. I wondered if my wife Barbara was calling from Marrakech. No, it was my publicist, and he was asking me to explain my menage a trois–living with two women–for over a dozen years. The ups, downs, little dramas and large contentment–in no more than 1,500 words.
For me the three-style in love affairs started in Brooklyn when I was four. I had two little girlfriends and the three of us would play doctor, nurse and patient. We learned what we could about each other’s anatomy. The prepubescent affair was terminated when my dad moved us way out to Long Island, but I never forgot the feeling of two females fussing over me. When I started to read novels, I would get upset if the hero had to choose between his two loves. Why couldn’t he keep them both? I figured I could because of my karma, though I didn’t know the word then. Once you hear the siren song of a threesome, you’ll know why it beats any other intimate arrangement–at least for the man in the middle.
Civilized Frenchwomen — George Sand, Colette and Simone de Beauvoir are my role models.
For years, by choice, I’ve sawed myself in half emotionally in order to live a double life: daytimes a married academic, night times a Greenwich Village free spirit. A coterie of friends were hip to the masquerade; the less familiar know me as a librarian scholar engaged in research on women’s studies. One self displays a bookish facade; its shadow craves adventurous travel with lots of fucking on the side. Since each face is fed a nutritional diet, neither feels deprived. The bourgeois and the anarchist have learned to live together.
Before marriage I suffered from mental and physical constipation. Once my soul mate appeared to whisk me away from a stark parental home, the flow started. Not that I was beaten or abused –just bored to death in Philadelphia. Marriage brought me an expensive love out of a Russian novel. For several years we had great sex that precluded outside involvements. Monogamy, the first stage in our romantic cycle, gave way to a “tolerant marriage” then an “open marriage.” Some years later this evolved into a successful working ménage à trois that incorporates our significant other, Letha Hadady.
Ewan Morrison, the UK author of three novels which explore modern relationships and sexuality: Ménage, Distance and Swung, gave his favorite top 10 literary menages a trois for The Guardian. Apparently, he read our book Three in Love VERY CLOSELY. He wrote:
Three in Love: Ménages à Trois from Ancient to Modern Times by Barbara Foster, Michael Foster and Letha Hadady
“The only authoritative history of the ménage from the middle ages to the 1990s, written in three different styles by three authors who apparently live together in a ménage à trois. A little woolly at times, and very American in its positivity, it’s nevertheless invaluable as a source for the curious. The list of historical “ménagers” within is astounding.”
We don’t know what “woolly” means and we don’t mind being called “positive.” Three is a nice number for positive love stories as well as deadly triangles. The photo above is of Jules, Jim and Catherine, the book and movie based on the historic menage a trois of Henri Roche. See their love story in Three in Love.
JUNE 27, 1997
‘THREE IN LOVE’ The History of the Menage a Trois
By Christopher Shea
“The chains of marriage are so heavy it takes two to bear them, sometimes three.” -Alexandre Dumas
Henry and June Miller and Anais Nin might take the prize for most famous literary menage a trois, but they were together for only one charged moment in Paris before flaming out. And while the menage may have fueled the creativity of Nin and Henry Miller, the two writers in the group, when it came time to pen the story of their affair they sat down at their desks alone.
Now New York has produced another high-profile, literary menage a trois: a trio, including a librarian at Hunter College, a novelist and historian, and an alternative health expert. Barbara Foster, a librarian who specializes in women’s studies at Hunter; Michael Foster, her husband of 28 years; and Letha Hadady–at first a fling of his, now a comfortable member of the “family”-come roaring out of the closet with Three in Love: Menages a Trois from Ancient to Modern Times (HarperSanFrancisco/iUniverse). The three co-authors call it a “triography.” It’s a 400 page romp through the racy side of history, featuring famous figures who spent their nights three-a-bed, and marriages in which a mistress became, essentially, a part of the household. They offer only a few details of their own relationship, but their work follows the logic of “identity scholarship” perfectly: Who better to write about menages a trois than a menage?
Barbara and Michael Foster married at 20 and soon decided a typical marriage was not for them. They went separate ways with other lovers, but continued to live and work together co-authoring several books. During summers in Vermont and winters in Miami, she visits Michael and Letha, but Barbara is heart and soul a Bohemian from Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. She is a poet and her first book is a tell-all memoir (Confessions of a Librarian: A Memoir of Loves. (Riverdale Avenue Books: 2015) about her double life as a daytime Hunter College librarian and nighttime “culture vulture” “hotsy totsy” sexy world traveler. She loves attending New York’s lively theater, dance performances, poetry readings, and burlesque clubs.
Her writing skills include in-depth historical research for books written by her historian, biographer husband Michael Foster. Her professional experience includes: Assoc. Prof. at CUNY, specializing in Women’s Studies. She has published print articles on education and travel and as “Belladonna” over 200 poems in journals in various countries. She was a “referee” for the Royal Geographical Society. She lectures frequently in the U.S. and abroad and has packed auditoriums from Washington’s Smithsonian to Cal Tech, Sidney, Buenos Aires, and Prague. She was selected as a Speaker (on Adah Isaacs Menken) by the NY State Council on the Humanities and has appeared in the media and often publishes Net articles.