I love this piece by John Thursday at Good Vibrations called “A Cunning Linguist,” and smart sex wordsmiths will surely too:
How fondly I recall my ménage a trois’: the quiet conspiracy, the jealous glances, Dusty Springfield on the stereo.
Yet, I have never had a ménage a trois, for ménage a trois’ have been rechristened. One night, when no one was looking, they became three-ways.
Some fool stole a hyphen, added a number and voila, a house of three became a conference call, romance became business.
It may seem like a small thing, but for such a physical pleasure, our sexual delights are all about language.
A ménage a trois is something that takes place in a pied a terre. A three-way takes place in your cousin Steve’s living room.