Life at Adam Lyons’ house is noisy and chaotic, as you’d expect with the presence of a newborn. Adam’s girlfriend Brooke Shedd, 26, gave birth to their son Danté in February, so each day is a whirlwind of feeds and nappy changes.
But if they ever need a hand, there’s someone else at home to help – not a nanny, or relative, but Adam’s second girlfriend, Jane Shalakhova, 25.
Adam, Brooke and Jane – who share a super-kingsize bed and take it in turns to have romantic date nights together – insist they’re like any other family, except, says Adam, “One dad and two mums live under the same roof.”
They’re what is known as a ‘throuple’ – a blend of the words ‘three’ and ‘couple’.
Brooke, who already has a son, Oliver, five, from a previous relationship, says, “With two partners, I’ll never have to leave my kids with someone I don’t trust. Danté and Oliver will grow up seeing Adam, Jane and I being affectionate and caring for each other.”
Adam’s family fully support his lifestyle. “They know the full story and are really happy for me,” he says. “My parents love their grandson and come to visit us all. Some of my family members and friends did think my set-up was a bit weird at first, but they can see how happy we all are.”
Picking up women
It’s a situation Adam, originally from the UK, could never have envisioned.
“At school, I was voted the least likely to ever get a girlfriend,” he explains. “I believed no girl would ever want me so I withdrew into myself.”
But aged 25, while working as a caretaker, Adam decided to change.
“I read about pick-up artists, a community of men who use psychological techniques to try to seduce women.
“I practised by standing in London’s Leicester Square, trying to get girls’ phone numbers as they walked past.
“Soon, I was sleeping with amazing women I could only have dreamed of at school.”
Adam became so good at it that he became a dating coach himself. “After being a loner all my life, I was suddenly leading this Hugh Hefner lifestyle,” he explains. “I could sleep with any beautiful woman I wanted. At one point, I was dating 14 girls at the same time!”
But Adam yearned for the commitment of a stable relationship. “Dating so many women became very stressful and boring – I wanted to fall in love and settle down.”
In 2007, Adam met Alexandra*, five years his junior, at a nightclub in London. They fell in love and got married a year later, moving to her home in Texas, USA.
“We had a very traditional, monogamous marriage and were like any other normal, happy couple,” he says.
But after three years, Adam wanted kids, while Alexandra wasn’t ready. “It started causing problems. But we still loved each other, and didn’t want to get a divorce.”
In a bid to save their marriage, Adam and Alexandra decided to try ‘polyamory’ – meaning they could have other sexual partners besides each other.
“After many discussions, we figured that we might have a better chance of staying together,” says Adam. “Alexandra started sleeping with a few different guys and I dated a woman I met in a bar. It brought the two of us closer together.
But things got complicated when Alexandra suggested that Adam sleep with one of their mutual friends, Brooke, who was bisexual.
“Alexandra thought we’d make a great match,” says Adam. “We had a lot in common, and from the moment we met there was instant chemistry, and our friendship grew into something deeper.”
Soon Adam realised he wanted to end his marriage. “Brooke and I fell in love,” he explains. “Alexandra still didn’t want children any time soon and she’d also begun dating someone.
“We had a long talk and in late 2012, we amicably separated, then I moved in with Brooke and her son, Oliver.”
Although Adam and Brooke were thrilled to be together, neither of them wanted a completely monogamous relationship.
“I didn’t want to limit myself to being with just one person ever again,” says Adam. “I loved the polyamorous lifestyle because it’s okay to date someone else if one partner can’t provide what you need at that time.”
The pair would regularly go out and pick up girls to have sex with together. Soon, Adam and Brooke were looking for another woman to permanently join their relationship.
In April 2013 they met photographer Jane in a nightclub and hit it off. Adam says, “I knew Jane was unique from the moment we met her. The three of us just clicked.”
Brooke remembers, “She was fun and intelligent. I wanted to see whether this could be something.”
Jane, who is also bisexual, says, “I’d never experimented with polyamorous relationships but with Adam and Brooke, it felt so natural. Like meeting your soul mate, then multiplying that by two.”
Jane was based in LA, so the trio took their relationship slowly at first, meeting up whenever they could. As things became more serious, Adam and Brooke introduced Jane to Oliver.
“Jane is like a cool aunt to him,” says Brooke.
All under one roof
In early 2014, Brooke, Adam and Oliver moved to LA and bought a house to live in with Jane. Then, in February this year, Adam and Brooke welcomed Danté into the world and are raising him together with Jane.
“What’s the difference between explaining to your kid that they have a mum and a dad, or that they have three parents who love him?” says Brooke.
There may even be more babies joining the family, because Jane plans to have kids in a few years herself. “Caring for Danté has been good practice,” says Jane.
The threesome insist their relationship is like any normal couple’s. “We’re just like any typical family,” says Adam. “In the morning, Brooke will cook breakfast, then we’ll all eat together before Jane and I head off to work.”
Brooke stays at home with the kids. “In the evenings, Jane and I play video games and hang out with Oliver and Danté while Adam cooks dinner,” she adds.
Jane explains their sleeping arrangements, saying, “We have a kingsize bed because a normal double bed isn’t big enough.
“We all have separate blankets but it can get insanely warm and sweaty sleeping in one bed together!”
The throuple say that time management is crucial to the success of their relationship.
“We ensure everyone gets time together, so every pair has a set date night,”explains Brooke. “For example, Jane and Adam will go to an art gallery together on Tuesday, then Jane and I will have a romantic evening on Thursday. We like to cuddle up and watch a movie. We’re a lot more sensual.”
Adam, Brooke and Jane are also open to the possibility of adding a permanent, fourth partner to their throuple, and occasionally all share an extra partner for a night of passion.
“We are committed to each other,” says Brooke, “but we’d be open to adding another person if we met another girl we liked and who fitted into our lifestyle.
“It’s not something we’re concerned about at the moment, because you can’t instantly introduce someone to your life – there’s three of us who have to agree to another partner, after all.”
For more information, go to youtube.com/afcadamlondon
*Names have been changed