"3" (CD single)

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
"3" (CD single) Music Poster Image
Parents recommend
Lyrics' double meaning expresses yearning for threesome.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 38 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Takes a casual stance on what could be risky sexual behavior.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Though she's recently managed to get her life somewhat back on track, Spears' long-term turmoil and not-so-innocent songs don't make her a great role model.


The entire song is about three people having sex together.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that they should listen closely to these lyrics: the words themselves are harmless enough, but strung together, they tell a story about having sex with multiple partners at once.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byiLoveMusic22 January 2, 2012

Your kids arent dumb

C'mon anyone over 12 knows what a threesome is, don't make the subject so taboo and your kids will be more open with you about that stuff. Don't... Continue reading
Adult Written bySkibbClon July 31, 2011


How on earth would children work out what this means. Anyway, a threesome isn't any worse than man on woman sex.
Teen, 14 years old Written bymr. preston January 10, 2016
If they're old enough to understand what the lyrics mean, then they're old enough to listen to it. If they don't understand, then just let them l... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byRosebud95 June 5, 2012


Before the brigade, it's insanely catchy, but quite smutty ('quite' is an understatement).

What's the story?

After a successful comeback concert tour, bubblegum-pop princess Britney Spears is looking to keep up the momentum with "3," a new single from her second greatest hits album. Though the song's title seems innocent enough, the track's premise is anything but: the entire tune is about having a threesome (three people engaging in sex together at once). There's no foul language or graphic descriptions of this, but the message is pervasive and unmistakable; for example, "Three is a charm, two is not the same / I don't see the harm, so are you game? / Lets' make a team, make 'em say my name / Lovin' the extreme, now are you game? / Are you in, livin' in sin is the new thing."

Is it any good?

Britney Spears has never been known for having exceptionally strong vocals, and "3" is no exception. To help mask her lack of chops, the song employs just about every production trick in the book, courtesy of producer Max Martin -- the same guy who produced Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl." Though the end result sounds way over-produced, it also carries a slick beat that will undoubtedly make the song a club favorite.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • What are the potential pitfalls associated with having multiple sexual partners?

  • What are the advantages of being in a monogamous relationship?

Music details

  • Artist: Britney Spears
  • Release date: October 6, 2009
  • Label: Jive Records
  • Genre: Pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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