Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why Not a Ménage?

Okay, for those of you who don't know me, I write ménage. Not because group sex is popular or because I fantasise about being double tagged (not saying I don't, but that's beside the point <g>) but because I like giving my characters everything and anything they want. Then I find ways to make them miserable.

Can I write a story without a ménage? Absolutely. I have a couple in the works, but I find sticking with a simple relationship involving just two people more challenging than doing one with three or more. Why? Well, because I spend a lot of time developing my secondary characters. Making them likeable. And if they're likeable, why not include them in the action?

In the real world there are plenty of reasons to avoid open relationships, or even committed relationships with more than one partner. Most of us were raised to view monogamy as ideal. The concept of being the one and only is so romantic. But at the same time, I think many of us have been in a situation where we…well, you know, the whole having cake and wanting to eat it too thing. Don't you find that saying funny? What else are you supposed to do with cake? Put it on a shelf and let it get all stale?

So to me, the question isn't why should I make a story a ménage. The question is 'Why not?'. Is the hero possessive? Can the heroine deal with him being like that? Has she ever loved before? Has he? Can they satisfy each other's needs?

See, when I'm writing a ménage, the hero might be possessive, but he's more concerned with making sure his woman is completely satisfied—both in and out of bed—than with keeping her all to himself. In Rosemary Entwined, this concept was easy because Rosemary actually needs all the men to survive. In Deadly Captive, the ménage they participate in willingly is a bit more complicated—but I won't spoil it for you. The point is, both these stories are fantasy, so blurring the lines of what's acceptable is pretty easy.

But what about in a contemporary story? Still fiction, but these people are stuck in the real world. What reasons could they possibly have to get involved in a polyamourus relationship? What's wrong with them?
To my mind, absolutely nothing. This might not be a popular opinion, but I think some people aren't wired to be monogamous. Actually, many would say most men aren't. Other's would point out women's hormones drive them to 'mate' with the strongest and settle down with gentle, caring providers. That doesn't sound monogamous to me.

All that aside, sex obviously isn't all about having babies. Whips and chains don't increase fertility. Getting in bed with another woman won't make me a better mother. But if that's what gets me off, it's all good, right?
Now, what if I couldn't enjoy sex unless I had more than one partner? Would that be any different? 

Obviously, some people will argue it is, but me, I figure as long as it's legal…no, scratch that. Sex in public isn't legal. Polygamy isn't legal. Having sex with someone you're not married to is even worse! It's a sin!

All right, how's this. So long as the partners are consenting adults—we're not getting into non-con here, I'll do that in another post ;) –and aren't hurting anyone (any more than they want to be hurt), it's all good.
But still, all that doesn't answer my original question. Why not a ménage? Lack of options? Social norm? If you're writing erotic romance, and there's an attraction between more than a pair of characters, why deny them?

Well, I guess it depends on the author. And on the characters. If you're aiming for a Happily Ever After, then by the end of the story, the hero and heroine should both be feeling—in the words of Jerry Maguire— 'You complete me.'

If not, well, maybe there's someone missing.

For all you lovely readers, if you want more of me, just go here: http://im-no-angel.com/


  1. Nice post, Bianca. I agree 100%. If the relationship is consensual, why not make it a party? Actually, I am in the process of writing my first menage and I an enjoying it tremendously. Thanks for the interesting perspective on this.

  2. I see menage and poly relationships working better on the page than in real life because well, jealousy, societal norms, etc. A lot of people would shun you if they realized "OMG, that woman is with 2/3/4/5 men!"

    As for why all books aren't menage even if there's attraction to a third? Because many readers will only read books they can relate to and most admit they will never understand having a multi-partner relationship so why read about it.

    That's my 2 cents. :) Take it for what you paid for it. **hehe**


  3. Great blog and topic! I am writing a novel (NOBODY'S ANGEL) with two men and a woman and some tag-teaming. Does that make it menage? *shrug* I guess we'll see--and I am still working on the ending, so...

    I do write contemporary and did research what options for HEA were available to a threesome. There is hand fasting, lots of pagan options, even a civil union in some states (although I am guessing that's only for one man and one woman and the third one would have to enter the commitment some less legal way.

    I agree that in a Dom/sub relationship, if the Dom knows the subbie needs another partner, He would want to provide that, whether it's short-term or long-term.

    So, what elements have to be there for it to be menage. Three or more in bed at same time engaging in sex? Double penetration? Or is an oral sex scene where one partner is pretty much just serving as a cradle for the woman while the other man goes down on her. Is that menage?

    I don't know the answers. Just asking!

  4. I don't know anything about publishing, but I imagine that some publishers wouldn't encourage ménage scenes because they're concerned about the potential buyers. For me, when I read a story, I need the central characters (whether it be 2,3,4,5, whatever) to have that bond that says "We're together, we're committed, this is what we both/all want" in order for any additional partners to fly. Otherwise it just seems cheap and demeaning - *unless* that's a plot element that is going to be further explored and resolved, in which case, it's okay - provided everyone has learned from their mistakes, blah blah blah. I'm not all here, so I apologize if this is just rambling and makes no sense. Either way, good blog!

  5. I think we should hook you up to a drip with 100percent menage in it, Bianca.

    And you give your characters everything they want and THEN make them miserable? Hah! I seen your books lady and you do it the other way around.
    Which is all good IMO
    Keep writing those delicious menages, please :)