Sunday, September 16, 2007

Got Ménage a Trois or More?

In the aftermath of the latest brouhaha uproar over what constitutes a romance, I thought it would be fun to pretend that we’ve all agreed a romance book can include more than one hero and/or more than one heroine. (I know, I have a very optimistic imagination. *grin*) Which then evolves into the question: How many is too many? Do you have a breaking point where an erotic romance has gone too far by including one too many people in the “group”? Where is the cut-off, and if there is one, are we again drawing lines some believe we have no right to draw?

To break it down with examples, I thought I’d pull out a couple of my own books to examine…



Let’s start with a body count of 3 in A WANTON’S THIEF, the first in my Thieves & Lovers Robin Hood series. When Falcon (aka Robin Hood) begins a seriously hawt romance with Lady Salena Tremayne, you think it can’t possibly get any better…until the ties that bind Falcon to Little John come into play. The relationship in this m/f/m trio is formed on a solid base of mutual love and respect between them all. BUT, due to a centuries-old curse, John must eventually find his own woman to love…



Now, onward to body count 4. In the second book in my Thieves & Lovers series, A GYPSY’S THIEF, Falcon and Salena return, but by now, John has literally fallen for Scottish gypsy, Catriona. However, we still have that bind between Falcon and Little John alluded to in the previous paragraph. Which brings us to a scorching ménage a trois or more. Incidentally, the third and final book in this series is currently being written. Hmm, stay tuned to find out the body count on that one. ;)


Delving a bit deeper beyond population, does it depend on who’s interacting with whom? (Now I could go as high as 5 or more, but for the purposes of example and length, I’ll stick to 4 here.) In other words, which combination below, in your opinion, is the best/hottest in erotic ménage romances:

1) m/m/f
2) m/f/m
3) f/f/m
4) f/m/m/f
5) m/f/f/m
6) m/f/m/f

Or does it depend on the dynamics of interaction more than numbers? Strictly from my writer’s point of view, it can get somewhat confusing keeping all those appendages and orifices straight while coordinating more than 3 in a scene. But from my reader’s vantage point, both number and combination don’t really matter. It all depends on how well the author has written the love scenes, how hot and romantic it all comes across, and what sorts of emotions are going on between all the lovers.

So, in multiple-partner erotic romances, do you think the more the merrier is acceptable, or would 3 lovers be your limit? So again, I ask… Got ménage a trois? Or got more?

19 comments:

Lynn LaFleur said...

Love m/m/f, both reading it and writing it. I haven't written anything yet with four characters, but that doesn't mean I won't in the future.

I think more than four would be terribly confusing. Like you said, Ti, all those appendages and orifices would get confusing. Three seems to be the perfect number. Besides, what woman doesn't want all that attention from two hunky men?

Lynn

Cindy B said...

I think more than 3 starts to get a little confusing...

I do love a great M/F/M but you can't beat M/M/F! :) Just love the thought of two hunky alphas to pour all that love onto each other and the heroine. :)

Titania Ladley said...

***Cindy wrote:
...you can't beat M/M/F! :)Just love the thought of two hunky alphas to pour all that love onto each other and the heroine. :)

Hi, Cindy! Ooh, I totally agree with you on m/m/f menages. I'm currently writing one that keeps me squirming in my seat every single day. LOL! Thanks for dropping by with your thoughts. :)

Titania

Titania Ladley said...

***Lynn LaFleur wrote:
I think more than four would be terribly confusing... Three seems to be the perfect number.

Hiya, Lynn! Yes, it seems 3 would be easier to keep track of, especially when writing it. *g* More than that I've seen done beautifully in some books, but 3 does kind of feel more intimate. Thanks for your thoughts!

Titania

Kara said...

I love m/m/f - yum, two hunky men all to myself. However, I did read a book with m/m/m/f and I really enjoyed that one too. But I think more than that might be a bit much for me.

Kerensa said...

Titania,
I love menage. For me it doesn't have a limit as to how many characters. I think that in the hands of a talented author the story will be to die for.

Fantastic post!
-Kerensa

Phyllis said...

I love to read menage stories. I agree that more than 3 gets confusing. I too prefer m/f/m. Although I did read a series before with more.

Phyllis said...

Forgot to add that I enjoyed the series very much. But given a choice I prefer 3 m/f/m.

Titania Ladley said...

***Kara wrote:
>I love m/m/f - yum, two hunky men all to myself. However, I did read a book with m/m/m/f and I really enjoyed that one too. But I think more than that might be a bit much for me.<

Hello, Kara! Wow, 3 males & 1 female...now that would be one hot scene! Very tricky from the writer's POV, too. LOL Thanks for popping in. :)

Titania

Titania Ladley said...

***Kerensa wrote:
>For me it doesn't have a limit as to how many characters. I think that in the hands of a talented author the story will be to die for.<

{{Kerensa}} Hi there, sweetie! You said it so well. It really can all depend on how the author executes it. Thanks for coming by. You rock! :)

Titania

Titania Ladley said...

***Phyllis wrote:
>Forgot to add that I enjoyed the series very much. But given a choice I prefer 3 m/f/m.<

Hiya, Phyllis! So glad you enjoyed the series. Got one more coming, hopefully soon. ;) Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. It looks like on average, 3 is about the limit! *g*

Titania

Ruby Storm said...

Morning Ladies!

AH...MENAGE!!!!!!! Great topic Titania. I enjoy reading them and I'm sure any author out there will agree with me that menage scenes are quite challenging. I've done m/m/f and m/m/m. I have to say the all male was the hardest. (Pardon the pun.)

SNORT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ruby

N.J.Walters said...

Three is much easier than four. How do I know? I'm current writing a scene with four. Thank heavens there is only one scene with everyone in it. LOL

It's a logistical nightmare, but it's fun!

Personally, I like m/f/m. :-)

Titania Ladley said...

***N.J. Walters wrote:
Three is much easier than four. How do I know? I'm current writing a scene with four. Thank heavens there is only one scene with everyone in it. LOL***

Isn't that the truth! So many body parts to keep track of. It can start to feel like you're writing about octopuses (sp?) rather than people. Good luck with the WIP. And thanks for stopping by! :)

***Ruby Storm wrote:
I've done m/m/f and m/m/m. I have to say the all male was the hardest. (Pardon the pun.)***

LMAO! Um, something tells me the pun was intended...

Titania

anny cook said...

I am no doubt old fashioned... but three's a menage, four's a swap, and after that it's an orgy. Nothing wrong in any of the above, but quite frankly, more than three just doesn't turn my crank.

And while you're on the subject of more than...I prefer more fellas than ladies. Just my personal kink.

Titania Ladley said...

LMAO! Anny, I love the way you've got it categorized! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on what "turns your crank". LOL, I love it. :)

Titania

>>>anny cook said...
I am no doubt old fashioned... but three's a menage, four's a swap, and after that it's an orgy. Nothing wrong in any of the above, but quite frankly, more than three just doesn't turn my crank.

motleycruiser said...

3 is my magical number. To me I think when there are 4 especially with m/m/m/f it feels like someone isn't getting attention. But if you do m/f/m/f then it's ok because everyone gets to play at the same time. And I really hate when there is no interaction between males. I mean come on you are sharing a woman hands & mouths are going to wander, making them avoid eachother because they are uber hetero is silly.

treehouse said...

Are there any m/f/m stories out there that start out straight and "accidentally" turn into first time bi?

treehouse said...

also, a story of a women talking her reluctant husband / boyfriend into a bi threesome with another male? any help would be appriciated