To Menage or Not To Menage

I’ve been a terrible blogger lately, I know. November has been a killer month. Losing most of the first week for Disney, my son’s birthday, which involved two parties, my daughter getting sick, budget time at the day job and Thanksgiving really sucked up tons of time. Add to that my official participation in NaNoWriMo, and the month literally slipped through my hands at lightning speed.

It wasn’t a bad month, just busy, and I did finish the story for NaNoWriMo. Right now, the first draft comes in at about 52K words, and it is complete. It’s the shortest book I have ever written, though it will likely end up a little longer than that by the time the revision process is complete. But the plot changed a little bit from my first vision for this story.

During all the madness of the month, I managed to find myself some snippets of time in which to read. Trusty Sony Reader in hand, I took advantage of smoke breaks at work (and home), sitting in the car waiting to pick up kids, or in the doctor’s waiting room, etc. In typical fashion, I focused on a certain genre, glutting myself on it. It started a couple of months back, when I read Kari Gregg’s “Lovely Wicked” and HC Brown’s “My Purr-Fect Alphas.” Both of them featured ménage plotlines, and the emotional depth of both just blew me away. And they got me to thinking.

Now, I’ve read just about everything you can think of, and there is very little that bothers me, and a whole lot that just sucks me in and gets my mind going. For some time, I’d been toying with the idea of a ménage storyline, but haven’t really given it a go, because I honestly don’t feel I can do it justice. And there are variations, though I’ve mostly read m/f/m books. But it complicated how I wanted to go with it. Sometimes the men have a sexual relationship with each other, sometimes they don’t. I don’t have a preference as far as what I want to read, but again, don’t really think I have what it takes to write the m/m relationship the way it deserves.

But, inspired by the superb books I recently devoured, I did finally take the plunge and added some ménage scenes to the story I just completed. In this case, the third partner is actually the hero’s brother, and he’s invited to participate by the hero, who doesn’t have the best intentions. In fact, his intentions are pretty rotten. But the men do not have any sort of sexual contact, because incest is one of my personal squicks. The bottom line though, there was never any plan to have the three of them permanently together, and I wonder if I made the right choice including that part of the plot. Specifically, the way it came about – it will likely be viewed by some as occurring in a truly un-heroic way, to the point where the consent is dubious. Though, as my critique partners can attest, I like my heroes to be villainous in some ways.

I’d love to hear some opinions on this from those who read and write m/m or ménage books. I haven’t really looked at any stats, what’s popular? I realize there’s no right or wrong, but what seems to be the most common variations? I’ve noticed that everything I’ve read involves BDSM as well, and I wonder why that is? Is there such a thing as a vanilla ménage? I haven’t come across any yet, but would love to check some out.

And of course, I’ll take any and all reading recommendations! 😉

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7 thoughts on “To Menage or Not To Menage

  1. Thanks for your kind remarks about My Purr-fect Alphas. I am assuming the two males are brothers.
    Its very difficult to have a ménage without the males touching. I put this question to my sons. They said they wouldn't have sex in the same room as their brother let alone with the same girl. I hope this helps:-)
    HC

  2. Thanks for stopping by HC! I loved Purr-fect Seduction as well, another one that sucked me in and made me want to forget all my work! 🙂 The world you created is simply amazing.

    This does help – a lot! I've actually set the scenes so they are totally in the heroine's POV, and maybe that was a little bit of a cheat to avoid writing the m/m contact portions of it. But you've given me an idea for a workaround. I did set the two men up as brothers, but since the book is set in medieval Scotland, I can easily make them clansmen, but not brothers directly, even though they'll be related in some way. Cousins perhaps, not first cousins, a little more distant, even though first cousins regularly married back then, often with the excuse of keeping bloodlines pure. The more I think about it, the more that makes better sense anyway. And of course, as clansmen, they'll still have the same last name!

    But I suppose I should add some of the hero's POV to at least one of the scenes, as I may need to address the logistics of the scenes a little.

  3. Wow, thanks for the nod, glad you liked LW. 😀

    Re brothers…Although I've read some interesting twincest stories that I (disturbningly) actually liked, I think I'd squick too badly writing something like that myself. What about step-brothers? Or foster brothers? I seriously don't know that period of history well so could be very, very wrong…Didn't boys foster in other keeps to learn fighting & etc once they'd reached a certain age? If so…Rival foster brothers would be incredibly hot. LOL.

    Re the hero's POV…LW was written entirely in Mitch's POV and the sequel will be written entirely from Sam's…I ADORE the male POV in male-heavy menage. Try it; I'm betting you'll like it, bwa ha ha.

  4. Hi Kari, glad to see you! LW just killed me, I was on the plane back from San Diego and I devoured it in half the flight!!! The flight wasn't very full, an open seat between me and the lady in my row, and she kept trying to talk to me, and I almost bit her head off for interrupting! LOL! I can't wait for that sequel, the ending was so bittersweet, I was hoping we might get to hear Sam's POV. YAY!

    You're right, boys did foster out – the nobility swapped kids all the time, and usually starting at a very young age, 5 or 6 in many cases. And rival foster brothers *is* a really hot idea, you've given me another plot bunny! 😀 But I think I may make them clansmen for this one, won't take much adjusting to make that work.

    Male POV is always one of the hardest things for me to get right, and so far, I've avoided getting into the brother's, but maybe I should. My heroes generally tend to be kind of jerks. In this case, his initial reason for the menage is cruel, even if it backfires. And I definitely need to get deeper into his head so he doesn't come off too badly. Guess now is the time to take the plunge!

  5. As you know I've read just about everything and anything. The menange stories that I've enjoyed do have male/male contact and I wish I could remember whose stories they are but memory goes with age. Good luck beating this story into shape.

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