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! 😉