That’s such a great question! A ménage romance is when three people fall in love and live happily ever after together.
No, in a love triangle you have two people vying for the love of one person, in a ménage it’s three people loving three people.
That’s what happens in the bedroom, that can either lead you to a ménage relationship or a love triangle.
As a writer it can be hard writing about two people being together, trying to be creative with your words and not falling into a million clichés, but add in a third or fourth or possibly more and things well, start to become a logistical nightmare. It’s like naked twister and yoga joined together and had sexy babies. Left hand on yellow, right leg on blue all while doing downward facing dog. It’s a rubix cube of positions and they all need to be in the right slot to make it all work.
The choices are pretty varied:
MMF - Male/Male/Female
This is when the men are bi-sexual and can either have a relationship before they meet the woman or they could develop into MM while with the woman. (My book Sapphire is in this style.)
MFM - Male/Female/Male
This is when the men are both straight and it’s all about the female. (Most popular with female readers)
MFF - Male/Female/Female
This is when the women are bi-sexual, so either have had a relationship before meeting the man or fall for each other while together with him. (As you could tell this is most men’s fantasies as is FMF)
FMF - Female/Male/Female
This is when the females don’t play with each other and it is all about the man. (Again, I think this is high up on the male fantasy list)
MMM - Male/Male/Male
FFF - Female/Female/Female
Here are some examples that show case the above scenarios:
MMF Two bi-sexual males, living in a gay relationship in the closet until they meet a woman that they both fall for. (This is what I wrote in Sapphire)
MFM Two billionaire CEO’s, enemies in the boardroom fall for the same woman, how can she chose between them both? Until one night of drinking leads them into bed together, jealousy turns into something else and they decide they are better off as three.
MFF Two A-list actresses are in the closet about their relationship, until they meet their latest co-star, who they both fall for.
FMF Three friends go backpacking around Europe together, exotic locations, one too many drinks and they all end up in bed together. They continue travelling around the world and when they come home, they realise that what they had wasn’t a Summer fling.
MMM Three cowboys stuck on a ranch, it is the middle of winter, one too many drinks leads to exploring hidden desires they never knew the others had.
FFF Two fairies kidnapped by an evil Queen, they are her new slaves, but as they get to know her, they realise there is more to her than the mask that she wears, and they begin to fall for their captor.
They may or may not be the greatest examples of storylines but they explain the dynamics of the relationships when dealing with a ménage story.
If you have never read a ménage story before, don’t be shy, the ménage romance genre has become more mainstream. It has moved out of the realms of paranormal, and erotic fiction and into the contemporary romance areas. There is so much more to a ménage story than the fantastic sex scenes, it’s watching three people fall in love, it’s your heart being ripped out as things inevitably fall apart, it’s the crazy scenarios that three people can get themselves into that adds to what makes ménage romance great.
JA Low is the author of the Bratva Jewels series, including SAPPHIRE and the upcoming DIAMOND. She lives in Canberra, Australia. When she's not writing steamy scenes, she's tending to her husband and two sons, and dreaming up the next epic romance. Jess is also the author of the Dirty Texas series.