Threesomes vs. Triangles

6 Dec
Three Turtles Doin' It

Wait, I put which thing in what thing OH GOD HOW DOES THIS WORK

A year ago tomorrow my very first story, Barbells at Christmas, was released. I wish I could say it’s been a smooth ride since then (all aspiring authors want to hear that) but it hasn’t because I managed to get knocked up and dun lost my mojo somehow (possibly expelled with one of my meals). Since then I have started and then petered out on no fewer than four books, each time managing anywhere from 10k-20k words before I suddenly realize that my brain is made of marshmallow fluff, and it’s not even good marshmallow fluff. Not the delicious fluff found smooshed between two slices of peanut butter-slathered bread, no, no. No, my brain is more like an elderly, rodent-sampled Peep found behind the cereal boxes and exploded in the microwave…for science.

And yet, there’s this one story. There’s always one, the one that teases and says, “Look, if you could just make a freaking decision we could get on with it, already!” And my decision involves threesomes. Or triangles. Or maybe neither. But which is it?

I am quite fond of threesomes, in theory. I am also quite fond of triangles. In theory. I’ve read really good threesomes, and ones that did not do it for me. Triangles, more often, fill me with irrational rage, because it’s almost always obvious who the heroine will end up with, and it’s almost never the guy I would have chosen for her. Not to mention in so many triangles the author’s id is on naked display in the form of The Guy The Heroine Will Eventually Choose and sometimes that gets a little uncomfortable. It’s like sitting on a bus and the Author and the Hero are seated behind you, making out like the Tongue Wrestling World Championships are three days away and they’ve got to win just one for the Gipper, dammit.

But I have this story, and it could go in three different ways. It could go threesome, triangle, or good old-fashioned Hero/Heroine and the third major character could just get stuck in unrequited love and then get his own story in a sequel. I just can’t decide. A threesome could be fun, but at the sacrifice of plot and tension–this is sometimes a problem inherent in the threesome genre since the conceits necessary to make it work often require a suspension of disbelief. A triangle could be nice and angsty, but no matter who the heroine ends up with some people will be disappointed and upset, and also possibly feel cheated, and leaving someone feeling cheated at the end of a romance is just bad juju. And of course the Hero/Heroine dynamic is always open, and could be quite angst-filled and enjoyable, but sometimes it’s maybe not as…fresh.

Tell me, gentle reader, your thoughts on threesomes and triangles. Do you prefer one over the other? Hate one of them? Despise both? Love both? And why? What makes a good threesome, and what makes a good triangle? My writer’s block wishes to know!

And of course, the Kindle/Nook Giveaway is going on right now, and you can start participating at any time! Haven’t started yet? Begin here! Still need to do today’s challenge? This is where you want to go.

12 Responses to “Threesomes vs. Triangles”

  1. Zina December 6, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    I don’t really care for Triangles except in Geometry. I do love staright M/F and I really love M/F/M.I love two men focased on making sure the woman being totally satisfiedmainly because for years mine didn’t and he didn’t care if I was sick, he said sex was a cure all- nope don’t agree there.
    Zina

    • authorheatherhoward December 6, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

      I agree, the fantasy of two men focused on the woman’s pleasure is really alluring… although sometimes I wonder if that much scrutiny would make me nervous! 😉

  2. Anne December 6, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    I like both as long as triangles don’t go on and on, eventually they have to become a threesomes or one person loses and goes away.

    When it’s more than a threesome, all I can think about is who’s where and don’t limbs get in the weay and doesn’t someone feel left out. If I’m thinking that much about the logistics of a fictional encounter, the book’s not what it’s supposed to be.

    • authorheatherhoward December 6, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

      I have to agree. Foursomes and moresomes tend to break my brain, although I admire anyone who manages to write them fairly explicitly. Sometimes I have problems keeping just two people straight in my head.

  3. MichelleKCanada December 6, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    I am a huge fan of threesomes. I like M/F/M and I also love M/M/F. Not a fan of F/M/F.

    I have read some awesome ones and then I have also read where I am thinking “where the hell do the legs and arms go” It just seems sloppy.
    Always in my threesome stories there has to be love. I can’t read out and out porn just to get an orgy on. That is why the writing has to be good too. For me the threesome needs to a part of the story, not the entire story.

    • authorheatherhoward December 6, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

      I agree on there needing to be love, but that’s also sometimes where my credulity gets strained, if only because I’ve never seen a threesome relationship work out well in real life. Perhaps I am too practical to enjoy the fantasy. 😦

  4. Cathy M December 6, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    I am a big fan of menage stories. Like to keep it to three players, either m/f/m or m/m/f. I need the emotional connection to be as strong as the physical one.

    • authorheatherhoward December 7, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

      I also enjoy a strong emotional connection, though I sometimes feel that menage stories take shortcuts that I wish they wouldn’t, like having two people already in love at the beginning. I wish I could see more of the organic falling in love happen onstage.

  5. Sasha Devlin December 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    I enjoy threesome (and moresome) stories and I’m in the process of trying out my first threesome story (M/M/F).

    I tend to dislike “level playing field” triangles — where she’s into both guys, both guys are equally awesome and it’s truly a toss up. Invariably the one I want her to pick is *not* who she chooses.

    I don’t mind the lopsided triangle — this is mostly Heroine thinks she’s supposed to be w/ this guy because he’s Mr. Perfect, but the roguishly inappropriate guy who won’t go away is really who she’ll end up with.

    • authorheatherhoward December 7, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

      Ooooh, the lopsided triangle! Very astute. I don’t mind those either, though I always, ALWAYS feel really badly for Mr. Perfect, and annoyed when the author makes him into an unqualified asshole over the course of the story in order to mitigate the guilt that the heroine should feel for throwing him over.

  6. Vicky CK December 7, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    I too am a big fan of manage stories. Favs are M/F/M. I don’t mind foursomes, but it does get to be a bit much and difficult to believe. Anything more and can’t buy into it even for the fantasy. Yes this is all fantasy, but there is only so much my poor brain can accept without getting too logical…

    As already stated, must have relationship, perferablely love, involved. Otherwise we would just be reading porn, which none of us have choicen to do!

    As for type of threesome, ie equeal ‘group’ or two + one on side (or even 1 + 1 + 1, ie seperate coming together for some reason…think on that one!) I have seen this go both ways, just like any other writing. THe story often makes it work or fails it in the end. The characters each have to have something that makes being a threesome works vs just a couple (what make the girl stay with 2 guys? Each guy needs to be different and fill a need within her, and a need that the other can’t.)

    Ok, I think I babbled enough, huh? And to think I am not even a writer! But I sure have an opinion!
    vickykerr[at]sbcglobal.net

  7. Robin Renee Ray December 14, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    I think I love a good threesome as long as they make a strong storyline. I also can go with either M/F/M or F/M/F…I crave a good read that leads the characters into a roll of finding passion not only with the flesh but the heart as well, no matter how they end up in the bed, or on the floor, or even out back on the patio..LOL. If three happen to fall into the same trap of love, then so be it.

    I really don’t care for predicable reads…I like to think I have things figured out, as in knowing who the main character in a threesome is going to be closer to, only to be surprised at how wrong I was!

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