Posted by Heidi Blakey on 5th September 2017
Love triangles were an integral plot of the serial dramas/soap operas that I grew up watching. And I’ll admit, I was always fascinated to watch the characters work their way through the complications and decision making process. I wanted to know who they would choose, even though I hated that they had to choose - probably because the triangle always ended up with one or more of the participants being hurt. And too often no one in the triangle remained together for very long.
To go all ‘technical’ for a moment… the term love triangle generally connotes an arrangement unsuitable to one or more of the people involved. Within the context of monogamy (which when I was growing up was all we’d see on TV), the triangle is inherently unstable, with unrequited love or jealousy being two of the most popular themes.
A common love triangle motif will see hero or heroine having to decide between two potential partners of totally opposite personalities – the girl next door or nice guy versus the bad boy or worldly woman. I was always the one asking why should they have to choose? Can’t they all just get along?
I didn’t root for Stefan or Damon – I was rooting for the three of them to work something out with Elena. (They are characters from Vampire Diaries, for those who didn’t catch the reference.) She obviously loved them both. But seriously, I think part of my attraction to ménage is a rejection of the negative aspects of the love triangle motif. Inevitably, no matter who Elena chooses, everyone is going to get hurt.
In all but one of the ménage stories I’ve written, there has been a primary relationship between the heroine and one of the heroes and the third partner is introduced to that relationship. In one story our couple meet the man who would become their lover by chance. The reader participates in the couple’s discussion about whether or not he is the one. In another – where there isn’t a strong primary relationship – we see the two heroes coming together to determine how can they work together to win the heroine and give her what she needs.
In my book Eighty-One Days our heroes are used to sharing their lovers but they’ve had limited contact with each other. It’s not until one of them leaves town that they both realize it’s what had been missing between them and it doesn’t mean they are any less in love with one another. But our hero, Luke has to move on with his life and he does with our heroine. He knows he could love Jenna, be happy with her… until Eric returns and they have to determine whether the three of them can make it together.
Now in a love triangle them, Luke would be forced to chose between them – Eric or Jenna, but how could I do that to them? This is a bisexual ménage. Instead, the question becomes how can they make this work, and how can the relationship between Jenna and Eric become just as strong as the ones already forged between Jenna and Luke and Luke and Eric.
It’s interesting in Eighty-One Days, and in other ménage stories that I’ve written, to deal with issues of jealousy, abandonment, sacrifice. No man is an island and certainly no threesome can pretend to be, so on top of the triad having to learn to navigate the relationship, so too must their friends, family and peers. It gives the writer an endless source of conflict to explore.
Happy reading, Zoë Mullins
Eric didn’t know Luke would be heartbroken when he left town to join a hotshot forest fire crew in Western Canada. They’d been best friends since kindergarten, had gone to school together, had bought their first car and a home together, and had shared their lovers. At some point, friendship had turned to love.
Luke didn’t expect that when he’d brought his crazy cat in for stitches that his heart that would be mended by the sassy new veterinarian. Jenna may have been new in town but she’d heard the rumors and she liked the carnal fantasies he spun for her in bed of he and his best friend sharing her.
Of course, that was before Eric’s job brought him home and back into their lives.
Jenna isn’t sure she can be what they need, but she’s not going give up without a fight. Even if that means inviting the sexy firefighter to share their bed. Surely there is enough love to go around.
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