Friday, February 2

The Power of Three... aka this one's for Sybil and anyone else who's interested...

**Edited 2/3/07**

Sybil sent out an email request asking why threesomes in erotic romance seem to be so popular...

Honestly, I think she answered it herself...
You may have noticed that erotica/erotic romance/romantica is all the rage right now. And threesomes seem to be hotter than hot.
I've spent days trying to come up with some sort of deeply philosophic reason. But, really can there be any other real explanation? They're hot, they push boundaries, they fulfill fantasies and they turn the reader on--deep isn't it--LOL.

But my question is... are they really necessary to most stories? So much depends on the plot of the book, if the plot is sex and pleasure driven, or if the threeway is some how important to the storyline it would make sense to include scenes that may push the envelope. I'm not sure very many erotic romances need a threesome to reach the book's HEA, but if the scene is included simply to titillate, can't it be considered superfluous or gratuitous? Or do most erotic romance readers not really care?

Renee and Kat both mentioned Emma Holly's Menage in the comments from my original post. And they're both right, it is a sex and pleasure driven story with a threesome that is completely intricate to the story--they are the story.

I reread Blackmailed by Annmarie McKenna when Sybil emailed me, because it was the most accessible, still a shortcut on my computer, I'd have had to dig for Menage or an Anya Bast, with a mmf relationship. I probably should have dug out one of the other books. I find it somewhat debatable that a threeway HEA is truly achievable.

Threesomes in romances aren't really all that new. Bertrice Small was including them in her historical romances back in the 90's. And, in her book Hellion she actually does use the scene to move the story along.

The Power of Three--what do you think??


ReneeW said...

Have you read Emma Holly's Menage? The threesome is the story. And it had a threesome HEA... sort of. I wasn't quite convinced that all three were getting a HEA but it was an intriguing idea. Great book.

Tara Marie said...

Renee, I have read Menage and I thought it was a sort of HEA, too, I probably should have mentioned it and her book Personal Assets. But then she's one of those authors who actually can and does use sex to move the story forward.

In Blackmailed, it's a "real" 3 way HEA.

Kat O+ said...

I was also going to mention Menage. I've read Personal Assets and while I liked the threesomes, they didn't have as much impact on me as Menage. I just read Topping Tora (Laura Bacchi), and while the threesomes weren't what I'd consider *hardcore* threesomes, there was a bit of partner swapping. This didn't bother me because of the way the conflicts were written.

Usually, I prefer threesomes when initiated by the heroine, because it's much easier for me to accept that she (therefore I) won't have a problem with it. Sometimes it works when the hero initiates, too, but those stories need some very good writing for me not to feel like he's just in it for himself.

As to the threeway HEA, I think I could probably accept a MMF HEA more than a MFF. But that might just be because I'm selfish and don't wanna share! *lol*

CindyS said...

JMC also posted about this and after thinking about it for a while, I think I prefer there to be a background on all three characters. I would need the sexual tension to be there and even though I have not read many threesomes (LKH), if a threesome just suddenly happened without a lot of explanation then I would probably have a hard time buying into it. Even fantasy wise.

Also, as a female fantasy, I'm like Kat o+ - about the woman being the one either in control or the one who is the object of the other two people's desires (and by two people it would have to be men for me ;))

No real deep thoughts so carry on!


Tara Marie said...

Kat--So much depends on how the story is written, how the scenes fit within the plot.

I'm going to edit the original post to include Menage, and I agree the impact in Menage is much stronger than Personal Assets.

I'm not sure I can really buy into a MMF HEA anymore than a MFF one, I see men having jealousy and sharing issues too--LOL.

Cindy--JMC's having quite the lively dialogue over there.

Fantasy is a huge part of why threesomes have become more popular, the reader can live vicariously through the book and imagine things they would never truly contemplate in real life.