Guest Post: S.L. Armstrong on Non-Contact Menage

Storm Moon Press

Fiction Vixen is pleased to welcome S.L. Armstrong today. 

 

Non-Contact Menage

I’m a huge fan of all kinds of romance. I’ve been reading it since I sneaked my mother’s Harlequin novels at fourteen. Throughout my life, I’ve viewed romance in all its forms as a wonderful way to detach from life for a little while and lose myself in someone else’s journey.

As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve found something I don’t like about romance. Maybe it’s because I’m big on tolerance and open sexuality, but the menage stories I’ve come across have struck me as problematic on several levels. It always ruins my experience, and typically sours me on an author. What’s the biggest problem?

Two men who become the sexual plaything of a women. She becomes their utter focus, and they don’t touch each other at all. Hell, sometimes? They don’t even want to acknowledge the other guy is even there. I’m not sure if other readers or authors find that upsetting or not, but it really rubs at me. It makes it seem like bisexuality—because that’s what’s going on when two guys and a girl get together—isn’t acceptable. And I know it’s a common theme.

I don’t find those stories interesting, and the erotic scenes wind up disappointing me rather than holding my interest. I’ve never been one for Direction of Greatest Couragesexual relationships where one person is often the entire focus of multiple partners, and so I’ve been shying away from menage stories altogether now. It’s a little depressing. I’d rather see men with a women who also enjoy being with one another! Maybe I’m just grabbing the wrong books, but I’ve found so few M/M/F titles that delve into true threesome fun.

So, maybe readers here can give me some suggestions! Show me your full contact menage, where authors don’t shy away from bisexuality and sexy fun. I’m eager to pick up some awesome reads that don’t let me down anymore. :D

(And if there are any authors reading this, Storm Moon Press is very keen on acquiring full contact menage stories, be they M/M/F or F/F/M, so if you have a manuscript languishing, send them our way! Give me what I’m craving!)

S.L. Armstrong is the co-author of Other Side of Night: Bastian & Riley and Catalyst, and is one of the co-owners of Storm Moon Press. She can be found at http://www.slarmstrong.net/ or on Twitter @_slarmstrong.

 

Comments

  1. says

    I really enjoyed Lorelei James’ ‘Rough, Raw, and Ready’ because it was a true menage in that sense. The two men were ex-lovers with a lot of angsty history. After their split, Trevor married Chassie and they were happy. When Ed comes back into Trevor’s life he also enters Chassie’s life. There is a happy ending for ALL parties and everyone’s sexuality is accepted.

    Her other menage does not have the same dynamics, especially those undertaken by side characters. I enjoy menage, but I find some such as you’ve described to be a bit iffy. Fiction is fiction, but it is a bit of a stretch if two-thirds of a (happy/healthy) threesome are afraid to touch each other! To me, anyway :)

  2. June M. says

    One that I can think of is a kind-of sci-fi book (GIFT OF THE GODDESS by Denise Rossetti. It was a good story, the first of the kind that I read. You might check it out to see if you are interested. ;)

  3. says

    I love m/m/f. My biggest complaint is when the book description says m/m/f and it’s really m/f/m. There is a difference. I enjoy m/f/m as well but when I think I’m getting a story where the men in the relationship are interested in each other as well and it turns out they are not, I’m disappointed.

    I really liked Coming Clean by Inez Kelly. A married couple shares a fantasy about including the best friend. It happens and it was quite convincing. I didn’t feel like anyone of left out of the new relationship.

    • says

      Coming Clean by Inez Kelley is an awesome book. I loved the relationship between the husband and the best friend. But the third worked well with the wife as well. I agree that no one seemed to be left out which is a danger with some m/m/f and m/f/m books.

  4. heather k says

    Laid Bare by Lauren Dane begins as a m/f, then ends in a committed m/m/f. This book is a part of a series, the other books are all m/f, but you get glimpses of the menage throughout the series.

  5. JenM says

    I don’t read that many menages, but the ones that I do tend to fit a similar theme, where the two guys have a pre-existing relationship and the woman comes along later. In these, the guys are clearly bisexual and there’s plenty of m/m action sometimes with the female lead not even present, or only a spectator.

    I would recommend Cat Grant’s trilogy starting with The Arrangement, continuing in Triad and also including a prequel of sorts called Coming of Age. Other books I’ve read that were similar were Night is Darkest by Jayne Rylon and Love Slave for 2 (an incredibly cheesy title for a pretty good book) by Tymber Dalton. I believe Kele Moon’s book, Beyond Eden also has this theme but I haven’t read it.

  6. says

    I get frustrated by m/f/m ’cause I end up wanting to shout ‘just kiss him already!!!’. :) So I stick with m/m/f when I’m in the mood for a menage, and there’s no shouting at the books.

    Samantha Kane’s Brothers in Arms series is m/m/f, and very good.

    • says

      Ava–I tried the first book on that series and didn’t finish it. I wasn’t move by the romance or relationships. Do the books get better. Many times a first book in a series is a little meh, but they pick up. Do I need to keep going?

      • says

        I don’t think I read the early ones in order, and it was a while ago when I read them, but Love’s Strategy stands out. I really liked that one. So if that one isn’t the first one, then maybe give it a go and see if it works better for you.

  7. says

    Thank you for having me, Sophia!

    Because I’m bisexual, and a fan of bisexuality in general, I become so frustrated with a lot of menage books I pick up. Many are problematic for me, and I’m so glad there are some recs here for me. I’m definitely going to check out some of the books and authors mentioned here! :D

  8. says

    OMG! Best m/m/f menage ever?? The one I’ve read like 5 times and am putting back on my Nook today to read again? Something New by Cameron Dane. It’s my go to menage and the one I hold all others up to.

    I’m not a fan at all of m/f/m menage – what’s the point if the guys are not involved as well. Not sexy. Not fun.

    • says

      Oh thanks for the heads up on Something New by Cameron Dane. I loved Grey’s Awakening but haven’t read anything else by this author. I will check it out!

  9. says

    @Sophia – Loved Coming Clean by Inez Kelly – another awesome m/m/f menage. It can be tough to find a book that introduces a male to an already committed m/f relationship and man, this one was well done and hot, hot, hot!

    • says

      Yes I agree. I was nervous about the committed relationship because I don’t like it when solid relationships are disrupted. I am not easily convinced that adding a third in a into a long term relationship will not disrupt. But I think Inez Kelly pulled it off. And yes, hot, hot, hot.

  10. Laura says

    Dead Moon Rising by Tymber Dalton is one of my faves. The guys are hot together and the story suspenseful and well-written.

  11. Mary's Naughty Whispers says

    I am a menage reviewer. I am reading exclusively menage romance for over 5 years now. MMF or MFM or MFMMM+

    I found your post interesting because I have the same frustration about MMF. I do not like when the focus is the MM and the F is a plaything.

    You may want to read what I think about it http//marywhispers.blog.com/?page_id=269

    My main problem is that a lot of authors are jumping into a menage story not knowing a thing about how to make the relationship credible. They think that a couple of dual penetration is hot enough and justified enough to make a menage story credible. It is not. It is harder and way more challenging.

    Tymber DaltonLaura Tolomei... I have many names to give you of very talented MMF authors (and MFM too)

    One MMF book that I truly enjoyed recently is Lolita Lopez Between Friends. I invite you to read it and let me know about it… you will maybe change your mind about MMF menage :)

    The main problem is like everything. If you read a book and you do not enjoy the theme, then you are frisky to read another similar. Trust me when I say that like in MF or MM or whatever… there are authors with no talent and they are authors with incredible ones… we just need to keep an open mind and not expecting that each author is a Pulitzer to be (wink)

    ~ Mary ~

  12. says

    What a great post. It bothers me when any of the parties in a menage story ignore each other, but especially in m/f/m because part of what is interesting to me about that dynamic is the vulnerability of otherwise tough guys. Thanks for the great suggestions in the comments so far, looks like some real winners in that list.

    I will second Love Slave for Two by Tymber Dalton, I read and enjoyed that one a lot. Another one I liked that I didn’t see mentioned was The Breaker’s Concubine by Ann Mayburn.