The Challenges of Writing a Menage

The Challenges of Writing a Menage

by Stacey Espino

My publisher, Siren-Bookstrand, is one of the leaders in ménage romance titles. So, I decided to challenge myself and step into the unknown.

Saving Grace was my first ménage, though not a true Ménage Amour. It has a HEA with only one man, but there are ménage elements (F,M,M,M,M) in the book. Yes, that was four M’s!

My next erotic western, Damaged Cowboys, is my first true ménage.

I wanted to discuss some of the challenges I faced writing this new and popular sub-genre of romance.

1.) Pro-noun hell! I mean, come on, you have eight hands pleasuring one woman at the same time. Four cowboys, four different sex acts…that’s a lot to keep track of. It’s a fine balancing act to describe a ménage sex scene.

2.) The alpha male issues. Cowboys should be dominant, hard, and know what they want…and take it. When you have several alpha males sharing one woman equally, it takes a lot of effort to pull that off convincingly. There’s the jealousy issue, crossing swords, dominance issues…a whole slew of things to sort out to make it work.

3.) Logistics. We don’t want anyone feeling uncomfortable in the relationship, so you have to tread carefully. Where is everyone going to sleep? Do they take turns being intimate, or share every time? How do they deal with the public perception of their taboo relationship? Personally, I found it easier to write my true ménage with brothers. The sibling love is already present; so many potential issues could be avoided.

4.) Can you really love more than one man? We have been so brainwashed to believe that only one man and one woman fall in love, and live happily ever after. Trying to show, or prove, that it’s possible to love more than one man equally, but differently, is a challenge. You really get an opportunity to explore an array of emotions when creating a ménage romance.

5.) Lube. Lots of lube.

I hope you’ll get a chance to pick up my newest release, SAVING GRACE, coming Wednesday, June 16th to Siren-Bookstrand.

Damaged Cowboys should be out early August, 2010.

[Ménage and More: Erotic Cowboy Ménage a Cinq Romance, M/F/M/M/M, mild BDSM, public exhibition]

Grace is thrust deep into cattle country with dozens of sex starved cowboys. Her modest, timid nature soon fizzles away to make room for her raging lust. From one night stands to a ménage a cinq, her body won’t allow her to refuse the muscled ranch hands that seem desperate to pleasure her.

Grace explores her sexuality and pushes her personal boundaries. She discovers the sensual woman that remained dormant during her adult years. It is the love of a good man that forces her to let down her guards. Can she commit after everything she has been through in the past? Will she accept the love she’s craved for a lifetime?


Paisley Smith said…
LOL!! Pronoun hell is right! I write F/F/M menage and I write it in first person to avoid having to constantly name the characters.

Your book sounds fabulous!
Nicole Morgan said…
OMG...I loved this post and admittedly plan to use it as a future reference point.

Saving Grace sounds fantastic and am going to have to get a copy pronto!

Btw, #5 made me laugh my tushy off! :)
Hi Stacey

As a newcomer to writing menage myself, it is always difficult making sure everyone's voice gets heard.

My menage is with brothers, so although the rivalry is there from the start, they are used to it. I could imagine fights breaking out with just friends. LOL.

Best wishes, and I look forward to reading SAVING GRACE on Wednesday.

She said…
I think it is possible to love more than one person. I like that the woman doesn't have to choose. I think it is necessary for the men to love each other first--either family or a love relationship between them--for a menage to work smoothly. Looking forward to reading your menages.
Stacey said…
Thanks, Paisley, Nicole, and Sabrina. The joys of menage. lol

I hope you like Saving Grace, She.

Stacey xo
Kristabel Reed said…
Pronoun hell! You're absolutely right. Even when I re-read my stuff I think: who did I mean here? What's going on? Did I write that?

As for loving more than one person, I do believe it can happen. Has to be the right people, and they have to get along in the menage, but I do believe it can happen.
Michele said…
Pronouns and limbs, multiple names and who knows HOW many positions... lol
Fun post!
I totally enjoy menages for reading but I haven't yet expanded my horizontal horizons beyond M/F.
Best of luck with Saving Grace!!
Stacey said…
Thanks, Kristabel and Michele! Who's what, where, how? Loads of fun! lol

K.Hinny said…
Hey Stacey!!

yes, it seems as though writing a menage would be quite the challenge, seems like you've got it down pat (erm... if that is a pun it is unintended :P)

GOOD LUCK to you with your book sales on Wednesday. Make sure to throw it up on FB, I'll pimp it for you :D

Have a wonderful day! happy writing! And Take care!
Stacey said…
Thanks, Kara! <3
Beth D. Carter said…
So funny, Stacey! I can't wait to read my copy! :-)
No kidding! I guess we made the same decision, to jump into the menage swimming pool. Choreographing this kind of story is very challenging! Fun, but challenging!
Danica Avet said…
*snickers* Lube, lots of lube. bwahahaha

Okay, when I was going to attempt writing erotica, it was a menage relationship with three brothers and one woman. I never made it further than one-on-one interaction because I was confusing myself! I'll leave it to the experts and enjoy their efforts ;)