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-   -   Help with a specific kind of relationship for my story (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69779)

Svens 04-25-2014 10:05 PM

Help with a specific kind of relationship for my story
Okay, so first of all, I'm new both to this forum and to the polygamy thing and I'm not poly myself, I'm not even monogamous (I'm asexual). So I watched a TV show recently and it surprised me because at some point three of the characters in it got together in a polygamous relationship, which I found rather interesting and would like to make up a story (daydream form) based on this relationship from the show. Which I'll explain:

Two straight male best friends (let's call them Ron and Cory) happen to fall in love with the same woman after spending time with her separately and together (always as just friends) for a few months, and the woman falls for them both as well. But when the two guys confess their feelings to her and ask her which of them she loves, she says she loves them both, and the boys are left with a WTF kind of face LOL.

So after thinking about it for a while, they decide that they can't accept this kind of relationship (they think it's sick, definitely not normal) so they tell her that they will just stay friends with her. She agrees at first and tells them to have dinner together tonight as friends and the boys agree. That night things escalate to a point that they somehow start making out, but in the process the guys happen to accidentally touch each other once and kiss each other once.

Next morning, they're freaking out. Spend all day thinking about their thing but finally decide that despite the fact that they both liked it (and one of them, Cory, got an erection just thinking about that kiss with Ron, no less lol) they're not gay and can't be part of such a relationship, so they again express their thoughts to the woman. But she as always is very persuasive and strong and basically tells them that fuck normal, they're happy and who cares what anyone else thinks and that she's not asking them to sleep with each other etc., so after this and other discussions in the end they end up in bed together and afterwards they decide to go for it and Cory moves in to Ron and woman's apartment.

Their rules: the woman can be affectionate with just one of the guys regardless whether the other is present or not, but they can't have sex separately, they have to be together (because they want to, as the boys think that something's "missing" when the other is not with them during sex - is that because they may be gay or is this normal in poly relationships?). Well this is basically a quick summary, lots of things happen afterwards but that's beside the point. But anyone wondering how it ends in the show: Cory decides to break up with them and leave for personal reasons, not because he's unhappy with this relationship, and he tells them as much, says that he loves them both to pieces but that he has to move on. Woman and Ron don't want him to go but reluctantly accept it, then Cory hugs them both and leaves.

So this is basically the story (obviously my story would be different, there's no point in making up a story already told XD, but I'd like to establish the same kind of relationship dynamic so that's why I'm asking) and I'd like to know:

1. Is this kind of relationship possible? - (two relatively straight guys and a woman loving each other and being together but with the m/m side being platonic yet only wanting to have sex with all three present and at the same time)

2. Is the guys' relationship with each other possible? (as explained, they eventually only want to have sex when the three are present, they feel like it's a 3ppl relationship not 2, basically act like they're together but without having sex, and when Cory wants to leave which happens several times Ron is heartbroken and wants him to stay, but what should he care if he only loves the woman? he can still be friends with Cory while still in a relationship with the woman which was what he -and Cory- had wanted from the start, I'd think he'd be glad to have her all to himself! so is it possible to be in a sexual relationship with someone and in a platonic one at the same time, in the same relationship but still wanting the platonic partner present during sex for some reason and acting like he's your bf not just your bff who also happens to be fucking your gf? like wtf?)

3. What is this kind of relationship called? - (M/F/M? V? triad? any other terms applicable here?)

graviton 04-25-2014 10:32 PM

this is weird. I guess its possible but you will never have it happen. What you are basically asking is if there is a way for you to construct a relationship in a very specific configuration with two other people. You are asking if there is a way for you to have a god like control over the relationship and the people involved. The more people involved in the relationship the harder it is to get the relationship precisely the way you want it to be because everyone has free will and everyone has unique needs and desires. It is possible but it is highly unlikely that you will get the specific outcome that you have outlined.

KC43 04-25-2014 10:39 PM

The OP is also asking whether this would be reasonable in *fiction*, if I've understood the post correctly.

In *fiction*, almost anything is realistic if you're able to construct it as such. I've read romance novels with a similar premise to what you're proposing; some romance publishers who do "menage romances" insist that all sex scenes incorporate all participants, even if two are purely platonic with each other. So for a story, the premise you've presented could be done, as long as you establish *why* the guys will only accept it if sex is always a threesome, *why* the woman is okay with this, and *why* any of them are in this situation at all, especially given that you say at first the guys are repulsed by the idea.

Set it up logically and realistically, and your readers will accept it.

If you're asking whether this would be realistic *in real life*, that's a different thing entirely. I'm answering purely from the perspective of writing a fictional story.

sparklepop 04-25-2014 11:40 PM

Hi Svens,


1. Is this kind of relationship possible? - (two relatively straight guys and a woman loving each other and being together but with the m/m side being platonic yet only wanting to have sex with all three present and at the same time)
It is of course possible. This kind of relationship is called a poly V, where one person has two partners, but the partners are not involved in a romantic/sexual relationship with each other. The two guys are 'metamours' (i.e. 'love of my love'). As for the guys wanting to be present, sure, this could happen. I wouldn't say it's the norm, but I wouldn't say it's unthinkable either.


2. Is the guys' relationship with each other possible?
I think it's feasible that they would want to be in a 3-person relationship, for the 'togetherness'.


When Cory wants to leave which happens several times Ron is heartbroken and wants him to stay, but what should he care if he only loves the woman?
Well, Ron may be in love with Cory. Or, Ron may miss Cory's presence. I think this is entirely plausible whichever way you look at it.


I'd think he'd be glad to have her all to himself!
He might want her all to himself, but might not. Not everyone wants a person all to themselves (genuinely). Some relationships work better when they are shared with others. Perhaps he is even conflicted and is partly happy to have her to himself, and partly sad that Cory has left, or that their adventure is over.


so is it possible to be in a sexual relationship with someone and in a platonic one at the same time, in the same relationship but still wanting the platonic partner present during sex for some reason and acting like he's your bf not just your bff who also happens to be fucking your gf? like wtf?)
Erm... ~laughs~

Well, it's entirely possible to be in any kind of relationship. There could be a sense of unity without the sexual element between the guys.


3. What is this kind of relationship called? - (M/F/M? V? triad? any other terms applicable here?)
If the boys are not romantically or sexually involved, it would technically be a poly V. It could be called a triad of sorts. Labels wouldn't necessarily be needed.

Perhaps develop where you want to go with this story. Do you want it to be a shocker that caters to the masses and is justified by the strong, persuasive woman who led them down the garden path? Do you want it to appeal to poly people and create a story that is more beautiful and thought-provoking than 'freaky' or 'funny'?

Bluebird 04-25-2014 11:55 PM

I'm in a MFM polyfi V, where we all live together - well, we are in the process of doing so, anyway. My guys don't interact sexually at all though. It definitely happens in other people's relationships though, so it isn't out of the realm of possibility for a fictional story!

I don't have a hierarchy and I can have sex with either of my guys, any time. Putting limits on love would not work for me and I think it would cause crazy problems.

kdt26417 04-26-2014 01:11 AM

Hi Svens,

Your hypothetical story reminds me of a couple of poly movies I have seen. One is called "Three" and was done in 2010 (it's in German with subtitles); the other is called "Threesome" and was done in 1994. Both of those films feature MFM relationships and have the interesting feature of exploring that gray area where the two men don't necessarily think of themselves as gay, and yet there is some kind of a sexual dynamic between the two men. The German movie in particular has an interesting scene where the two men are discussing the dynamic over a couple of beers and the one man says, "I'm not gay, you understand that don't you," and the other man says something to the effect of, "Maybe you just need to put aside your traditional assumptions about human sexuality."

As for the WTF moment the two men experience when the woman says, "But I want both of you," I know of two movies that have pretty much that exact dialog verbatum. One is the film "Bandits" which was done in 2001; the other is the old musical Western "Paint Your Wagon," done in 1969. Again both movies feature a (hetero) MFM dynamic, and Paint Your Wagon even ends with one of the men leaving (more or less because he's just too much of a free spirit for domestic life).

So the story you propose to tell is not entirely new in the issues it addresses; I've seen bits and pieces of it addressed in all four of those movies (ranging from 2010 to 1969).

Is the type of composite relationship you described possible? I'm sure it is, if for no other reason simply because humans exhibit such a vast range of inclinations and personalities. I can't remember having heard of an MFM dynamic exactly like what you've described, but I've certainly heard of bits and pieces of it in different poly relationships over the years. Some people do seem to have a thing about "everyone being present" when sex occurs.

Technically the three-person unit you're describing is an MFM V. The men could be called the legs of the V; the woman could be called the hinge of the V. I would note however that the men have a particular (almost sexual?) intimacy with each other, and for that reason, you might be able to call the three-person unit an "emotional triad." All three people aren't "quite" all sexually involved with each other, but the legs of the V are really really close and that has emotional (if not sexual) elements of a triad.

Other than that, I like KC43's and sparklepop's posts and particularly agree with KC43 that the important thing is to convey *why* the different characters in your story want what they want. As a painter tries to paint in such a way as to somehow communicate with the viewer in a compelling way, you, as a writer, want to paint your story in such a way that the reader can get lost in the story and even suspend disbelief for the sake of the story. Your challenge would be getting some reader to say, "I don't know whether this type of thing would be possible, but I like the idea of it and I like the way he tells it."

Just some thoughts, and I'll be glad to discuss the subject more if you want.
Kevin T.

Svens 04-26-2014 07:13 AM

Wow thanks! thanks everyone, I didn't expect so many responses and help! (haven't read them all yet though!), thanks a lot, I'll answer appropriately with more info once I get back from school in a few hours.

Just wanted to say that I want to know if this kind of relationship dynamic could be reasonable in real life, I know in fiction everything is possible (this story is from a tv show so yeah it's already done that way) but I'd like to know if it would be realistic IRL, even if unusual, because the story I want to make up (fictional one, this is not about me lol I'm not into sex let alone poly sex XD) is about the same dynamic: two male best friends and a woman together BUT with the two bff being uninvolved sexually, but considering the relationship the guys from the tv show had (ambiguous at best) I just question if this is even possible. Yet again, they might have as well be romantically/emotionally (but not sexually) involved, is this even possible? I'm aromantic so kinda lost here.

Also, another question I forgot to ask, what would they call each other? Would the woman say she's got two boyfriends/partners/lovers/friends or something else? and the guys? would they say they've got a girlfriend and a boyfriend even if it's not true (or is it? can someone actually say they've got a boyfriend despite not having sex with him? thought only romantic asexuals do that)? a girlfriend and a best friend who's also fucking her? LOL

Vixtoria 04-26-2014 01:56 PM

It sounds as though the show you saw was that late night MTV show where they do small vignettes based on three different periods. High school, college, young adult. I remember those episodes and it was definitely fiction but yes, totally possible in fiction.

If it hasn't already been mentioned, it's not polygamous, because there's not multiple marriages going on. It would be considered a form of polyamory. Multiple romantic relationships.

As far as what they would call each other, totally up to them! You'll find if you read enough that what to call your multiple partners and partners of partners is a rather intense subject. Some people say SO (significant other) and OSO (other significant other). Some say boyfriend and girlfriend. Some say lovers. Some call their relationships by terms such as primary, secondary, tertiary, anchor, hub, all kinds of things!

When referring to your partner's partner, most often the term is metamour. EX: My husband is my boyfriend's metamour. They have no relationship to each other, intimate or otherwise. They are on friendly terms and comfortable with joking and all of that but not friends exactly. Just mutual respect.

My suggestion is if you want to write this as realistically as possible, and not just a cute vignette of OMGcollegelife! like the MTV version, read up! You can check other threads here, the golden nuggets section, the blogs, and you'll see that there are all kinds of ways to have multiple relationships! Depending on if the story is more about the relationships or more fluff, short story, longer fiction, etc.

Side Note: Go to Ralan.com and you will find many places that publish short stories, I'm not suggesting you are looking to publish, BUT, one of the things they do is break down ezines by interest and there are those out there that publish stories geared to realistic and respectful alternative relationships of all kinds. It might also give you ideas on how to write fiction for the audience you have in mind.

KC43 04-26-2014 02:55 PM

Svens, your characters would call each other whatever feels right for *those* characters. While there are terms that are fairly common for poly relationships, there are also poly relationships where labels aren't used at all (see my signature?) or where they make up their own labels. I refer to Guy as my boyfriend, but I don't really like that term; we just haven't managed to come up with another yet. He just refers to me as "his." Hubby and Guy sometimes refer to each other as their "bro-hub", because Hubby was being a wiseass one day and referenced the show "Sister Wives", and Guy found it entertaining. (Hubby and Guy have no relationship with each other; they consider each other friends but don't really communicate other than through me. Which is a whole nother subject.)

In my MFM romance novel, the heroine refers to one of the heroes as her boyfriend, because they're living together in a committed relationship before the other M comes on the scene. I don't think either hero refers to the other as anything, and I don't think the heroine gives a term for the second hero either, nor does he label who she is in his life. (It's a 3-year-old book, and I can't remember everything I wrote...) And they don't have a label for their relationship; it just "is what it is."

So again... even though I understand you wanting to make this as true-to-life as possible, there is no one "right" way to do that. There's variety within the poly community, because no two people are identical and look at things in identical ways. As long as you make your *characters* as fully formed and truly human as you can, however you create their relationship and the labels they use will be realistic.

Dagferi 04-26-2014 04:12 PM

I am in a mfm vee.

I consider both my guys my husband. I have homes with both. (2 separate households.) My children travel with me between the two if Butch is working.

I share financial responsibilities with both. Planning retirement with both.

They are separate but equal relationships.

My guys get along just fine. They help each other out. We do holidays and kid stuff together.

They call each other by their first name.

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