By Dee S. Knight for ASN Lifestyle Magazine
Hello, everyone. My name is Dee S. Knight, and I write erotic romance. That includes (for me) romance between a man and woman, and between a woman and two (or more) men. Not that I discount romance between a man and two women (they don’t sell to romances largest audience — women) or between two men (I like reading them but I know my own strengths and weaknesses, and there are writers who do a far better job at that genre than I). This article is about my first forays into writing ménage and what I learned.
My Ménage à Trois — or Quatre! — Writing Lessons
I was kind of relieved when I finished writing my first ménage à quatre a few years ago. That might not sound like much of an accomplishment, but a ménage is not a form of erotic romance I thought I’d ever write. There was so much more to think about, and I was exhausted! But exhilarated, too. From a novice’s point of view, this is what I learned writing my first sexier-than-sexy romance (The Triple S. Bride) with more than two people in bed at once.
- Don’t be nervous. A ménage à trois or quatre is really an erotic romance living large. In the books I’ve read, there were hardly any positions in the ménage that I hadn’t written into a regular erotic romance. I did need to plan the sex scenes themselves a little more carefully to make sure everyone got equal time (*g*), but that wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be.
- Make sure there’s still a story. Even though ménages tend to be more about the sex and a bit less about romance, there still needs to be a story behind the sex — just as in any romance. My work is character-driven rather than plot-driven, so my main concern was making sure the heroes and heroine seemed real and fully dimensional. And I needed to provide enough for them to do besides determining how to insert Tabs A into Slots B.
- Don’t be afraid to make the story sexy. I’d been writing erotic romance for a few years by then, but my books often weren’t overly sexy. I mean, there were times when reviewers haven’t even mentioned sex in their reviews. But with this story, I finally got into the groove. So to speak. I unabashedly poured on the sex. Frankly, for readers who enjoy ménages, I think it’s what they expect.
Have fun. Just because there are more people in the bedroom arena doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun with my story. It’s romance — what’s not to have fun with?
Just Give It a Try!
The biggest thing I discovered about writing a ménage was in #1: don’t be afraid to jump in and give it a try. Up until the time I submitted The Triple S. Bride to the publisher, no one had read it except hubby, so I had no editorial opinion as to whether I captured the spirit of a ménage. I liked the story, though, which is what mattered most.
The ménage lifestyle is not one I could ever be part of — I’m too insecure, I suppose. But I’ve known a few people who have embraced it and are very happy. I think writing about it is as close as I’m likely to come, but I think it’s a fascinating way to live and to love.
As Dee S. Knight, I have two ménages, both futuristic space romps: The Triple S. Bride and Bride of the Pryde. Under the pen name Jenna Stewart, I have several, including historical and shapeshifter books. I hope you’ll check them out on my website, nomadauthors.com.
About Dee S. Knight
A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex — lots of sex. Writing was so much fun that Dee decided to keep at it. That’s how she spends her days. Her nights? Well, she’s lucky that her dream man, childhood sweetheart, and long-time hubby are all the same guy, and nights are their secret. Dee loves writing erotic romance and sharing her stories with you. She hopes you enjoy!
Find previous podcast interviews for the GTFO network and ASN in their respective archives and look for a new blog post every month, about writing erotic romance and romance in general.
This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of ASN Lifestyle Magazine.