1. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    A gay polyamorous relationship, would it work?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by spklvr, Jun 16, 2013.

    Sorry if this question is too explicit (I asked the same question on the NaNo forums and I think it was deleted)

    This was originally a short-story, but when I finished it, I really wanted to explore the relationship, and it is now becoming the first chapter of a novella, I think.

    The story goes like this: Barto and Victor are best friends with benefits. They have talked about being in a relationship, but they realize they aren’t in love, but agree to get together if they are both single at 50. Then they meet Danny, and both fall in love with him. Danny likes both of them. They agree that they can both date him for a while until he decides, but he ends up breaking up with both of them when he sees how it’s straining their relationship. Barto and Victor have a serious conversation. Both realize Danny is the only person either of them has ever felt they could love. The short-story ends with them going to Danny’s place and doing... something... all three of them :rolleyes: (I'm guessing the word I originally used was what got it deleted)

    Now I want to explore the ups and downs of this relationship, but I’m unsure of what feels realistic. Anyone have any thoughts on the subject? What would cause it to fall apart? And what would it take to keep them together? I do have a basic plot in mind, but I feel so unsure writing this, which is unusual for me. Most of the time I just think "screw other people! I know what my characters would do!" but apparently not this time. Hoping some outsider's thoughts might help get the old brain cogs turning.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The most obvious stumbling block in such a relationship is actual or perceived inequity of attention or consideration. At some point (perhaps at many points) one person is going to feel the least of the three.
     
  3. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you seen 'Cabaret'?

    A m/f couple both fall for a guy. After separate affairs, at first secret, then not so, they end up having a threesome before it all goes to shit.
     
  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Hmmm. Would it be a problem if all three decide to stay 'together'? It sounds like it works already, to some extent. Or are you aiming to have one of them break off from the other two, or maybe all three of them break off and go in separate directions? Or maybe a fourth person we've not met yet can enter the frame..?

    Might be a plan to sit down and list each of these possible permutations.

    Then list the positives for each permutation. Then the problems they would face. How would each of these problems work themselves out? I presume there will be problems, otherwise no story! And they all lived happily ever after is a possible ending, but only after they've gone through a lot of hell first!

    After you've messed around with the permutations and problems in general, then bring the characters (their own personalities, personal baggage, etc) to bear. How do these different personalities affect the situation.

    By that time, if you don't have some sort of story taking shape, maybe it's time to back off and work on something else for a while, until the idea gong goes off in your head. I think you have lots of potential here, though.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yup. There are numerous example of m/f/m relationships in film. A more recent one is El Sexo de los Angeles (Sex of the Angels).

    There is a difference in the paradigm, though. In a m/m/m relationship, the dynamic of feeling that one cannot compete with the opposite gendered partner solely because of his/her opposite gender is not there.
     
  6. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not sure I understand that Wreybies. Are you saying with 3 guys, they are all in competition mode most or all of the time but with a girl and 2 guys, the girl can sit and watch the two guys fight it out so to speak? And that's what changes the game?


    Going back to Jannert, I'd say 3 people (of any gender) sleeping happily ever after is as rare as hen's teeth. I'd imagine at some stage someone will be jealous, maybe the OP's story ends with a vicious murder!
     
  7. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I LOVE Cabaret, but it’s not really what I had in mind. They weren’t really in a relationship together. It was more about experimentation.

    I guess that’s part of my problem, not completely knowing how it will end up. I want them to at least at some point have a functioning relationship together, where all three of them live together, share a bed and make love together. I definitely have some hell planned out for the poor guys, that’s for sure. I think another problem I’m having is how foreign the thought is to me. It’s so taboo in our society.

    There is also the older movie Threesome (and by older I mean 1994). A good movie. A straight guy is in love with a girl, who is in love with the straight guy’s gay roommate, who is in love with the first guy. What better way to solve that than with a threesome…

    But yeah, it being and all-male relationship changes things. If it was a heterosexual relationship, as you said, there would probably be feelings of competitiveness and jealousy. However, I think it would happen in a gay relationship at well, but they have the advantage of all parts being attracted to one another.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No, no, no, no. This comment relates back to my original one. Lack of equity in attention or consideration. I'm not saying that an m/m/m relationship is always on competition overdrive. I'm saying that the element of "I can't ever give him what she can," or "I can't ever give him what he can" is not present.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Exactly. Again I ref my original post in that jelousy and insecurity are going to raise their heads. This will happen whether it be m/m/m, m/f/m, m/f/f, or f/f/f. But the particular kind of insecurity that arrises in an m/f/m, or f/m/f relationship would not be present.
     
  10. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that the dynamic is the kind of secret fear that one or both of the other parties are actually gay or actually straight, and therefore it would be hopeless. That is, if there's a M1, M2 and F, F could fear that M1 and M2 are not bisexual, but are actually gay, and if they are gay, then there is no hope for her -- she could never the the sole partner of either M1 or M2 and can't be an equal partner in the trio if M1 and M2 are just not attracted to her. Similarly, M2 could fear that M1 and F are straight, and if M1 is significantly more attracted to women than to men, he would never be able to compete -- there would be no hope and there would be nothing he could do to change it. That wrinkle/possibility isn't there if all three parties are the same gender. With the ebbs and flows of the relationship, there would always be the realistic hope that if one is somehow 'on the outs' that he'd be able to re-ingratiate himself with one or both of the others.
     
  11. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    yeah thinking personally I'll just stick with the one partner - that's way too confusing for my little brain :)
     
  12. GriffinGarcon
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    GriffinGarcon Member

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    Spklvr,

    Seems like a great idea. Listen to your characters. The worst that can happen to them - is when one is going to start feeling left out.
    The very fact that this post was deleted on some other forum only goes to show how much we gay folk still need to fight just to be accepted. But without going into politics, you have a good plot that can be taken pretty much anywhere.
     
  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yes. But it doesn't even need to go so far as that. Women and men are paradigmatically more than just penises and vaginas. Relationships are made of much more than just what happens between the sheets. Holding hands in the park, brushing a crump from your lover's cheek, introducing them at parties and feeling proud of him/her as your friends fawn over them. In an m/f/m or f/m/f relationship, you will have two legs of the relationship wherein these things occur without social prejudice, without gawking, without social stigma. And you will have one leg of the relationship where all of those societal negatives are present. So it doesn't have to go so far as is one person gay/straight and just putting up with me for the sake of the other. All three could be perfectly, equally bisexual, and still the ease of two sides of the triangle compared with the social obstacles of the third side could easily be enough to tip things.

    I know you know these things, Liz. :) I'm not preaching at you. Just bringing other additional dynamics for the OP to ponder. ;)
     
  14. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    So true, Griffin. ;) But you will find that this forum is very progressive on such matters. I've been here since 2008, openly gay to my fellow writers, and I've felt more than welcome. :D
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I think you're already doing well. You're exploring the possibilities in a story. Don't go chickenshit now and start asking for approval.

    Do YOU believe that the relationships you have written are believable? If parts of it don't ring true to you, work on it a bit more.

    But you're a writer. Don't ask. Tell. Show. Make the reader think about it. Even if they all disagree with you, if you make them think, you are successful.
     
  16. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Without turning this into a gay/straight issue. I've been to many gay bars/clubs (with my wife) and had to almost apologise for being straight lol

    Needless to say the first couple of times I was not welcome, our gay friend had a hard time getting me accepted by the community - weird.
     
  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Nothing weird, and sadly, nothing surprising. I won't call it "reverse prejudice" because that's a fallacious term; there is just prejudice. I've had the same happen when I have taken str8 friends to gay establishments in my younger years. It's not a dynamic that makes me happy at all, trust me, but I can tell you that it simply comes from a feeling of "this is our place" that gays also confront when they go to str8 places where meeting, greeting, and possible wanna'-get-out'a-hereing may take place. And no different to what gays feel in thr str8 world, it's not everyone in the joint, in fact it's not even most people, but the ones who do feel that way make themselves evident and occlude the rest. :/
     
  18. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    Generally, love can be jealousy, selfishness, obsession, friendship, sacrifice, loyalty, respect, to name a few. Your story can take the path of any of these or some combination of these feelings. Now, the first three would surely cause their relationship to fall apart, but how about, say, sacrifice? It can also be the cause for the falling apart, and also the glue that keeps them together.

    To give a specific scenario, Danny will obviously start developing a deeper feeling for one of the two guys, say, Victor. Now, Victor starts feeling bad for Berto (may be he saw/know Berto is not taking the situation well). So, he decides to move away from Danny. Danny obviously doesn't take this well, and when Berto realize what's going on he too decides to jump into the sacrifice bandwagon. The relationship of the trio is in some sort of limbo by this time. When they MEET in the end, as you planned, it won't be too out of place because the falling apart was based on sacrifice and care for each others feelings. May be the ending also signifies Victor and Berto realizing that they love each other as much as they love Danny.
     
  19. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    It wasn't even that Wreybies, most of the guys were ok, it was the women - they hated me, I think they were mad because they liked my wife. Oh and the barman was a real bitch who never warmed to me at all, even when I ended up singing in there!
     
  20. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is true, too. Actually, this reminds me a bit of the HBO series Big Love, about a guy with three wives. When he was in certain situations, where he couldn't be open about having three wives, only the first wife was allowed to accompany him, as she was the only "official" or "valid" wife. The situation is not entirely analogous, but some of the relationship dynamics are similar.

    But as far as the original question, I think human trios are always a little perilous and have less stability, purely because of the the two against one dynamic that so easily occurs. Regardless of the genders, or whether its a friendship or business or romantic relationship, there's always going to be a point where there is some sort of fight or disagreement. And if the third person expresses agreement with either of the parties to the disagreement, there's the 'ganging up' mentality that arises. If you have one partner or spouse and he/she does anything to really piss you off, you're mad for a while and then get over it. There's no other choice, really. But if there's another person available, then there is a choice, and these rifts can take longer to heal or can get worse than they might have were there only two people.
     
  21. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Found out it was just moved to the Erotic section, which is a little annoying because there doesn't appear to be anyone there...
     
  22. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    They have an erotic section? Daniellllllllllllllllllllllllllll! :confused: where's ours? hehe
     
  23. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've been on some other sites that have adult sections, where anything erotic can go (as well as things with any mature theme). But it seems like those can easily become outlets for people to write out their sex fantasies. Often the stories seemed pointless and ridiculous, and not all of the commentary was helpful.
     
  24. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't see a problem. It's no different to if you were writing any other romance with a polygamous twist. So tackle it from that POV - whatever could happen in a regular romance can happen in your particular romance too. I don't think the gay angle changes it. And as for polygamy, I'm sure there're books out there that can give you some insight as to how it's handled, how the parties in the relationship feel etc.

    What I didn't get was why Danny broke it off with both of them. What was straining whose relationship? (you said "it" was straining "their" relationship) In what sense? This could make or break your ending - if, for example, Danny can't put up with their inevitable jealousy and battling for Danny's time and space, then just because Barto and Victor had a chat, it wouldn't necessarily change anything and allow it to work. Your particular chat would have to be quite well-written and realistic, otherwise the end will come off as a little far-fetched, esp in a generally monogamous society.

    And what about the romantic chemistry between Barto and Victor? They might be ok with polygamy, but is Danny ok with that? Is Danny ok with knowing Barto and Victor loved him, but nonetheless "fancied" each other as well? Say, if my husband came home and said that he really likes a girl romantically, but he doesn't love her, I can tell you I'd probably slap him. The fact that Barto and Victor do not actually love each other doesn't matter so much. What I'm asking is, is Danny the type of character who can actually be ok with it?
     
  25. Zag
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    Zag New Member

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    First post here! :)
    I agree with Mckk...why did Danny break off with both of them? As for your original question, there's a lot that can be explored here...depends on the mood that your story is going to take...it could be a real funny take on their relationship...it could be a serious take where the explosive chemistry between the three is explored (especially the competitive spirit between Barto and Victor vying for Danny's attention)...you can tell your story and look at creating friction in different possible ways...depends on the path that you wanna chart!
     

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