Welcome to Michael's. I'm very happy to have Xakara on for menage Monday once again. Her posts have been quite a learning experience! Lets see what she has to say this week!
Writing From the Middle : Ménage on Film
Happy LGBT History Month! Only a few days in and I’ve already had some very interesting conversations on queer cinema and the depiction of LGBTQ characters on screen, (big and small). This led to the discussion of polyamory—or more often ménage—as depicted on film. Much to my surprise, we all agreed on one movie being a favorite as it depicted ménage and fluid sexually, the 1994 Threesome staring Josh Charles, Lara Flynn Boyle and Stephen Baldwin.
I was surprised, because there are so many problems with this movie and yet it remains one of my favorite multi-partner love scenes to date. It’s a very brief love scene, it comes much later in the movie and everything goes south afterwards, but I love it all the same. I also love how it all develops over time.
Stuart (Stephen Baldwin), Eddy (Josh Charles) and Alex (Lara Flynn Boyle) end up as roommates in a student apartment because housing mistakenly thinks Alex is male. It gets off to the inevitable rocky start, but they eventually end up growing quite close. Their friendship becomes so tight knit that they begin to push out all other people. They barely notice the isolation, because beneath the friendship a non-traditional love triangle forms. Over-sexed, jock Stuart wants femme-fatale Alex, who wants intellectual Eddy, who wants loud, horn-dog Stuart.
There are some cringe-worthy moments, some misunderstandings, and some experimentation for the virginal Eddy. But within all of it is their genuine affection for each other as they grow ever closer. I loved the fact that they never balk at the natural progression of physical closeness. All of their issues are caused by external judgment and it doesn’t stop them from finally making their way to bed.
On the sex side of things, what captured my heart in Threesome is a four-second sequence in their love scene that meant everything. In it, the ultra-straight Stuart is on one side of our female lead Alex, while gay-identified-yet-confused Eddy is on the other side. As with any multi-person sexual scenario, where not everyone is equally involved, there comes a time where you have to figure out where to put your hands. Eddy hesitantly places his hand on Stuart’s hip and then just as quickly removes it. In a beautifully shot moment that conveyed everything they meant to each other, Stuart takes Eddy’s hand and places it back on his hip. Now it was 1994, so the fact that they got just that much past the censors is a triumph, we certainly don’t see anything more transpire between Stuart and Eddy, but we don’t really need to. The implication and the natural progression are more than enough to know that at the very least, everyone is emotionally and physically taken care of. That scene and the care the director took in filming and editing the moment , completely makes up for everything I dislike about the movie—such as the fact that it ultimately doesn’t work out.
They get so close and yet can’t let go of the idea that a lesson or moral about “relationships on the fringe” and the consequences. But for its time period, Threesome is a breakout that shows just now naturally one can come to love more than one person at a time, and how that love can make a relationship only seem complete in multiple.
I love the upswing in ménage scenarios becoming true polyamorous relationships in romance novels. I’m thrilled by it! But film and television has a power and ability all it’s own when it comes to conveying the idea of polyamory as viable and legitimate. I think the stories we write as MMF/MFM/FFM authors will truly find their audience when we write them for the screen. It’s only when people see the idea of unnamed feelings they’ve always had, that they begin to feel as if their particular path to happiness is a real and attainable one. Multiple lovers in a respectful and joyful relationship is not a fantasy, it’s a family dynamic being lived out every day and being longed for by those who don’t about it.
We should tell them.
So, Kittens, do you have a favorite ménage movie? Do you want there to be more movies on the topic? Should we ease into with heterosexual poly movies, or do you think the public could handle a Bisexual polyamory relationship and love scene on screen? Weigh in!
This Ramble is Done, Kittens!
BIO:Xakara is an openly bisexual, poly author. Her works include SHIFTING PASSONS ( A Therian World Novella), out with Samhain Publishing. A WAY TO A DRAGON’S HEART (A Therian World Novel) coming October 2011 by Liquid Silver Books. GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST (PsiCorps Book 1), out with Liquid Silver Books and DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT (PsiCorps Book 2) released July 2011 by Liquid Silver Books.