Thursday, March 05, 2009

Torn Between Two Lovers

Last night on “Lost,” the writers set up a very nice new love triangle. Sawyer, who fell for Kate but never established a relationship with her, has been pining during the three years of their separation (he’s on the Island, she’s back in civilization). Well, actually, he’s been simultaneously pining for Kate and falling in love with Island cohort Juliet. Imagine Sawyer’s predicament when, still flushed from Juliet’s latest embraces, he finds Kate & Co. have returned to the island.

The love triangle is a plot device that never grows old.

Usually the focus in this kind of story line is on the competition between the two individuals fighting for the love of the third. For example, in the past “Lost” had a storyline about Jack and Sawyer competing for Kate. There’s endless fun in that kind of plot line, as you root for your favorite to win out.

But on the flip side, it’s also fun to focus on the person who is in love with two people at once. I think this may be the female equivalent of a three-way, in fact. Rather than fantasizing about having sex with two men at once (not that we never do that, it’s just not like with men who constantly do that), we imagine having two men in love with us. It certainly wouldn’t suck to have that happen.

Interestingly, it’s also fun to imagine being in love with two people at the same time. Why is that? Never being short on theories about sex and romance, I am happy to explain. This situation makes for not one but two affairs that are illicit. When you’re with one guy, you’re wronging the other, and ditto. Remember that old 70s song by Mary MacGregor, “Torn Between Two Lovers”? There was a line in the chorus that went, “Lovin' both of you is breakin' all the rules.” And as we know, there’s nothing more fun than breaking all the rules.

Another factor in such a scenario is our sense that “true love is never wrong.” A person can honestly feel okay about cheating if it’s done out of true love. While we’re quoting old pop songs, “If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” There’s enough justification that springs from the happiness we bring each party, that it makes the misery we inflict upon the other worthwhile.

I always reflect back on one of the coolest ongoing nocturnal fantasies I’ve ever had (it actually appears in my story “The Storytellers” in Soulful Sex: The Darker Side), which was this sort of triangle. I was simultaneously involved with the Emperor Caligula and a Roman centurion, agonizingly torn between the two. In both cases the men needed me desperately, which made me feel I simply had to stay with both at once.

The whole triangle thing is delightful on so many levels. It is, of course the heart of my more recent fantasy about Mister House and the Man in the Black Coat, which you’ll recall from my blog post about the insane complexity of my fantasies. I’ve actually picked up on that fantasy again recently. It’s just so fun watching the two men get jealous about each other. And I get to feel deliciously guilty when I’m with one and knowing I’m betraying the other. AND I get to be needed and adored by two guys at once.

Honestly, men just don’t know how to construct a proper three-way fantasy. Sex between three people is so lame by comparison to the complex, delectable thrills of being torn between two lovers.

And may I add that “Lost” (which is having the most enthralling season ever, IMHO) now has the pieces in place for an actual love square. Kate and Juliet have each had both Jack and Sawyer in love with them, so the potential here is stupendous. Throw into the mix Ben’s longstanding obsession with Juliet about love tangles, yikes!

I say, bring it on.

[Warning label for this post: The author does not in any way recommend or endorse the practice of love triangles in real life. Been there, done that, wish I hadn’t!]


Cherie said...

You've been in a love triangle? Do I know that story? If not I want to hear all on Saturday!

CC said...

That's funny, I just recently had a renewed interest in one of my old stories that has a love triangle in it. This one really is a triangle, because the two men are best friends and have a deep loyalty and brotherly affection for each other. It's one of those stories that I never finish because I have too much fun playing out alternate story lines with the characters in my head. It's been a NaNoWriMo project and a screenplay (with very different plots but similar elements) and I'm contemplating making a version into a comic book. :-)

It was enlightening reading this post because it gave me insights into why I enjoy my cast of characters so much. I'm still trying to avoid getting sucked into Lost, though. Maybe someday I'll burn through the whole series on DVD.

So... when are you going to write that autobiography? ;-)

Diana Laurence said...

Cherie: I *suppose* I could share, maybe...LOL You might as well hear the sordid details of my past.

CC: The best comics are about love triangles, see also "Strangers in Paradise" by Terry Moore! Heck, I'd love any comic book you decide to do. Lost had one really awful season when I almost bailed, but this year has been the best. And yeah, what an autobiography my life would make, truly...if I thought more than twelve people would be interested, I would! LOL

KD said...

Do you of know any novels where this "torn between two lovers" theme appears? I've heard that it's in Rand's "We, the Living" though I haven't read that.

Diana Laurence said...

I did read that book many years ago, and there are two love interests for the heroine. It's not a happy book at all though! You could say "Gone with the Wind" qualifies certainly.