There isn’t a guy alive who hasn’t dreamt about revelling in a three-way Satyricon thing, but a hetero menage a trois, trust me, is a lot more of a delicate struggle than you might think.

I wouldn’t normally mention that I lucked out with a couple of situations in my late 20s, but it seems allowable in the context of Svetlana Cvetko‘s Show Me What You Got, which is about a prolonged Jules et Jim-type relationship between a beautiful, dark-haired Italian woman (Christina Rambaldi) and a pair of spirited, medium-macho, ginger-haired dudes (Neyssan Falahi, Mattia Manasi).

Both times my threebies were between me and two women, and both were mixed experiences. On one level intimidating, on another level ecstatic, and on still another never truly open and equal and even-steven. Both times I found myself leaning towards one lassie over another, but I naturally didn’t want to convey this so I had to pretend as best I could that everything was everything and we all shine on. It was exhausting.

I decided early on that Show Me What You Got had to be about the fact that Rambaldi’s character would almost certainly prefer Falahi over Manasi or vice versa, and that the story tension would have to be about her choosing one over the other. Or perhaps getting pregnant but nobody knowing who the father is. Or (this was my favorite) her becoming pregnant by a third guy whom Falahi and Manasi haven’t met or even been told about. Preferably some super-rich, Porsche-driving guy a la Robert Redford in Indecent Proposal.

All good love stories need some kind of basic tension. They all require that the person with the most power in a relationship has to choose option A, B or C. They can’t just be about ongoing eros or gliding along.