If a harem is a group of women sharing a single man, then a reverse harem is, quite simply, the opposite – a group of men sharing a single female.
But as to when and where this term originated, that’s up for discussion.
If you Google reverse harem, you’ll often find sites which suggest it derives from the Japanese “ハーレムもの or harumumono”. The direct translation is more like “harem stuff”, and really, doesn’t imply whether it’s a male or a female at the center of the attention.
There’s also the suggestion that reverse harem takes its origins from the Arabic “حَرِيمٌ” or harim, which can mean “a sacred inviolable place”, or “female members of the family”.
Seeing as none of these sites and sources lead back to a source that I’d be happy quoting, I’m going to leave that researching to you and focus on the what…
Only, even the “what” isn’t quite so cut and dry!
For a book to be considered reverse harem, it needs three things:
But, as with most things, here comes a caveat.
When it comes to the harem members, over the last couple of years, it has become more and more common to see some of the guys either in established relationships with one (or more) of the other guys, and even a female in there too.
We get it – some of you like books with MM or FF in them, and some of you don’t. That’s why there are four tag options to help you with your searching (this is, of course, dependent on whether a book has been tagged correctly):
If you want it, include it, and if you don’t, have the search exclude it for you.*
Ultimately, what I can say with certainty, is that about five or six years ago reverse harem was considered a “trope”. A theme within the romance genre, that so many people said would die off into obscurity.
Nearly 15,000 books later, I think we can all agree that reverse harem has firmly rooted itself as a sub-genre of romance!
*Please note, regardless of your opinion on this content, we will not be moving any of these tags to be listed under kink or trigger – these are people’s sexual preferences.
You’re probably reading this wondering what on earth is going on at Why Choose?
Back in the beginning, when Charlie and I created Why Choose? as a joke, while we were still deciding on our look and branding, someone (Serenity) had the brightest of ideas to use Comic Sans at the site’s font. And someone (Charlie) decided that was a brilliant idea, and did just that.
For the first two weeks, long before we went live, everything was written in Comic Sans and it looked AWFUL!
Unfortunately, that decision has haunted us until this week!
I’m trying to find a place to rent in Delulu land and convince myself that none of you noticed the lingering traces of the font. That, when you loaded the home page, for the briefest of seconds, you didn’t see the menu bar flash to Comic Sans…
We’ve spent all this time trying to find where in this site the font was hiding, but Comic Sans was pulling a Where’s Wally? (or Where’s Waldo?).
However, last night, something in Charlie must have snapped because he went checking the code to see where that font was clinging on.
Today, I can report, Comic Sans has gone.
Honestly, in the grand scheme of the site and everything we’ve built—and have yet to—this is small. But for us, it really is a victory, and I’m celebrating!
PS. No, I didn’t toy with the idea of posting this in Comic Sans at all…
It’s been a while, but new tags have been added to the site this week! (Actually, a few have been here for a little while, but we never made the announcement, so I’m doing a round-up here.)
Genre – Human Omegaverse (This is for non-shifting omegaverse/sweetverse. Please do not combine with the “Omegaverse” tag as this is specifically for any shifter/alien romance etc)
Trigger – Pregnancy Complication
Trigger – Somnophilia
Trigger – Homophobia
Trigger – Racism
Kink – Somnophilia
Kink – Pet Play
Trope – Forced Proximity
Trope – Office Romance
Trope – Arranged Marriage
Trope – Found Family
Store Availability – Kobo Plus
Translation – Portuguese
MM Outside of the Harem
FF Outside of the Harem
If you have read any books where you think these new tags apply, please feel free to help us update the site and make suggestions to the relevant books!
It’s hard to believe that, back in 2020, in the middle of a lockdown, Why Choose? was nothing more than an idea in this author’s head.
As an avid reader of reverse harem stories, I had gotten so frustrated trying to find more books to read. There are some brilliant, active Facebook groups dedicated to reverse harem book lovers, but I was frequently only ever seeing the same books being recommended (and don’t get me wrong, they’re constantly recommended because they’re good books!) when I knew there were more out there.
We all know that searching for reverse harem books on certain retailers is far from easy and code words have to be used/deciphered.
Which led to me starting a simple excel spreadsheet of reverse harem authors. A list that I wanted to share with everyone.
I had two goals. Goals which are the same back then as they are today:
There’s no gatekeeping here. If there’s any reader out there that can understand the concept of having more than one favourite, it’s the reverse harem reader, right?
In my other, other life, I am a nightclub DJ, which is how I know Charlie (the site’s developer). Knowing that he knows way more about developing sites and apps than me, I gave him a call to ask him how much it cost to make an app because the figures I were finding were making my eyes water. Apparently, that’s right.
But Charlie was intrigued and the next thing I knew, he became my business partner and Why Choose? was born.
By the time the site went live, we were at close to 6,000 books. Today, we’re close to 15,000!
We didn’t start tracking page hits until a month later, but in September of 2021 we had 44,292 hits. In June 2023, it was 261,078!
But this is still the beginning for us.
We’ve got a few more site features to come (it’s easier to build them on a website and test them out than to do an app because you have to force updates to each device), so keep your eyes peeled.
And the app?
It’s coming. We’ll be wanting app testers too, and I’ll personally be reaching out to some of the most active members on the site.