There's always an agenda in harems. Just look at real life. There are men that women don't mind sharing with other women. Those men are either beautiful, rich, famous, and/or influential. The agendas include - getting his genes (making a baby from a lucky fling), bragging rights, entrapment for money, hopes of marriage and a financially secure life, furthering a career, getting famous by proxy, making a baby and then blackmailing for money, etc... The only exception to those is cult leaders. Charismatic brain-washers who'll prey on younger women/girls without solid family protection. But even that falls through eventually when they wake up. Then they may stay out of fear, resignation, or no other options/depression. If a woman doesn't mind sharing her man, that means something the man has/can give her is more important to her than the man himself. I reckon most men in that position realize this truth and just don't mind the pretty 20-year-olds who throw themselves at them regardless of their agendas. In fact, if it's just for money or fame, it's a rather straightforward transaction and they might prefer that. But that unromantic reality is what makes me unable to accept harems as anything involving love. If I feel like reading romance, harem is not the genre I'm looking for. I know it's wish-fulfillment, and in a novel, it can be whatever the author wants, but at the back of my head, I'm just thinking of the girls' agendas you know. I'm thinking 20 years in the future (or 20,000 in xianxia, whatever) when they get older and wiser and have kids... How is that dynamic going to go? In any case, if you're gonna read harem novels, you gotta turn off your brain and read them for the hot girls. Don't think too much lol. That's how I read reverse harems. They're even more ridiculous in various other ways, so I rarely find one that I'd like, but still. They're not very romantic. Like playing a game and collecting trophies. It's the fact that socially valuable people only have eyes for the MC and are so in love they can't help themselves, that makes the genre popular. In reality, requited love is very hard to find even with one person. Only lust and interests.