Monday, October 18, 2010

The downside of nookie in the woods

There aren’t many hiking days left before the ground is covered in crotch-deep snow. That – and a desire to see some fall foliage – prompted Pythagoras and me to hit the trail on Saturday.

We’d been hiking a few miles when we came across a lovely and secluded spot along the water’s edge. I looked at Pythagoras, who was glistening handsomely with sweat. My bosoms were heaving from the exertion of the hike.

OK, so I had romance writing on the brain. Sue me.

I gazed out at a grassy patch between two forks in the creek. “That would be a nice spot to set a love scene in a book.”

Pythagoras turned and stared at me for a few beats. “No.”

I gave him my most innocent expression. “What?”

“The trail is just over there. You saw that whole family piling in the car at the trailhead. It’d be our luck they’d all come trooping along, picnic basket in hand, kids racing out in front—”

“I wasn’t propositioning you.”

He raised an eyebrow.

“OK, fine,” I admitted. “I was propositioning you but—”

“There’s also the dog. You want her grabbing your underwear and running off into the woods?”

That actually seemed like a great scene for a romantic comedy, but perhaps not the best way to seduce my husband.

Fine, he had a point. Even so, I heaved a dramatic sigh. “OK, but you’re missing out.”

“On being arrested for indecent exposure? I’m all right with missing that.”
We threw sticks in the water for the dog for a few more minutes before we set out hiking again. We hadn’t gone more than 30 yards when we saw evidence that someone – presumably someone on horseback or afflicted with severe gastrointestinal issues – had passed by while we were debating the wisdom of getting frisky in the grass.
To my husband’s credit, he did not say I told you so.

Nor did he say it 15 minutes later when we passed a happy pack of hikers headed straight for our spot along the creek.
OK, OK…those romantic, outdoorsy trysts in romance novels and movies are seldom very realistic. There are fire ants and poison ivy, foul weather and fellow hikers.

Still, you can’t blame a girl for trying.

Do you roll your eyes when you watch a Hollywood love scene with a couple frolicking in a lagoon you’re certain would be filled with leeches in real life? Or do you suspend disbelief and just enjoy the fantasy?

Please share. I’ll be busy plotting my strategy for that snow-cave rendezvous I’ve been picturing in my mind.


lora96 said...

Oh, I always ridicule they movie pairs trysting in what is probably ice-cold, snake-infested water for a photogenic backdrop. Also barns/hay? Itchy. Zillions of aggressive horseflies which sting. Generally stiflingly hot in summer as well. Never in all my years growing up on a farm did I consider that an eligible place to remove one's clothing.

Sheila Siler said...

I usually go with the flow, having a husband that likes the "risk" (more in our younger years) - I don't think about the improbability of a spot. Except the airplane bathroom - that one just doesn't make sense to me!

Alastair said...

The spontaneous romantic tryst can work for me in fiction if the writing is consistent enough and the suspension of disbelief remains intact.

As for real life... I think it's appealing precisely because of the discomfort. In that one instant, passion overrules caution, and that intensity can be intoxicating, whether it's a woodland glade, an aeroplane bathroom (though I admit, that's one scenario that's never really worked for me), or the quiet corner of a book store. As far as I'm concerned, the moment should be seized whenever it presents itself.

And there's no harm in going looking for the moment if you haven't seen it for a while... ;)

A great post as always, Tawna!

Matthew MacNish said...

It's a good thing you didn't go for it, because then your dog might have stolen your underwear and you would have lost the ring that you keep in the crotch pocket.

Seriously though, these kind of encounters do occur in real life, just not for boring people like me. When it comes to reading about them in fiction, well first of all I don't really read romance, but when these kind of scenes happen to come up in other stories, I tend to just suspend my disbelief and enjoy reading. I can't let something as trivial as ants ruin the fun.

Linda G. said...

While I do enjoy reading about alfresco romantic trysts, I'm a bit leery of them in real life. I blame my fear of poison ivy.

Shain Brown said...

They always seem to play so romantically in our mind, but when it comes to the implementation there is always sand being eaten, a stick rammed in the wrong places, or a crowd of locals peering over the indecent. So, needless to say it leaves the idea not so romantic anymore.

Danica Avet said...

I go with the flow. It's the fantasy that most people are after. In our fantasies, sand isn't uncomfortable when it finds body crevices, carpet burn does not exist, insects and animals know when to leave you alone with your lover, and partners have explosive orgasms together every single time they make love.

When I'm reading a book or watching a movie, unless the love scenes are just completely impossible, or confusing, I take it at face value and continue with the story.

Charity Bradford said...

LOL, unrealistic true, but not impossible. You just have to wait for the right time of day (around sunset) and then find a spot off the trail at the bottom of a small cliff.

*blushes* not that I would know about that kind of thing.

Renee Pinner said...

I can't suspend disbelief when the reality of tics and mosquito bites on the buttocks come crashing to mind.

Stephanie said...

Usually I can just ignore and enjoy the fantasy. But it depends....if it's really far-fetched, I have a hard time.

And I do have to admit...I have had some "fun" in the woods before. But it was dark...much easier to stay hidden! :)

Melissa Gill said...

The fear of discovery, the risk of uncomfortable insect bites or plant based rashes are what make trysting in exposed locations so titillating, whether it be in a movie, a book, or in real life.

Harley May said...

I enjoy the outdoor tryst in both movies and books. If you can't experience it in real life, you should give your mind permission to live it.

And I would do it somewhere ridiculous if my husband were up for it.

Harley May said...

p.s. Your dog wouldn't grab your underwear and run into the woods if you weren't wearing any.

Patty Blount said...

I love trysts in books. In real life, not so much. For example, beach sex? Hello? Sand freakin' hurts! And the water?? Folks, shrinkage is a real malady.

Patrick Alan said...

This story is very confusing and I find the action in it highly unbelievable.

First of all, I do not believe the heroine wears underwear, so her husband saying the dog might run off with it is completely throwing me out of the story.

Sandra Cormier said...

I'm not averse to writing about lovemaking in unusual locations, but I like to keep a little bit of reality mixed in. The texture of straw or pine needles against skin shouldn't be ignored.

Sometimes a mosquito bite in the butt or an unexpected guest can add a little levity to the situation.

By the way, has anyone tried it in a canoe? Talk about taking risks!

Colene Murphy said...

this cracked me up. I could just picture a happy dog romping around with underpants in his mouth. Ahh..classic.

I always thought it would be romantic to get frisky IN a shallow steam or waterfall. But sooooo unrealistic. OH well. Good try though for you haha.

Sierra said...

Trysts in outdoor or semi-public placed throw me out of the flow of the story a little bit. I'm the antithesis of an exhibitionist. Inhibitionist? I'm not that inhibited, really, but only as long as it's in the privacy of my home. I even worry sometimes that my boyfriend's upstairs neighbors or people passing by might be able to hear, me.

I might try an outdoor tryst if I owned the land and all of it surrounding the spot, and if I knew there were no fire ant piles or cheeky rocks. But mosquitoes love me more than the average person, so it would have to be the right season...way too much planning needed. I'll stick to my bedroom adventures.

Jessica Lemmon said...

I recently read a book where the happy couple got lucky in the woods, and I *did* have trouble suspending reality. All I could think is - they should have a blanket... it's summer, I bet they're enduring some hellacious mosquito bites... what about ants? every time I sit in our lawn, ants scramble over me... grass isn't that comfortable, it's pokey and leaves little line-like dents on your legs...

So I imagined them on a pristinely clean blanket inside a protective air bubble... and got on with enjoying the scene. :-D

Unknown said...

LOL! I'm now officially awake and ready for my English class!

I just hope he doesn't give us another pop quiz, because I'll probably start an essay on the merits of properly finding a nice, cosy nook in the middle of the forest and making sure you take all the nessessary precausions to ensure you're not disturbed!!!

Christina Auret said...

As a solution to all those who mentioned the sand deterrent to making it on the beach.

Shared sleeping bag under the stars. Above the high tide line for preference. :P

Candyland said...

OMG yes! I hate that in movies. Well, maybe I'm just jealous because I could never pull it off.

Dr. Goose said...

It always seems unrealistic for the movies but never for me.

Unknown said...

Your post had me laughing out loud (or LOL, for those in the know. Kidding.) because you know, for certain, as soon as you got your top off, someone would round the corner & put an end to it all.

Personally, when reading (or watching) romantic, outside trysts, I *try* to suspend my disbelief and enjoy but, unfortunately, my pragmatic side wins out and I'm just imagining where the ticks are headed...

Posey said...

Suspend disbelief and just enjoy the fantasy!

Patrick Alan said...

I also find it unbelievable that a man said 'no thanks' and interjected wisdom.

Was he ill? Did he break into sudden shivers then fall comatose and have to be airlifted off the mountain only yo discover an alien parasite had taken him as host?

I don't like these weak male characters that want to talk and have things like 'emotions'. Highly unrealistic. I just can't suspend my disbelief for that.

Patrick Alan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
adam.purple said...

I must confess, I am an eye-roller.

Lynne Kelly said...

Hey, I have an underwear-eating bulldog in my WIP! Of course the guy who works at the vet's office is completely hot, and the pair of underwear he helped remove were giant, white, last-pair-in-the-drawer-before-laundry-day granny panties.

I can suspend disbelief a little, but I get distracted and start rolling my eyes if the scene seems too unbelievable, like on a glacier, perhaps.

Lisa Potts said...

I can suspend disbelief in reading, no problem.

I have tried that romantic, spontaneous thing in the woods and let me tell ya, it's a helluva lot more fun to read about than to actually participate in. I had poison ivy where no one should ever have it.

demery said...

As I get older it's more difficult to suspend the disbelief... but I've realized that's not so bad b/c now I don't always feel like I'm missing out on something amazing by not frolicking in the leech filled water. The comedy part, however, has great potential here!!

Jen J. Danna said...

I guess I'm too boringly realistic because stuff like that totally pulls me right out of the story saying Oh, come on! Now if it's something unrealistic and the writer keeps me engaged, then that says something about the skill of the writing.

Besides, for anyone who's... uh... tried it, it's never that romantic in real life with sticks and rock pocking in odds spots etc. ;)


lora96, ew, I'm feeling itchy just thinking about the hay!

Sheila, nothing says romance like a toilet and a tiny soap dispenser!

Alastair, a quiet corner of a bookstore? Why do I sense there's a story there?

Matthew, know what's funny? I actually did drop one of my thumb rings on the hike. I eventually found it in the dirt, but I kept thinking about the crotch pocket!

Linda G, and who wants poison ivy THERE?!

Shainer, ouch! I hadn't thought about the pokey stick.

Danica, good point about just enjoying the fantasy in books/movies and not over-analyzing!

Charity, sunset, eh? I'll keep that in mind :)

Renee, ick, I forgot about the ticks!

Stephanie, I take it you don't live in bear country?! Nighttime in the woods would scare the pee out of me.

Melissa, ah yes, I believe the term for that is "discovery fantasies." Very common in women, from what I've read!

Harley May, excellent point about the underwear. Chalk up another point for the panty-free masses.

Patty, shrinkage and sand in body, what a good time!

Patrick, you must suspend your disbelief. You must also seek therapy immediately.

Chumplet, a canoe? Very tippy!

Colene, growing up with icy, glacier-fed streams everywhere, I have to say that's never appealed to me!

Sierra, cheeky rocks, I like that expression!

Jessica, I love that you brought your own blanket to the scene!

Matthew, I feel almost guilty for corrupting you in English class.

Christiana, all I can think now is "so I have to get the sand out of the sleeping bag AND out of my...?"

Candyland, tried it, huh?

Dr. Goose, you are the master! Pardon me while I call your wife and we have a good laugh.

Mary, you're the second person to mention ticks. Sheesh, why didn't I think of that?

Posey, OK, OK...I need to go rent a smutty movie with a good outdoor scene now.

Patrick, you're right, emotions are highly overrated. I should try writing about robot sex from now on.

adam.purple, do you ever LITERALLY roll your eyes when you're reading? I do it all the time.

Lynne Kelly, that sounds like a terrific book!

Lisa, thank you for that visual I will never be able to scour from my brain.

Demery, good point...endless potential for romantic comedy in woodland trysts!

Jen, nice word choice with the "oh, come on!"

Thanks for reading, guys!

Claire Dawn said...

But you write romantic COMEDY. Horse poop can only make it better ;) lol

PS, I totally did not know Americans used the word nookie. I swore that was a Caribbean thing.