Friday, March 26, 2010

Fake car sex & the realities of romance

I recently shared how Pythagoras is a good sport about plotting love scenes.

He’s been kind enough to extend his good sportsmanship to help my fellow authors in need.

A couple years ago, a writing pal crafted a love scene that took place in the front seat of a car. I critiqued the scene with some skepticism, knowing the author is six inches shorter than me and therefore inclined to assume two amorous adults can fit comfortably behind the wheel of a Honda.

We debated the issue for several rounds, each of us sharing more information than we’d volunteer to our mothers.

Finally, I offered to put the issue to the test.

“Pythagoras,” I called. “I need help with a scene.”

My husband eyed me suspiciously. “You’re not going to make me have fake sex with you on the bathroom counter again, are you?”

“Don’t be silly. This time we’re having fake car sex.”

He sighed, resigned to the fate assigned to him when he agreed to marry a romance author. “On it or in it?”

I led the way to the Mazda, which was parked in the driveway and appeared to be the approximate size and shape of the Honda my friend described in her scene.

“Actually,” Pythagoras objected, “the key differences between the Mazda and Honda for models made between 1997 and 2001 is that the slope of the windshield—“

“Just get in the car,” I told him, pretty sure readers wouldn’t nitpick.

Pythagoras heaved another sigh, settled into the drivers’ seat and looked at me. “Wouldn’t this work better if you were wearing a skirt instead of sweatpants?”

“We’re not really going to have car sex,” I pointed out. “We’re just helping Jane* write a scene.”


“You haven’t met her. Neither have I, technically, but – never mind. She’s an author.”

I ignored my husband’s pained expression and ducked into the car, promptly smacking my knee on the gearshift. I shifted my weight back and banged my head on the rearview mirror.

“When does this get romantic?” Pythagoras asked.

“Shut up and see if you can grab my boob from that angle.”

Pythagoras lifted his hand and stopped, his gaze fixed on a point over my shoulder. “Looks like the neighbors are barbecuing.”

He tilted the formerly boob-bound hand in a halfhearted wave. I craned my neck to study the happy family waving back, looking strangely unsurprised to see us arranged thusly.

I gave them a weak smile. “Should I go explain?”

“You know,” Pythagoras said, “sometimes it’s best if you don’t.”

So we spent another three minutes adjusting the seat position, fiddling with the tilt steering, and determining that it was, in fact, possible to maneuver in an amorous fashion in the drivers’ seat of a compact car.

Not that we were feeling particularly amorous at that point.

“My leg is asleep,” I complained as I peeled myself off my husband’s lap.

“You crushed my testicle.”

I nodded and surveyed the car. “Other than that, it was totally hot.”

He shook his head and waved at the neighbors again, probably wondering why some men are lucky enough to have sane wives.

I shut the car door marched back to the house, eager to report my findings to Jane.

She was pleased to hear it, and wrote a lovely scene that bore little resemblance to my experience.

Sometimes it’s best for romance not to reflect reality.

* Name has been changed to protect an author who probably wishes she didn’t know me.


Jennifer X said...

"You crushed my testicle."

ROFLMFAO...oh man. To be a fly on the wall in your house.

K.A. Krantz said...


Wonder if your neighbors blog about the weirdos next door...

Unknown said...

OMG, Tawna, I was cracking up through this whole post! I'll bet my husband would be interested in forming a support group with your husband, so they can commiserate together. The things I've put my hubby through in the name of writing...

Have a great weekend!

Unknown said...

hahaha! you routinely have me laughing so hard that I can barely breathe! Can't wait till your book comes out!

Sharon Axline said...

Once again - note to me. Do NOT read as a work break. Hysterical laughter followed by muffled guffaws twisted around "you crushed my testicle" makes the other cube rats nervous!

As always a great and fun read!

Linda G. said...

Hey, Tawna, I'm writing this scene where the characters have sex on a tandem bicycle while riding down a deserted country road. I was wondering if you and Pythagoras could check out the logistics for me. I'd do it myself, but we don't have a tandem bicycle.

Thnx, ever so grateful in advance, ta.


Jennifer X, maybe I'll have to use the testicle line in a future romance novel, eh?

KAK, funny, I was just wondering this morning if the neighbors have ever found my blog. In a way, I hope so. At least it might explain a few things.

Nicole, I think authors' husbands should definitely form a support group! "Hi, my name is Bob, and my wife kicks me in the nuts repeatedly so she can test out the proper angle for a book she's writing."

Karla, why thank you! But, uh...try not to pass out there. I don't want to get sued.

NWFoodie, thanks for reading! Glad to amuse your cube rat compatriots as well as you.

Linda G, I'll get right on that tandem bike scene. Who should be in front? :)


Linda G. said...

Maybe you should try it both ways, and then tell me which is better. Pictures might help.

By the way, the theater god's name IS Bob--how'd you know? And it wasn't repeatedly. I stopped after three or four times. Plus, I let him put a Tupperware bowl over the, um, region for protection, so it's not like he really had anything to complain about.

Claire Dawn said...

ha ha! If she'd written anything like what happened, readers would be ice-ing their groins in sympathy.

Ann Marie Gamble said...

With my housemates (aka grade-school-aged children), I can test questions such as "how quickly does fake blood dry?" and "can Legos kill?" This is one beauty of the Internet--access to the brain trust.


Linda G, wow, naked butts really stick to bike seats, don't they? Give Bob my regards (and maybe something thicker than a Tupperware bowl).

Claire Dawn, I suppose you're right -- reality wouldn't have been much of a turn-on. It seldom is, eh?

Ann Marie, so how quickly DOES fake blood dry? And can Legos kill? These are important questions must be addressed!


Mason Canyon said...

I would have loved to have heard the conversation the neighbors had after that scene. :)

DL Hammons said...

OMG...that was hilarious!! Thank you for that.

Unknown said...

Hey Tawna! Me again :P Just wanted you to know I left a little something for you on my blog this morning :))

Have a great weekend!

Liz Czukas said...

LMAO! I love it! I've put my husband through some things in the name of writing, but he's never been aware of what I've been doing. Maybe if I just came out and told him, he wouldn't give me such stranger looks...

Thanks for the giggle.

- Liz

Christi Goddard said...

My husband and I had actual car sex in the front seat of a Cavalier during a road trip. He's 6'5 and was on top. It was... not worth repeating. :-)

Followed you over from Nicole's page.


Mason, sadly, it wasn't the first time I half expected the neighbors to summon law enforcement.

DL Hammons, I'm beginning to notice my husband is building a sizable number of male sympathizers on this blog :)

Nicole, awww...thanks so much for the blog award! Left a note for you on your blog. Thanks for reading!

Liz, I should probably take a cue from you and resort to more trickery and manipulation. Then again, my husband already knows what I'm up to.

Christi, I'm 5'4" and my husband is 5'8", so we're both on the short side (and yes, that means the writer pal for whom we researched this scene is 4'10"). Even so, it's still a challenging endeavor, so I bow to you and your 6'5" husband!


Lola Sharp said...

This was very the crushed testicle line!

Happy Weekend,

Cynthia Reese said...

I SO can identify with, ahem, Jane. ;-)

Good thing I don't attempt, cough, cough, love scenes, cough, cough, any more. I really loved my former editor when she said, "Cynthia, it's okay. You're just not the type of writer who feels comfortable doing that."

Besides being so funny you make me want to take out keyboard insurance, you're also cool because you know what works for me as a writer. Terrific writer, even better CP!


Lola, thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed the testicles.

Jane, (er, I mean, Cynthia) I must respectfully disagree with your (I mean Jane's) editor. I kinda miss the days when you (I mean Jane) wrote love scenes before you (I mean Jane) crossed over to the dark side (I mean light side?) and started writing non-smutty books. Thanks for stopping by, my lovely CP!


Claire Dawn said...

Left you the "Creative Writer Award" on my blog. You post 6 lies and 1 truth and we try to guess the truth. :)

??? said...

Okay, it's official - you are the awesomest person I half-way, kinda sorta know. I can't stop laughing.

??? said...

Also, please tell me that your husband is actually named Pythagoras, because that would be even awesome-er.


Claire Dawn, thanks for the award! Will check out your blog to see what it's all about!

Sydnee, sadly, my husband's name isn't really Pythagoras. Do I still get to be awesome?


Melanie Sherman said...

I think it is so nice when a spouse is willing to help with the research.

Anonymous said...

I cannot express the amount of love I have for this post. Awesome.