You can’t put a price on love, but we try every year on Valentine’s Day. Normally, I use this time to encourage readers to eschew spending money on cards, flowers and chocolate in favour of experiencing the joys of cars and romance. I urge them to change up their amorous routines by engaging in a little intimacy in the backseat or, at the very least, a few passionate pecks in the front at a red light.
This February 14, however, it might be better to ask them to give it a rest.
We’ve had car sex on our minds. In the past six months, Cosmopolitan, SheKnows.com, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Refinery29, Fatherly.com and Bustle.com have all run stories telling readers how to make love in their automobiles, informing them what the best positions are, where to find the best places to park and how to avoid getting injured during automobile dalliances.
It seems like we’ve been taking advantage. According to a poll by The Sun, 52 per cent of English respondents favoured romance in an automobile, compared with 41 per cent in Scotland and Northern Ireland and 38 per cent in Wales. In terms of how Canadians are behaving, there isn’t much new information, though a 2018 survey by autoTrader.ca found that 75 per cent of Canadians had experienced sexual congress in an automobile. Baby boomers were most likely, with 79 per cent saying they’d done it, followed by 65 per cent of millennials admitting as much.
Global calamities such as COVID-19 trigger waves of car romance. After the economic crash of 2008, for instance, the Via Manzoni in Naples became jammed with automobile romancers who, due to the economic collapse, were forced to live at home with relatives. The spot was so crowded that street vendors began to sell lovers scotch tape and newspapers (to block out the windows), as well as cigarettes, coffee and booze.
The need to explain the “how to” of car romance most likely stems from a generational divide. Those born before the early 1990s are already familiar with the mechanics. They grew up associating cars with freedom and, as teens and twenty-somethings, being free from parental supervision. To those born after the 1990s, it’s more of a novelty. Some may need to be told, “seatbelt burn and stick-shift bumping are real threats.”
For parents and those in committed relationships, automotive carnal recreation provides the opportunity to literally “take it on the road.” Many parents spend a lot of time driving kids all over the place; why not put aside a few private drives? For those who are single during the lockdown, it’s more of a case of determining who, in Seinfeldian language, might be termed “car-worthy.” Vehicles are enclosed spaces. There’s no physical distancing. You need to know you’re not on the fence. And so, after a few long, two-metre-apart frozen walks, there may come a time that things get taken to the next level – the car bubble.
So how do we bring the novelty back for Valentine’s season, if it’s now relatively common for cars to be used for passionate liaisons?
Music is a good place to start. Turn off the ignition and turn on the tunes. A study by online ticket reseller TickPick found that 65 per cent of respondents had been sexually active in an automobile. Of those, respondents who listened to heavy metal were most likely to enjoy a car romp at 75 per cent, compared to 26 per cent for oldies, followed by less for hip-hop, rap and soul. Women were most likely to be active while listening to R&B while, for men, it was classic rock.
If you’re not keen on the idea of being active in an automobile, you may want to focus your energy on finding the best car to express your inner desires. Statistics show that women tend to favour those who drive pick-up trucks, while men prefer those driving sport cars. A family-friendly minivan is a good choice, too. It shows that you are easily aroused yet fail to think things through. A 1963 Volkswagen Bug (a.k.a. “Herbie the Love Bug”) is a nice antique bit of automobile eye candy. Personally, I like a 1953 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible.
Of course, there’s always chocolate.
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