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Valentine's Day is on the horizon. A romantic exercise in over-priced chocolate and pre-planned bathtub sex. Couples will gaze over candles as their memories skip back to a distant time when sex was not something you celebrated over $45 charcuterie plates, but, rather, something one got away with whenever one could, often in an automobile.

Ah, car sex.

Prior to the 1960s, cars were the perfect vehicle for the transit of Venus because they had bench seating up front. Picture a twin bed behind a steering wheel. You could literally drive, park, slide over and seconds later be making out in the front seat. Hence the Greatest Generation. Bench seating turned cars into love machines and was responsible for the Allies victory in the Second World War and subsequent baby boom.

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Then along came bucket seats. Suddenly, it was more important that we be comfortable while driving than to have easy access to sex. This shift was emblematic of our western atrophy from hearty can-doers to lame will-sitters. Bucket seats were much tougher to negotiate and as a result sexual congress in an automobile required a relocation to the back or fairly acrobatic moves up front. Given the fact that car sex is generally something that people get caught up in, a heat of the moment phenomenon, the bucket seat killed the passion and spontaneity. Still, thanks to the enormous size of North American cars, through the sixties and into the eighties, automobiles were still a favoured site for lovers looking for carnal opportunity.

Today, the notion of the car as love nest is at risk of going extinct. Compact cars and crowded roads are killing the vibe (though in Europe it remains popular). You do not have to look far to see the effects. A 2003 Environics Research poll found that 40 per cent of Canadian men aged 40 to 49 had made love in an automobile but only 36 per cent of males aged 18 to 29 had experienced the pleasures of car sex. The stats on the female side were even more troubling. Only 29 per cent of women aged 18-29 had fornicated in a car.

All, however, is not lost. In an attempt to stem the tide, Road Sage presents a primer for the car sex neophyte.

How to make love in a car

  1. Find a consenting partner (or obtain picture of consenting partner).
  2. Own or borrow a car.
  3. Drive car to a secluded spot. (In Canada, it's illegal to have sex in public but you can have sex in your car if you are not seen by others. In 1981, a Supreme Court of Canada judge dismissed charges against a Vancouver couple caught by flashlight wielding police, saying "it is obvious the accused did not want to be seen.")
  4. Have sex.
  5. Debate rages over what the best car sex positions are. Video tutorials are available online, there is a book ( Carma Sutra: The Auto-Erotic Handbook) and websites dedicated to detailing car sex positions. Most tend to be of the "someone on top" variety. Some involve sitting. A factor to bear in mind: if you're keeping the doors closed your options will be more limited. If you are parking during winter make sure that your exhaust pipe is not covered by snow or you will run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Aficionados all agree: the best car sex position is the one that includes you.

The top 5 car-sex vehicles

Any car will do. These will do better:

Volvo V70: This roomy wagon is frequently chosen as a top spot for four-wheeled passion. If you put the rear seats down you have an area the size of a small bachelor apartment. Plus, it's Swedish.

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BMW 3-Series: Lots of leg room. Leather interior and foldable rear seats make this BMW offering Cupid's choice. The climate control is a nice touch. Comes in manual and automatic transmission.

2010 Bentley Azure: At $399,990, the 2010 Bentley Azure is the preferred mode of automotive copulation for millionaires who are tired of having sex in their 2009 Bentley Azures. Reading lights and lighted vanity mirrors add spice to the atmosphere.

2010 Land Rover Range Rover: This SUV comes with a sun roof and gives lovers lots of head room. Seats five.

Ford E-Series Van: The name says it all. There is no reason to own this vehicle if you are not going to carpet the floor and use it to have sex in. Roomy. Spartan. AM/FM Radio. Great fuel economy. Instant ecstasy. Just add strawberries.

Can I have sex with my Car?

Let's be clear: many people love their cars but most do not love their cars.

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There are, however, an estimated 500 "mechaphiles" worldwide who are not afraid to make the auto/human beast with two-backs (well, one back and one fender). The 2008 documentary Strangelove: My Car is My Lover chronicled two such notables: Edward Smith, 57, and 20-year-old Jordan Witham, who were in love with their cars and had sexual relationships with them. Oddly, both were involved with Volkswagen Beetles. Edward had a 26-year affair with a 1974 VW named "Vanilla." Jordan was with a female VW named "Ingo" but had grown drive-curious and embarked on a tryst with a Trans Am named "Todd."

So, the answer is no. No you can't.

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