The question that’s been asked the most in relation to Normal Enough is, “What in the world made you write about a car fetish?” Admittedly, it’s an odd choice, but it was an idea that intrigued me.
When I signed up to write a story for Amber Allure’s Grease Monkeys Pax, I didn’t have any idea what I was going to write. I asked my BIL, who’s a mechanic, if there were any juicy stories from his garage. He basically laughed and said, “Garages aren’t really very sexy.” But somehow, from that discussion, the idea of a car fetish was born.
Many years ago, I read a book on human sexuality. I’m old and have a terrible memory, so I can’t tell you the title or the author. But this author posited that much of what turns us on as adults is rooted in our childhood, usually in the years between ages two and four, when we’re first discovering that touching ourselves between our legs feels a little funny. As Americans (I can’t speak for other cultures), we really want to deny this. We want to believe that our sweet little cherubs have no sexual feelings until adolescence. In the world of small press romance publishing, we go even further. We pretend our kids never, ever feel any kind of sexual desire until that magical day when they turn eighteen. But we all know this isn’t true. Most of us discover sexual pleasure at a much younger age. Of course, many of us are told, “don’t do that,” and so we quickly learn to hide it, but the fact remains that the first feelings of sexual pleasure usually happen in these very early formative years. And, according to this particular book, this is very often where sexual fetishes come into play.
Now, “fetish” is one of those terms that gets thrown around a lot these days, and I’m sure there are several different definitions, but in this particular book, a fetish was defined as something that was either required in order to achieve sexual desire, or as something that triggered an uncontrollable sexual response. So, if you like to jack off while watching Three’s Company, it would not (by this definition) be a fetish. If, however, just hearing the Three’s Company theme song causes you to pop wood, regardless of the fact that your grandma’s sitting on the couch next to you, or if you can achieve sexual gratification only while watching Three’s Company, that would be a fetish.
Again, I’m not claiming this is the ONLY definition. I’m talking about one particular book’s definition. Anyway…
The author’s premise was that this kind of fetish is almost always rooted in our early formative years. Maybe your parents put you in the bath every night at seven p.m., and you’d lie there happily soaping certain parts of your body while listening to Chrissy, Jack, and Janet argue to the tune of canned laughter. Given those particular circumstances, it’s completely feasible that you could come to link Three’s Company with sexual arousal. The point of this particular chapter was that in most cases, people who grow up with these types of specific fetishes don’t remember what started them, and because they don’t understand them, they’re often needlessly ashamed.
In the case of my character Kasey Ralston, he experiences uncontrollable arousal when inside certain types of old muscle cars. My first question of course was, where would this come from? In reality, it probably would have been rooted in his very early years, but it occurred to me that for the sake of this story, rooting it in his adolescence just might work.
Imagine a young boy with three older brothers. They live in a small house. This boy is just starting down the painful, icky path we call puberty. He has to share his bedroom, and there’s only one bathroom in the entire house. Privacy is hard to come by. However, this boy’s father has a collection of rusty old cars in the backyard, rotting away on cinder blocks. Those cars become Kasey’s haven. And, more than that, they become the place he stashes his porn, and the place he goes when he wants to look at his magazines and masturbate. With the bulk of his adolescent sexual discovery tied to cars in such a visceral way, he develops a bit of a fetish. He tells Brandon, ” I guess at some point, the porn and the cars and the feeling of getting off all got mixed up in my mind.”
Kasey’s embarrassed by his fetish until he meets Brandon, a man who not only happens to have a whole collection of classic muscle cars, but who thinks Kasey’s fetish is hot.
“Meeting you is like fate. You get off on classic muscle cars. And here I am, with a collection of them. Your fetish dovetails with my interests so perfectly.” He leaned a little closer. “It’s like we were meant to be.”
Kasey swallowed, his thoughts a jumble. Brandon’s last sentence had been said with a hint of humor. But there was note of earnestness there as well.
“So, in other words, I may be a freak, but you like it?”
“Let’s just say, I think you’re abnormal in the best possible way.”
As Kasey explores his new relationship with Brandon, he begins to realize that maybe he’s not abnormal after all. Maybe he just needs to change his definition of “normal.” After all, who among us can claim normality?
Now, as a side note, this story isn’t exactly a stand-alone. As it turned out, L.A. Witt was also writing a story for the Grease Monkeys, Inc Pax, and at some point we decided to set our books in the same garage. Her novella is called Wrenches, Regrets and Reality Checks, and her protagonist is my main character’s boss. The stories aren’t really connected, but our characters have cameos in each other’s novels, much like in our Tucker Springs stories. Wrenches, Regrets and Reality Checks takes place about a year after Normal Enough, but that doesn’t mean you have to read mine first. (Yes, it does.) (Except not really.)
Check out Normal Enough, (and Wrenches, Regrets and Reality Checks) available now from Amber Allure.
Blurb: When Brandon Kenner shows up at Kasey Ralston’s garage with a 1970 Chevelle SS 454, Kasey is smitten by both the man and his car. Between what Kasey considers a shameful fetish and his long estrangement from his family, Kasey finds it easiest to be alone, even distancing himself from his coworkers. But Brandon doesn’t think Kasey’s fetish is weird. In fact, he likes it.
Kasey doesn’t know how to resist a man as charming as Brandon, and he’s more than willing to be seduced. But what are Brandon’s long-term intentions? Kasey is afraid of hoping for too much, but equally afraid that when all is said and done, Brandon will leave, and Kasey will be left alone once again.
Length: 24k words
Publisher: Ambur Allure
Release Date: March 16, 2014
Buy Link: Normal Enough
About the Author: Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.
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