“WHO says married sex can’t be hot?” asked a recent news release that wound up chez moi.
I always look around my one-person office when I get e-mails like this, which raise provocative questions that I’ve never thought to pose to myself.
“Who indeed?” I asked the air indignantly.
Answer came there none, but the missive had grabbed my attention. I read on, expecting startling revelations about the extreme hotness endemic to the connubial state.
That’s when I discovered that the cited authority on married folks’ majestic heat was novelist C.J. Ellisson, whose third book, Big Game, has just been published. It turns out that married sex is mainly hot when one of you is a vampire and the other one isn’t.
Ellisson said she wrote the book because she was sick of reading vampire lit that featured blood-sucking sleazebags. She deplored “the main characters’ lack of relationship and constant bed-hopping.”
That kind of stuff-and-nonsense might be fine for readers in their 20s, Ellisson continued, ignoring the fact that the vampire protagonists themselves always seem to be a well-preserved 300-plus. As a mature reader, she said, “it gets annoying that your favorite genre completely overlooks the difficulty and challenges of keeping a relationship strong and sexually healthy as the years go on.…Why can’t the heroine save the world, solve the crime, and journey to unknown lands with a strong man by her side supporting her?”
I’ll tell you why, C.J. Ellisson -- in any marriage, somebody has to do the laundry. It takes a truly special guy to spend all day coaxing bloodstains out of his wife’s filmy chemises, then rise to the challenge of a rambunctious round of slap and tickle.
At my house, after the first 200 years, we concluded that renouncing vampirism -- along with world-saving, crime-solving and journeying to unknown lands -- was the most romantic course of action, and we began hosting the odd dinner party. It took a while for us to get out of the mindset of inviting only guests with long necks and ruddy complexions and focus instead on their conversational skills, but we got to that point eventually, and are the better for it. Why, the other night we had quite a rousing discussion of wind-generated energy production on P.E.I. over pad thai and goong noon hae. Neither of us stared at our friend’s jugular once.
By the way, I know people are curious about vampire wedlock, and completely obsessed with vamp/non-vamp liaisons (witness the popularity of the series Twilight). In my own marriage, I don’t like to say which one of us used to be the more ardent vampire because I don’t want our children’s friends’ parents to stop letting them come over. I will, however, discreetly point out to you that it’s Stanley who still orders his restaurant steaks “as rare as the law will allow.”
Anyhoo, to my mind, there isn’t enough verisimilitude in vampire book writing -- not that I’ve ever read a vampire book, but I have skimmed the afore-mentioned news release. It told me that in Big Game, the vampire protagonist’s name is Vivian and she owns an Alaska resort for the undead. What do the undead need with a resort? Their entire lives are vacations from reality if you ask me. When did one of these spectres ever put in a full day’s work? And what are the undead going to do at a resort -- exfoliate? Ice fish? Mob the hot tub?
Not much, it seems. Apparently Vivian discovers a corpse in a locked guestroom (always a faux pas in undead circles -- if you’re undead, don’t die, for God’s sake) just before the arrival of a new set of guests. You’d think these old-comers would have the savoir faire to smile ghoulishly and hail the deceased as dinner, but apparently Vivian and her mortal husband Rafe feel it’s necessary to hide the evidence and catch the culprit.
Evidently, they find that “juggling the demands of their customers while tracking a killer isn’t easy.” I can only imagine. You would not believe the level of room service these former people expect -- nothing sticks to their ribs, so their food orders come non-stop.
Toss Rafe and Vivian’s insatiable desires into the mix -- presumably he adores doing laundry -- and, it seems, you have a recipe for outstanding curricular coitus. I’ll never read Big Game, since the release warns of “very explicit sex scenes.” I’m not much of a one for watching pasty people knockin’ boots, even in my mind. I keep thinking they’ll faint and fall off the balcony.
As a recovering vampire -- and you oughtta get a load of our 12-step program -- I find the whens, wheres, whys and hows of dead-undead coupling tedious. If you don’t, by all means swoop off to a local bookstore this spring and pick up Big Game.